Desiring God by John Piper has been on my list for quite some time. I’ve delayed reading it because Piper tends toward long chapters and equally long trains of thought that require more mental energy than I’m frequently capable of committing in my current phase of life. But, when the most recently revised edition came up for review, I just couldn’t turn it down.
Piper’s premise in Desiring God is that we were not meant to simply be obedient to Him. We were meant to truly enjoy Him. He refers to this truth as Christian Hedonism, a term and concept that tend to shock, appall, and downright offend many faithful followers of Christ. But, referring to the Word of God extensively, Piper strongly defends his use of the term and his argument that “no one is a Christian who does not embrace Jesus gladly as his most valued treasure, and then pursue the fullness of that joy in Christ that honors Him.”
Much of what Piper presents seems perfectly logical and natural to me. It is information I have not only long known, but have also long since taken to heart thanks to the teaching of my parents, my education (both academic and through challenging fellowship with other students) in college, and the spiritual growth I’ve experienced alongside my husband in our marriage. But, reading Desiring God has expanded my mental resource library for actually defending some of these truths that come naturally to me. I have learned fresh ways of using Scripture to support and explain why I believe what I do. And, although Piper’s writing style is academic, his explanations are appropriate for both the highly academic mind and the non-academic.
My primary objection to simply handing someone this book is two-fold. First would be its intensity. As mentioned previously, Piper is highly academic, and the resulting style of writing does not make his book automatically accessible. (For example, mommies like me who only have short opportunities to read and many other mental requirements between those opportunities will find this book a challenge.) But, the material is very useful, even to us mommies! My recommendation in that situation would be a book study that would encourage chapter by chapter discussion.
Second would be the shock factor. There are people who are drawn in by the introduction of a shocking statement that is then backed up by persuasive argument. Many people I encounter are not. If you approach them with a shocking statement, they are more likely to turn and walk away than to be drawn into discussion. This book is written based on the idea of defending what might initially come across as a shocking statement. Because of this, there will be times I will recommend or loan the book and other times I will simply present the information from a different perspective.
I look forward to re-reading this book over a much longer period of time, truly perusing the thoughts and ideas I had to read quickly through this time around.
This book was sent to me by Water Brook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.