Why I Thank God for John Piper

January 4, 2008

During my junior year at Believers Academy, I started meeting my Bible teacher, Tyler Sultze, once a week at Taco Cabana for breakfast. While the food was scrumptious, the fellowship was also delectable. The first book we went through and discussed over breakfast tacos was Be Satisfied by Warren Wiersbe. Next, we decided to tackle Desiring God. It was then that I was introduced to the writings of John Piper, for which I frequently thank God.

Why do I thank God for the ministry of John Piper? Let me put it this way: I often tell people that if you would have asked me at the beginning of high school why I was a Christian, I would have said something like, “I’m a Christian because that’s what I’m supposed to be.” But if you asked me the same question at graduation, I would have said, “I’m a Christian because that’s what I desparately want to be.” Piper’s writings were instrumental in this change or perspective.

Piper helped me see God as desirable. The gospel is great because it reconciles us to him. Sin is worth fighting because the pleasures of sin are utterly incomparable to the superior pleasures of God. Giving your life to Christ is worth it because by losing your life, you find it.

And it is not as if he was making this stuff up. He was simply pointing out how obvious this concept is in the Scriptures. The Psalms overflow with language that delights in God. Even the “hard” teachings of Jesus reveal the superiority of living for Christ. Whoever has left houses or lands or family will receive a hundredfold and eternal life. The man who finds a treasure in a field does not sell all that he has out of obligation, but with joy over the treasure he has found.

These concepts are crucial for Christians to understand. The Christian life is not one merely of obligation, but of joy. As my dad likes to say, “It’s not a ‘got-to’, it’s a ‘get-to.” And yes, the Christian life is hard–Scripture makes that clear. But denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Christ is worth it because nothing compares to knowing him.

This Christmas Break, I have started reading Piper’s Future Grace, and I have been greatly refreshed and energized by it. This post was primarily the result of one quote I read last night:

Christian hedonism [or pursuing ultimate satisfaction in Christ] is the final solution. It is deeper than death to self. You have to go down deeper into the grave of the flesh to find the truly freeing stream of miracle water that ravishes you with the taste of God’s glory. Only in that speechless, all-satisfying admiration is the end of self.

I thank God for John Piper because of quotes like this and books and sermons that teach that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

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5 Responses to “Why I Thank God for John Piper”

  1. Matt said

    Nice post Ben, Piper’s been blessed by God to write so well… his ideas of ‘Christian hedonism’ are so encouraging towards one’s increasing love of God Himself. See you soon bud!

  2. Beth said

    AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN! I can’t say it enough. Reading that just made me love the Pipe all over again. My freshman year of college I would have told you that a succesful Christian life would be having a daily devotional and feeling close to God. My sophomore year I would have told you it was delighting in God and finding Him to be Your all satisfying treasure! Thank you, Dr. Piper, for that.

  3. scott g said

    I figure you’d think I would post after this latest entry, and I have, this post makes me want to read Future Grace even more. Yes, thank God for John Piper, one of too few solid preachers, who strive fear God and not man.

  4. Steve said

    I can relate to your dad’s comments. It’s not a “got-to” but a “get-to.” That’s the great thing about God isn’t it? We get-to experience His Love and Joy when we simply surrender ourselves over to Him. His love and His lifestyle for us, is worth the battle we fight against our sin. I stumbled upon your blog and enjoyed reading it. Thanks, Steve

  5. pna4266 said

    Thanks, my friend. I’m reading this book as well right now, and its a delight to my soul.

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