Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Desiring God (DVD) by John Piper

What can I say? My life has been changed by the joyful understanding of the joy that is found in God alone. John Piper was influenced by the likes of Jonathan Edwards & C. S. Lewis. Like many my age, I have been influenced by John Piper. I have said before that Desiring God is the most influential book I have read in my life (other than the Bible).

So, when I saw that there would be a DVD curriculum of Desiring God, I really wanted to watch it. Over the past ten days, I have made my way through the ten sessions taught by Dr. Piper and it was everything I thought it would be. It was Piper teaching how he came to the conclusions that are included in this book. He shares how the grand obligation of all believers is to find joy, or better yet, to seek their ultimate joy in all that they do. We are to pursue our own happiness in everything. And that ultimate happiness is only found in Jesus and the gospel. This is the description from the back of the DVD case:
"In this DVD version of Desiring God--the classic description of Christian hedonism--John Piper explains how the supreme calling of life is to 'glorify God by enjoying Him forever.' Drawing upon Scripture after Scripture, Piper shows why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God and, in what may be surprising to some, how God is ready to pursue with all His might our pleasure in Him! The implications of this truth are discusses in regard to conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering."
There is also a study guide that is meant to accompany this DVD. I have not looked at it, but if I were to use this for a series in my church, I would definitely use it.

The only negative I would have about this DVD curriculum is the context in which it was recorded. It is broken down from a seminar given at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, where Piper is the pastor for preaching (it appears to have been a couple day seminar). Apparently, this is a class that is offered ongoing for their church, taught by Dr. Piper. As any class like that given at any church, there was a high emphasis upon their local church: "This is why Bethlehem teaches this . . . All of our pastors believe this" and other statements like that. It's not that it is not well done, it is. And I enjoyed looking through the window of another church. I just wonder what it would have been like to have a neutral setting.

But as for the content: loved it!

I received a copy of the Desiring God DVD by John Piper from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review.

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