Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
This book will help Christians think about thinking. Focusing on the life of the mind helps us to know God better, love him more, and care for the world. Along with an emphasis on emotions and the experience of God,...
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This book will help Christians think about thinking. Focusing on the life of the mind helps us to know God better, love him more, and care for the world. Along with an emphasis on emotions and the experience of God, we also need to practice careful thinking about God. Piper contends that "thinking is indispensable on the path to passion for God." So how are we to maintain a healthy balance of mind and heart, thinking and feeling?
Piper urges us to think for the glory of God. He demonstrates from Scripture that glorifying God with our minds and hearts is not either-or, but both-and. Thinking carefully about God fuels passion and affections for God. Likewise, Christ-exalting emotion leads to disciplined thinking.
"An essential dimension of Christian discipleship is the life of the mind, and this may well be the most neglected Christian responsibility of our times. God has made us intelligible creatures, and he has given us the stewardship of intellectual faculties that should drive us to think in ways that bring him greatest glory. In this new book, John Piper provides brilliant analysis, warm encouragement, and a faithful model of Christian thinking. This book is a primer for Christian thinking that is urgently needed in our time." -R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary "Do you ever wish you could feel more deeply about things you know are true? Has it been a while since you were moved to tears at the thought of Christas death for your sins? Itas not mysterious: those who feel deeplyabout the gospel are those who think deeplyabout the gospel. In these pages John Piper will convince you that thinking is the sturdy foundation for our easily misguided affections. If you want to feel profoundly, learn to think carefully. And start by reading this book!" -C. J. Mahaney,Sovereign Grace Ministries "Thinking-the alert, meticulous, probing, logical, critical use of the mind-will be a highway either to godliness or to its opposite, depending on how it is done. Taking leads from Jonathan Edwards, John Piper surefootedly plots the true path here. His book should be, and I hope will be, widely read." -J. I. Packer, Board of Governors'' Professor of Theology, Regent Collea author, Knowing God "Piper has done it again. His outstanding book Thinkpromises to shepherd a generation about the Christian commitment to the life of the mind. Deeply biblical and uniquely balanced, Think practices what it preaches: it is an accessible, intellectually rich study that calls the reader to renewed love for God and others." -J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University "John Piper offers much wise advice on the importance of Christian thinking as a way of loving God with our minds and as part of delighting in God above all things." -George M. Marsden, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame; author, Jonathan Edwards: A Life "The book provides an excellent, robust biblical foundation for thinking in service of the glory of Christ. It challenges human attitudes and provides sound responses to the temptations either to reject vigorous thinking as unspiritual, to pursue "neutral" scholarship, or to take pride in thinking and fall into autonomy." -Vern Sheridan Poythress, Professor of New Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, Redeeming Science "We cannot feel like Christians or act like Christians if we donat think like Christians. As his writing and preaching attest, John Piper is convinced that the heart cannot embrace that which the mind does not recognize as good, true, and beautiful. This wise book not only makes that point well, but does so by exhibiting in its style and grace the beauty of holy thoughts. This is a timely missive from a seasoned pastor." -Michael S. Horton,J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California "Those who are skittish when it comes to rigorous study, deep thinking, and theological precision have wanted us to believe that our problem is the mind, when in fact itas the flesh. The problem isnat knowledge, itas pride. John Piper reminds us in this excellent book that what we need isnat less thinking, but clearer, biblical, and more God-centered thinking. Reading and thinking about Thinkwill set you on your way to the renewal of the mind that the Scriptures insist is the catalyst for heartfelt joy and growth in godliness. I highly recommend it!" -Sam Storms, Pastor, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, OK; Founder, Enjoying God Ministries "John Piper has written a wise and passionate book about the importance of loving God with our minds. After all, we are commanded to do so! But as Piper explains, Christians have not always been very attentive to that commandment. With clarity and directness, he reveals the obstacles that prevent us from using our minds as God intended-but also shows the delights and benefits of doing so. Especially for those who fear intellectualism, this book will be a bracing tonic, and an encouragement besides." -Alan Jacobs, Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English, Wheaton College "Some Christians donat think nearly enough; others are prone to think in the wrong way. I warmly commend John Piper''s appeal to all believers to be diligent in engaging our minds and to do so with God-honoring humility and Christ-loving passion." -Vaughan Roberts, Rector, St. Ebbe''s Church, Oxford, Englaeo author, God''s Big Picture "No one-in speaking, writing, or living-combines mind, heart, and faith more passionately than John Piper. It is our great good fortune that these are the direct topics of exploration in this book. As always with John, the result is insight, encouragement, and a call to action." -Daniel Taylor, Professor of English, Bethel University "Thinkis a bracing gust of fresh air in a stale and musty room that hasnat been aired out in a generation or more. In this book, the love of God and the life of the mind are passionately connected in the way the Scriptures require, and the result is a direct challenge to the intellectual sloppiness and disobedience that is so characteristic of our time." -Douglas Wilson, Fellow of Philosophy and Classic Languages, New St. Andrews Collea Pastor, Christ Church, Moscow, ID
We often pit thinking and feeling against each other, especially when it comes to the Christian experience. Glorifying God with our minds and hearts, however, is not either-or, but both-and. Focusing on the life of the mind will enable you to know God better, love him more, and care for the world. This book will help you think about thinking, and about how the heart and mind glorify God together.
John Stephen Piper was born 11 January 1946 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Bill and Ruth Piper. The Pipers soon moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where John spent his growing-up years. His father was an itinerant evangelist who also ministered through international radio and Bible courses. John has written a tribute to his mother, who died in 1974, in the booklet, What's the Difference (Crossway Books, 1990) which is also chapter one of the book, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Crossway Books, 1991).
At Wheaton College (1964-68), John majored in Literature and minored in Philosophy. Studying Romantic Literature with Clyde Kilby stimulated the poetic side of his nature and today he regularly writes poems to celebrate special family occasions and rich, biblical truths. At Wheaton John also met Noel Henry whom he married in 1968.
Following college, John completed a Bachelor of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California (1968-71). While at Fuller, John discovered the writings of Jonathan Edwards.
John did his doctoral work in New Testament Studies at the University of Munich, Munich, West Germany (1971-74). His dissertation, Love Your Enemies, was published by Cambridge University Press and Baker Book House (and is now available through Crossway). Upon completion of his doctorate, he went on to teach Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota for six years (1974-80).
In 1980, sensing an irresistible call to preach, John became the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he ministered for 33 years, until 2013. Together with his people, John was dedicated to spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ - a mission he continues now for the wider church through the ministry of desiringGod.org. John says of his ministry:
"The ministry of preaching is the central labor of my life. My prayer is that through that ministry and everything else I do the great glory of our God and Savior Jesus Christ would be magnified as more and more people come to live out the obedience of faith more and more deeply."
John is the author of over 50 books and now frequently travels to speak, and writes regularly, through Desiring God.
John and Noel have four sons, a daughter, and twelve grandchildren.