The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
by John Piper
Focusing on the life of the mind helps us to know God better, love him more, and care for the world. Along with an emphasis on emotions and the experience of God, we also need to practice careful thinking about God. Piper contends that “thinking is indispensable on the path to passion for God.” So how are we to maintain a healthy balance of mind and heart, thinking and feeling?
Piper urges us to think for the glory of God. He demonstrates from Scripture that glorifying God with our minds and hearts is not either-or, but both-and. Thinking carefully about God fuels passion and affections for God. Likewise, Christ-exalting emotion leads to disciplined thinking.
Readers will be reminded that “the mind serves to know the truth that fuels the fires of the heart.”
“This book is a plea to embrace serious thinking as a means of loving God and people.”Tweet
Hardcover 2010; Paperback 2011
Crossway Books (Wheaton, Illinois)
Piper has done it again. His outstanding book Think promises to shepherd a generation about the Christian commitment to the life of the mind. Deeply biblical and uniquely balanced, Think practices what it preaches: it is an accessible, intellectually rich study that calls the reader to renewed love for God and others.
—J. P. Moreland, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
No one—in speaking, writing, or living—combines mind, heart, and faith more passionately than John Piper. It is our great good fortune that these are the direct topics of exploration in this book. As always with John, the result is insight, encouragement, and a call to action.
—Daniel Taylor, Bethel University
Some Christians don’t think nearly enough; others are prone to think in the wrong way. I warmly commend John Piper's appeal to all believers to be diligent in engaging our minds and to do so with God-honoring humility and Christ-loving passion.
—Vaughan Roberts, St. Ebbe's Church, Oxford, England; author, God's Big Picture
John Piper offers much wise advice on the importance of Christian thinking as a way of loving God with our minds and as part of delighting in God above all things.
—George M. Marsden, University of Notre Dame; author, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship
John Piper has written a wise and passionate book about the importance of loving God with our minds. After all, we are commanded to do so! But as Piper explains, Christians have not always been very attentive to that commandment. With clarity and directness, he reveals the obstacles that prevent us from using our minds as God intended—but also shows the delights and benefits of doing so. Especially for those who fear intellectualism, this book will be a bracing tonic, and an encouragement besides.
—Alan Jacobs, Wheaton College
The book provides an excellent, robust biblical foundation for thinking in service of the glory of Christ. It challenges human attitudes and provides sound responses to the temptations either to reject vigorous thinking as unspiritual, to pursue neutral scholarship, or to take pride in thinking and fall into autonomy.
—Vern Sheridan Poythress, New Testament Interpretation, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, Redeeming Science
Thinking—the alert, meticulous, probing, logical, critical use of the mind—will be a highway either to godliness or to its opposite, depending on how it is done. Taking leads from Jonathan Edwards, John Piper surefootedly plots the true path here. His book should be, and I hope will be, widely read.
—J. I. Packer, Regent College; author, Knowing God
Think is a bracing gust of fresh air in a stale and musty room that hasn’t been aired out in a generation or more. In this book, the love of God and the life of the mind are passionately connected in the way the Scriptures require, and the result is a direct challenge to the intellectual sloppiness and disobedience that is so characteristic of our time.
—Douglas Wilson, New St. Andrews College; Pastor, Christ Church, Moscow, ID
Those who are skittish when it comes to rigorous study, deep thinking, and theological precision have wanted us to believe that our problem is the mind, when in fact it’s the flesh. The problem isn’t knowledge, it’s pride. John Piper reminds us in this excellent book that what we need isn’t less thinking, but clearer, biblical, and more God-centered thinking. Reading and thinking about Think will set you on your way to the renewal of the mind that the Scriptures insist is the catalyst for heartfelt joy and growth in godliness. I highly recommend it!
—Sam Storms, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; author, The Hope of Glory
We cannot feel like Christians or act like Christians if we don’t think like Christians. As his writing and preaching attest, John Piper is convinced that the heart cannot embrace that which the mind does not recognize as good, true, and beautiful. This wise book not only makes that point well, but does so by exhibiting in its style and grace the beauty of holy thoughts. This is a timely missive from a seasoned pastor.
—Michael Horton, Westminster Seminary California
Do you ever wish you could feel more deeply about things you know are true? Has it been a while since you were moved to tears at the thought of Christ’s death for your sins? It’s not mysterious: those who feel deeply about the gospel are those who think deeply about the gospel. In these pages John Piper will convince you that thinking is the sturdy foundation for our easily misguided affections. If you want to feel profoundly, learn to think carefully. And start by reading this book!
—C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries
An essential dimension of Christian discipleship is the life of the mind, and this may well be the most neglected Christian responsibility of our times. God has made us intelligible creatures, and he has given us the stewardship of intellectual faculties that should drive us to think in ways that bring him greatest glory. In this new book, John Piper provides brilliant analysis, warm encouragement, and a faithful model of Christian thinking. This book is a primer for Christian thinking that is urgently needed in our time.
—Albert Mohler, President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky