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The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's…
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The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God

by John Piper

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The Pleasures of God : Meditations on God's Delight in Being God by John Piper (?)
  journeyguy | Apr 2, 2013 |
God delights in himself, and that's a good thing for all of us. After Desiring God, this is Piper's best long book. ( )
  chriskrycho | Mar 28, 2013 |
Considered to be one of Piper's three landmark books, "The Pleasures of God" contains little new information in it if one has had any previous exposure to Piper's work. The premise is taken from a sentence Piper read in Henry Scougal's " [b:The Life of God in the Soul of Man|11725416|The Life of God in the Soul of Man|Henry Scougal|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327865215s/11725416.jpg|16673885]" (which by the way is superb and has a 're-readable' status in my library.) Piper asks 'If one can measure the worth of a soul by what he delights in can the same be true of God?'The first 6 chapters are 'textbook Piper' and have been quite influential in my thinking. Chapter 8, "The Pleasures of God in the Prayers of the Upright" was to me a review of all Piper's thoughts on prayer. However it was Chapters 7 and 9, "The Pleasures of God in Doing Good to All Who Hope in Him & The Pleasures of God in Personal Obedience and Public Justice" that were most valuable to me. Chapter 7 was a slightly different take on some of the Future Grace material and remarkably encouraging. One of Piper's premises is that if the Gospel demands a response from sinner then the demand itself must be good new or else the Gospel would fail to be good news. He goes on to explain how it is that one can both fear God and hope in God. This is the key to sanctification and much of Christian living.In Chapter 9, "The Pleasures of God in Personal Obedience..." I read the best explanation of what "Obedience of Faith" means and wept as Piper spelled out how grace is not just pardon for sins, it is also the power that frees us from sin. It was also in this chapter that we get the great line, "God's commands are only as hard to obey as His promises are hard to believe." I wish I had heard that phrase before I began his Future Grace. Finally, this chapter contains a great explanation of Piper's definition of 'faith as satisfaction.' Another concept which has been remarkably helpful to me.All in all, If you've read a lot of Piper and haven't gotten to this book yet, I'd recommend you do so but feel free to read quickly. I've once heard Piper say something to the effect... "Once you've read a Piper book, you've read them all... I say the same thing in all of them." Though it has a little ring of truth to it, this is a massive overstatement. ( )
  nathan.c.moore | Oct 1, 2012 |
Is the Christian God happy?

This is the question John Piper poses in The Pleasures of God, and I found it a fascinating one with rich theological implications. We are used to the idea of God as the angry Judge, the distant Creator, or the weeping, suffering Christ. And while there are facets of biblical truth in all these, they are not the sum total of God's character. Where is the joyful God?

Surprisingly (at least to me), there is quite a lot of biblical support for the notion of a happy God. God does what He pleases; He takes pleasure in His will and actions. And He is completely self-sufficient in the beautiful relationship among the Godhead. He doesn't need us to complete Him and He is not desperate to get our attention or love. One of Piper's main ideas is a quote from Henry Scougal, who wrote, "The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by object of its love." Apply this to God and wow — God has to be self-centered because He is the highest being in the universe. If He were to put us, His creation, before Himself, He would be guilty of idolatry. Whoa! And so it is only right for God's highest priority to be His glory.

And we as His children are to share in the Father's joy in His glory. Again and again Piper drives home his point: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. It is a simple but life-changing truth.

Alongside the happier descriptions, Scripture does portray God as the judge and ruler of the earth, a holy God who is deeply affronted by our sin against Him. Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, just as God bemoans the unfaithfulness of His people Israel in the Old Testament. And how can God take pleasure in everything He does? Did He enjoy crushing His Son for the sin of ungrateful people? Does He enjoy punishing sinners? Piper doesn't shy away from these questions and his answers are firmly biblical. Most of the time the apparent contradiction is because we are focusing on the wrong thing. God does not delight in punishing sinners, but He does delight in exalting His holiness. God did not enjoy watching His Son suffer, but He does rejoice the Son's perfect obedience and powerful, God-glorifying work of salvation. There are many things we don't understand about God, but we can be assured that any contradictions are on our side, not His.

I'm still processing the theological ramifications of a joyful God. This means that God is not acting under constraint when I ask Him for forgiveness — no, He delights in forgiving me and covering my sin! God does not get tired of my repetitious, needy prayers — no, He truly enjoys listening to me and fulfilling my needs. God does not weary of His work or regret His decisions; He is not like us.

I enjoyed the lengthy notes at the end of each chapter; Piper's not afraid to go intellectual on his reader. The discussion of hard questions, especially the Father's seemingly paradoxical traits, is excellent. Piper has a gift for vivid metaphors, like the false idea of God as a trough we have to keep filling up with praise and prayer so that He will be able to fulfill our needs. But God is not a trough; He doesn't need a bucket brigade. He is a river inviting thirsty souls to drink, and there is nothing we can do to sustain or complete Him. We are the needy ones, not Him.

This was my first book by Piper and I will certainly be returning to his work. Excellent. ( )
3 vote wisewoman | Oct 4, 2010 |
A masterpiece! There are many good books to be read but I can't think of one I would recommend more than this.

Piper sets out deeply theological truths but far from presenting the dryly as if writing a textbook he brings them to life wonderfully. Every Christian should be a theologian and this is the ideal book to show how.
By far the most valuable book on my shelves, bar the Bible itself! ( )
  zipsforbananas | Feb 18, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 088070537X, Paperback)

Beginning where the foundational truth of Desiring God left off, that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him," this expanded rerelease of another classic by John Piper will further explore a life-changing essential -- "We will be most satisfied in God when we know why God himself is most satisfied in God." Fully understanding the joy of God will draw the reader into an encounter with His overflowing, self-replenishing, all-encompassing grace -- the source of living water that all Christians desire to drink. The Pleasures of God will again put God at the center of Creation and leave the reader very satisfied in Him.

Be Most Satisfied in God…

Because GOD Is Most Satisfied in God.

You don’t truly know someone until you know what makes him happy. Our pleasure is the measure of our character. So it is with God. We can only know the greatness of His glory, if we know what makes Him glad. Therefore we must understand “the pleasures of God.”

This is not a book about you. It’s about the One you were made for—God Himself. In this theological tour de force, pastor John Piper navigates the biblical evidence to help us see and savor what the pleasures of God show us about Him, so that we might become like the One we behold.

What the church and world need today, more than anything else, is to know and love—behold and embrace—the great, glorious, sovereign, happy God of the Bible.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:53 -0400)

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