Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review for "Desiring God,Revised Edition" by John Piper

I was glad to have the opportunity to review a "new" version of a classic Christian book! I had heard references to John Piper's "Desiring God" before, but never read the book, so this was my first experience with any edition of the book. Some of the statistics had obviously been updated, but other than that I could not tell where the updates had taken place, they were integrated seamlessly into the text. It was a fresh, relevant read. The basis for the book is Piper's discovery that the Christian life is not meant to be drudgery, but joyful pursuit of happiness in God. What a refreshing message for anyone caught in legalism or simply striving to please God and gain His approval! Piper exhorts the reader with personal illustrations and many scriptural supports to realize that seeking happiness is not a selfish motive, but a very necessary motive to the Christian life. The reason is that our ultimate happiness can only come from God - we were made in His image and designed for relationship with Him - so pursuing happiness in Him is the highest calling one can follow.

In case the reader wonders if Piper is ignoring the Biblcal passages on suffering and sacrifice, these are all addressed in the book. Yes, they are a part of life but do not preclude our seeking the deepest joy possible in God. I especially appreciated the chapters on prayer and missions and felt personally challenged. I did dislike the fact that some of the book read like a defense against Piper's critics. I am always a proponent of making your case by presenting it positively and attractively, not defensively. Still, it was a worthwhile read, and deserves to be classified as the "classic" it is. The revised edition should keep it fresh and hopefully introduce the book to a new audience.

4 out of 5 stars. I received this book free for purposes of review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group, and am not required to give a positive review.

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