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Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God Hardcover – September 15, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; 1St Edition edition (September 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433520710
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433520716
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Piper has done it again. His outstanding book Think promises to shepherd a generation about the Christian commitment to the life of the mind. Deeply biblical and uniquely balanced, Think practices what it preaches: it is an accessible, intellectually rich study that calls the reader to renewed love for God and others."
J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University; author, Love Your God with All Your Mind

"John Piper offers much wise advice on the importance of Christian thinking as a way of loving God with our minds and as part of delighting in God above all things."
George M. Marsden, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus, University of Notre Dame; author, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship

"Do you ever wish you could feel more deeply about things you know are true? Has it been a while since you were moved to tears at the thought of Christ’s death for your sins? It’s not mysterious: those who feel deeply about the gospel are those who think deeply about the gospel. In these pages John Piper will convince you that thinking is the sturdy foundation for our easily misguided affections. If you want to feel profoundly, learn to think carefully. And start by reading this book!"
C. J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville

"An essential dimension of Christian discipleship is the life of the mind, and this may well be the most neglected Christian responsibility of our times. God has made us intelligible creatures, and he has given us the stewardship of intellectual faculties that should drive us to think in ways that bring him greatest glory. In this new book, John Piper provides brilliant analysis, warm encouragement, and a faithful model of Christian thinking. This book is a primer for Christian thinking that is urgently needed in our time."
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"The book provides an excellent, robust biblical foundation for thinking in service of the glory of Christ. It challenges human attitudes and provides sound responses to the temptations either to reject vigorous thinking as unspiritual, to pursue "neutral" scholarship, or to take pride in thinking and fall into autonomy."
Vern Sheridan Poythress, Professor, New Testament Interpretation, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, Redeeming Science

"Thinking—the alert, meticulous, probing, logical, critical use of the mind—will be a highway either to godliness or to its opposite, depending on how it is done. Taking leads from Jonathan Edwards, John Piper surefootedly plots the true path here. His book should be, and I hope will be, widely read."
J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College

"We cannot feel like Christians or act like Christians if we don’t think like Christians. As his writing and preaching attest, John Piper is convinced that the heart cannot embrace that which the mind does not recognize as good, true, and beautiful. This wise book not only makes that point well, but does so by exhibiting in its style and grace the beauty of holy thoughts. This is a timely missive from a seasoned pastor."
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, Pilgrim Theology

"Those who are skittish when it comes to rigorous study, deep thinking, and theological precision have wanted us to believe that our problem is the mind, when in fact it’s the flesh. The problem isn’t knowledge, it’s pride. John Piper reminds us in this excellent book that what we need isn’t less thinking, but clearer, biblical, and more God-centered thinking. Reading and thinking about Think will set you on your way to the renewal of the mind that the Scriptures insist is the catalyst for heartfelt joy and growth in godliness. I highly recommend it!"
Sam Storms, Senior Pastor, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

"John Piper has written a wise and passionate book about the importance of loving God with our minds. After all, we are commanded to do so! But as Piper explains, Christians have not always been very attentive to that commandment. With clarity and directness, he reveals the obstacles that prevent us from using our minds as God intended—but also shows the delights and benefits of doing so. Especially for those who fear intellectualism, this book will be a bracing tonic, and an encouragement besides."
Alan Jacobs, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, Honors College, Baylor University

"Some Christians don’t think nearly enough; others are prone to think in the wrong way. I warmly commend John Piper's appeal to all believers to be diligent in engaging our minds and to do so with God-honoring humility and Christ-loving passion."
Vaughan Roberts, Rector, St. Ebbe's Church, Oxford, England; author, God's Big Picture

"No one—in speaking, writing, or living—combines mind, heart, and faith more passionately than John Piper. It is our great good fortune that these are the direct topics of exploration in this book. As always with John, the result is insight, encouragement, and a call to action."
Daniel Taylor, Professor of English, Bethel University

"Think is a bracing gust of fresh air in a stale and musty room that hasn’t been aired out in a generation or more. In this book, the love of God and the life of the mind are passionately connected in the way the Scriptures require, and the result is a direct challenge to the intellectual sloppiness and disobedience that is so characteristic of our time."
Douglas Wilson, Senior Fellow of Theology, New St. Andrews College; Pastor, Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho

About the Author

JOHN PIPER is pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He has authored numerous books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, and A Sweet and Bitter Providence.


More About the Author

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.), and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and in 1980 accepted the call to serve as pastor at Bethlehem. John is the author of more than 50 books and more than 30 years of his preaching and teaching is available free at desiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noel, have four sons, one daughter, and twelve grandchildren.

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Customer Reviews

After reading a good majority of Piper's books, and now his latest, I'm convinced he's one of the greatest thinkers of our time.
Joel Holtz
As you would expect from anything authored by John Piper, the book is packed full of Scripture, teaching, and exhortation of biblical truths.
Lee Buford
In the Great Commandment, Jesus commanded us to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
C. Hennessey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Joel Holtz VINE VOICE on October 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The latest from John Piper challenges readers to engage their minds in pursuing, knowing and loving God. He says loving God with all our mind means.."our thinking is wholly engaged to do it all it can to awaken and express the heartfelt fullness of treasuring God above all things." (pg.85)

Readers will, in fact, have to fully engage their minds while reading THINK. Some chapters are easier than others to understand, but a few will take a 2nd or 3rd reading to fully grasp their meaning. Chapter 10 is easily the most cerebral, and readers will literally have to think hard about its meaning and application..but it's well worth the effort.

