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The Pleasures of God

June 5, 2009

Admittedly, I am not a 5-pt Calvinist.  However, I do love me some good Calvinist authors.  I was blessed today when reading John Piper’s The Pleasures of God and thought I’d share a few quotes with you that I found delightful and inspiring:

“God’s pleasure is first and foremost a pleasure in his Son.  The Bible reveals this to us while showing us the face of Jesus shining like the sun.  In Matthew 17 Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up on a high mountain.  When they are all alone something utterly astonishing happens.  Suddenly God pulls back the curtain of the incarnation and lets the kingly glory of the Son of God shine through.  ‘His face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light’ (v. 2).  Peter and the others were stunned.  Near the end of his life Peter wrote that he had seen the Majestic Glory on the holy mountain, and that he had heard a voice from heaven, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him’ (2 Peter 1:17-18; Matthew 17:5).

“When God declares openly that he loves and delights in his Son, he gives a visual demonstration of the Son’s unimaginable glory.  His face shown like the sun, his garments became translucent with light, and the disciples fell on their faces (Matthew 17:6).  The point is not merely that humans should stand in awe of such a glory, but that God himself takes full pleasure in the radiance of his Son.  He reveals him in blinding light, and then says, ‘This is my delight!’

“A memory is fresh in my mind that makes the radiance of God’s Son very real.  Our staff took a two-day retreat for prayer and planning at the beginning of 1991…Our second day there I got up early and took my Bible to the garden porch, a glassed-in nook of the house overlooking a steep drop-off and the Mississippi River to the east.  The sun was not yet up, but there was light.

“My appointed reading for that morning was Psalm 3.  I read, ‘You, O Lord, are my glory, and the lifter of my head.’ And as I pondered this, the red pinpoint of the sun pierced the horizon straight in front of me.  It startled me because I hadn’t realized I was facing east.  I watched for a moment as the pinpoint became a fingernail of fire.  Then I read on.  ‘Arise, O Lord!’ And I looked up to see the whole red-gold ball blazing just over the river. Within moments there was no more looking at it without going blind.  The higher it rose the brighter it got.

“I thought of John’s vision of Christ in Revelation 1: ‘His face was like the sun shining in full strength’ (v. 16). My glimpse that morning lasted maybe five minutes before the strength of the rising sun turned my face away.  Who can look upon the sun shining in full strength? The answer is that God can.  The radiance of the Son’s face shines first and foremost for the enjoyment of his Father. ‘This is the Son whom I love; he is my pleasure. You must fall on your face and turn away, but I behold my Son in his radiance every day with love and never-fading joy.’

“I thought to myself, surely this is one thing implied in John 17:26 – that the day is coming when I will have the capacity to delight in the Son the way the Father does. My fragile eyes will get the power to take in the glory of the Son shining in his full strength just the way the Father does. The pleasure God has in his Son will become my pleasure, and I will not be consumed, but enthralled forever.”

– from The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God’s Delight in Being God by John Piper (2000), pp. 27-28.

PS – I’m still working on my post on original sin.  It’s coming soon to a blog near you…  Actually looks like it might have to be two parts.  It’s getting ridiculously long.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 9, 2009 1:26 am

    I’ve read a lot of John Piper’s books, but this is my favorite.

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