Over the last few years perhaps no other preacher, teacher or theologian has taught me as much as John Piper. For this reason I feel somewhat strange when I say it has taken me until now to fully read through his magnum opus ‘Desiring God’. I’m sure, however, that others will attest to the fact that this book is not one to rip through in an afternoon. The depth of theology and the paradigm shifting presentation of the Christian’s pursuit of joy in God as foundational to a Biblical understanding of the gospel requires much thought, contemplation and reflection.
Piper presents so clearly in this book the reasons why his catchphrase “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” is true and why both of these things – our satisfaction in God and His glory being made much of – go hand in hand. His arguments from scripture are sure to challenge the presuppositions of many who have assumed that either God is more concerned with our happiness than His glory or that He is concerned only with His glory and our happiness must therefore be irrelevant.
In his Paul-like way, after outlining how finding joy in God overflows into all areas of the Christian life, Piper takes care to answer the objections of his critics (or even the first time reader as they wrestle with new understandings). In doing this, the truth of what he presents remains after all is said and done, having been tested and proven through careful reasoning from the scriptures.
Piper’s rephrasing of the opening question of some the great confessions and catechisms “the chief end of man it to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever” is a fitting summary of the content of this book. I hope that as you read this book you will embrace the great truth that God created us to desire joy and that the deepest joy found in God brings Him far more glory than mere duty without delight.
‘Desiring God’ is a must read. As the last paragraph of the blurb says:
“Desiring God may turn your Christian world upside down. And that will be a good thing, for the glory of God, and for your deepest joy.”
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