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The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God
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The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  5,218 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews

Isn’t it true—we really don’t know someone until we understand what makes that person happy?  And so it is with God!

What does bring delight to the happiest Being in the universe?  John Piper writes, that it’s only when we know what makes God glad that we’ll know the greatness of His glory.  Therefore, we must comprehend “the pleasures of God
Paperback, Revised, 309 pages
Published 2012 by Multnomah Books (first published 1991)
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May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Saying I have a love-hate relationship with John Piper would be too strong a statement. It's more a love-meh relationship. I love his preaching- heck, I'd be willing to say that in my opinion he's easily the best living preacher. But I've regularly found his books to be, well, meh. Not that they're theologically bad, it's just that they're long and dry and only really work if you read them in his voice in your head, and that gets tiring after a while. So I picked up The Pleasures of God (provide ...more
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My mothers favourite book- she wrote this about it in the flyleaf of a copy sent to friends before she died:

"Other than the Scriptures, no book has brought such sheer delight to my soul as this one. It is not to be consumed in one sitting, but read one delicious section at a time; to be chwed on, ruminated upon before going on to the next juicy morsel!
My hope and prayer is that this book will encourage your heart to delight even more, and cherish with greater passion, the God, who in loving ab
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal, life-changing book! It clearly deserves it's place in World Magazine's list of the top 100 books of the twentieth century. This is a rich feast for the soul that requires reading slowly and taking plenty of time to chew on, savor, and digest each chapter. More than one reading will be needed to digest all that's here. An excellent follow-up to "Desiring God" by the same author. I look forward to reading "Future Grace", the final book in the "trilogy".

The premise of "The Pleasures o
Ben Connelly
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Described by the author as "the younger cousin" of his Desiring God, The Pleasures of God is a deep, thoughtful, and rich survey of many of the ways that God finds pleasure in his own works & humanity's as well.

Downsides: Piperishly heavy, focuses in a little TOO much on a few nitty-gritty details of a thought or passage, and carries the same, single overriding theme as most of Piper's works.

Upsides: Pipersihly heavy, focuses on areas & trains of thought that many will not see in a pass
Chad Barnes
May 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely excellent! This is a fascinating study of God based on the premise that what someone delights in reveals much about who they are. So, Piper has written a book unlike any other that I've read where he identifies, explores and explains many of the things in which God takes pleasure. D.A. Carson calls The Pleasures of God the most important book Piper has ever written. As a word of warning, the concepts are heavy and the exegesis is thorough, so the book will likely be most enjoyed by hi ...more
Jun 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
John Piper's books are slow reading for me, not because they are dull but because their subject matter takes time to digest and reflect upon. This book was a spiritually enriching read and an aid to getting to know who God is. And guess what? He is actually quite happy and wants to share his perfections with others so that their happiness will be complete.
I have been loving this book, loving God. I don't always agree with Piper, but a respected friend quotes him frequently and I find his articles thoughtful and well-phrased.

I remember my college campus minister preached a stirring sermon once on Ephesians 5:10, "And find out what pleases the LORD." I had found a couple of verses of things that pleased God, but John Piper has found a whole volume of verses on the topic.

I remember when I first brought my husband (then-boyfriend) home to meet my fam
Craig Turnbull
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is it possible to worship your way through an entire book?

Read the absolutely masterful book, The Pleasures of God, and find out.

The work is a transcription of Piper's meditation upon a central thought, namely: If it is true, as Henry Scougal says, that "the worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love," how then is God's excellency to be measured? Is it possible to measure what sorts of things God's affections are stirred by and so better understand his character?

Jordan Brown
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
“The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love.” -Henry Scougal

Once again, Piper gets to what is at the heart of all of his writing and preaching: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

This book was written to show that God takes pleasure in His nature and work as well as in the responses of his people. In each chapter, you discover how God has set out to glorify himself.

