Published on September 1, 2016 by Joshua Centanni

Multnomah, 1996 | 358 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

About the Author

John Piper is a well-known Christian author and preacher. He served as the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church for thirty-three years. He is the founder of the ministry Desiring God and maintains an active teaching role in the evangelical world.


Desiring God is a contemporary classic that calls believers to pursue joy and pleasure in God. Over the past few decades it has been published in a variety of editions. Piper argues that God is most gloried in us when we are most satisfied in him, and that the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever. He provides a theological reflection on the teaching of Scripture to show that following Jesus is necessary for us to experience true and lasting joy. Piper examines different facets of the Christian calling to show that we are called to joy from beginning to end in our Christian lives, and that we are to live for joy in Jesus. He examines the relationship between joy and service, suffering, love, missions, and more. This is a strong call to raise our affections to new heights and to passionately seek satisfaction in God.

Table of Contents

Introduction: How I Became a Christian Hedonist
What is a Christian Hedonist? Lessons from a Love Poem
Chapter 1 The Happiness of God: Foundation for Christian Hedonism
Chapter 2 Conversion: The Creation of a Christian Hedonist
Chapter 3 Worship: The Feast of Christian Hedonism
Chapter 4 Love: The Labor of Christian Hedonism
Chapter 5 Scripture: Kindling for Christian Hedonism
Chapter 6 Prayer: The Power of Christian Hedonism
Chapter 7 Money: The Currency of Christian Hedonism
Chapter 8 Marriage: The Matrix of Christian Hedonism
Chapter 9 Missions: The Battle Cry of Christian Hedonism
Chapter 10 Suffering: The Sacrifice of Christian Hedonism
Epilogue: Why I Have Written This Book: Seven Reasons
Appendix 1: The Goal of God in Redemptive History
Appendix 2: Is the Bible a Reliable Guide to Lasting Joy?
Appendix 3: What Does it Mean to Love Your Neighbor as You Love Yourself?
Appendix 4: Why Call It Christian Hedonism?

Chapter One
The Happiness of God: Foundation for Christian Hedonism

God is infinitely devoted to the enjoyment of his own glory. Since God is perfectly sovereign, powerful, and wise, none of his purposes can be thwarted. As a result, God is infinitely happy. Our happiness is grounded in God’s happiness. Even the works of evildoers and Satan are not outside of God’s sovereign control. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery but it was God who sent him to Egypt; evil men put Christ on the cross, but it was God’s foreordained purpose and plan that was accomplished. Jonathan Edwards wrestled with the sovereignty of God in the face of the evil in our world, and he came to see that God is grieved by sinful and painful realities when interpreted on a narrow level, but he is also able to see the entire composite of historical reality in all of its beauty. Creation is like a mosaic, where all parts contribute to the whole.

God accomplishes all of his purposes, and his purposes are directed to the display and enjoyment of his own glory. Nothing is greater than God, so it would be idolatrous for God to love anything more than himself. The Father has in all of eternity enjoyed seeing the exact representation of his glory in his Son. The triune God created the world to allow others to share in this pleasure and behold this glory. There is nothing more satisfying than the glory of God, and so God is loving towards us by directing us to himself and teaching us to delight in praising him. God knows we can only have real joy when he love and delight in him. When we enjoy something or someone, we spontaneous express our praise. Praise is the consummation of delight.

Chapter Two
Conversion: The Creation of a Christian Hedonist

The summit of satisfaction and happiness for us is found in fellowship with God. We need to believe…

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Desiring God

Multnomah, 1996 | 358 pages

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