Desiring God is the website that covers the ministry of John Piper. John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is perhaps best known for his book “Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist”. It is a superb book, and if you have not read it I strongly recommend you do. If you are thinking that Christian Hedonism may not be for you, you probably need to know what John Piper means. He terms Christian Hedonism as follows:
“The particular aspect of the gospel that we feel called to emphasize in our preaching and teaching is the truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. “Not what we dutifully will but what we passionately want reveals our excellence or evil” (Desiring God, p. 18). Therefore loving (treasuring) him supremely is not optional but essential as fruit of being born again.”
This website has an immense amount of high quality resources in it, as he has decided to provide all of his twenty five years of ministry free on line!
- Sermons (generally weekly)
- Radio podcasts (daily)
- Online books
- Various other items
The sermons published on this site span back to 1980, which as you can imagine means a lot of sermons! The sermons are sorted by date, topic, series, scripture, occasion and title. This really helps to make it simple to find what you may be after.
Many of the sermons also have the option of reading them, or hearing excerpts. This can be really handy if you want to get a flavour of what the preach is on, especially if you are looking into certain topics. As a general guide, the further back into the mists of time you go the less likely it is you get the excerpts, but most do have the sermons written. Also, many of the more recent ones can also be viewed with online video.
All this content, but is it any good? Does it deserve to be recommended on free Christian resources? I’ll leave that for you to decide, but personally I enjoy his style and he has a real gift for making some tricky areas easy to understand.
Every day you can get a podcast “radio” broadcast. They are bitesized studies that tend to last about 25 minutes. Normally a message will be given over a few days, and there is often a Q&A section with John Piper and the presenter at the beginning. In reality, the only difference between the type of content in the sermons and the podcasts is this introduction. The great thing about the podcasts though is you can easily listen to them if you don’t have much time (especially if you fast forward past the intro)
This is a fantastic way to keep up to date with the latest entries and older sermons and resources that have been added. It also has a few other articles and is certainly one of the best Christian blogs around.
John Piper once again comes up trumps by offering all his books free online, some are in pdf format whilst others you have to read ‘live’. This even includes Desiring God and The Pleasures of God, his two most popular books (I am assuming). If you’ve not read either of these books then I suggest that you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. These are seriously spiritually enriching books.
Various other items
One new addition is YouTube videos. These were added after this initial post, but I have written an article on it.
There is plenty of other stuff including study guides. However, I’ll leave these for you to find yourselves or this review will never end.
Ease of use etc.
Navigating the site is breeze, and many sites (including this one!) would do well to take a leaf out of their book. Within a couple of minutes of looking around, you should be pretty confident about finding anything on the site. Sometimes such a large choice as the number of sermons held can be overwhelming but the searches are logically and clearly laid out.
This is a well designed site. It is very professional, simple and easy on the eye.
This website is well worth visiting. It has an amazing array of easily accessible high quality resources that are added to on an almost daily basis.
- Vast content
- Continually updated
- Easy to use and navigate
- You’ll never get through it all!
20 thoughts on “Desiring God – review”
Excellent review. I’ve actually used his site to research predestination and I’ve learned a lot from him. I plan on reading “Desiring God” but I’m finishing up two more books right now.
I didn’t know the entire “Desiring God” book was online. Perhaps I’ll search through it instead of buying it since I’m mostly interested in the problem of Evil and Predestination so I can read that online.
Thanks for the review and keep up the good work.
Thanks for the feedback. I was rather surprised to find the entire book online too! Obviously it is not that easy to read a whole book online, but for dipping into it for study it would be perfect.
No single Christian has made me feel WORSE than John Piper…I became a Christian in college and after a couple years I decided to look on http://www.desiringgodd.org and listen to some of his sermons. After listening to several sermons one week (especially one about Killing Sin) I felt the most guilty and ashamed I’ve ever felt. Not because there was something in my life that i needed to repent of but wasn’t, but because John Piper’s words are more condemning, judgemental, mean, and hurtful than any other Pastor I’ve ever heard. For years since I heard them I have struggled to forget about what i heard but i still view God as being condemning and hateful very much because of what I heard from him. I called up Desiring God Minstries to tell them how this has affectted me so negatively, and all I really got was “i don’t really know what you want to hear, but you’re not gonna hear an apology” I don’t know any Pastor who wouldn’t at least offer an apology or sympathy for making someone feel terrible for years because of their sermons, but apparently that’s John Piper’s philosophy.
