Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

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Overview

Experience the Lifelong Pleasures of Knowing God!

Satisfaction…Happiness…Joy. According to John Piper, the pursuit of pleasure in God is not only permissible, it’s essential.

Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God.  Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the ...

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Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

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Overview

Experience the Lifelong Pleasures of Knowing God!

Satisfaction…Happiness…Joy. According to John Piper, the pursuit of pleasure in God is not only permissible, it’s essential.

Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God.  Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him.

Constantly drawing on Scripture to build his case, Piper shows why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God. He discusses the implications of this for conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.

Piper beckons us to approach God with the hedonist’s abandon. Finally, we are freed to enjoy Jesus—not only as our Lord and Savior, but also as our all-surpassing, soul-satisfying Treasure.

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.

Includes a study guide for individual and small group use.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mind hammering and heart warming." – Os Guiness

"A must read for every Christian and a feast for the spiritually hungry." – John MacArthur

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601423108
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/18/2011
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 91,826
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Piper is pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has written over forty books, including Desiring God, A Godward Life, Don’t Waste Your Life, and The Pleasures of God. John and his wife, Noel, have five children and an increasing number of grandchildren. Learn more about his ministry at DesiringGod.org.

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Read an Excerpt

C h a p t e r 1
The Happiness of God
Foundation for Christian Hedonism

The ultimate ground of Christian Hedonism is the fact that God is uppermost in His own affections:

   The chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy Himself forever.

   The reason this may sound strange is that we are more accustomed to think about our duty than God’s design. And when we do ask about God’s design, we are too prone to describe it with ourselves at the center of God’s affections. We may say, for example, that His design is to redeem the world. Or to save sinners. Or to restore creation. Or the like.
   But God’s saving designs are penultimate, not ultimate. Redemption, salvation, and restoration are not God’s ultimate goal. These He performs for the sake of something greater: namely, the enjoyment He has in glorifying Himself. The bedrock foundation of Christian Hedonism is not God’s allegiance to us, but to Himself.
   If God were not infinitely devoted to the preservation, display, and enjoyment of His own glory, we could have no hope of finding happiness in Him. But if He does in fact employ all His sovereign power and infinite wisdom to maximize the enjoyment of His own glory, then we have a foundation on which to stand and rejoice.
   I know this is perplexing at first glance. So I will try to take it apart a piece at a time, and then put it back together at the end of the chapter.

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY:
THE FOUNDATION OF HIS HAPPINESS AND OURS

“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). The implication of this text is that God has the right and power to do whatever makes Him happy. That is what it means to say that God is sovereign. Think about it for a moment: If God is sovereign and can do anything He pleases, then none of His purposes can be frustrated.

   The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates
   the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the
   plans of his heart to all generations. (Psalm 33:10–11)

   And if none of His purposes can be frustrated, then He must be the happiest of all beings. This infinite, divine happiness is the fountain from which the Christian Hedonist drinks and longs to drink more deeply.
   Can you imagine what it would be like if the God who ruled the world were not happy? What if God were given to grumbling and pouting and depression, like some Jack-and-the-beanstalk giant in the sky? What if God were frustrated and despondent and gloomy and dismal and discontented and dejected? Could we join David and say, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1)?
   I don’t think so. We would all relate to God like little children who have a frustrated, gloomy, dismal, discontented father. They can’t enjoy him. They can only try not to bother him, or maybe try to work for him to earn some little favor.
   Therefore if God is not a happy God, Christian Hedonism has no foundation. For the aim of the Christian Hedonist is to be happy in God, to delight in God, to cherish and enjoy His fellowship and favor. But children cannot enjoy the fellowship of their Father if He is unhappy. Therefore the foundation of Christian Hedonism is the happiness of God.
   But the foundation of the happiness of God is the sovereignty of God: “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). If God were not sovereign, if the world He made were out of control, frustrating His design again and again, God would not be happy.
   Just as our joy is based on the promise that God is strong enough and wise enough to make all things work together for our good, so God’s joy is based on that same sovereign control: He makes all things work together for His glory. If so much hangs on God’s sovereignty, we should make sure the biblical basis for it is secure.

