I have stopped calling this feature “Book of the Week” because…well…that got to be a laughable title.
I still read, however, and I still like to recommend books that are beneficial to me. One such book is “The Pleasures of God” by John Piper.
I enjoyed “Desiring God” and “When I don’t Desire God”, but in terms of practical theology and life-changing insight, “The Pleasures of God” is on a whole different level.
Subtitled “Meditations on God’s Delight in Being God”, the book deals with how God takes pleasure in various aspects of his being, his creation, and his divine plan. As mentioned in an earlier post, the chapter entitled “The Pleasure of God in the Prayers of the Upright” has already had a big impact in my own personal life and ministry.
Prayer is not the only subject that receives Piper’s careful and challenging analysis, however. Such topics as election, the relationship between God the Father and God the Son, and why bad things happen to good people are considered with care, thoroughness, and accuracy.
Far from being a dry theological tome, “The Pleasures of God” challenges God’s people to action. I will end this review with a quote from the chapter on prayer:
“The crying need of the hour–every hour–is to put the churches on a wartime footing. Mission leaders are crying out, ‘Where is the church’s concept of militancy, of a mighty army willing to suffer, moving ahead with exultant determination to take the world by storm? Where is the risk-taking, the launching out on God alone?’ The answer is that it has been swallowed up by a peace-time mentality. Thousands of Christians do not hear the diabolic bombs dropping and the bullets zinging overhead. They don’t smell the hellish Agent Orange in teh whitened harvest of teh world. They don’t cringe or weep at the thousands who perish every week. They don’t reckon with spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places and teh world rulers of this present darkness. In fact, it is not dark, they say. It is bright and comfortable and cheery–just look at my home and car and office and cabin and boat. And listen to my new disc-player and look at my new video equipment.”
If that is not a convicting indictment of today’s Western Christianity, I don’t know what is.
PS. If you are a Piper fan, you might want to check out the new blog by his son Abraham. It is a study in brevity…kind of an anti-Challies if you will.