I am sorry to hear that you have has a bad experience with John Piper’s sermons.
Obviously I cannot really comment on your individual circumstances. I have listened to many of John Piper’s sermons and have not yet heard anything that was not rooted in scripture, and spoken in love.
I wish you all the best in your walk with God, and pray that you will draw closer to Him.
Well just to comment on my previous post, I did end up hearing back from a fellow at John Piper’s Church after emailing them, he was helpful and gracious in helping me to feel at least a little better about what I’ve experienced through John Piper’s ministry. I still don’t want to listen to or read any of his stuff, but I at least feel a little bit better about the situation.
I’m glad that you have received at least some form or resolution.
Kind regards and God bless,
Dear in Christ,
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John Piper is a rare treasure in the Christian community, a blessing of God. He has an uncommon ability or anointing to take the deeper writings of men like Jonathan Edwards and digest him into something that the rest of us can hope to understand and appreciate. His book, The Pleasures of God, was an incredible book. God has richly blessed Him and is using him in so many ways!
He makes no apology for preaching the truth. Nor should he. We need more preachers who will preach the truth and who will even preach about hell, judgment, and the wrath of God, instead of just “God loves you.” God does love us, but those who die without Christ, are going to experience hell and we need more people teaching the truth, as piper does, rather than “tickling ears” and pleasing people.
God bless you John piper!
Since writing that original post a year ago, I still refuse to listen to or read anything by John Piper. Some people like him, that’s fine. If his books or sermons help you, that’s okay. But when I’ve listened to him, he seemed to be bullying people with the Christian religion. I can understand preaching about judgement, hell, sin, etc at times in sermons. But his sermon series on “Killing Sin” that I listened to left me thinking that God was about those things alone. There are so many people out there with the tendency to fall into self-condemnation and self-contempt that there is no need for a preacher to cause forgiven Christians to feel worse about themselves. What’s the point? How does that help anyone? How can making Christians feel guilty be a good thing? I don’t think it can be.
Some Christians view Piper as this sort of super-saint who has few if any faults. Shane, you say “He has an uncommon ability or anointing to take the deeper writings of men like Jonathan Edwards and digest him into something that the rest of us can hope to understand and appreciate.” Is Piper above us? Is he better than the rest of us, looking down at us from a pedestal? Your comment that I quoted sounds like you may have fallen into thinking that he’s above us, when he’s just a man. He’s no better or worse than anyone. So don’t say “he shouldn’t offer any apologies” when you don’t know the extent of damage that his preaching has done in my life. He shouldn’t offer any apologies to you, because he hasn’t hurt you. But I know a lot of people who have been hurt by the type of preaching that I feel he often does, and it can be a very hurtful and harmful thing.
I have read your comments and I tell you, first we understand that all of us can get hurt because bad things and experiences happen sometimes… Maybe you are right maybe not but it does not help anyone here, not me and not you.
I had a time where I had similar feelings to another pastor…and do you know what… after a long time I had to realize that I have to release him and to forgive him…otherwise God cannot forgive me.
I have forgiven John Piper at this point. But at the same time, this page is a review of DesiringGod.org and that these posts are my review. If there were some Christian out there that you felt people ought not to listen to, say Pat Robertson or John Hagee, and one of your friends said “do you think I should read one of their books” would you be silent or say “Go for it.”? I admit my earliest post was written right after a very negative experience with someone from DesiringGod.org over the phone, and it was written out of anger. But as far as I can see on this site I cannot remove the comment. But then again if I did, that would just be covering up how I felt at the time as though it didn’t matter or didn’t happen. So what I’m saying is that I have strong opinions about DesiringGod.org and you might as well, but why should people only see your opinion of it and not mine just because mine is negative?
Hi, really enjoyed this article! Well written. Will read your other posts.
How do I get one of these books? I want one sent to me.