I’m late on this. Both John and Mark already posted on this book, and I’m sure that readers are not eager to read yet another review for John Piper’s Think. Too bad. Here is another one.
Like most of my friends, I’m a fan of John Piper. He has articulated the joy of the Christian faith better than most authors, and that joy rubs off in how I want to live my life for Christ, not in dutiful drudging along, but rather excitement that I get to serve the supremely valuable being in the universe. These two lives look quite different when lived.
Maybe it is because of my great respect for John Piper that caused me to be disappointed in this book on developing a Christian mind. I expected something powerful and breathtaking, but rather I found it, well, boring. Rather than focusing on the parts that I felt were weak, I want to highlight the portion that I thought was excellent.
The strongest part of this book and the one that I will remember is that Piper discusses what it means to “love God with all your mind.” For too long, I have thought of this as a reason to use our minds to think about the things of God (which is of course true). However, Piper goes further to show how “our thinking should be wholly engaged to do all it can to awaken and express the heartfelt fullness of treasuring God above all things” (83). Our reading, thinking, discussing, and writing should all have the same aim: to treasure Christ more. While these activities can have secondary ends such as providing others a reason for the faith, for community, for mere enjoyment, etc., the ultimate goal should be to find more ways to love Jesus. This is both convicting and encouraging for me.
We read this in our latest Apologia meeting, and I think that the consensus about the book was similar: some good sections, but perhaps longer than it needed to be. Other books that we’ve discussed in the past do a better job at tackling relativism, reading, and anti-intellectualism.
Don’t worry about this review, Mr. Piper. I’ll always be a fan.