Pure Pleasure: Why Do Christians Feel So Bad about Feeling Good

Overview

Discover the power of guilt-free pleasure.

Pleasure is a good thing. It’s a powerful force that feeds your relationships, helps protect your spiritual integrity, and brings delight to our heavenly Father. Pleasure isn’t something Christians should fear, shun, or disparage; it’s something we should learn to cultivate in our lives.

Acclaimed spiritual growth author Gary Thomas will guide you into this way of life, which is foundational to a ...

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Pure Pleasure: Why Do Christians Feel So Bad about Feeling Good?

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Overview

Discover the power of guilt-free pleasure.

Pleasure is a good thing. It’s a powerful force that feeds your relationships, helps protect your spiritual integrity, and brings delight to our heavenly Father. Pleasure isn’t something Christians should fear, shun, or disparage; it’s something we should learn to cultivate in our lives.

Acclaimed spiritual growth author Gary Thomas will guide you into this way of life, which is foundational to a healthy relationship with God, with your loved ones, and with the world. He’ll show you that, for the redeemed, pleasure can be a powerful and holy force for good, leading to increased worship, spiritual strength, and renewed relationships.

In this invigorating and liberating book, Gary Thomas will energize, inspire, equip, and challenge you to experience life as God meant it to be: overflowing with pleasure.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“This attention-keeping book will challenge, liberate, and inspire the reader to worship God for every way he intended his children to celebrate his gifts of marriage, sex, family, money, time, laughter, joy, and exercise. Gary does a fantastic job of biblically balancing warnings of unhealthy pleasures to practical solutions to retaining the healthy ones.” -- Miles McPherson

“If Gary Thomas writes a book, you need to read it. It’s as simple as that. He has incredible insight into spiritual truths and is able to make those truths graspable for all audiences. In Pure Pleasure Gary reminds us it is OK for Christians to feel good---even have fun! A refreshing message at the right time for contemporary believers. You are going to enjoy this book.” -- Ed Young

“I don't think it is an understatement for me to say I doubt you've ever read anything quite like this. . . . Not only does Gary give us permission to embrace life with all its legitimate joys, he encourages us to embrace them wholeheartedly! Whether it’s a good cup of coffee or a walk in a park or a great mystery novel, the book shows us how the things that delight our souls are designed to enhance our walk with God and bring him glory.” -- Tricia McCary Rhodes

“Gary Thomas writes for all of us who sometimes feel guilty about the good things God does for us. In Pure Pleasure, he helps us understand that the abundant life Jesus promises in John 10:10 is a better life than we could ever have imagined. And here is the good news: it is not life after death, but life after birth!” -- Dr. David Jeremiah

“Gary’s book is unlike anything I have ever read. He has stumbled upon a hidden treasure of truth that will no doubt set many Christians free to experience God’s richest blessings. Like Sacred Marriage, Pure Pleasure is a groundbreaking book that I would recommend to any Christian who desires to more fully know the heart of God.” -- Dr. Juli Slattery

“As Gary Thomas so aptly demonstrates, ‘pure pleasure’ is not a biblical oxymoron but rather a key characteristic of the God-honoring, soul-satisfying life. Warning of the dangers of both fleshly indulgence and an equally fleshly asceticism, Thomas guides our pursuit of holy delight by showing us how to embrace it in its fullness and maintain its connection to the pleasures in which God himself delights.” -- Randal Roberts

“A theology of pleasure! What a great idea! And what a pleasure to read. With the verve and intelligence we’ve come to associate with all his work, Gary Thomas has taken to heart Jeremy Taylor’s warning that, ‘God threatens terrible things if we will not be happy.’ We all need this book---both the pleasure-challenged and the pleasure-prone; those who get it wrong and those who don’t get it at all. Joy is, after all, the serious business of heaven (C. S. Lewis).” -- Ben Patterson

“Pure Pleasure by Gary Thomas will help you to embrace and experience God, fullness of joy in his presence, and eternal pleasures at his right hand. I highly recommend it as essential reading for building a life of true pleasure and joy from a biblical perspective.” -- Siang-Yang Tan, , Professor of Psychology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310290803
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 813,705
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Thomas is a writer in residence at Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, and an adjunct faculty member teaching on spiritual formation at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of over a dozen books, including Sacred Marriage, Sacred Pathways, Pure Pleasure, Sacred Parenting, and the Gold Medallion Award-winning Authentic Faith.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    10/27/11

    Exceptional! Every Christian should read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 4, 2010

    Finding the pleasure

    Gary Thomas, bestselling author of Sacred Marriage, has a new release entitled Pure Pleasure. In this book, Gary focuses on the question of why Christians feel so bad about feeling good. Different kinds of pleasures are examined and the costs associated with each. He also looks into why God allows us to experience pleasure as well as why satan doesn't want us anywhere near it. It's a timely message that will hopefully inspire many Christians to look past being in bondage to a religion and truly experience the pleasures God created for His children.

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  • Posted January 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reclaiming Pleasure

    We all remember the Puritans, who seemed afraid to allow themselves any fun, and tried to deny everyone else the right to enjoy themselves. That is a somewhat stilted stereotype, but seems valid enough. The Puritans had such an idea about holiness that they were concerned that if you enjoyed something too much, you would be shifting your vision from God. Having fun was somehow thought to be evil.

    Too many of us have some degree of this false piety in our background. This misguided and unscriptural idea about life, joy and sin has so perverted the concept of God and life in certain circles that for some time in great segments of western society, fun or enjoyment became synonymous with sin! Gary Thomas makes an attempt to rectify this and re-center our vision.

    The western Reformed tradition has suffered under a dour cynicism about life, focused around fear of sin, instead of the love of God. This contradicts the foundational perspective stated in the first statement of the Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647):

    Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
    A. Man's chief end is to glorify God,[1] and to enjoy him forever.

    Enjoyment is indeed holy, and the enjoyment of God is an opportunity Faith provides and enables us to fulfill. Fun is holy, relatoinaships are holy. Sex is holy -- the relationshp between Yahweh and his people is portrayed most commonly in sexual language! Thomas describes some practical ways in which enjoyment of various aspects of life is an instance of the enjoyment of God. He portrays this concept by telling numerous true stories of his own experiences and those of many others he knows.

    Thomas builds a biblical and theological foundation for the concept of pleasure. He draws upon the perspectives by John Calvin to correct the view of those who are more Calvinist than Calvin. Calvin provides insights to his followers on taking a holy view of as reclaimed by God and dedicated to him.

    Another reviewer of this book has expressed one problem I had as I read. While this is a very practical and focused view of the goodness of God, and the high desire of God that his creatures live the full life, at times Thomas' analyses seem to be self-indulgent. The author is sensitive to the problem of self-justification, and I appreciated his self-monitoring comments along the way. But at times it seems like he stretched the Divine approval thin in rationalization of benefits he enjoys.

    Overall, this is a thoughtful and helpful book. This thesis is by no means new, but perhaps for the audience Thomas addresses, these will be new suggestions or insights. I was not familiar with Thomas, though on occasion I had seen a reference to his name in works by other authors.

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    God delights in our pleasure

    Whenever I got a new car, my mom said "I've never seen that car before". A week later, she'd said, "Those cars are all over the place!"
    I had a similar response after reading "Pure Pleasure" by Gary Thomas. I've read the verses mentioned in this book before, but as individual verses. Gary challenged my thoughts as he discussed them together. Now I see verses about pleasure "all over the place".
    Through this book, I came to understand that God wants to build healthy pleasure and joy into our lives. Especially important is that our healthy enjoyment pleases Him. In these difficult times, this book is especially meaningful.

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