On my bedside table now is a reviewer’s copy of Think, by John Piper. I was pretty excited to get it, since Piper’s books Let the Nations Be Glad, Desiring God, and Future Grace have been pretty formative for me. While Think proved to be fundamentally different from those, it didn’t disappoint.
It’s different in that it has a decidedly more academic bent than most of Piper’s other book. It’s footnote-dense and heavy on quotes from other theologians. And it’s different in that the book builds up to the ‘meat’ – as opposed to, say, Let the Nations Be Glad where Piper blows you away from the very first chapter.
But there’s no doubt this is Piper. As you might imagine in a book titled Think, he tackles the centrality of the mind in the Christian life. Going back to trinitarian doctrine he roots the life of the mind and the life of the heart in the reality of the triune God.
I found a historical basis in Jonathan Edwards for those reformed ideas I picked up from Piper’s earlier books, that man’s chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, and that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. It requires understanding, questioning, wrestling with truth. According to Piper, “The Lord never says, ‘Stop thinking about my Word. I’ll tell you what it means.'” We’re meant to wrestle with it.
Perhaps my favorite chapter was The Immorality of Relativism. Here, Piper attacks one of the thickest fibers of the “post-Christian” world, or Post Postmodern world. He identifies relativism as treason against the objective reality of God, as enslaving people, and as disguising pride and greed as humility and flattery.
1 Cor. 8 ties knowledge to love, and this is where Piper heads next. That often found anti-intellectual idea that “All I need to know is that Jesus loves me” is challenged is Piper tells us that the neglect of knowledge is not the path to love. To fully love, we have to know the object of our love.
You can find more information about the book at Crossway’s website, including a video of John Piper and excerpts.