Following on the heels of a successful publishing the past 25 years, John Piper has again revisited one of his most popular works, Desiring God, Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. Originally published in 1986, this book has been the go-to manual of what John Piper defines as Christian Hedonism.
Having never completed reading an entire John Piper book, I was not surprised to see it read like he speaks. John’s book touches on many critical issues effecting the Christian in today’s context. John has appropriately revised this entry to accommodate the advent of modern technology, the new ails of our age, and added an additional chapter to include, “Suffering: The Sacrifice of Christian Hedonism.” Concisely, academically, and scholastically, John defends his thesis, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” throughout the entire text. John Piper also sufficiently demonstrates the story behind his passion for Christian Hedonism, and propagating it amongst brothers and sisters everywhere.
I had a difficult time engaging the book and being motivated to read it. It was not so much that the material or topic nature was not engaging itself, it is that I just found it a bit dry. I suppose John Piper may be able to level the accusation of anti-hedonist toward me at this point. Even though the premise of the book, and “Christian Hedonism” is to find joy in God, and thus draw God’s satisfaction in you, it challenges some of the paradigms of the modern Christians faith.
John Piper demonstrates that the Christian life is easily seen as sacrificial in many regards. He also challenges the adage that finding joy in the “less-than” lifestyle Christ calls his disciples to lead is not itself as controversial as one might find. After all, having true joy in Christ is dying for him, storing up for yourself treasure in heaven. Knowing that there is reward for your temporal loss is at the center of John Piper’s Christian Hedonism.
I enjoyed the book, but I am not sure I have been converted to Christian Hedonism just yet! Nor am I ready to call myself a Christian Hedonist. There is plenty of sound advice and good strong scriptural support for John Piper’s Christian Hedonism. I also have now been afforded a glimpse into the “Desiring God” battle cry John is so well known for. With the addition of another chapter, and a group study guide, this book is worth the purchase for those who have never experienced it, and for those who have previous versions. A refreshing updated Desiring God will not disappoint!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review!