Scripture reveals that the great business of life is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever In this paradigm shattering classic, newly revised and expanded, John Piper reveals that the debate between duty and delight doesn t truly exist Delight is our duty Readers will embark on a dramatically different and joyful experience of their faithThe pursuit of pleasure is not optional It is essential Scripture reveals that the great business of life is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever In this paradigm shattering work, John 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 you saw in the Bible but never dared to believe


10 thoughts on “Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

  1. Natalie Vellacott Natalie Vellacott says:

    We will go far beyond mere happiness in our Christian life, but our true purpose on this earth is obedience and sanctification, not personal gratificationContrast this statement from Charles Colson s Lies That Go Unchallenged in Popular Culture with Piper s statement thatThe 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 withWe will go far beyond mere happiness in our Christian life, but our true purpose on this earth is obedience and sanctification, not personal gratificationContrast this statement from Charles Colson s Lies That Go Unchallenged in Popular Culture with Piper s statement thatThe 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 Christians 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 difficultis OUR OWN personal satisfaction something we should really have as our ultimate goal That 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 GodIf you love me, you will OBEY my commandsJohn 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


  2. Stephie Stephie says:

    I love this book The primary message is this not only is it our chief end as humans to desire God and enjoy Him forever, but is it God s chief end to glorify himself and enjoy himself forever This book has been instrumental for me in understanding God s justice mercy and how they play out perfectly together for his gloryeven when it s hard to see or understand I strongly recommend this book as a foundational read for anyone who struggles with questions like why is the universe the way I love this book The primary message is this not only is it our chief end as humans to desire God and enjoy Him forever, but is it God s chief end to glorify himself and enjoy himself forever This book has been instrumental for me in understanding God s justice mercy and how they play out perfectly together for his gloryeven when it s hard to see or understand I strongly recommend this book as a foundational read for anyone who struggles with questions like why is the universe the way it is , what is the purpose of my life or why did God allow fill in the blank to happen