THE BIBLICAL BASIS FOR GOD’S SOVEREIGN HAPPINESS 1
The sheer fact that God is God implies that His purposes cannot be thwarted—so says the prophet Isaiah:

   “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,
   declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things
   not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all
   my purpose.’” (Isaiah 46:9–10)

   The purposes of God cannot be frustrated; there is none like God. If a purpose of God came to naught, it would imply that there is a power greater than God’s. It would imply that someone could stay His hand when He designs to do a thing. But “none can stay his hand,” as the newly awakened Nebuchadnezzar says:

   His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures
   from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are
   accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host
   of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay
   his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34–35)

HIS SOVEREIGNTY COVERS CALAMITIES
This was also Job’s final confession after God had spoken to him out of the whirlwind: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3).
   This raises the question whether the evil and calamitous events in the world are also part of God’s sovereign design. Jeremiah looks over the carnage of Jerusalem after its destruction and cries:

   My eyes are spent with weeping; my stomach churns; my bile is poured
   out to the ground because of the destruction of the daughter of my
   people, because infants and babies faint in the streets of the city.
   (Lamentations 2:11)

   But when he looked to God, he could not deny the truth:

   Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded
   it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?
   (3:37–38)

“SHALL WE RECEIVE GOOD FROM GOD AND NOT EVIL?”
If God reigns as sovereign over the world, then the evil of the world is not outside His design: “Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?” (Amos 3:6).
   This was the reverent saying of God’s servant Job when he was afflicted with boils: “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). He said this even though the text says plainly that “Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores” (Job 2:7). Was Job wrong to attribute to God what  came from Satan? No, because the inspired writer tells us immediately after Job’s words: “In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10).
   The evil Satan causes is only by the permission of God. Therefore, Job is not wrong to see it as ultimately from the hand of God. It would be unbiblical and irreverent to attribute to Satan (or to sinful man) the power to frustrate the designs of God.

WHO PLANNED THE MURDER OF CHRIST?
The clearest example that even moral evil fits into the designs of God is the crucifixion of Christ. Who would deny that the betrayal of Jesus by Judas was a morally evil act?
   Yet in Acts 2:23, Peter says, “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” The betrayal was sin, but it was part of God’s ordained plan. Sin did not thwart His plan or stay His hand. 
   Or who would say that Herod’s contempt (Luke 23:11) or Pilate’s spineless expediency (Luke 23:24) or the Jews’ “Crucify, crucify him!” (Luke 23:21) or the Gentile soldiers’ mockery (Luke 23:36)—who would say that these were not sin? Yet Luke, in Acts 4:27–28, records the prayer of the saints:

   Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant
   Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with
   the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and
   your plan had predestined to take place.

People lift their hand to rebel against the Most High only to find that their rebellion is unwitting service in the wonderful designs of God. Even sin cannot frustrate the purposes of the Almighty. He Himself does not commit sin, but He has decreed that there be acts that are sin,2 for the acts of Pilate and Herod were predestined by God’s plan.

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 11, 2011

    Desiring God

    I recently received a free copy of the revised addition of John Piper's most popular book, 'Desiring God' from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I have a personal history with this book. It was the very first book I read by Piper and the content completely transformed my thinking about my relationship with God, His Word, and the way I approach Him. The concept "Christians Hedonist" did not initially settle with me (as I am sure was the case for many other readers). I had to wait until he finished the initial explanation which he does very well in the introduction. Several points that this book wishes to make are: 1. That God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him. 2. A "Christian Hedonist" is not someone who is living to satisfy and please themselves and just happens to be a Christian. In fact, quite the opposite is true. A "Christian Hedonist" seeks to glorify and delight God by finding their delight (and satisfaction) in Him [God]. 3. We are far too easily pleased.with trivial, earthly, half-hearted things.
    You will find behind every word a heart convinced of the expressions that the words make. I remember, back in 2006, when I read this book for the first time being overwhelmed with my own joylessness and lack of satisfaction in the God who saved me, and the complete easy and conviction with which John Piper expressed his own journey to desire God. I am confident that a true believer will not be able to read this book without being effected toward a newly developed desire for God. One of the great things about the revision is the inclusion of a "study guide" that should be extremely helpful in small-group sessions. This aid would be great for book studies or even for personal reflection. The point of the book "Desiring God" is applied to many areas of the Christian's life. There are chapters attempting to apply this focus in our Conversation, Worship, Prayer, Money, Marriage, Suffering, and many other life situations. Finding God as the satisfaction in our management of all the areas mentioned in this book reminds us that God is in all and is over all.
    I highly recommend this read for every Christian. It has been recommended reading in many of my pastoral counseling situations. It is easy to read,relevant,and absolutely captivating.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    Desiring God for your joy

