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The Pleasures of God [Paperback]

John Piper
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
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Book Description

1 Nov 2009
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 rerelease 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.

Be Most Satisfied in God…

Because GOD Is Most Satisfied in God.

You don’t truly know someone until you know what makes him happy. Our pleasure is the measure of our character. So it is with God. We can only know the greatness of His glory, if we know what makes Him glad. Therefore we must understand “the pleasures of God.”

This is not a book about you. It’s about the One you were made for—God Himself. In this theological tour de force, pastor John Piper navigates the biblical evidence to help us see and savor what the pleasures of God show us about Him, so that we might become like the One we behold.

What the church and world need today, more than anything else, is to know and love—behold and embrace—the great, glorious, sovereign, happy God of the Bible.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Pleasures of God + Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist + Seeing and savouring Jesus Christ
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications; New edition (1 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857927001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857927009
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 458,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A supremely rewarding book 6 Feb 2004
Format:Paperback
In this excellent book, John Piper takes as his basis the idea that God is entirely complete of Himself. Far from needing any other creature, He is the ultimate source of pleasure. Piper demonstartes how this works with regard to, among other things, creation, election, atonement, His people's prayer's and social justice. In doing so he paints a picture of a great and omnipotent God who is nevertheless profoundly concerned for His people. A very inspiring and challenging book indeed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
John Piper's God is distinctive in contemporary Christianity for, among other things, his sheer enormity. In this book Piper manages to make the most God-centred exposition of a number of topics (most notably the gospel) that I have ever come across. It is refreshing, life-affirming and, above all, God glorifying. If you want a comfy, man-centred theology look elsewhere: this one was written to change you. To demonstrate this, I'm going to quote the review from the American amazon that convinced me to buy the book in the first place (hopefully that isn't illegal):

"I have to admit, when I first read this book, I wanted to throw it across the room. But earnestly searching scriptures (with the intent to prove the book wrong), I was forced to unhappily conclude that Piper was completely on the ball. Then the most amazing thing happened: as I reread the book with a heart of faith, my disturbed state of mind gave way to a liberating joy in the good news of the sovereign God who is infinitely worthy and glorious beyond our wildest imaginations. I've always known that God is big, but Piper's expositions have been the lynchpin to my realization that God is BIG; truly one whose ways are above our ways and whose thoughts are above our thoughts. And in light of this, the deep love of Jesus has become even more amazing to me: how such a God could love and die for sinners such as us."

What a testimony! This is what this book can awaken in you. Piper's commitment to biblical Christianity and passion for the renown of his sovereign, happy God are breathtaking. Buy it. Read it. Share it. Rejoice.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beauty of God 15 July 2008
Format:Paperback
This is one of the most beautiful books on God that I have ever read, coming second only to Knowing God by JI Packer. Like Packer, Piper backs up his main thoughts with biblical texts. In his potrayal of who God is he leaves you awe-struck and reeling with a heart full of worship and praise. Very well written and easy to read without being too simple. I would highly recommend this book to someone who genuinely wants to know what pleases their beloved God.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  81 reviews
124 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised by God: infinitely more delightful than imagined! 10 Aug 1999
By Darren Hsiung - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have to admit, when I first read this book, I wanted to throw it across the room. But earnestly searching scriptures (with the intent to prove the book wrong), I was forced to unhappily conclude that Piper was completely on the ball. Then the most amazing thing happened: as I reread the book with a heart of faith, my disturbed state of mind gave way to a liberating joy in the good news of the sovereign God who is infinitely worthy and glorious beyond our wildest imaginations. I've always known that God is big, but Piper's expositions have been the lynchpin to my realization that God is BIG; truly one whose ways are above our ways and whose thoughts are above our thoughts. And in light of this, the deep love of Jesus has become even more amazing to me: how such a God could love and die for sinners such as us.
To God alone be the glory!
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theology and passion become one 29 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have read practically all of Piper's books, including his classic Desiring God, and the Pleasures of God outranks all of them. Piper manages to accomplish something that very few theologians can: mesh theology and joyful devotion to God. Theology to Piper is by no means an end in itself; it is meant to direct God's people towards him with deeper understanding of his character. Piper is humble and yet strongly convicted in his apprehension of God and the ways in which he interacts with his son Jesus Christ and his people. He puts down all vying theologies with passion and scriptural weaponry. This book is not for the new Christian or someone trying to explore the character of God for the first time; it is for those who have meditated on scripture for some time but are looking to be impassioned by the Bible and apply its sublime truths in richer, more accurate ways. This book is like the Bible in that it prepares and motivates the reader for application, without w! hich it is meaningless.
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistible Grace 11 Oct 2004
By L. Knowles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I first saw this book reviewed in the early 1990's. It aroused a double response of curiosity and suspicion. Like many a cynic I asked myself, "Now who's this guy and what's he spinning?" Against my natural inclination to dismiss it, I ordered POG. On receiving it I began reading and found my suspicions confirmed: here was another triumphal and insensitive adherent to the doctrine of the sovereignty of God.

