“Thinking is indispensable on the path to passion for God,” writes John Piper in his book Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. “Now, wait a minute,” you might say, “thinking? Couldn’t we slip just about any number of words as being ‘indispensible on the path to passion for God’? Why does thinking get precedence?” Should this be your concern, I would reply back, “Good question!”
The reason thinking is so paramount “on the path to passion for God” is because thinking is fundamental to obeying the Great Commandment: to love God and love people. Piper clarifies this idea, which he repeats throughout the book, beautifully: “loving God with the mind means that our thinking is wholly engaged to do all it can to awaken and express the heartfelt fullness of treasuring God above all things” (19). Thus, thinking is not an end in itself, but a means to stir holistic affections for Jesus.
Think not only caused me to think; it gave me room to feel okay about thinking. Piper clarified so much in my mind about how to view thinking and approach it. Too many Christians are trapped in a life of “either-or,” as Piper calls it. They think that either they should spend time in devout prayer or spend time reading and studying. But this is a false dichotomy. It should be both-and. Paul puts this plainly, “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”
Altogether, there is little I disliked about this book. Chapter 13 on scholarship has a misleading title, as it applies to non-scholars as well. Piper hits a home run in Think. His six-page conclusion is alone worth the price of the book. I will undoubtedly come back and back again to this book.
Intellectual or anti-intellectual, reader or non-reader, thinker or feeler, this book will encourage, challenge, and awaken faith and love towards God and others.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crossway by request in order to review its material. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.