    To the guy God used to show me that joy is the only respectable and rational pursuit in this existence, and then that real joy could only be found in the One who is the source of infinite delight.

    well, I'll be forever grateful to God for Pipes, because there is nothing more freeing than the truth and the truth is this:

    Our God is the "happy" God and it is His joy to see His children find pure and passionate delight in Himself, the One who has at His right hand (which is where Jesus sits) infinite pleasures forever.

    God delights in seeing His children delighted :)

    How awesome is that?

    And what He desires for us is that we would find perfect joy and it just so happens that perfect joy can only be found in Him, so:

    God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him

    Or

    The end of all men is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.

    (Both of the above are paraphrases/quotes from Piper).

    And Piper doesn't extrapolate this from the Bible with any sort of magic or chicanery-trickery, instead John points to explicitly hedonistic passages in the Bible like:

    "Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases." - Psalm 115.3

    "Delight yourself in the LORD." - Psalm 37.4

    "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'" - Matthew 25.21

    "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." - Deuteronomy 6.5 (The chapter also talks about God's desire to do good to His people always and forever).

    Or how about:

    "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." - Hebrews 12.2

    So Jesus went to the cross, not out of a sombre-like duty, but Jesus went to the cross in in the pursuit of His joy (and ours).

    Amazing! Amazing love!

    So this book is a life-changer and a giver of joy. The revised edition is made even better with the added chapter on suffering and how we can find, even in suffering, our great joy. Here is the 2nd to last paragraph in that chapter:

    "This is the essence of Christian Hedonism. In the pursuit of joy through suffering, we magnify the all-satisfying worth of the Source of our joy. God Himself shines as the brightness at the end of our tunnel of pain. If we do not communicate that He is the goal and the ground of our joy in suffering, then the very meaning of our suffering will be lost. The meaning is this: God is gain. God is gain. God is gain."

    I received this book free from the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist is a classic b

    Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist is a classic by well-known pastor and author John Piper.  In it Piper urges the reader to “glorify God by enjoying him forever.”  In fact, Piper repeatedly goes back to this phrase.  To glorify God through the enjoyment of God is the reason humans exist.  To live for any other purpose than the enjoyment of God is to fall short of why humans are here, in Piper’s view.
                Piper’s presentation is thoroughly Biblical and his hermeneutic is supported by his own experience.  He doesn’t just share his exegesis.  He has lived this reality.  He found in his own life that true happiness comes only when he finds it in God.  Anything less than rejoicing in God falls short of true joy and pleasure.  Piper’s writing is passionate.  He believes what he is saying.  And really, I have very little problem with his conclusion.
                When I was in high school and involved in church youth group, I yearned to communicate how wonderful it is to be a Christian. I had a sense that people believed Christians should sacrifice the fun of partying (read illicit sex, alcohol, drugs).  Christians were missing out on that scene.  I protested that as a Christian I was not missing out on anything.  I was the one having fun and loving life because of God.  Remembering my own experience, I empathize with John Piper’s serendipitous joy at the thought of Christian hedonism.  I think he and I would be in complete agreement: the greatest joy a person can know is life in Christ.
                However, I would not recommend his book.  There are two reasons.  First, I don’t like the metaphor.  Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure.  Piper’s point is that we should pursue pleasure – pleasure in God.  This may sound as if I am picking at semantics, but I always associate the pursuit of pleasure for pleasure’s sake as Satanic.  When I think “Hedonism,” I think “Satan.”  I could never put ‘Christian’ and ‘Hedonism’ together.
                I prefer Rick Warren’s model of “purpose-driven” living.  I want pleasure, but I think God can provide it better than I can imagine it.  No doubt, Piper would agree.  But, he says pleasure is why we glorify God.  We pursue pleasure by glorifying God.  I disagree.  We glorify God through service and worship and love (of neighbor) and prayer and obedience.  In all these ways, we exalt God.  In the process, we discover pleasure and joy.  Piper has human beings pursuing pleasure.  I prefer the idea of pursuing God’s will and submitting myself to God’s authority.  Along the way, God gives more pleasure than I would find if I were seeking it.
                Piper would take my last statement and say it ultimately means I was deep down seeking pleasure all along.  I would retort that no, I was seeking God, not knowing when pleasure would come.  At times in my own walk, I did not know if pleasure would come.  I was just sure that life is in Christ. 
                My first reason for giving an unfavorable review is his metaphor – Christian Hedonism.  I was never convinced in its effectiveness throughout the book.  I will never frame my description of Christianity in that way.
                My second reason for not finding the book appealing is the legalistic tone Piper sets in chapter 1.  This tone dissipates as the book progresses, but from the outset, he is commanding joy and commanding how and where joy is to be found.  And he has valid scriptural support.  But I think those passages are directed to a believing community in the context of worship.  To command a nonbeliever to be joyful would be unintelligible to that nonbeliever.  The command only makes sense after I am aware of the reality not just that God exists, but also that God is all-loving and all-powerful.  Knowing those two realities, I understand that I find my joy in God.
                But, it hits me the wrong way when Piper is telling me I “must” delight in God.  Let me discover that.  Don’t cram it down my throat.  Again, I don’t think I necessarily disagree with what John Piper writes.  I think it is mostly on target.  I am greatly turned off by how he writes it.  I don’t want to be told, ‘be joyful.’  I want to be invited into worship and into the Word.  Invite me.  Let me feel like I have the freedom to choose this.  Then, because God is God, I will discover the joy that Piper is commanding me to feel and express.  Because he mandates this joy, I almost don’t want it.




