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Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (1986)

by John Piper

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5,727311,438 (4.37)15
Piper reveals that the debate between duty and delight doesn't truly exist: delight is our duty. Join him as he unveils stunning, life-impacting truths that you saw in the Bible but never dared to believe.
  1. 10
    When I Don't Desire God by John Piper (mhelfrich)
    mhelfrich: It's the application of Desiring God or how to go about finding the Joy in God.
  2. 00
    The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis (atimco)
    atimco: "The Weight of Glory" is Lewis's sermon that sparked the whole idea of Christian hedonism in John Piper. Piper quotes it extensively in Desiring God, but it's good to read Lewis's thoughts in their full context.

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  N.Stenzel | May 13, 2020 |
If you are searching to understand what God really desires of your heart, this is a good place to start. You may be surprised by what He desires compared to what is espoused by most pastors and teachers today. When put in the context of Christianity, "hedonism" has an entirely different meaning than we are used to, one that will challenge you to look deep inside to find your true motives and discover God's call.

Piper is an intellect who speaks and writes in a way that is easily understood. His pastor's heart is evident throughout, even more so his passion to know and understand God at a deep level. This is an easy read but it will not be a replay of the usual Sunday sermon. You will find old truths reinterpreted to expose the Father's heart for His creation, and learn why Paul says "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church," (Col 1:24 ESV) ( )
  PCHcruzr | Oct 7, 2019 |
"This book aims to persuade you that The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever" (pg. 18).

Piper explains how he came to this realization and the foundation upon which it stands. He then seeks to demonstrate how various aspects of the Christian life are entwined with our pursuit of pleasure beginning with conversion and covering worship, love for others, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering. This Twenty-fifth Edition also includes a helpful group study guide.

It typically takes me a long time to read books by John Piper, and Desiring God was no exception. I think half of what John Piper communicates may "go over my head". However, I find that wading through the portions of Piper which elude me in order to glean the nuggets of wisdom which God uses to transform my life is beneficial. Piper's work is extremely thought-provoking; one must not read it lightly.

Piper is poetic. He paints helpful word pictures. For example: "If the pump of love runs dry, it is because the pipe of prayer isn't deep enough" and "So we see repeatedly in Scripture that prayer is a walkie-talkie for warfare, not a domestic intercom for increasing our conveniences" (pg. 178). I love how Piper writes with a sense of urgency, reminding us that we are engaged in a life and death war.

Again and again, God uses John Piper's writing to stir my passions afresh to pursue the spiritual disciplines, not out of a sense of duty, but for the sake of my joy and the joy of others. Read Piper carefully, with your Bible in hand, and consider what he has to say. You may not agree with it all, but you will likely come away with some valuable insights as a result.

*Many thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!
  mejerrymouse | Dec 19, 2017 |
John Piper takes the reader into an interesting topic, but uses a curious word to describe it: hedonism. His whole premise is that Christians need to see with joy that God is everywhere about them and in them. I thought he pressed the reader to accept the term 'hedonism' a little too hard and that's why I scored it low. I didn't want to join Piper's club. I decided to finish the book to hear Piper's entire message and I was glad I did. I did make several margin notes of tidbits worth remembering. I must say that Piper has written much better books. ( )
  rcalbright | Sep 8, 2017 |
"We will go far beyond mere happiness in our Christian life, but our true purpose on this earth is obedience and sanctification, not personal gratification." Contrast this statement from Charles Colson's Lies That Go Unchallenged in Popular Culture with Piper's statement that "The pursuit of pleasure is not optional. It is essential."

I reject the concept of Christian hedonism which is most likely the reason why I didn't get very far with this book. It represents popular culture's obsession with ourselves and our personal satisfaction and fulfillment. I appreciate that Piper is suggesting that we should seek to find this only in God but I believe it is the wrong focus in the first place.

I actually gave up on the book after the first few chapters. I read it because Christian's all around me on Logos Hope (a missionary ship) were raving about it and saying how great it was. After a few chapters I came across a description of a "Christian hedonist." I had never heard the term used before. The author suggests we should all be aiming for this higher state and that unless we reach it we are not fulfilling God's true potential for us. How do we reach it? By aiming to be 100% satisfied personally in our Christian walk. I found this concept difficult...is OUR OWN personal satisfaction something we should really have as our ultimate goal...seems a bit selfish. What about when we don't feel satisfied ....does that mean we are not fulfilling God's potential for us? Does it mean we aren't saved? Should we base anything on how we feel on a daily basis? It is surely dangerous to rely on certain feelings in connection with our salvation--our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and our feelings subjective and changeable.

What is the evidence that we love/desire God "If you love me, you will OBEY my commands" (John 14 vs 15.) The Bible doesn't give other requirements and I don't believe Christian hedonism is a healthy pursuit. I stopped reading the book as it could lead to the conclusion that if one doesn't have certain experiences they are not saved, which is clearly wrong thinking.

I would warn Christian readers to be careful with this book... ( )
  sparkleandchico | Aug 31, 2016 |
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To William Solomon Hottle Piper, my father, in whom I have seen the holiness and happiness of God.
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This is a serious book about being happy in God.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Piper reveals that the debate between duty and delight doesn't truly exist: delight is our duty. Join him as he unveils stunning, life-impacting truths that you saw in the Bible but never dared to believe.

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