John Piper’s The Pleasures of God takes an in-depth look at the “happiness” God reveals through Scripture. God’s happiness or pleasure is often misconstrued as being found solely in the righteous acts of men, but The Pleasures of God reveals that this is not the primary place in which God finds joy. With ample biblical references, Piper explores his theory of God deriving pleasure primarily from being God.
Piper outlines his theory by placing each pleasure of God in a new chapter. These pleasures are each built on the one before, beginning with those that express God’s delight in Himself. The later chapters then explain the pleasure of God in humans. Although a thought-provoking text, Piper’s earnest and conversational tone makes the work very readable. Not only has Piper previously written many engaging books on theological subjects, he also has led Bethlehem Baptist Church as senior pastor for more than 30 years.
Building upon his premise that “the worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love,” Piper details the merit of God’s soul by looking into what God finds pleasurable. Beginning with God’s pleasures within the Trinity, Piper lays a foundation for a happy God who will continue to delight in himself for all eternity. The pleasures outlined in these first six chapters are the pleasures of God in His Son, in all He does, in His creation, in His fame, in election, and in bruising the Son. After showing God’s supreme joy in himself, Piper outlines the pleasure of God in “Doing Good to All Who Hope in Him,” “Prayers of the Upright,” “Personal Obedience,” and “Public Justice.” The uniqueness of Piper’s writing is furthered by his reference to sources beyond the Bible. Numerous times he mentions the sermons of Jonathan Edwards for support and inspiration. In fact, the very premise of Piper’s book is affirmed by Edwards in a journal in which he stated that religion consisted in a man conforming to the image of the “infinite excellency and worthiness” of God.
The Pleasures of God is a worthwhile reading experience. It unveils important but occasionally illusive theological truths. This book is something to be treasured and read slowly. Flipping through it too quickly would be confusing, but taking the time to savor the material will result in incredible benefits. Adults of all ages would enjoy this book. – Anna Soden, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Beginning where the foundational truth of Desiring God left off, that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him," this expanded re-release of another classic by John Piper will further explore a life-changing essential -- "We will be most satisfied in God when we know why God himself is most satisfied in God." Fully understanding the joy of God will draw the reader into an encounter with His overflowing, self-replenishing, all-encompassing grace -- the source of living water that all Christians desire to drink. The Pleasures of God will again put God at the center of Creation and leave the reader very satisfied in Him.
This classic, chosen by World Magazine as one of the 20th Century’s top 100 books, also includes a study guide for each chapter.