Chapters 6 and 7 are both brilliant. But for me, the best chapter in the entire book is Chapter 4, where Piper explains Jesus' encounter with the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew 16.. the study is nothing short of brilliant.

After finishing the book, I realized one of the reasons why I appreciate the author's latest..THINK is essentially one big Bible study. There are scripture verses on almost every page. And that of course is Piper's passion, to explain Scripture and help Christ followers to know God and treasure Him more passionately through His Word.

And I always appreciate Piper's bold and challenging statements.. "Desiring to be rich is suicidal." (pg.202) He knows it's not a sin to be rich, but he also knows the Bible's warnings against wanting to be wealthy. Great balance.

One small section I found unecessarily confusing. In Chapter 12, commenting on Romans 10:1, Piper writes that the apostle Paul's Jewish countrymen weren't saved because "they have a zeal for God.." (pg.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Fr. Charles Erlandson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Those of you who have read anything by John Piper before know that you're in for a spiritual delight. Those of you who haven't are about to discover a delight in God greater than you had previously imagined! "Think" is a very readable and yet profound book that should be read by every thinking (or unthinking!) Christian. I plan on using portions of it with my high school Apologetics class. It's amazing how many books are written on how to use the soul and even the body - and how few are written on how to use the mind to love God and man. This is one of those rare and invaluable books.

The thesis and plea of Piper's "Think" is that Christians should "embrace serious thinking as a means of loving God and people." It's not exactly the thesis or plea you'd expect to hear from a Christian book on the mind, which would usually be something more like, "Oh no, the really brilliant atheists have captured the universities and the minds of our generation so we'd better find some even more brilliant Christians to outsmart and outthink them."

But Piper refuses to play this kind of mind game, in which the mind is seen as a largely academic and theoretical kind of faculty. Instead, Piper returns to his first love, which is the glory of God, especially as communicated through the theology of Jonathan Edwards. For Piper, thinking is not an end to itself and not primarily to do battle with atheistic thinking. Thinking is properly a whole person activity that leads us to fulfill the greatest commandment by loving God and loving neighbor. It is not a choice between head and heart for Piper, but a choice to employ both head and heart to know and love God and man.

Piper masterfully unfolds his plea for Christians to think in 13 chapters plus an Introduction.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When the Apostle Paul talked about God making foolish the wisdom of the world, he was not trying to discourage Christians from thinking too hard, according to John Piper in this book. Instead, "the main reason God has given us minds is that we might seek out and find all the reasons that exist for treasuring him in all things and above all things." Loving God with all our minds means fully employing our thinking in the pursuit of God.

The book starts with two chapters describing the author's personal journey and the inspiration that he has derived from Jonathan Edwards. After that come chapters on the relationship between reading and thinking, and coming to faith through thinking. There are two interesting chapters on relativism, in which the author points out that relativism is a moral choice as well as an intellectual choice. A follower of Christ submits to God's definition of truth, rather than choosing to define his or her own personal truth. Other chapters deal with anti-intellectualism, the wisdom of God and the relationship between knowledge and love.

Many readers will find some of the content challenging, but they should not let this put them off reading through the whole book as it is relatively brief (around 170 pages plus foreword and appendices). The book certainly succeeded in making me think, and the author's encouragement for Christians to engage in loving God with all of their minds is very helpful.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Alex Tang on January 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book by pastor-theologian John Piper reminds me of books on similar theme such as Mark Noll's Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Os Guinness' Fit Bodies, Fat Minds, J.P. Moreland's Love Your God with All Your Mind and Gene Veith's Loving God with All Your Mind. These scholars and thinkers have written these excellent books (all of which are worth reading) based on their exposure to different worldviews and their effort to create or instill biblical worldviews.

Piper's approach is different in that he draws solely from the Bible and in that he limits himself mainly to Proverbs 2:3-5 and 1 Timothy 2:7. He writes that his approach is that of a Bible expositor and in that he has succeeded because the book read like a series of sermons. Thinking is a serious aspect of discipleship, Piper suggests and that such thinking "is wholly engaged to do all it can to awaken and express the heartfelt fullness of treasuring God above all thing."

This book seems to be seeking a balance between the "anti-intellectualism" of some churches and "over-intellectualism" of the academia, However unlike his other books, I find it difficult to decipher what Piper is really trying to say in this book. While I agree with his emphasis on reading and understanding the Bible (which he equate to thinking) and his asserting that thinking is loving God, I find it difficult to apply his conclusion to the rest of the world who are mostly illiterate, do not have access to the Bible, and to the category of people who are intellectually impaired. And also in most of Africa, Asia and South America, most pastors and Bible teachers are not theologically trained. I refuse to accept that because of these handicaps, the Christians in these regions are defective in their thinking and hence not able to love God with their minds. I believe the power of the Holy Spirit transcend the inability of believers to read and write and that these inabilities do not handicap their relationship with the Triune God.
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