                Thus, I recommend readers pass on Desiring God.  There are much better books that will draw one to the Lord’s heart.  Perhaps my negative review is related to the lenses through which I see the world.  I have family members whose faith was restored after reading Piper’s book.  They would surely be unhappy with my review.  All I can offer is my own response.  As I read this, I kept seeking connection points and I found some, especially in chapter 10.  Even so, when I finished the book, I was glad to be done, but not glad for having read it.  Due to the poor metaphor choice and the pushy tone, I advise readers against reading Desiring God.




    Disclaimer - I received this book for free from WaterBrookMultnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    You hear ¿Christian Hedonism¿, you¿ll likely associate with the

    You hear “Christian Hedonism”, you’ll likely associate with the man John Piper. Well you should, he is the main force behind this theology. He sums up “Christian Hedonism” most well in this phrase: "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." In 1986, he published the original version of “Desiring God”. Now, he’s released a revised version through Multnomah Publishing. I’ve received a copy of the book for free in exchange for an honest review. Everything I say is 100% my own opinion.
    “Desiring God” is the main book for Christian hedonism, a fairly new theological viewpoint (although you could argue that Jonathan Edwards supported it in his own way before it was as widely recognized.) Piper does a very good job of pointing out the Scriptural validity of the view of Christian hedonism (the view that we should enjoy God and that God enjoys God, essentially) and provides a very good argument. I personally adhere to it, and I think this is just a wonderful book if you want to know why Christian hedonism is a legitimate theological view. 
    I love this book, I plan on reading it again, and I give it five out of five stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    Looking at Christianity in a Whole New Way

    What would it be like to be filled with joy, all the time? In John Piper's book, *Desiring God*, He brings up the topic of Christian Hedonism. When I first picked up the book, I didn't even know what a Hedonist was. Now after finishing the book, I not only know what a Hedonist is, but, I understand that I am one and want to work on being one. According to John Piper, a Hedonist is someone who glorifies God by enjoying Him forever. Read the book, and you'll understand why.

    One chapter that stuck out to me in particular was the chapter called, "The Happiness of God." This is actually the first chapter, and, it talks about the basis for Christian Hedonism. Yes, Christian Hedonism is talking about our happiness-- but, God's happiness is the best place to start at. Why? Our happiness depends on God's happiness. There's no such thing as a truly happy Christian who is not finding their joy in God.

    I highly suggest reading *Desiring God*! It is a wonderful book that many people can benefit from.

    Do you want to be known for being characterized by joy? Do you want to desire God more? Do you want to be a Christian Hedonist? Read *Desiring God*, it could change your life.


