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When I Don't Desire God (Redesign): How to Fight for Joy Paperback – October 31, 2013
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About the Author
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God; Don’t Waste Your Life; This Momentary Marriage; A Peculiar Glory; and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.
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Top customer reviews
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.
In most of Piper's books (especially Desiring God) he teaches how the Bible's view is that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him (Christian Hedonism). You may be completely convinced of this, but then find that you have a limited ability to be satisfied in Him and you find yourself constantly satisfied in lesser things. What are we to do? This is Piper's attempt at quickly summarizing his arguments from Desiring God followed by chapters on spiritual disciplines that you can use in your fight for this joy in God.
I found this book extremely helpful, especially as a followup to Donald Whitney's "Spiritual Disciplines For the Christian Life." You may find it to be slow going at times, but bear with it.
I read this book in Logos4 ([...]) which I found to be extremely helpful as I could have a Bible open on my computer beside what I was reading. Reading the verses that Piper references as he references them really helps me to understand and own the content and to tie it to the Scripture instead of the Piper book. I highly recommend this book. If you have not read any books from John Piper, I would recommend you first read "The Dangerous Duty of Delight" and "Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ" first.