I don’t recommend books often, but . . .

I can’t recommend these two highly enough.  I happened to be reading them at the same time and it was perfect to alternate between them.  They offer thoroughly sound, practical and timeless guidance on how to live the Christian life.

The Enemy Within: Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin: Kris Lundgaard – great reminders about the reality of indwelling sin and how we need to fight it until we die.

Drawing from Indwelling Sin and The Mortification of Sin by Puritan John Owen, Lundgaard aims for the heart with a battle plan for radical spiritual transformation! His biblically sound principles on breaking the cycle of sin will help you live a victorious and fulfilling Christian life. Includes study questions.

Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist: John Piper – a classic that really gets you focused on the joy that is our birthright in Christ.

 Satisfaction…Happiness…Joy. According to John Piper, the pursuit of pleasure in God is not only permissible, it’s essential.

Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God.  Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him.

Constantly drawing on Scripture to build his case, Piper shows why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God. He discusses the implications of this for conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.

Piper beckons us to approach God with the hedonist’s abandon. Finally, we are freed to enjoy Jesus—not only as our Lord and Savior, but also as our all-surpassing, soul-satisfying Treasure.

Desiring God may turn your Christian world upside down. And that will be a good thing, for the glory of God, and for your deepest joy.

4 thoughts on “I don’t recommend books often, but . . .”

  1. Desiring God has some good stuff in it, but it also infected with Piper’s horrendous Christian Hedonism. He has gone everboard with it. I consider him to be a Calvinistic verson of Rick Warren.


  2. I was going to comment a warning on endorsing Piper’s book, but someone beat me to it. I find the notion that God is most glorified when we are most satisfied with Him to be patently obvious, so I am constantly amazed and baffled when genuine Christians tell me, “We’re not supposed to be happy in Christ!” I say, “But … what about ‘joy’ as the fruit of the Spirit?”, but they assure me that joy has nothing to do with it. We are supposed to love God and do what He says out of duty first and if, by chance, there is any joy in it, it’s a fortunate accident. Beyond being confused by this position, I am equally baffled by the strength of the response. “It’s evil!” they assure me. Nope. Not getting it. Sorry. I, too, endorse the idea of finding one’s greatest satisfaction in God.


    1. Piper’s book is dangerous, not wonderful. Consider his own words:

      “You might turn the world on its head by changing one word in your creed. The old tradition says, ‘The chief end of man is to glorify God AND enjoy him forever’.… The overriding concern of this book is that in all of life God be glorified the way he himself has appointed. To that end this book aims to persuade you that ‘The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying him forever’.” (Piper, Desiring God, page 15,)

      “Unless a man be born again into a Christian Hedonist he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John Piper, Desiring God, page 55)

      “Could it be that today the most straightforward biblical command for conversion is not, ‘Believe in the Lord,’ but, ‘Delight yourself in the Lord’?” (John Piper, Desiring God, page 55)

      “The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an ‘extra’ that a person might grow into after he comes to faith. Until your heart has hit upon this pursuit, your ‘faith’ cannot please God. It is not saving faith.” (John Piper, Desiring God, page 69)

      “Not everybody is saved from God’s wrath just because Christ died for sinners. There is a condition we must meet in order to be saved. I want to try to show that the condition…is nothing less than the creation of a Christian Hedonist.” (John Piper, Desiring God, page 61)

      Piper goes on to reveal on page 14 of his “Desiring God”, that in college he struggled with guilt feelings over happiness, especially in worship. He relays that if he was motivated by a desire for happiness or pleasure when he volunteered for Christian service or went to church, that it seemed selfish. He said that he felt a “tremendously powerful impulse to seek pleasure”, but couldn’t reconcile it with moral activity or worship. Piper reveals his moral confusion: his strong desire to feel pleasure, and his guilt over associating it with worship. “Then I was converted to Christian Hedonism. In a matter of weeks I came to see that it is unbiblical and arrogant to try to worship God for any other reason than the pleasure to be had in him.”(Desiring God, p.14).

      This is a startling statement! He does not say he was converted to Christ, or that he was set free from his confused state by Christ, or that he came to Christ regardless of any selfish benefit he might receive. But he says he was “converted to Christian Hedonism”. Then immediately makes a theological pronouncement that to worship God for any other reason than the pleasure to be had in Him is arrogant and unbiblical! Oh, really? Where is that found in the Bible? Thus to worship God, not to necessarily receive personal pleasure, but out of thankfulness and gratefulness, to give God honor and glory, he says is unbiblical and arrogant! Why? Not because Scripture says so, but because Piper has so declared it.

      Piper goes on to say: “Let me describe the series of insights that made me into a Christian Hedonist…During my first quarter in seminary I was introduced to the argument for Christian Hedonism and one of it’s great exponents, Blaise Pascal. He wrote, “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end…This is the motive of every action of every man…”

      “This statement so fit with my own deep longings and all that I had ever seen in others that I accepted it and have never found any reason to doubt it…As far as he (Pascal) was concerned, seeking one’s own happiness is not a sin; it is a simple given of human nature. It is a law of the human heart as gravity is a law of nature.” (Desiring God, pp.14-15).


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