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When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight For Joy Paperback – September 21, 2004
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About the Author
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is teacher and founder of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He served for 33 years as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?
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Top customer reviews
This book delves into a struggle I have. I know I should desire God above all else...but frankly, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I don't even want to. The best I can say during these dark times is that I want to want to...
"When I Don't Desire God" has helped me see my Desiring God in a bit of a different light and helped me in my struggle to fight for joy.
Warning: John Piper is not an easy read. It's a commitment all its own just to finish his books. Very thick, very meaty.
The title of this book couldn't describe its contents any more plainly than it does.
It took several chapters before I was accustomed to Piper's writing style here. He makes a statement of fact about X (where X is "The importance of the fight.", "The nature of the fight", "The value of prayer", etc.) and then goes into several paragraphs of explanation by way of repetition. I hesitate to say repetition because it sounds entirely negative, and because it sounds like I make the author out to be a parrot. However, he's not usually quoting himself, he's quoting scripture, or a puritan, or Jonathan Edwards, or a great mind of the past. Usually it's a combination of all of the above that he relies on as the basis for validity of his statement.
Not having read his other books, I can't say whether this writing style is unique to this text or not. I can say that it seems pretty well-suited to the intended audience. I think Piper expects his audience to be more than a little jaded, and so they need something akin to Proof by Exhaustion. That is, by being given a plethora of examples of the different ways you can evaluate the truth he is positing, you'll come to a similar conclusion he does about the core of it. I don't know that I've read another book that tries to give so many examples to make so few points.
On the points he's trying to make, I think they're very basic. That's not an insult, because after being "religious" for the better part of 20 years, I still didn't truly understand them. This book was a great help to me in defining and exploring the fundamental activities of a person who Desires God.
The first several chapters seem devoted to explaining the importance of Desire. Around half-way through the book, he switches to explaining the practical mechanics of pursuing a relationship with God that is characterized by Desire.
I knocked off a single star because I'm betting others like myself could probably understand his main points with a less exhaustive treatment of them, and it can make for some pretty dry and tedious reading at times. For others though, perhaps that's exactly what's needed. Even though I consider myself on the fringe of his intended audience, I was able to glean quite a few good truths about the general principles, and practical applications, of a life that Desires God.
This book helps you fight for joy by delighting in Jesus's glory, by striving for getting your soul satisfied in Him, in his beauty.
I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with sadness, depression or lack of joy and purpose in life.