Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Book Review: John Piper's A Godward Heart

John Piper is bold in what he says in A Godward Heart. I admire him for his boldness as nowadays people are getting afraid to say what they believe even down to the small details. Some of Piper's theology makes sense, and other parts of it feels like it is still trying to satisfy the softy in him as well though. While I don't think I started out with the strongest Piper's works, I still think this was a good read that had good insight in each chapter, but I would have preferred grabbing one of the ones with cohesive thought throughout first.

Summary: Each chapter of John Piper's book serves as a mediation for the reader on different aspects of life. It covers everything from racism to the prosperity gospel. Every chapter offers something different for the reader. The hope is that it provides a bit deeper on some general topics and issues happening, and also how to address t from the Bible as well. Most will like that while Piper uses other sources he mostly relies on his on wisdom and Biblical understanding to share.

Characters: John Piper uses some Biblical characters, but also uses a lot of pieces from his own life. I think it works great to give a book that jumps around a lot some cohesive unit from his own life experience. Now I think how he may handle things could be based sometimes on his own experience, when he is lacking on a strong Biblical stance from it. While I can see his logic, and do agree with it, I think he doesn't have a full grasp of how that perspective may sit with different personalities, and perhaps it isn't so simple as he puts it from the example he had. Otherwise, I think he makes good points and he speaks without offending.

Writing: The writing is very intellectual, and it's what makes this book stand out among other spiritual advice literature that is out there. Piper writes like he knows what he is talking about. I would feel confident reading another book from him, and not feeling like I was getting a lot of rambling just to meet a publisher's word amount for the book they need by a deadline. His words have weight, and with the personalized touch he includes it makes it hit at home more.

Plot: Well this book even has less of a plot than what you would find even in a non-fiction book since it's more of a string of thoughts. While I found the thoughts interesting, I would definitely enjoyed to have explored more of a detailed book on some of these topics with in depth chapters on each. Regardless, mixing it up with each chapter also keeps things interesting. Some topics he wrote about felt more interesting than others, and other revived my interest a bit. As you near the end of the book he gets a lot more serious and seems to pick topics that could be a lot more controversial for people to read.

A Godward Heart may not be for a newbie to John Piper, but he gives glances into his theology, so for the Calvinist you might finally enjoy reading a book that doesn't offend your theology, as anyone who isn't Calvinist seems to throw off on it in other heavily theological books. This book though provides insight on subjects, and I think this is best read over with one chapter a day so you can focus in on what he is saying, or as he hopes, meditates on the thoughts he is providing.

Rating 7.5 of 10.

This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah publishing in exchange for review.

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