Book Review – Living in the Light: Money, Sex and Power
Living in the Light by John Piper is a new book published last week by John Piper in which he takes three good gifts that God has given us and demonstrates how we use them for for evil rather than Good. Specifically Piper looks at money, sex, and power and demonstrates that all three of these are good gifts from a good God, but because of our sinfulness we have taken them and exchanged their glory for the glory of God.The book is much more than an exposé on our disordered life, it provides the solution for reordering these lawful pleasures so that they are used to the glory of God- the author of all good pleasures. Those who are looking for a multi-step program to overcome their struggles in these three areas will be disappointed. On the other hand, those who have come to see that the gospel alone can change our hearts will see this book as a glorious treasure guiding us through scripture to rediscover the glory of a glorious God. Don’t mistake the gospel focus for a lighthearted attitude for sin however. Piper makes liberal use of the dire warnings in scripture directed toward those who live a life which elevates the glories of money, sex and power above the glory of God.
In typical Piper fashion, Living in the Light is full of clarifying illustrations which help the reader to understand the power of the gospel. In one such illustration, Piper likens our disordered pursuit of the glory of sex to a projection alarm clock. in which the time is clearly projected on the ceiling in the dark, but when the sun rises and the room is full of light the projection fades leaving just the ceiling to be visible.
So it is with illicit sex. Its vividness and power to lure us into sin increases where the glory of God shines least brightly.When God’s glory is revealed and treasured most, the power of sinful sexual attraction is broken.
Piper then calls the reader to a life of living in the light of God’s glory. That is to say, constantly keeping the glory of God at the forefront of our mind. This of course begs the question, what is the glory of God? Piper answers this by pointing us to 1 Peter 1.3, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” We keep the glory of God before us by immersing ourselves in the knowledge of God and believing in and embracing His promises. In other words, by hearing and believing the gospel. This is no passive act however, it takes effort and desire. However, Christ will grant both the desire and effort to those who are thirsty for it.
Living in the Light includes a chapter dedicated to each of these three disordered pleasures (money, sex, and power) and he shows how god is the author of each and that they were given to us for our pleasure and to point us to the greater pleasure found in God when used properly. These are followed by two more chapters, on deliverance and deployment. It is here where Piper really shines and directs the reader to participate in a life-long journey of discovering the glory of God and keeping His glory as the locus of all good pleasures.
I was really impressed with Living in the Light. This is a book that we all should read. There isn’t a single person among us who truly lives with the glory of God constantly before us. To one extent or another, we all put the glory of created things before the glory of the creator. This is a book that will aid us all in reordering our affections so that they are set upon the cross of Christ and the fullness of life he offers.
Click here to see John Piper’s promotional video of Living in the Light
CLICK HERE TO SEARCH AMAZON FOR THE CHEAPEST PRICE ON LIVING IN THE LIGHT or here to purchase from christianbook.com Living in the Light: Money, Sex & Power–Making the Most of Three Dangerous Opportunities
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Good Book publishing company in exchange for an online review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
About the author
John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.
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