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Living in the Light: Money, Sex and Power Hardcover – May 3, 2016
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This new book is timely and deserves careful consideration by every Christian. It is a theologically rich, biblically faithful exploration of potential stumbling blocks to enjoying God: sex, money, and power. In these pages you will discover not only the spiritual danger of setting your hope in the things of this world but how, as Christians, we can understand sex, money, and power in ways that display God's glory.
-- R. Albert Mohler - President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Piper here exposes us to the power of the Word. He helps open our ears to sober and solemn warnings. He also helps us embrace encouragements that shine with the promises of God. This book is about money, sex, and power. It is of course ultimately and wonderfully about the supremely satisfying and shining glory of God in Christ.
-- Kathleen Nielson - Director of Women's Initiative, The Gospel Coalition
John Piper explores three gifts of God that are simultaneously precious and precarious. With penetrating clarity, he demonstrates the connection between money, sex and power, and shows how we can put them in their proper places by recognizing Christ as their center of gravity. Living in the Light offers a vibrant, refreshing, and enriching paradigm-shift.
-- Randy Alcorn - author of Money, Possessions and Eternity and Happiness
If you do not daily wrestle with temptations in the areas of money, sex, or power, it is only because you have surrendered to these temptations. Every Christian must confront our common pull to make idols in these areas. In this book, John Piper equips us to fight temptation by firing up our affections for the glory of God in Jesus Christ. He wisely shows us not only what to avoid, but how to rightly enjoy money, sex, and power as part of a life conformed to Christ through the gospel. I expect to give this book to many friends and fellow combatants in this spiritual war.
-- Russell Moore - President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention
This book is searching in its analysis, searing in its challenge, and yet wonderfully invigorating in its encouragement. When the glory of God is at the center, money, sex and power can be instruments for Christ's name and our good. This book is urgently needed.
-- Sam Allberry - Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and author of Is God Anti-Gay?
Money, sex and power are the three towering gods of our age, and the greatest temptations for those both inside and outside the church. In this short, pithy and powerful book, John Piper brings biblical wisdom, practical insight and a pastor's passion to the subject, and shows how living in the light will eclipse all the idols this world has to offer and put money, sex and power in their rightful, God-glorifying place.
-- Andrew Wilson - Pastor at King's Church, Eastbourne, UK; author and blogger
About the Author
John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of more than 50 books, and more than 30 years of his preaching and teaching is available free of charge at desiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noël, have four sons, one daughter, and twelve grandchildren.
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In defining money, he tells us that money is the symbolic representation of quantities of value. It becomes a moral issue because of the rightness or wrongness of what we pursue with this gift God has given us. We can pursue good, and we can pursue evil. We can use it to show that we value money more than Christ; or we can use it to show that we value Christ more than money. He tells us that there is no link between having much money and knowing much happiness in this life—or the next.
In defining “sex” he means experiencing erotic stimulation; seeking to get the experience, or seeking to give the experience. He tells us that sex is a good gift from God in all those ways. He writes that our sexual sinning is rooted in the fact that we don’t treasure the glory of God as supremely desirable over all things. Jesus, Peter, Paul, John and the writer to the Hebrews all sound the note of danger that lies ahead for those who do not repent of sexual sin. He tells us that when it comes to our sex lives, the issue is this: Do we see the glory of God? Do we treasure the glory? Are we deeply content?
In defining power, he writes that it is the capacity to get what we want. How we use our power shows where our heart is, what we love, what we treasure most—what we worship. The greatest danger of power is craving it in order to exalt ourselves. He writes that the reason we abuse power is because we do not delight in the glory of God’s right to all power.
Piper tells us that money, sex, and power are three good gifts of God. He also shows that we can use them to reveal a heart of darkness, or reveal a heart of light. He writes that “Living in the light is seeing God as supremely glorious, supremely beautiful, supremely desirable, and supremely satisfying.”
He describes the doctrine of justification, stating that by Christ’s death he took the punishment we deserved, and His perfect life was credited to our account. All the legal barriers between us and God were removed and we now have peace with Him. Hallelujah!
He concludes the book by looking at some examples of what happens to money, sex, and power when we live as those whose sins are forgiven and who live in the light; when we are born again, and the glory of God in Christ has been restored as the greatest treasure and sweetest pleasure of our lives.
There is much of value in this short read from one of our most respected theologians. Highly recommended.