Adam Nelson's Reviews > Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

Desiring God by John Piper
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's review
Apr 09, 2011

it was amazing
Read from April 09 to 19, 2011

This one got to me, and I sort of expected it to. I had high expectations, actually, because Piper has developed a strong reputation as sort of a C.S. Lewis in a post-modern society. That's not to say HE'S post-modern--far from it--I'm just using that term to indicate how relevant he is. And there could not be a more accurate title for this book. It really is about what it means and sometimes what it TAKES to desire God. While this is a discussion of Christian Hedonism--a term I think Piper can be given at least partial credit for coining--it never once descends to the more common mentality in Christian writing that we can so easily "forget our troubles, come on, be happy" or, God forbid, "pack up our gloomies in a great big box and sit on the lid and laugh." No, Piper gets into the hard stuff, like is it possible for us to be at the lowest point of our suffering and still enjoy God with a radiant countenance? What is worship all about? Does God even need it, or is it a tool for US to enjoy HIM more? That one REALLY spoke to me because I too often worship with a heavy heart, never realizing how hypocritical that is. Piper cites from Jonathan Edwards a lot and seems to owe his entire ministry to him, and another of the book's marvelous achievements is to destigmatize the author of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by discussing the author's MUCH more numerous works on heaven and enjoying God. Edwards is more relevant today than ever, and I think every human being, if not every Christian, should at least give his discussion of God's will of command and will of decree a glance. This book affected me deeply and I recommend it for every Christian, although it's not an easy read. Piper seeks to engage your mind because that's where the battle is REALLY fought. You have to take your time with this. It's not chocolate and candy all the time. Sometimes it's broccoli and carrots--it doesn't go down easy, but it's really, really good for you.
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