  3. Sagely Sagely says:

    John Piper exerts tremendous influence over the hearts, minds, careers, and relationships of some of my dearest friends Desiring God Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, in particular, stands as a turning point in many of their stories of following Jesus.I haven t been a fan of Piper There was a point in the mid 2000s when I didn t mind hearing one of his sermons now and again, but his fierce rhetoric on gender relations and his assumed ability to name who s in and out of God s family and God John Piper exerts tremendous influence over the hearts, minds, careers, and relationships of some of my dearest friends Desiring God Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, in particular, stands as a turning point in many of their stories of following Jesus.I haven t been a fan of Piper There was a point in the mid 2000s when I didn t mind hearing one of his sermons now and again, but his fierce rhetoric on gender relations and his assumed ability to name who s in and out of God s family and God s judgment have left me with a foul taste in my mouth To me, his example and message distort Jesus This is led to some long, hard discussions with friends who exult over Piper s way of propounding biblical truth No relationships have been shipwrecked over Piper yet, but he makes himself quite the obstacle at times.My dirty secret is that I ve read little of what Piper s written maybe The Supremacy of God in Preaching and parts of Let the Nations Be Glad The Supremacy of God in Missions for seminary courses Most of my opinion of him is based on Internet hearsay The blogosphere really shouldn t constitute the basis of our opinions of anyone, right So I picked up Desiring God, finally choosing to read it myself.I sincerely hoped, even expected, that Piper might say something in this book that would change my attitude toward him The saying goes that God draws straight lines with crooked sticks Some of Piper s statements, actions, and positions are ridiculously wrong headed but what if that s just the crookedness of the stick After all, I read Augustine, even though he said some noxious things in his life Might not God have given Piper some insight, some truth that Jesus followers need nowthan ever I hoped this would be the case.As I read the Introduction and first chapter, I was hopeful Piper seemed to be making an appeal for reconsidering the place of the affections in our discipleship This is a message that I need to hear too often I suppress my feelings in favor of what I know I need my heart to burn with fierce longing for God s kingdom I need to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice An appeal to a spirituality centered on joy seems like it may be just that.But that s not the kind of joy Piper s talking about Piper let s show a little bit of his own story in comments here and there He grew up in a joyless branch of Christianity, a Reformed asceticism the same one that drove the early industrial economy, right Joy as in en joyment was frowned upon as unholy and selfish I trust that Piper needed a revival of joy in his life It surely is joyful to follow God at times But joy, at its heart, is always a communal reality It s something that we feel with others, with many others, or at least wish we could Piper pays lip service to this idea with quote from C S Lewis But joy as Piper presents it is fundamentally a personal reality personal, as in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.Piper s argument for Christian hedonism is that God commands us to delight in God He spells this out as meaning we are to take delight in God s increasing glory Rejoicing as God s becomes ever glorious in God s own Trinitarian self regard is the human person s greatest joy because this is what we were created for to be amplifiers or magnifiers of God s joy It is our greatest joy because the alternative is God s wrathful punishment There is no third option Every other source of happiness or delight becomes bitter if our lack of joy in God results in our eternal damnation.The basic question of Christian hedonism is the orientation of the individual soul with respect to God do we delight in God s glory or hate it If one delights in God s glory, then one s personal, individual delight will be great, and one will cling to and be sustained by that ultimate delight, regardless of one s situation, experiences, and relationships If one continues to hate God s glory, then one s eternal punishment will invalidate every accidental happiness Joy is corollary to personal salvation and tangential to human relationships.This tangential character of the pursuit of joy in God comes through in subsequent chapters where Piper tries to situate Christian hedonism in a variety of spheres worship, service, money, marriage, missions, suffering Piper s philosophy remains an abstract arm s length from any of these real, human, interpersonal situations Each chapter feelslike an exercise in moral calculus than practical theological wisdom for living discipleship.Piper s refrain by the end of the book is that Christian hedonism finds its fountain of joy in God and overflows in love for neighbor That s how it feels Rather than jumping into the stream, this stream that might bubble up just about anywhere, Christian hedonism feels like an industrial waterworks, with too many moving parts, gears and levers, to be the overflowing life of God.Besides the conflict caused by my basic conviction that discipleship, as well as joy and glory, are fundamentally communal realities, I also found Desiring God frustrating to read at a literary level Its subtitle is Meditations of a Christian Hedonist Each chapter felt like just that a meditation, a detached pensee, rather than an unfolding argument I want a sustained engagement with Piper s thought here I found fleeting passes, never enough for me to really sink my teeth into.Perhaps I chose the wrong place to start a serious interaction with Piper Friends, if there are better books that Piper has written, please let me know Overall, I found Desiring God disappointing.


