Not to minimize the influence of other pastors, but John Piper single-handedly altered my vision from a man-centered gospel to a God-centered one.
And he did this by grabbing my jaw and whipping my head around.
How’d he do that when I never met the man?
That’s the beauty of the written word.
And the beauty of John Piper’s books are that they are easy to read, thought-provoking and…
Free. [Well, most are free.]
There is one problem with John Piper as a writer, though. He’s a madman. Prolific to a fault in the sense you will need to block off at least 42 days to read all 42 books. [That’s if you read one book a day.]
Don’t have 42 days? You’re not alone. Fortunately you can get a bead on the man Piper and his theology in about four books. Here are the must-reads:
Hedonism is a dirty word. But not to Piper. Especially when our pleasure and it’s near-savage pursuit is found in God. In fact, Piper argues this is exactly what the Bible teaches as our duty: Maximum delight in glorifying God. He pulls it off, folks.
A relentless, systematic explanation of what it means to be born again. It’s worth having a copy of this book for the commentary about classic biblical texts on regeneration alone.
When we share the gospel with someone how do we present it? Do we focus on the person or God? And when you think of your own salvation and the gospel…does it motivate you to make much of yourself or God? Getting that answer right is crucial.
Work. Retirement. Health. Sickness. What do these opposing conditions of our lives have in common? They are all opportunities to glorify God. Sound unbelievable? Again, Piper pulls it off.
Disclaimer: I’ve not read all Piper’s books. Just eight. But it doesn’t take long before you see four common themes that run through his books. Here they are:
1. Delight in worshiping God is the highest pleasure we pursue. Desiring God
2. Dependence on Christ alone for salvation. Finally Alive
3. Determined aim to hold God far above all creation–including man. God Is the Gospel
4. Deliberate use of every sphere of our lives–including our suffering–to glorify God. Don’t Waste Your Life
So, what do you think? Am I dead on? Are you a Piper aficionado and find this list wanting? My interpretation lacking?
How many Piper books have you read?
Would you add any books to this list? Take any out? Let me know. I look forward to your thoughts.