Favorite Quotes:
“One of the best tests of a person’s theology was t
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book so very much. It is very rich and packed with truth written in an artful, frank and easy-t0-read way, which I greatly appreciated. I will definitely read it again and treasure it, at times I didn't fully appreciate its wonder, which is why I went so slow. But once I quieted down and focused on reading it, I loved it.
Stuart Turton
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simply spectacular!
Casey Holland
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A phrase we now use among contemporary churches, and perhaps a phrase that has been used for years but now resurfaces, is the phrase "God-centered.' Reading through this book revealed in my own life how far from that phrase I had grown accustomed to thinking and living. Piper fleshes out what it looks like when we truly see the gospel and Scripture itself from the lens of a God-centered theology.
Mark Jr.
Aug 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The foundation of all reality is the eternally rejoicing and self-sufficient triune God. An epochal book—for me, at least. The appendix, "Are There Two Wills in God?," is particularly helpful, a great example of bringing careful exegesis to sound theological conclusions.
David Steele
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the most important books in my life!
Bryan McWhite
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Simply put, this is the most important book I have ever read outside of the Bible. It is massively changing, worldview shaping, heart molding, mind forming, eye opening stuff.
Jacob Aitken
Well-written and a strong defense of God's sovereignty. Quite devotional at times, except for the multi-page long footnotes.
Matt Swanton
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read just before Desiring God, also by John Piper. Great to read in conjunction with one another. Unpacks the glory of God through His enjoyment of His own self. Amazing stuff.
The subject matter was great. It was just very dry. Hard for me to get through. I've not always felt that way about Piper's books.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John MacArthur describes this book perfectly: "A rich feast for the serious believer."
Sep 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone truly seeking God
Perhaps the most important book I've ever read.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is built on the premise that "The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love", and that God is utmost in His own affections. Thus God proves Himself to be most excellent because He loves above all else that which is most excellent- Himself. The author works this out to prove how this reality not only works for God's glory but also for our good- "And grace is the pleasure of God to magnify the worth of God by giving sinners the right and power to delight ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rich, deeply theological, thought-provoking, challenging, and profoundly encouraging and gospel-centered. In other words, classic Piper. I will say that I often find him more difficult to read than to listen to since he digs so deeply into such weighty concepts, but this one was easier compared to other books of his. There’s still a lot of dense material to consider, but to borrow from the title, it’s a pleasure to do so. I hadn’t really considered his primary thesis before — a primary way to kn ...more
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Can I give this book six stars?! This was an excellent read. It helped me understand a bit more about God and the delight He has in His glory, although I still have much to learn. :-) I recommend this book.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.”
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
So many good truths!!!
Caleb Batchelor
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Piper books!
Kory Cunningham
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I read after becoming a Christian in 2004, and rereading it now was sweeter than before. God loves being God, and that’s good news for us.
Susanna Grant
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, made me so happy
Timothy Decker
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
First half was good; second half felt like it was more to fill space. Important but not as important as the first half.
David Martin
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slowly made my way through this one. It's one that takes a lot of chewing.

Read most of it in 2016. Finished in early 2017.
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  • Overcoming Sin & Temptation
  • Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God
  • The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God
  • The Life of God in the Soul of Man
  • The Religious Affections
  • Chosen By God: Know God's Perfect Plan for His Glory and His Children
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • The Doctrine of God (A Theology of Lordship)
  • Holiness
  • The Attributes of God
  • The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness
  • Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing
  • The Bruised Reed
  • Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.), and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethe
“Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.” 17 likes
“The greatest joy is joy in God. This is plain from Psalm 16:11: "You [God] will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Fullness of joy and eternal joy cannot be improved. Nothing is fuller than full, and nothing is longer than eternal. And this joy is owing to the presence of God, not the accomplishments of man. Therefore, if God wants to love us infinitely and delight us fully and eternally, he must preserve for us the one thing that will satisfy us totally and eternally; namely, the presence and worth of his own glory. He alone is the source of full and lasting pleasure. Therefore, his commitment to uphold and display his glory is not vain, but virtuous. God is the one being for whom self-exaltation is an infinitely loving act. If he revealed himself to the proud and self-sufficient and not to the humble and dependent, he would belittle the very glory whose worth is the foundation of our joy. Therefore, God's pleasure in hiding this from "the wise and intelligent" and revealing it to "infants" is the pleasure of God in both his glory and our joy.” 15 likes
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