Home | Blog | Book review : Desiring God

Book review : Desiring God

January 9, 2007

I found Desiring God by John Piper (Multnomah, 2003), to be enlightening as I had not come across Piper’s line of thinking before. Piper uses the term Christian Hedonism to explain his beliefs. Hedonism being the pursuit of pleasure and Christian Hedonism being the pursuit of pleasure in God Himself. Piper addresses what he feels is the unscriptural belief that to expect enjoyment is to have the wrong attitude. Piper teaches that in the Bible the promise of reward is everywhere. God is never in debt to us so we cannot do things for Him in order to repay Him or to expect payment from Him. However, because God is the Rewarder of those who seek Him, He delights to bless us if we are vulnerable and willing to receive.

Piper uses much Scripture and in depth explanation to describe his beliefs. It seems like he feels it necessary to answer every objection that has ever been raised to his ideas which unfortunately leads to some of his answers becoming long and complicated. Nevertheless his overall theme that God’s purpose is that we should experience much joy in the Christian life comes through loud and clear.

Technorati Tag:

by Susan Barnes
28

Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith

28 thoughts on “Book review : Desiring God”

  1. Hey Jon, further to our conversation about Greg Boyd, I discovered that towards the end of Desiring God, Piper quotes from Boyd’s books. Though he does it in a negative sense because he disagrees with Boyd over the issue of whether God controls all things including evil.

  2. Hey Jon, further to our conversation about Greg Boyd, I discovered that towards the end of Desiring God, Piper quotes from Boyd’s books. Though he does it in a negative sense because he disagrees with Boyd over the issue of whether God controls all things including evil.

  3. Hey, glad you seemed to enjoy the book!!

    Now, what is this conversation about Boyd? It’s funny, Boyd’s church and Piper’s church are both in MN….you can imagine the tension!!

    Take care!! “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Hey, glad you seemed to enjoy the book!!

    Now, what is this conversation about Boyd? It’s funny, Boyd’s church and Piper’s church are both in MN….you can imagine the tension!!

    Take care!! “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. jON

    yes. sadly enough, this is the case. boyd being a much more unconventional thinker and theologian (much more akin to our little band of questioners)who is concerned with loving people. piper sits at the other end of the spectrum theologically, taking a much more conservative calvinistic, sovereignty view of scripture and life, and has taken it out on greg serveral times, calling him a heretic and such, and challenging him to debates. as you have rightly assessed in your review, piper does indeed feel the need to answer and challenge every objection to his beliefs. and unfortunately, boyd has gotten in the way of the line of fire. greg also has a church here in town.

    they’re both baptists, they’re both pastors, authors, and lovers of god. but that seems to be where the similarities end.

    sad to live near when the hurting people of the twin cities could use our efforts poured out on them rather than aruging over the properness and correctness of our theological beliefs. one seems to be commanded of us by our lord. the other seems to be a very human priority that is NOT commanded of us. i’ll leave it to you to decide which is which for yourself…

    zcemhir
    zrykmxdc

  6. jON

    yes. sadly enough, this is the case. boyd being a much more unconventional thinker and theologian (much more akin to our little band of questioners)who is concerned with loving people. piper sits at the other end of the spectrum theologically, taking a much more conservative calvinistic, sovereignty view of scripture and life, and has taken it out on greg serveral times, calling him a heretic and such, and challenging him to debates. as you have rightly assessed in your review, piper does indeed feel the need to answer and challenge every objection to his beliefs. and unfortunately, boyd has gotten in the way of the line of fire. greg also has a church here in town.

    they’re both baptists, they’re both pastors, authors, and lovers of god. but that seems to be where the similarities end.

    sad to live near when the hurting people of the twin cities could use our efforts poured out on them rather than aruging over the properness and correctness of our theological beliefs. one seems to be commanded of us by our lord. the other seems to be a very human priority that is NOT commanded of us. i’ll leave it to you to decide which is which for yourself…

    zcemhir
    zrykmxdc

  7. It is sad that there is tension between these two pastors.

    Us, Christians are a weird lot! So easily we fall for the trap of focusing on the wrong things.

  8. It is sad that there is tension between these two pastors.

    Us, Christians are a weird lot! So easily we fall for the trap of focusing on the wrong things.

  9. Hey…

    Sorry to disagree, but these are not small matters to dispute on. Boyd’s theology is taking God off of His Throne. It’s heresy.

