John Piper is a well-respected leader, a gifted teacher, a well-regarded preacher, and a prolific writer of over forty books. He is well-known for his advocacy of a complimentarian view of gender roles, as well as being a leader of the “New Calvinist” movement in the United States. Piper is also well-known for his advocacy of a viewpoint he has coined “Christian Hedonism.” As a matter of fact, his book Desiring God, which explained his view of Christian hedonism, was the book that launched him into notoriety on the stage of American evangelical theology. The Dangerous Duty of Delight is a gift book that is an abridged and simplified version of Desiring God. It is being re-released on its tenth anniversary, and the twenty fifth anniversary of Desiring God. The Dangerous Duty of Delight accomplishes its goal, and is an intelligently structured summary of Desiring God. It summarizes Christian Hedonism in a brief manner so that the average reader can get the concept of the philosophy in a short amount of time.
The Dangerous Duty of Delight grounds the philosophy of Christian Hedonism thoroughly in both Scripture and in Christian history. Piper quotes numerous scriptures in the first few chapters to fortify his point. He also references luminaries such as Blaise Pascal, Jonathan Edwards, and C. S. Lewis. As a Reformed theologian he also spends an entire chapter on the answer to the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism which says that humanity’s chief goal is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” He goes on to say that enjoying God is not simply an opportunity, but our duty as believers.
Much of the rest of the text of The Dangerous Duty of Delight is a guide on how to implement a life of Christian Hedonism. Piper focuses specifically on money, marriage, worship, and missions. Each of these areas of life, he argues, requires that we focus on the most joyful experience possible if we are to live in obedience to Christ. Although, it must be noted, that often the most pleasurable long-term result means delaying short-term gratification.
I enjoyed reading this text. Having read Desiring God several years ago, this book helpfully reminded me what I had learned. Having been a Christian Hedonist before I read Piper, I felt encouraged by his argument for Christianity as being the most pleasurable way of life for humanity to embrace. For those who are not familiar with Piper or Christian Hedonism, The Dangerous Duty of Delight would be an excellent resource to become more familiar with him. – Clint Walker, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Each of us is hard-wired to pursue our happiness. We long for significant, profound joy. Some try to satisfy it with exotic vacations, high-tech gadgets, career success, sports, academics, drug experimentation, even ascetic rigors.
Yet the longing remains. Why?
In The Dangerous Duty of Delight, John Piper turns our heart toward the one true object of human desire and happiness: God. Piper shows from Scripture that pursuing our happiness in Christ is not optional for the Christian, but essential.
Come along on a journey from desperate desire to infinite delight. Learn how you were created for ultimate satisfaction in Him, and how this new perspective will change your attitudes toward worship, relationships, material goods—and everything.