Book Review: A Godward Heart (Piper)

John Piper’s latest book, A Godward Heart: Treasuring the God Who Loves You, stands as the latest example of his ability to pen books worthy of being enjoyed by Christians across denominational lines. Many have long found Piper’s preaching, teaching, and writing useful, important, and worthy of reflection, and this newest offering does not disappoint. This purposefully eclectic book contains fifty meditations from Piper on a number of topics, ranging from seeking the Lord and the Grace of God to Idolatry and Racism. Piper’s back-cover “Whether you are just discovering the divine richness of Scripture or have long been a passionate student, you’ll find a deeper understanding of God and renewed insight for your journey” appropriately sums the scope of this book. Most of Piper’s reflections on these topics are very good and thought-provoking, and he blends scripture, history, and theological reflection well throughout. Going in I expected more scriptural exposition, but thought Piper did an admirable job drawing upon a variety of sources for his reflections.

The brevity of each meditation (3-4 pages each) makes this work an ideal devotional, though many sections are worthy of visiting in variety of contexts. In contrast to his other works (at least the one’s I’ve read), Piper doesn’t have an overarching theme within this book. While some might find this sporadic layout frustrating, the variety of topics leads to a good change of pace.  That said, some chapters are bit more random than others, such as Piper’s reflections on Twitter and Hero-Worship. While I feel this book holds much value for Christians of all types, this is clearly a book written by an evangelical Protestant committed to scripture and Calvinism. Piper’s thoughts on the Elect, Hell, and Sovereignty make this especially clear. From a broadly ecumenical perspective, there are some chapters that are better than others. Overall, this book has lots to offer for Christians of all persuasions and would make a great addition to anyone’s bookshelf.

I received this book from Waterbook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Published by Jacob J. Prahlow

Husband of Hayley. Dad of Bree and Judah. Lead pastor at Arise Church. MATS from Saint Louis University, MA from Wake Forest University, BA from Valparaiso University. Theologian and writer here and at Conciliar Post. Find me on social at @pastorjakestl

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