The Pleasures of God : Meditations on God's Delight in Being God
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ISBN/ASIN : 1576736652
Manufacturer : Multnomah|
Release data : 26 June, 2000
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God's pleasures is my pleasures
I just finished reading this book this past weekend. i must say that this is my first book by Piper, and it won't be my last. This book is a great book for those who want to know more about God's pleasures in creation, election, salvation, etc. It's a good book on learning Reform theology if you don't have a clue what Reform theology is. This book has shifted my theological position on freewill, now to in brace Calvinism. We as Christian's can have great comfort in knowing that God is in control of our lives, even in trials and heart ache. While finishing this book and waiting for my car to be fixed. i had met a guy walking down the street. He passed by and I thought, I should have witnessed to him. If God would want me to, he come back. Well the guy stopped about 15 feet from me and came back to asked me about my tattoos on my arm. As I witnessed to him, he asked what was the point of God making us and putting us here? For his good pleasure.........This is a great book.
Great work Dr. Piper
A Warning About Piper's Emphasis
This is a general comment on Piper's books and ministry. I deeply appreciate the work of John Piper--especially his emphasis on missions and on living God-centered, Christ-exalting lives of worship. And I am Augustinian, so I love Piper's theology and am thrilled that he has become so popular. But I do want to provide a warning. Piper's main emphasis is (and you'll read this over and over again) "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied (or delighted) in Him." This is a biblical and wonderful proposition that Piper became aware of through the writings of Jonathan Edwards. And to Edwards (who also explained how God's chief end is to glorify Himself), this was one small part of his theology.
But Piper has taken this idea, which he calls "Christian Hedonism," and built his whole life and ministry around it. The problem is that if you read enough Piper, you will begin to focus on the FEELING of being delighted in Christ, rather than on Christ Himself. And when your feelings don't match what you want them to be, you will become disheartened. (And let's face it, few of us have the emotional intensity of John Piper.) At that point, your feelings (of being delighted in God) become the object of your desires and, thus, an idol. Yes, they are feelings TOWARD God--but those feelings are NOT GOD. And when the focus of your life has become your emotions, it has deceptively become an idol.
I know Piper fights against this tendency. But I'm afraid he is often unsuccessful. The fact is, the Christian life is not going to be one of unending joy in God. Read the Psalms to see how often the psalmists cry out in agony and desperation and sadness to the Lord. Read Romans 7 to find out how tough and discouraging the Christian life can really be.
According to Piper, our happiness in God should be the driving motivation in our life. But when Christians are inevitably not overflowing with delight in God, then under Piper's framework, the only solution is to seek that feeling of joy rather than just do our duty. There are times when duty and obligation (which Piper hates) are the only motivations for the Christian to be obedient and live a life of faith. I agree wholeheartedly with Piper that delight in God is a much better motivation for the Christian than duty. But when that delight is not there, we still must be faithful and obedient, and we can't always wait on our feelings to drive us on toward the prize.
Read Piper's books. And enjoy his passionate and Christ-exalting preaching. But beware and repent when your emotions--rather than the Triune God Himself--become the focus of your life.
I first saw this book reviewed in the early 1990's. It aroused a double response of curiosity and suspicion. Like many a cynic I asked myself, "Now who's this guy and what's he spinning?" Against my natural inclination to dismiss it, I ordered POG. On receiving it I began reading and found my suspicions confirmed: here was another triumphal and insensitive adherent to the doctrine of the sovereignty of God.
Strangely, however, I couldn't stop reading. Despite months of scrawling angry counter-arguments in the margins of its pages I was drawn inexplicably to the sensibility of its core premise about God's delight in being God. To make this story short, I found myself, in the end, exhausted but surrendered to the portrait of God that Piper paints with the full palette of scriptural truth. And finally happy too, with the beginnings of the joy Piper wished for his sons in the Foreword.
Salvation history testifies to the fact that a distinguishing evidence of the truth is that it is often hated - at first. The fact that POG eventually had such an unnatural (or supernatural) effect on someone like me - initially so inclined to resist and rebuff - speaks more to the validity of this book than if I had joined immediately in the chorus of deserved admiration.
This is not a critical analysis of POG; others have provided that sufficiently on this page. Instead it's a personal account of the Irresistible Grace that against all nature drew a small and scoffing soul into undeserved open spaces where God's glory was seen...and is now sung.