77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 1997
John Piper's God-exalting book is one of the most stimulating and engaging books that I have ever read. The chief end of man, Piper writes, is to glorify God by enjoying him forever. He expands on this by repeatedly teaching us that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. God gets the glory, we get the pleasure and happiness. In other words, God's desire to be glorified and my desire for lasting peace, happiness, joy, and satisfaction are not at odds with each other, but are one and the same goal.
Reading this book will take you through a whirlwind tour of God-centered Christianity by a careful and very wise guide. Piper shows how a Christian Hedonist uses her money, loves his neighbor, worships his God, and seeks to have others join in worship by exalting God in missions and rejoicing in suffering. Using our sword (the Word) and empowered by prayer, we can be obedient in this battle.
This book could reawaken countless numbers of Christians to exalt God for who he is, and is even recommended for the non-Christian who believes that this particular faith is a usual, boring one. It is no exagerration to state that this book will point one to the fountain of joy: God Himself. Therefore, I would recommend this to all who are Christian Hedonists and all who desire to become one!
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2001
This is my testimony on how Dr. John Piper's "Desiring God" has transformed my life and strengthened my walk in the Lord with it's God-centered, God-glorifying good news.
I am a 6.5-year-old Christian. In the first 4 years, I thought I was "working" very hard in serving the Lord "with ALL my heart, with ALL my soul, with ALL my mind, and with ALL my strength (Mk. 12:30)", till the point that I felt almost "used up, burnt out, and dried up". Seeing me struggled, an accountable friend of mine kept mentioning this name "John Piper" and his God-anointed insights and perspectives to me for about 1.5 years! Yet, I paid little attention, and my heart and ears were not tuned to accept this help from God. It was not until one day, when I sunk in Dr. Piper's "Desiring God" and a few other books of his about one year ago that my entire life was transformed.
After reading "Desiring God", dramatic changes happened: my spiritual eyes were opened when I read God's word, so that I can feel the author of Ps.119's passion and hunger for God's word, and would join Jeremiah to say, "When Your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear Your name, O Lord God Almighty. (Jer. 15:16)"; leading Bible studies is not any more a mere "duty" for me, but a deep "delight"; when I pray for others, I realize that I am able to "weep with those who weep with an unshakeable joy"; there are still troubles and sufferings in my life, but "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing (2 Cor. 6:10)" becomes one of the most frequently-recalled, hope-given life verses of mine, etc.
Although I once wished I could have come across this book years ago, I later realized that back then, I was not mature enough (both spiritual-wise and language-wise) to take in, appreciate, and then be changed by what Dr. Piper presented in this book. Now I think I owe a big "THANK YOU" to my friend who introduced Dr. Piper's works to me; to Dr. John Piper, who passionately and clearly presented his "God-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-wrought, Bible-saturated", sound, biblical doctrine in a very practical way; and to God who granted me understanding and made all these things happened.
Dear brothers and sisters, many of my friends are Desiring more of GOD daily since I shared this book with them. Pray that you'll be the next one to be blessed. Be ready to be challenged by the author, changed by God, and called to "Spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples". You will think deeply and differently, but rightly on what you believe. "GOD is most glorified when we are most satisfied IN HIM."
Growing (with you) in the family of our Father.
Both "Desiring God" and Dr. John Piper's other fundamental masterpiece, "The Pleasures of God", are rated 5 stars by DiscerningReader.com, and both are labeled as "A 20th Century classic!"
101 of 116 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2000
The Bible aside, this is the most life-changing book that I have ever read. If I could bump it up to six stars, instead of five, I would! John Piper has done the Christian community a great service by focusing a Biblical lense on the whole concept of Christian motivation. And what he so eloquently reveals is that the key to it all is delight - not duty - because delight IS our duty! The concepts of "Christian Hedonism" are hammered out with iron-clad logic and lyrical prose. Piper is both a poet and a scholar and both his clear thinking and his deep feeling about a God-centered God who delights to be the delight of His people come through. His chapter on The Happiness of God is worth its weight in gold. His reflections on conversion are very helpful in our day of easy-believism and seeker-oriented evangelism that produces decisions, but not conversions. The reflections on worship are absolutely paradigm-shifting, and the application chapters on Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering all provide a biblical compass to give direction to the hungry-hearted disciple. After reading this book three times, I am still getting help from it, and I recommend it whole-heartedly to all who dare risk considering "the meditations of a Christian Hedonist!"
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2004
Desiring God: The Meditations of a Christian Hedonist is, hands down, the most important book (except the Bible) that I have ever read. It is a series of profoundly biblical meditations on Scripture, rooted in painstaking exegesis by a competent and well-trained New Testament scholar, illustrated from the pages of history, and validated by the changed lives of hundreds of young men and women from the past 18 years (the first edition was released in 1986).
Piper's thesis is that the chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever. This is based on the conviction that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. The call to Christian Hedonism is thus a call to abandon the short-term, low-yield pleasures of the world for the magnificent joys of knowing God in whom is fullness of joy and at whose right hand there are pleasures for ever more.
