Book Tip: Piper’s Desiring God Revised Edition

John Piper’s Desiring God is in the greatest hits of many Crossing staff members. It’s in my top 5, and has probably (outside of the Bible) been the most influential book in my Christian life.

I’m mentioning the book here because it’s been 25 years since its initial release, and a revised edition was released last week. The revisions are minimal, largely because the central theme of the book is just as relevant today as it was 25 years ago.

The prices are quite low. Hardback is $16, softcover is $10. And I strongly recommend you pick it up and read it if you haven’t before. We all have watershed moments in our faith where something clicks or a paradigm is shifted. This book was that for me. (If you’re intimidated by big books, Piper wrote a shorter version of essentially the same material…and it can be read literally in one setting)

The foundational principal of the book is this:

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

Here are some highlights from the actual book, as Piper’s words are far more powerful than any summary I could muster.

“I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term than by faith to die with Christ to our old seductions, that is, to gain a distaste for them because of a superior satisfaction in God.”

“When I was in college, I had a vague, pervasive notion that if I did something good because it made me happy, I would ruin its goodness.”

“All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.” – Piper quoting Blaise Pascal.

“Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – Piper quoting from C.S. Lewis’ Weight of Glory.

“Christian Hedonism does not make a god out of pleasure. It says that one has already made a god out of whatever he finds most pleasure in.”

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