  4. David Steele David Steele says:

    Desiring God is a book devoted to helping readers find their happiness in God The theme is that God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in him Dr Piper carefully builds his case for this concept and calls it Christian hedonism The issue for the Christian is one of desire Will one feast on the pleasures of sin or will he run to the streams that God offers and drink from his delights.Christian hedonism is really a philosophy of life that is driven by five convictions 1 The lo Desiring God is a book devoted to helping readers find their happiness in God The theme is that God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in him Dr Piper carefully builds his case for this concept and calls it Christian hedonism The issue for the Christian is one of desire Will one feast on the pleasures of sin or will he run to the streams that God offers and drink from his delights.Christian hedonism is really a philosophy of life that is driven by five convictions 1 The longing to be happy is a universal experience, and it is good, not sinful 2 We should never try to deny or resist our longing to be happy Rather we should seek to intensify this longing and nourish it with whatever will provide the deepest and most enduring satisfaction 3 The deepest and most enduring happiness is found in God alone 4 The happiness we find in God reaches its consummation when it is shared with others in love 5 To the extent we try to abandon the pursuit of our own pleasure, we fail to honor God and love people Or, to put it positively the pursuit of pleasure is a necessary part of all worship and virtue In other words, the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.Piper develops the concept of Christian hedonism by applying the principles to the subjects of conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions and suffering Suffering has been added to the tenth anniversary edition of the book.Desiring God is filled to the rim with strengths The writing is clear and thought provoking The content is not abstract and unrelated to life Rather it hits the reader right between the eyes with the truth of God Second, the writer comes to the table with a Reformed worldview which pervades the book I might add that the writer rejects the Reformed emphasis on the Covenant of works Third, this book forces the reader to deal with matters of the heart Forth, this book is radically God centered Every subject discussed comes back to the issue of the Lordship of Jesus and whether or not the reader is finding his complete satisfaction in Him.Piper has written a tremendous book He has the heart of a pastor and the mind of a theologian, a combination difficult to find in twenty first century pastors Desiring God is a passionate book The contents will not only bring the reader to tears, but will engage his thinking in ways beyond the scope of his imagination Desiring God is a practical book It challenges readers to re examine cherished presuppositions and think biblically about crucial life issues One of the most important books written in the last 100 years www.baldreformer.wordpress.com


  5. Ebookwormy1 Ebookwormy1 says:

    I read this book I enjoyed it It challenged me But, i came away feeling like i was missing something on what all the fuss was about i felt like i failed to get it somehow


  6. Alexis Neal Alexis Neal says:

    I like Piper s overall point, but I m not sure this book needed to be quite so long Granted, I was already in agreement with Piper after all, as Joey Tribbiani once said, there is no such thing as a truly selfless act the only reason people do anything is, on some level, because they see it as somehow being in their own self interest and thus was not a tough sell, but it still seems like Piper could have made his point in fewer than 300 pages plus another 150 pages of appendices.Still, I a I like Piper s overall point, but I m not sure this book needed to be quite so long Granted, I was already in agreement with Piper after all, as Joey Tribbiani once said, there is no such thing as a truly selfless act the only reason people do anything is, on some level, because they see it as somehow being in their own self interest and thus was not a tough sell, but it still seems like Piper could have made his point in fewer than 300 pages plus another 150 pages of appendices.Still, I appreciate his encouragement to enjoy God So many Christians obey merely out of duty, and while I think God is still glorified when we choose to obey Him in the absence of an emotional desire to do so, I don t doubt that we should seek to obey with joy As Piper notes, the relationship between Christ and the church is pictured by human marriage, and no spouse wants to be loved only out of obligation There will certainly be times when duty is what drives us, but if it is all that drives us, the marriage will hardly be the vibrant picture of sacrificial love that it was intended to be.Piper does his best to address the criticism that have been offered since he first started his platform of Christian Hedonism that is, that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever a slight tweaking of the Westminster Catechism , and that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him I don t think Piper s wrong in his choice of label, nor do I think the idea itself is theologically questionable However, I do see the potential for abuse Piper certainly does not mean to encourage human centered theology, or to make emotions and pleasure into gods, but I can definitely see how a philosophy of Christian Hedonism could be vulnerable to a general tendency to drift in that direction In other words, he s not wrong, but Christian Hedonists will need to be very careful to keep God s glory as opposed to man s pleasure at the center of their beliefs.All in all, it s a decent enough book, and encouraging for those of us with a tendency to prioritize obedience over emotion