Don't be misled by negative reviews about this book. Piper does not seek "to create Christians that are nothing more than self-seeking clones that ignore the Biblical concepts of humilty," nor does he attempt "to make God into some type of tool that Christians can use for their enjoyment." Rather, he claims that people have already made a god out of what they derive the most enjoyment from. If you get more joy out of golf than out of God, you are worshiping an idol. The reason God commands (yes COMMANDS) us to enjoy Him (Psalm 37:4; Psalm 100:2; and dozens of other texts) is because this brings Him praise and honor. My wife is not honored by my taking her out to dinner if it is motivated by a desire to do my duty rather than by a spontaenous affection for her that delights in her presence. She is honored when I pursue her joy because it makes me happy to see her happy. That is true Hedonism.
This book is a radical call to deny yourself the fleeting pleasures of sin and to embrace the risk-taking lifestyle that has marked martyrs and missionaries across the ages. It is not a health/wealth/prosperity book, but a weighty Bible-saturated book of practical theology that is designed to produce saints who can be satisfied in God even though they suffer for the sake of Christ and the nations.
I have met John Piper (though he would not remember me) and corresponded with him more than once. I've listened to dozens of sermons, have heard him in person on numerous occasions and have read almost every book he has written. He is one of the most humble men I know. He gives every penny of his book royalties away and lives a simple life, pastoring a church in downtown Minneapolis. He has no love for money and no desire for glory for himself. His life is authentic and so is his message. Read this book and learn afresh the joy of following Jesus!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 1998
I think my friends are getting sick of my effusive praise of Piper's Desiring God, so I'm buying it for them so they can experience it for themselves. While not at all a boring theological tome, it will take you a while to wade through it simply because after a mouthful you just have to chew for a while. I am newly delighted in the beauty of God's supremity and confounded in His delight in me (????) and therefore motivated (constrained) by His infinite love and an incredible desire He has awakened to please Him. Desiring God, Meditations of a Christian Hedonist requires some previous Bible understanding. It is truly to be "spiritually discerned." When you read and absorb the truths will resonate with your spirit, and I believe you will walk away (only to come back again) forever changed. Thank you John Piper!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2000
Is this true? That was what I asked myself the first time I read this book. Is he really saying what I think he's saying? I was blown away. This is one of the most profound books that I have ever read. The insight that John Piper shows into the very nature of God is amazing. He then applies that insight to how all Christians should live, truly glorifying God with their entire lives and finding their pleasure and fulfillment in living for Him. EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. It will shatter your existing faith, whatever you believe about God and your relationship with Him right now, and replace it with something incredible, unfathomable, and awe-inspiring. This is an amazing work that I highly recommend to anyone who wants to understand God and live as He desires.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 1999
Dr. Piper's thesis: "The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever" is masterfully expounded from Scripture with careful exegesis of multitudes of Biblical texts. Piper unfolds the Reformed theology of a God-centered God Who is in the business of creating white-hot worshippers, with precision and clarity. He draws heavily on the writings of such time-honored theologians as Blaise Pascal, C.S. Lewis, and Jonathan Edwards (despite the criticism of some who think Piper misinterprets Edwards - I have gone on to read numerous books and sermons by Edwards myself, and have found Piper to be right on track with the "greatest theologian" in American history). I found this book compelling and deeply satisfying. Piper DOES care ahout holiness and self-denial and suffering - but he (and now 1) is (am) thoroughly convinced that the Bible does not teach self-denial as an end in itself, but as a means to obtaining the joy that is in God. For those who are stuck in the muck and mire of legalistic, joy-killing, duty-oriented religion, this book will be a liberating breath of pure Biblical air. Take time with it. Read it over and over again. You will never be the same. Because "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 1999
Piper writes: "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." What a life changing concept!!! And it is Scripturally sound! The activity of our faith in Jesus Christ is wrapped up in being satisfied in all that God promises to be for us in Jesus! Joy is the business of Christianity. Piper's well thought-out and wonderfully argued thesis will change your life. His grasp of God's soveriegnty will put you in awe of God and spark in your soul a desire to get more of God. His extensive quoting of Jonathon Edwards and other great saints, demonstrates this is no new idea. He is grounded on Scripture and God will use this book to ignite a passion in your soul for His glory. Buy it and read it!
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 1999
John Piper, clearly demonstrates the necessity of longing for God with one's whole being. Not out of duty, but simply from desire. His work is hard to argue with, as his references and quotes come from highly respected scholars and theologians. Furthermore, Piper's message is rooted upon the sound foundation of the Bible, upon which all truth is absolute. The message found within John Piper's book, is almost common sense, but yet how we choose to ignore the reality of God in our life. How we act out of duty instead of wholehearted desire. May not our life in Christ be in vain. God will truly use Desiring God, as a wake up call to unenthusiastic Christian.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 1998
I read Piper's book for the first time as a young Christian. It completely changed my view of God; it caused me to become a radical Christian with an insatiable thirst for the endless fountain of God's grace, which I look forward to drinking from for eternity. God bless Dr. Piper--this book and his ministry, Desiring God Ministeries, are a gift of grace to any who are blessed with the knowledge they exist. Few other books, short of the Bible itself, come close to drawing the reader to a radical satisfaction in/with God.