    The dispute between Boyd and Piper is necessary. Standing up for the Truth of the bible is necessary.

  10. Hey…

    Sorry to disagree, but these are not small matters to dispute on. Boyd’s theology is taking God off of His Throne. It’s heresy.

    The dispute between Boyd and Piper is necessary. Standing up for the Truth of the bible is necessary.

  11. jON

    yes! so good to see you here samantha! welcome to austrailia! susan is a wonderful host. sometimes there are even snacks. depends on if anyone brings some. just so happens that tonight i have some pretzels. nothing flashy, i know. but there they are if you desire.

    just a question so that we can begin to understand one another…

    how exactly do you see boyd’s theology taking god off his throne? i don’t already have an answer, so i’m genuinely looking for your input and i am willing to listen throughly and objectively. as long as you will promise that i will receive the same in kind. it’s one of the few rules i live by here. the sum of the law and the prophets.

    whrxnj
    bdayijzb

  12. jON

    yes! so good to see you here samantha! welcome to austrailia! susan is a wonderful host. sometimes there are even snacks. depends on if anyone brings some. just so happens that tonight i have some pretzels. nothing flashy, i know. but there they are if you desire.

    just a question so that we can begin to understand one another…

    how exactly do you see boyd’s theology taking god off his throne? i don’t already have an answer, so i’m genuinely looking for your input and i am willing to listen throughly and objectively. as long as you will promise that i will receive the same in kind. it’s one of the few rules i live by here. the sum of the law and the prophets.

    whrxnj
    bdayijzb

  13. Hi Samantha
    Yes, feel free to disagree. I’m interested in other people’s thoughts. I find it helps give me a better understanding of my own theology.

    I really don’t know Greg Boyd’s theology at all since I have only read the couple of quotes in Piper’s book. So I’m also interested to know how Boyd’s theology takes God off His throne.

  14. Hi Samantha
    Yes, feel free to disagree. I’m interested in other people’s thoughts. I find it helps give me a better understanding of my own theology.

    I really don’t know Greg Boyd’s theology at all since I have only read the couple of quotes in Piper’s book. So I’m also interested to know how Boyd’s theology takes God off His throne.

  15. Greg Boyd teaches Open Theism: “Open theism, also known as free will theism and openness, is the teaching that God does not know all things. That is, He does not know the free will choices that people will make in the future because God either chooses not to know or because the future isn’t knowable.”

    IF God does not know all things, then He is not God. He’s pretty much on the same level as we are.

    PS: God’s Name should always be capatilzed, whether or not we like to write in all lowercase or not ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. Greg Boyd teaches Open Theism: “Open theism, also known as free will theism and openness, is the teaching that God does not know all things. That is, He does not know the free will choices that people will make in the future because God either chooses not to know or because the future isn’t knowable.”

    IF God does not know all things, then He is not God. He’s pretty much on the same level as we are.

    PS: God’s Name should always be capatilzed, whether or not we like to write in all lowercase or not ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. jON

    those little letter conglomerations are the “word verification” letters i have to type in for each post. one day i realized how silly some of the things i was typing in were. so i just started copying and pasting them to the bottom of my comments when applicable. no real reason. i’m just weird that way…

    mulyuq

  18. jON

    those little letter conglomerations are the “word verification” letters i have to type in for each post. one day i realized how silly some of the things i was typing in were. so i just started copying and pasting them to the bottom of my comments when applicable. no real reason. i’m just weird that way…

    mulyuq

  19. Glad to see you have made yourselves at home and been chatting in my absence!

    I haven’t had time to check out the link, Samantha. But what I have been thinking, the last few days, is that while I do believe in the Sovereignty of God, that is God controls all things. I also recognise that the minimum to be saved is Romans 10:9 (to confess Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Christ from the dead), which says to me that I am going to be spending eternity with people who have had vastly different theological perspectives. So perhaps I need to befriend them while I’m still here on earth?

    Does Boyd believes this minimum?

  20. Glad to see you have made yourselves at home and been chatting in my absence!

    I haven’t had time to check out the link, Samantha. But what I have been thinking, the last few days, is that while I do believe in the Sovereignty of God, that is God controls all things. I also recognise that the minimum to be saved is Romans 10:9 (to confess Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Christ from the dead), which says to me that I am going to be spending eternity with people who have had vastly different theological perspectives. So perhaps I need to befriend them while I’m still here on earth?

    Does Boyd believes this minimum?

Comments are closed.