I have been thoroughly enjoying "Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist" by John Piper. It seems that everywhere I look I see confirmations or reinforcement of what I have read in this book. I think that my desire to share it is evidenced by the fact that I have already mentioned this book in several previous blog posts. :)
Let's start with the word "Hedonist". Maybe you are like me, and you will care to admit that you don't even know what the word means. A simple dictionary search turns up the answer: basically, hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure (for ethical purposes), therefore a hedonist is someone devoted to the pursuit of pleasure.
What does the pursuit of pleasure have to do with Christianity and desiring God? Ah...that's what this book is about. Piper starts with the saying that goes "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." Piper proposes a slight change of the wording to get a clearer understanding of the saying: "The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever." And from this one statement, the rest of the book builds.
What I like about Piper's method of writing is that with each chapter he begins with a thesis statement, then he thoroughly supports his thesis from many different angles as the chapter progresses. I found reading this book to be a good exercise for my thinking muscles. :) The theology is rich. It was impossible for me to skip even a paragraph because of the wonderful information and how the topic builds.
The chapters are long and organized by topic, yet the book progresses logically through the topics. It is like a well-built house with a solid foundation. Reading this book came at an interesting point in my life where I consider myself to be spiritually ready. I may not have understood or even agreed with Piper's statements had this been 12 years earlier. The timing is amazing. Other people who have written reviews say that this book was instrumental in bringing about dramatic change in their lives. I can't say that is my experience, but I can say it has been powerfully instrumental to reinforcing the journey I'm already on. Before I cracked open the cover, I hoped I would be able to devour it. Quickly. My motivation was based on the pressure I felt from a long reading list. Reading this quickly is not something that I have been able to do. Savoring is more like it. Almost as if by force (as opposed to the many times I read a book quickly and later wished I had savored it). My only complaint is that it's very difficult to read in the middle of the day with lots of little children running around distracting the reader.
Click here to visit the publisher and read an excerpt from the book!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah book publishers through their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review, my thoughts and comments are my own.
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