What, or who, is at the center of your universe?
John Piper shows us the blazing glory of Christ and urges us to set him as the sun at the center of our personal solar systems, so that each area of our life might orbit in the way it was designed to. When Christ is our supreme treasure, we are able to keep money, sex and power in their proper place, enjoying them and glorifying God with them instead of rejecting them or worshiping them.
- This book will change your life!
This book is concise and straight to the point! It was an amazing listen and so spirit wrenching that I read it a number of times and bought the book to accompany the audiobook. Remarkable and very helpful. It is so simple and practical yet, this book will convict you! Listen and you will see!
- One of Piper's All-Time Best. You Will Not Be Unchanged
This is perhaps the most readable and certainly among the most helpful and immediately practical of any book John Piper has written. Money, sex, and power are three things that can be most used for sin, but they are also (or maybe "because") they are three of God's greatest gifts. I know that many people have had difficulty reading Piper. This is a common complaint from those at our church. I think that if this is you, you will be pleasantly surprised by this book. And for those (like me) who are well acquainted with his writing and way of thinking, you will still find this book helpful.
How we relate to money, sex, and power says much about what we think about God. And the only way to relate rightly to Money, sex, and power is to have God at the "center of the solar system" of all of God's good gifts, especially money, sex, and power. These exist to display the superiority of God and make manifest His glory, his weightiness by keeping all these lesser glories in their proper orbit around and subservient to Him. God did not invent money, sex, and power in order to tempt us. These are not results of the fall. But they are good gifts that exist for the good of His children and for the magnification of His glory.
This book is intensely theological while simultaneously incredibly and immediately practical. New believer and old, seasoned saint alike will find plenty of encouragement, admonishment, and challenges here. It is an easy read (stylistically), but I found it to be difficult. For me, I found sin exposed that I was not previously aware of, but the power and hope for change was paired close by.
This is not a book you will want to read casually. Rather, prayerfully set aside time and prepare for a read that will likely not leave you unchanged.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
- A short, useful book that may change your perspective on Piper
John Piper’s preaching and teaching have fallen out of favor recently as many have rejected a message they see as narrow and unloving. I admit that Piper has become to me somewhat of a fuddy-duddy, offering a conservative, reformed commentary that stands in stark contrast to those “more engaged” in culture like Tim Challies and Timothy Keller. Those who feel as I do should read his newest book Living in the Light: Money, Sex, and Power, and get a refreshed perspective.
The book’s subtitle says it all: “Making the most of three dangerous opportunities.” This is a book about taking three gifts of God that are often abused, and using them for Kingdom good. Many who are dismissive of Piper will assume there would be a primary focus on the negative aspects of the abuse of money, sex and power, but that is not the case. He spends more time reflecting on the good that could be accomplished were Christians serious about redeeming these three gifts for the glory of God.
The path of redemption laid out by Piper is realizing the potential danger of these gifts, finding deliverance from destructive patterns by placing them under the Lordship of Christ, and deploying sex, money, and power to be used for God’s glory. A central illustration of the book is that of a solar system. The “planets” of sex, money, and power are only in their proper, most useful place when they are orbiting the “sun” (Jesus) and not having our lives orbit them.
This is a short book is valuable because it espouses the idea of total redemption—God doesn’t just redeem people, he is also redeeming creation and those good things which we have corrupted. Piper’s writing is accessible, but he still struggles with the tendency to be dry. All in all, a solid, focused piece of writing that I can imagine I will return to as a teaching reference.
Bob Souer does a good job on the narration of the audiobook version.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
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- Short and to the Point, but Lacks Making the Struggle Real
While I've always known of John Piper, this was the first time I listened to one of his books. I like the way he writes and how much Scripture he incorporates into his writing. This book is well-written, and short.
And really, it's Piper's briefness that shines through here. I recently listened through a longer audiobook on the same subject that was a bit of a drag to get through. And really, the point in that book is the same point made in this book: give everything to God. Sex, money and power outside of God become idols, so subject it to him and make Him God.
This point, of course, is great, Biblical, and spot on. Unfortunately, it seems to belittle these struggles. Many Christians in the world who are dealing with the serious issues of sex, money and power find it pretty obvious that they need to give it over to God—that's just kind of Christian common sense. But when overwhelming temptation comes and these things keep messing up their life, it seems to me that telling them to "give it to God" is just a bit too generic to fully help them in that moment.
Granted, Piper says he's not writing a self-help book here with a bunch of steps in it, which is great because I don't generally like those books anyways. But this book still struggles to really grasp the difficulty of it all.
Actually, the most beautiful part of the book to me was when Piper acknowledged the struggle in his own life. At one point he talks about his struggle with money and buying books. He told his story honestly and straight and it gave validity to what he was talking about.
Out of the two books I've listened to on this subject, I'd suggest this one every time. The answer to the problem is generic (though it's the right answer) and to give that answer does not require a long book. And again, that's why this book shines: Piper gets the point across at the get go and doesn't spend 6 hours reiterating it. Yes, some more stories of the struggle could help it out a lot, but from a Biblical perspective, it's pretty solid.
- Well Written and Well Read
John Piper has always had a knack for helping believers to biblically view the important issues of life in the light of God’s glory. In Living in the Light, the latest of his books, Piper shines the light of the word and glory of God on the significant issues of money, sex, and power. As he unpacks these important areas in the lives of believers, he shows how each can be destructive if approached from a man-centered worldview or a great blessing when approached with the glory of Christ at the center.