  7. Adam Nelson Adam Nelson says:

    This one got to me, and I sort of expected it to I had high expectations, actually, because Piper has developed a strong reputation as sort of a C.S Lewis in a post modern society That s not to say HE S post modern far from it I m just using that term to indicate how relevant he is And there could not be aaccurate title for this book It really is about what it means and sometimes what it TAKES to desire God While this is a discussion of Christian Hedonism a term I think Piper can This one got to me, and I sort of expected it to I had high expectations, actually, because Piper has developed a strong reputation as sort of a C.S Lewis in a post modern society That s not to say HE S post modern far from it I m just using that term to indicate how relevant he is And there could not be aaccurate title for this book It really is about what it means and sometimes what it TAKES to desire God While this is a discussion of Christian Hedonism a term I think Piper can be given at least partial credit for coining it never once descends to thecommon mentality in Christian writing that we can so easily forget our troubles, come on, be happy or, God forbid, pack up our gloomies in a great big box and sit on the lid and laugh No, Piper gets into the hard stuff, like is it possible for us to be at the lowest point of our suffering and still enjoy God with a radiant countenance What is worship all about Does God even need it, or is it a tool for US to enjoy HIMThat one REALLY spoke to me because I too often worship with a heavy heart, never realizing how hypocritical that is Piper cites from Jonathan Edwards a lot and seems to owe his entire ministry to him, and another of the book s marvelous achievements is to destigmatize the author of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by discussing the author s MUCHnumerous works on heaven and enjoying God Edwards isrelevant today than ever, and I think every human being, if not every Christian, should at least give his discussion of God s will of command and will of decree a glance This book affected me deeply and I recommend it for every Christian, although it s not an easy read Piper seeks to engage your mind because that s where the battle is REALLY fought You have to take your time with this It s not chocolate and candy all the time Sometimes it s broccoli and carrots it doesn t go down easy, but it s really, really good for you


  8. Jaison Abraham Jaison Abraham says:

    Before reading this book, I had become a Christian, but I was still working through this terrible thinking I had that the Christian life was supposed to be boring because what s right is always less fun than what s wrong This is the first place I encountered the thought that the Christian life was about joy, the greatest joy that a person could have That s a transformational thought, and for anyone who needs to hear it, this book is for you It is dense and long, but I would say it is worth th Before reading this book, I had become a Christian, but I was still working through this terrible thinking I had that the Christian life was supposed to be boring because what s right is always less fun than what s wrong This is the first place I encountered the thought that the Christian life was about joy, the greatest joy that a person could have That s a transformational thought, and for anyone who needs to hear it, this book is for you It is dense and long, but I would say it is worth the read


  9. Douglas Wilson Douglas Wilson says:

    Great.


  10. Clifford Luebben Clifford Luebben says:

    Desiring God has been one of theinfluential books among American Evangelicals the past couple decades I kind of knew it as the book that made my fellow Baptist friends Calvinist in their soteriology either this book or Mark Driscoll, haha Convincing people of Calvinism is not actually the point of the book, but that being my main association with the book and having been raised Calvinist by my father, I ve never felt much need to read the book However, a year or so ago I became convic Desiring God has been one of theinfluential books among American Evangelicals the past couple decades I kind of knew it as the book that made my fellow Baptist friends Calvinist in their soteriology either this book or Mark Driscoll, haha Convincing people of Calvinism is not actually the point of the book, but that being my main association with the book and having been raised Calvinist by my father, I ve never felt much need to read the book However, a year or so ago I became convicted by the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1 21 23 21 For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain 22 Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me and I don t know which one I should choose 23 I am torn between the two I long to depart and be with Christ which is far better I knew that I did not desire Christ near so much, but I knew that I wanted to and should desire Christ that much I had already acquired a copy of Desiring God Since the book seemed to directly speak to the issue which the Spirit was convicting me on, I thought it time to finally read Pastor John Piper s magnum opus.Desiring God is not a quick read It is dense and heady It is dense because Piper is thorough And though it is heady it is quite clearly articulated His writing is also quite beautiful Piper s style is clearly influenced by all those 18th century Puritans he loves to read He makes his case for so called Christian Hedonism so passionately, clearly, beautifully, thoroughly, and strongly, it is easy to see why Desiring God has become a passionate favorite of so many believers I would recommend the book to anyone who struggles with their faith being emotionally spiritually dry or dreary and or anyone that is curious to key works influencing the reformed resurgence in early 21st century America