Hedonism is “living for pleasure” or “the pursuit of our devotion to pleasure.” The word pleasure raises many eyebrows, which leads to the definition and defense components in this work.
Piper contends that Christian Hedonism is based on the idea that we find our utmost pleasure when we pursue the things of God. In one part of his book he writes, “If God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him, them we must make it our aim to be as happy as we can in God.” If we are truly seeking pleasure, we find it when we seek to please God. Most followers of Jesus would agree that we should pursue the things that please God, but perhaps bristle at the term Hedonism.
This is the 25th anniversary of the original book and the revised edition I read included some quotes from people who didn’t fall in line with the idea of Christian Hedonism. Throughout the book Piper defended his view of Christian Hedonism and seemed to try to answer some of his critics.
Where this book is most beneficial is in the describing portion of the book. Piper gave some very practical applications on what it means to live to please God. He spoke to directly to worship, love, scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions and suffering. Through much scripture and some good illustrations, he laid out in practical terms how to glorify God in these areas. Whether the reader can bring himself to say he is a Christian Hedonist, he can walk away from the book with what it means to glorify God through involvement in worship and missions, through the reading and application of scripture and how he spends his money.
Desiring God is a challenging read. There are times when the reader finds himself reviewing a paragraph to make sure the concept Piper presented is understood. It is a good book to use to stretch your thinking and challenge how you might view some of the areas he addresses.
This book would be a good tool in the hands of a Christian who desires to think a little more deeply on what it means to live a life that glorifies God.
To gain more information on this book and read an excerpt of the book, click here.
(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review)