Strangely, however, I couldn't stop reading. Despite months of scrawling angry counter-arguments in the margins of its pages I was drawn inexplicably to the sensibility of its core premise about God's delight in being God. To make this story short, I found myself, in the end, exhausted but surrendered to the portrait of God that Piper paints with the full palette of scriptural truth. And finally happy too, with the beginnings of the joy Piper wished for his sons in the Foreword.

Salvation history testifies to the fact that a distinguishing evidence of the truth is that it is often hated - at first. The fact that POG eventually had such an unnatural (or supernatural) effect on someone like me - initially so inclined to resist and rebuff - speaks more to the validity of this book than if I had joined immediately in the chorus of deserved admiration.

This is not a critical analysis of POG; others have provided that sufficiently on this page. Instead it's a personal account of the Irresistible Grace that against all nature drew a small and scoffing soul into undeserved open spaces where God's glory was seen...and is now sung.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this One! One of the Best Christian Books Written 23 Aug 2003
By Edward J. Vasicek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Pleasures of God is by far one of the great books of our generation. John Piper is not only a clear and easy to follow theologian, he has a zeal and enthusiasm for the Person of God that is contagious.

The genre of this book is hard to peg. Its theology runs deep - very deep, yet it is at the same time devotional; it stretches the intellect but cuts straight to the heart. Piper's style is truly unique. His convictions are unashamedly Biblical.

The essence of the book may be condensed down to this: God does just as He pleases. Yet this thesis opens a universe of implications and questions, some of which Piper addresses in the book's ten chapters. They are titled, "The Pleasure of God in His Son, The Pleasure of God in All He Does, The Pleasure of God in His Creation, The Pleasure of God in His Fame, The Pleasure of God in Election, The Pleasure of God in Bruising the Son, The Pleasure of God in Doing Good to All Who Hope in Him, The Pleasure of God in the Prayers of the Upright, The Pleasure of God in Personal Obedience and Public Justice, and The Pleasure of God in Concealing Himself from the Wise and Revealing Himself to Infants."
The Appendix, "Are There Two Wills in God? Divine Election and God's Desire for All to Be Saved" is also worth reading and should be considered an eleventh chapter.

Piper's God is the Sovereign God of the Bible. Although we can only understand what He has revealed, He makes no apology for being God nor for His nature; instead, He glories in Who He is. Because the believer is in union with Him through Christ, we are included in the great love felt between the Persons of the Trinity.

Piper takes the reader through numerous theological and daily issues, like election, why a good God would allow evil, foreign missions, prayer, the holiness of God, the Sovereignty of God, the purpose of Christ's atonement - and a whole lot more.

I found that this book stretched not only my mind but my soul. World Magazine rightly included this volume on its list of the top 100 books of the Twentieth Century. It will take you a while to journey through these 340 thoughtful pages, but it will be a journey you will long remember.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasure To Read 24 Dec 2006
By Jeremy K. Meeks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of it's love." This quote by a young Puritan named Henry Scougal stuck to the forefront of my mind for weeks. It's the opening quote to the first chapter of Pipers book. It's a good summation of the substance of this wonderfully powerful book.

Piper writes the way I feel on my best days. I once thought the guy was a veritable Superman of the faith till I heard an interview of him talking to Mark Dever of 9 Marks Ministries. Piper commented that his most popular work, Desiring God, was so entitled because it was so often how he felt, he desired God because he didn't feel he had enough of Him. His writings are his deepest longings. They are ours as well, weather we know it or not.

Piper oozes passion, but it's a focused passion. He's got only one thing in mind that has overtaken all his writing and preaching, it's the essence of his life and its summed up in his paraphrase of something Jonathan Edwards once said, that being `God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him'. The glory of God for God is his passion; his deepest desire is for us to have the same.

This book, possibly his best yet, deals with those things that God has most pleasure in. Be forewarned, this book is not for lightweights. I felt myself humbled and broken reading Piper's insights on the heart of God. The book didn't rock my concept of God, but each time I picked it up I couldn't put it down, I was captivated. Piper has a way of clearing some of the clouds of mystery that often surround our understanding of God, and in this book he does it in grand style.

The first six chapters have little to do with us, and much to do with Him and Him alone. Piper deals with weighty issues, such as election and God's sovereignty, in grand style. If you aren't a Calvinist beware, this book could totally shake your foundations (i.e. make you biblical (tongue in cheek). In these chapters Gods glory is on display as the great "I AM", everything there is.

The last four chapters deal with Gods pleasure in us. After reading the first chapters, these last ones break your heart and build you up knowing your utter depravity and the greatness of God overcoming it.

Get this book, read it and then read it again. It includes a great question section at the back for small group study or personal reflection.

Favorite quotes: "The original, the primal, the deepest, the foundational joy of God is the joy he has in his own perfections as he sees them reflected in the glory of his Son."

"Gods first love is rooted in the value of his holy name, not the value of sinful people. And because it is, there is hope for the sinful people-since they are not the ground of their salvation, God's name is."

"God does not take pleasure merely in being known and loved in an abstract way disconnected from his work in creation and redemptive history, God created the world and has worked in history not so that creation and history would be ignored. Christ did not become man so that the story of his life and work recorded in a book would be disregarded in favor of a mystical bypass to God. This would not honor the Christ of history."
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