    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Desiring God

    Desiring God is a John Piper classic. In it, Piper discusses why he is a Christian hedonist (a term he coined) and what that means. He explains how the ultimate thing in life is to glory in God and enjoy Him.

    The book seems to repeat itself often, and can sometimes feel like Piper is talking in circles but if it is broken down into small amounts, it is definitely a good read. Numerous scriptures back everything Piper discusses up.

    While this book is a classic, it is definitely a slow read as it needs to be digested in small portions. This is not a book to just read, it is a book to take in.

    *I received this book for free in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. *

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    A Classic For Good Reason

    After reading the Revised Edition of John Piper's Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, I see why this book has become a classic in the twenty-five years since it was first published. From what I have experienced and seen in my own life and in the American Church, joy is a seriously under-developed fruit of the Spirit. In this book, Mr. Piper biblically demonstrates that we were meant to seek our personal joy and happiness...in Christ! Because, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." "This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome," 1John 5:3. There seems to be a prevalent idea that obeying God should be burdensome. That doing what is right should be hard. But this is not biblical. If we truly love God, keeping His commands will not be a burden, but rather, a joy! When God created mankind, He made us in such a way as to not be satisfied by anything but Himself. "In Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures." God's commands are given to us as instructions for attaining ultimate happiness, contentment and joy! And when we obey and find our satisfaction in Christ, He is glorified. Everything that we used to consider gain is loss in comparison with the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus! The Revised Edition of Desiring God includes a study guide for group or individual study and an additional chapter on the topic of Christian suffering that, in my opinion, the book would be incomplete without. I would very highly recommend Desiring God to any Christian! This is one that I plan to re-read in the near future because it is so saturated with truth that it requires more than one read to absorb it all. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    Desiring God, by John Piper

    "Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God. Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty, because Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him."

    I must confess I did not finish reading this book. Don't misunderstand it was not because I didn't believe in what he was saying. I just had a hard time following his lead. My God is an awesome God! I sincerely try in ALL things to be thankful and satisfied. Do I succeed - not all the time. But, that would be because I have placed other things ahead of God. When I keep Him first in my life then I look forward to His leading. I must say that this book was more than I could understand. Possibly it simply was not the right time for me to read it. This may be the right time for you.

    I received this book for free from Multnomah for this review.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    Great book and very in depth but not for everyone

    I have to say that I love John Piper. He is a great teacher and so very in depth which I really like. This book and the dvd teaching would work well for a small group, but not every small group. We tested this out and it although I thouroughly enjoyed it and learned so much about being content in God, it lost others especially those new in their faith. There are some real gems in this book and many of the other books Piper writes, but I would recommend it for groups or persons who think on a little deeper level and are mature enough to follow Piper. I received this book free from the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

    Amazing depth, but a bit long

    Desiring God

    Whenever I walk through Barnes and Noble, I am amazed at how many books are published that shouldn't be. Honestly, where did these publishers find the authors putting out some material? There are relatively few books that should be published, and fewer that should be republished.

    Desiring God is a book that was transformational when released in the 80's, and still finds itself as a foundational book today, in 2011, as it is released in it's revised edition, 25 years later. A book that clearly shows the joy that is found in fully engaging oneself into the Christian faith.

    If you are looking for a light, easy read.perhaps one that can be used as a bathroom reader or coffee table décor, it is not this book! John Piper is a theologian, and writes as such. This book requires a pen to underline good points, time to think through revealed principles, and coffee to keep your attention.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    The Chief End of Man

    I first read Desiring God in high school, mostly because it was endorsed by Mac Powell, of Third Day (my favorite band at the time), and because it was on the shelf at a home where I happened to be babysitting. It changed the way I thought about many things, and was radical and hard to wrap my mind around.

    I hadn't realized how much it had changed my thinking until I re-read it this past week. Things that were difficult for me to grasp, accept or imagine have become part of how I see the world, the idea of seeking my joy in God and coming to a right view of His blessings has been imprinted onto my heart. I'm certainly not perfect at it, but words I read nearly a decade ago have continued to inform my walk with God today.

    I have also done a lot of other reading in the interim. I have taken classes on philosophy, gone to many different churches and been a part of many church traditions. I have found that there are no works of theology with which I completely agree and there are few that I fully comprehend. However, at its heart, this book speaks what I believe to be a profound truth: delight is okay.

