Thursday, March 1, 2007

Free John Piper Book -- Yes I said FREE

You can get a PDF copy of John Piper's Book God is the Gospel here. Free books are good. Free books from well respected writers who challenge our thought patterns are great. I just started going through it and the following excerpt from the Introduction has me thinking, convicted, wondering, hoping, and provoked. It might take me a while to get through this one.

The sad thing is that a radically man-centered view of love permeates
our culture and our churches. From the time they can toddle we
teach our children that feeling loved means feeling made much of.
We have built whole educational philosophies around this view of
love—curricula, parenting skills, motivational strategies, therapeutic
models, and selling techniques. Most modern people can scarcely
imagine an alternative understanding of feeling loved other than
feeling made much of. If you don’t make much of me you are not
loving me.
But when you apply this definition of love to God, it weakens
his worth, undermines his goodness, and steals our final satisfaction.
If the enjoyment of God himself is not the final and best gift of love,
then God is not the greatest treasure, his self-giving is not the highest
mercy, the gospel is not the good news that sinners may enjoy
their Maker, Christ did not suffer to bring us to God, and our souls
must look beyond him for satisfaction.
This distortion of divine love into an endorsement of self-admiration
is subtle. It creeps into our most religious acts. We claim to
be praising God because of his love for us. But if his love for us is
at bottom his making much of us, who is really being praised? We
are willing to be God-centered, it seems, as long as God is man-
centered. We are willing to boast in the cross as long as the cross is
a witness to our worth. Who then is our pride and joy?

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