So rich. So thorough. So challenging. So not mainstream. John Piper has been used by God in such a wonderful and encouraging way for the growth of the church in our day and this flagship work Desiring God is his definitive work. As with most things in our culture, terms and concepts that were originally good or that had a good use tend to fall on hard times and become only known by their abuses or negative associations. This would be the case with the concept of hedonism. If thought of as only the secular type that is driven by the sinful nature of man, hedonism is truly the evil most of us think of when we hear the term. A fulfilling of our every whim, our carnal cravings, our unscrupulous desires which lead us ultimately to destruction. However, the wrong focus and abuse of a thing does not negate its proper use. Hedonism is, at it’s core, a finding pleasure in something. If our desire for pleasure is laser focused on That which is the ultimate good, then this reveals there to be a good side to the term hedonism, a Christian hedonism, as Piper has coined it. This is what Desiring God is all about. Finding our pleasure, fulfilling our every longing in the One who created us to do just that; worship Him and enjoy Him forever.
After introducing us to the concept of Christian hedonism, Piper then spends chapter after chapter unpacking the implications and far reaching applications of this way of thinking. Instead of pitting obedience to God against seeking our own pleasure, Piper steps out on a ledge to explain that these two paradoxical concepts or actions are actually complementary to one another. We fully obey God when we seek our own pleasure – the ultimate pleasure – in Him. This concept has rocked the modern Christian world and even created some disagreement to Piper’s work. But the exposition of the Scriptures that Piper walks his readers through in this book backs up his thesis.
I highly recommend this book to anyone. If you are intimidated by its length, a great primer to Desiring God is Piper’s smaller work called The Dangerous Duty of Delight. Also, a great follow up to Desiring God is Piper’s When I Don’t Desire God.
You pretty much can’t go wrong reading a Piper book. You’ll be instructed, encouraged and challenged by the Word. He isn’t perfect, but the Word is.
E-book received from Blogging for Books in exchange for a free, unbiased review.