Think by John Piper

Back in the college I was a big John Piper fan. He works a very methodical, moving through each point carefully and thoroughly. In fact, my only complaint then was that his works were a bit too long. But as time moved on and I began reading more, I started finding Piper’s works to be repetitive and superfluous. It sort of pains me to write a bad review for John Piper, but this is my honest response.

When I saw that Piper had written a book on the subject of the mind in our Christian faith, I was thrilled. It appeared like he was finally diverging from his usual style of Christian hedonism. Sadly, I was mistaken.

Now, I do not disagree with anything Piper has written here, however his arguments were either stale or unnecessary. For the entire book he is strongly defending his position however he does mention any detractors until after page one hundred. In my opinion, if you cannot adequately describe your opponent’s position you can never adequately defend your own position. Piper should have laid out anti-intellectual arguments first and work from there. Furthermore, when Piper finally approached the anti-intellectual claims, they all came from a different era; most of them over a hundred years ago. I really did not feel any dissension that would require Piper to write an entire book to counter.

And to top it all off, I felt like his attack on relativism was quite poor. He just marked relativist as dumb evildoers who are paralyzed from any action because any action requires a statement of truth.  It is not impossible for a relativist to stick some truths – they can’t just go around believing in round squares. I honestly felt like I heard better arguments in my Philosophy 101 class.

Clearly, relativism and Christianity cannot co-exist. This is why Christians should use their mind. We should use our minds fully. Our minds are a gift of God and an instrument we can use to love God and love others. It is only one piece in the numerous ways we can connect with God, but it is a very valuable piece.

Once you have read Desiring God who have read every single thing written by John Piper, though Thinking. Loving. Doing. is a great work written by Piper and friends that is simple, short, and to the point. It is a much more useful read than Think.