    As a person who often experiences delight (and other strong emotion) I needed to hear this. For years, I've been reading about the importance of staying even-keeled and taking life as it comes. There is truth to this as well, but for me, part of taking life as it comes is to recognize the great blessings, the times, people and experiences that come along just as I need them, and see them for what they are: gifts of God handpicked for me.

    As I delve further into God's word (chapter 5) and prayer (chapter 6) as I think about how to spend my money (chapter 7) and think about how to love people and God the way I need to (chapters 4,8) I am struck by the encouragement of this book.

    Read it. You won't love every word (well, you might) but I think that you will find something to take away and to make a part of your perspective. May it bring you joy.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Find the joy in Desiring God!

    DESIRING GOD Mediations of a Christian Hedonist By John Piper The purpose of life is to glorify God by enjoying Him. We are to approach Him with the wonder of a child and take pleasure in Him. It is human nature to seek happiness and pleasure and this in turn leads to true praise and worship. True worship of God is spontaneous and from the heart not just the mouth. God delights in the fellowship of the Trinity and His delight flows down to those who thirst after Him. He delights in His creation and shows His love by giving Himself to us; we must do likewise and give ourselves to Him. We should desire to share this gift of fellowship with others; it should be a joy not a duty or an obligation that we feel is forced upon us. True joy comes from bringing joy to others (a spouse, parent, friends, or co-workers) which is accomplished by sharing the gift of salvation. Willful sinning is an act of contempt against God, a sign of disrespect. Many people today believe in Jesus just as they believe in Buddha or Santa Claus, but they don't KNOW Jesus and they don't delight in Him. The ultimate goal of the Christian is to pursue the joy of God in everything we do! This book is perfect for individual study or for a group setting. There is a Study Guide in the back, as well as; a Scripture index, a Person index and a Subject index and a Resource Guide. This is a book that is very thought provoking and helpful for a deeper personal examination of one's own personal life. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    Explosively good.

    There is not enough room to write about all this book has meant to me. It changed the way I viewed God and what my walk with Christ is all about. The basic premise of the book is this: We are most satisfied when we are find our ultimate joy in God. God wants us to be happy and He knows that we find it in Him. And the reason for God is to enjoy Himself forever. In our self centered world of Christianity it is very refreshing to see a God centered theology not a man centered theology.



    John Piper has dramatically changed the way I see God and the way I teach God. John covers the basics of Christian hedonism and then shows how it applies to different aspects of the walk with Christ: worship, marriage, missions, scriptures, suffering... those only name a few. Having an updated version of the book adds to the relevancy of the book to today's culture. It also has a great study guide. Get it now.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    BEST BOOK EVER - How to find happiness IN GOD

    I swear this book is the BEST book I've read in like ever! I never quite understood how God worked and this book make Him seem so simple to understand - in human terms! I highly recommend this book to any young Christian and also any Christian who has some unanswered questions about God.

    Once I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down! The writing is pretty easy to understand, but even though some of the concepts are normally difficult, the author makes them easy to grasp for the lay person. This book is about FINDING HAPPINESS IN GOD BY MAKING HIM YOUR #1. My Mom was turned off by the word "Hedonism" when she saw me reading the book, but I can assure you, there is nothing to worry about. This book is about how God designed the world in such a way that God becomes our highest happiness. It truly fills in so many questions I had about Chrisitanity. Like about God's will and sufferring and salvation.

    This book is fully 5 point Calvinist and you will see why when you read it. it is beautiful! It makes sense and your heart understands an embraces it! Who would imagine theology could be make simple? Great book! I am going to buy one for Mom, my sister and my sister in law! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    My disclaimer - I received this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson free of charge but I always give honest reviews. I want you to be able to choos the best book based on stars because I know you have limited time and energy to read. I would not recommend this book to you and your friends

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  • Posted February 19, 2011

    Great Read!

    I believe that this book is highly relevant for today. The book's layout of each chapter as a mini subject on joy makes it easy to read. It is also relevant as he uses scripture to illustrate how God created us for His enjoyment but also so that we can find the desire, joy, and pleasure that a life with God brings.

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    Posted July 30, 2011

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