As some of you will know, I'm a bit of a fan of John Piper.
I think he is great at reminding those of us who claim to take the Bible seriously the importance of joy, the importance of delighting in Christ, the supreme wonders of God's glory. I think without people like him to remind us, it would be easy for sections of the Church (me included) to slip into a dry intellectualism.
A while back, I posted this quote from one of Piper's most recent books, God is the Gospel. I thought the quote was so striking I bought the book. Now I've started reading it. I've only read the introduction so far, but already it is a wonderful and much-needed wake-up call to the Church. I was in tears by the second page.
Here's a brief idea of it...
The best and final gift of the gospel is that we gain Christ....
In place of this, we have turned the love of God and the gospel of Christ into a divine endorsement of our delight in many lesser things, especially the delight of being made much of. The acid test of Biblical God-centredness - and faithfulness to the gospel - is this: Do you feel more loved because God makes much of you, or because, at the cost of his Son, he enables you to enjoy making much of him forever? does your happiness hang on seeing the cross of Christ as a witness to your worth, or as a way to enjoy God's worth forever?
This distortion of divine love into an endorsement of self-admiration is subtle....If his love for us is at bottom his making much of us, who is really being praised?
John Piper, God is the Gospel
He's got a good point. Wow.
(Edited 13th June 2006) - Having now finished the book, I can add that Piper spends most of the rest of the book justifying what he has written in the introduction, then towards the end starts explaining it and expanding on it. Great book.