This offering from Piper is wonderfully readable and mature. Unlike some of his earlier works, Piper is able to write to his audience as a retired pastor. His language is simpler than in some of his more scholarly works, but his counsel is profound, loving, and timeless. He is able to approach the topic of sexuality with an honest maturity—clear and real without ever being salacious or prudish—that is so often lacking in modern works. Piper very clearly helps his readers grasp how the gifts that God gives us can be treasures for displaying his majesty and bringing us joy or they can be destructive icebergs that can bring shipwreck to our lives. The book offers solid counsel for believers for being sure that our focus is right so that we can deeply enjoy money, sex, and influence without allowing them to do us harm.
I would happily recommend Piper’s work to any sincere believer. This book could be a great tool for a discipleship group or small group Bible study. The only caution that I would give is that leaders must recognize that, since sexuality is one of the topics, the study requires a level of maturity to be present.
I received a free audio copy of this book from ChristianAudio.com as part of their reviewers program. The recording of this work is of the highest quality, as are all of the books sold by this company.
- Fresh thoughts from Piper on money, sex, and power
I’ve always found John Piper to be a delight to read. For some reason I really enjoy his shorter titles, perhaps because they get right to the point and still maintain a good balance of doctrine and application. His recent title Living in the Light: Money, Sex, and Power comes in at 144 pages, which lands it in that short and sweet category.
One thing I appreciate about Piper is that no matter how many books of his I read, new titles always feel fresh and new. By now he could easily repackage his older works, slap a new title on them, and they’d sell like crazy. But Piper is a deep thinker. Every time I pick up a new book he’s written, I encounter fresh thoughts on the subject. That’s not to say that Piper waffles on issues. He’s every bit as committed to the authority of God’s word, the sovereignty of God, and the chief end of man being glorifying God by enjoying him forever as he was decades ago when he wrote Desiring God. Piper just keeps thinking about these things, finding new ways to appreciate their beauty and applying them to our ever-changing world.
Here he looks at what the Bible says about money, sex, and power. He affirms the goodness of all three and he reflects on how we can use them to express our devotion to God and to serve him faithfully. He also identifies how each of these can trip us up, shifting our focus from God to our own sinful machinations, like seeking to satisfy our pride, satisfaction, security, and other desires that seek to dethrone God from our hearts. I love how practical and pastoral he is, such as when he looks at how online shopping and waiting for packages in the mail can become an idol.
This is another solid title from Piper, and if you’re on the fence about getting it, check out the free PDF available on the Desiring God website.
I received this title from christianaudio for the purpose of providing this review.
- Full of Biblical wisdom, insight, and practical knowledge
Money, Sex, and Power is John Piper's newest book release. I just finished listening to Christian Audio's version of this book as read by Rick Souer. In this book John Piper asserts that Money, Sex, and Power have been given to us, as good gifts from God, for our enjoyment but also for His Glory. He also asserts that these three gifts are highly volatile and dangerous to our lives and our souls. In as much as they can bring God great glory, when ordered and orchestrated according to God's plan, they can also bring great ruin when they swing toward the center of our desires.
Pastor John begins this book by defining the terms: money, sex, and power. He then goes on to describe the specific dangers that each of these good gifts can pose in our lives and what the destruction might look like, to varying degrees, as each person might succumb to worshiping any one of these and thereby honoring the created over the creator. Throughout the book, and especially near the end, he sets up the illustration of a solar system, with each of these: money, sex, and power, as planets with Jesus Christ as our Sun. I love how he paints this illustration with an almost poetic beauty. How our solar system sings with beauty when the sun is at the center with it's gravitational pull aligning all of the erratic orbits of these other things in our lives.
As usual, this book is saturated with Scripture. I am convinced that if you were to wring one of John Piper's books in your hands, Scriptures would pour out: drenching your hands and pooling themselves at your feet. I love this about his books.
I want to highly recommend this book. I am giving it five stars on Amazon. It was full of wisdom, insight, and practical knowledge. It presents a thoroughly Biblical view of money, sex, and power. So, if you don't always have time to sit down and read, then I want to recommend this as a good audio book to purchase or borrow.
- Solid and Concise Challenge on Three Life Necessities
Written by a true Christian hedonist, John Piper focuses on three of the most dangerous gifts of the Christian life: Money, Sex, and Power. Using the analogy of the solar system, he illustrates these three gifts as planets held in the gravitational pull of Jesus, the Sun, at the center. When the great gravitational pull at the center of our lives is the glory of God, then everything works together the way God had intended. If Jesus is not at the center of your life, your life will be out of order. According to Piper, money, sex, and power are three realities that God has graciously given to His children to make Him look good. Money, sex, and power are arguably the chief pursuits of this world. As a witness to the world, Christians who correctly use these gifts will give evidence that God is better than anything in this world. This book is recommended to anyone who pursues worldly things in order to get the greatest high as well as for those who are tempted to believe that money, sex, and power are sinful things to be avoided. Contrary to what some may think, the three realities in this book are gifts from God to be enjoyed on His terms and not the plague to be avoided or even necessities in which to suffer to get through this life. I received this book free from christianaudio in exchange for an honest review. For more information, visit www.christianaudio.com.
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