Saturday, July 28, 2012

Book Review. John Piper. Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God

The heart burns in worship what the mind provides for fuel. This is true whether we are believers or idolators. Therefore let us burn on what is true.

This is the centering thought of John Piper's delightful book, Think: the Life of the Mind and the Love of God. Throughout, Piper connects these two great facets of our humanity: loving the Lord our God with both heart and mind as Jesus commanded.

Often these two pursuits (heart and mind) are placed at odds against one another as though doctrine was cold and dead, while real worship was "felt" emotionally, disconnected to propositional truth.

In this book, Piper admonishes believers to fully engage God with our mind. We are to intellectually pursue the wisdom of our Creator since worship and clear thinking (especially about His revealed Word) should be inseparable.

Piper gently attacks two false positions. The first false position is that worship is primarily done with one's feelings. Here Piper attacks the anti-intellectualism that has pervaded American forms of evangelicalism, especially since the Second Great Awakening. On the other hand, Piper deconstructs the prideful position of those whose knowledge "puffs up" lending itself to arrogance, conceit, and self-confidence.

Working through several key Biblical passages throughout the book (Proverbs 2:3-5; Matthew 22:35-40; 1 Corinthians 1:20-24) Piper is relentlessly exegetical. He never strays far from his key Biblical texts. He carefully shows how thoughtful Biblical Christians are exhorted to pursue an apprehension of divine truth with humility.

Chapters seven and eight are worth the price of the whole book. There, Piper utterly destroys modern relativism as both rationally incoherent, and intellectually dishonest. As I read these two chapters which expose the pride of the heart of unbelieving man, I repeatedly wished I could put these pages before the eyes of every member of my church.

Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville Florida.

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