Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review on the Pleasures of God

The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God
by John Piper
ISBN 978-1-57673-665-4
Reviewed by Clint Walker

John Piper has written extensively on many topics. Most notable, however, is his book Desiring God, which lays out the case for what he calls "Christian Hedonism". The book was a brilliant text, if for no other reason, than because it lays out a case for a joyful, loving Calvinist worldview. Basically, Piper makes the argument that the holy life and the God-obedient life is also the most pleasurable way to live. I read it in college and LOVED it.

Later, Piper released The Pleasures of God. In this book he makes the argument that God has a great delight in being himself and enjoys and takes pleasure in the world he has created. Well-written and well-researched, the text makes the case for God being the most joyful being in the universe. Furthermore, The Pleasures of God argues that God lives and creates FOR his own delight.

The book is organized. Each chapter takes this same thesis from a different angle. The end of the book has an extensive study guide as well as a thorough Scriptural index. Agree with Piper or disagree with him, this book will make you think.

I still have to do more thinking about the book. I agree that God is ultimately joyful, but also believe that part of God's joy is not being self-centered or self-seeking. And, although the text occasionally makes effort to make these clarifications, in order to make it's point well, the point is often overstated. Having said that, I am not sure I would be smart enough to win an argument with Piper regarding what I am saying, nor would I want to try.

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