Stories & Blog

John Piper: The Confessions of a Christian Hedonist

Brian Beatty | October 24, 2018

Vineyard Cincinnati Church is honored to welcome Pastor John Piper as our guest speaker at all of our services on October 27-28. John is a renowned author, scholar, and pastor who has written over 50 books, including "Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist." 

We asked Brian Beatty, Senior Director of Hospitality, Media and Worship here at the Vineyard to share the impact John Piper has had on him personally and his relationship with God. 

When I read Desiring God for the first (and only) time it was during a period in my life when I was discovering my calling as a worship leader at a young church in Colorado Springs. Because my natural tendency is to not walk the road of the status quo, I was hungry for whatever literature or advice I could get my hands on that appeared to be counter-cultural or ground-breaking. A few of my friends suggested reading Piper, but I quickly dismissed their advice because I wasn’t about to lead worship at a Gen-X church heeding the advice from a middle-aged Reformed pastor from Minneapolis. As soon as I got my hands on the book, I quickly realized how much I needed to learn.

John Piper’s weighty contribution to the ongoing conversation of our responsibility to love and worship God is not to be overlooked. As he succinctly states in Desiring God, “Knowledge about Him will not do. Work for Him will not do. We must have personal, vital fellowship with Him; otherwise, Christianity becomes a joyless burden.” I’ve always been drawn to the importance of knowing God and knowing His Word...but the relational and emotional side of my journey with Him has consistently taken center stage. But Piper’s ability to engage both my heart AND mind gave me the freedom and permission to discover how desire could be contextualized within the framework of worship and the pursuit of the Father’s heart

“Worship is the highest moral act a human can perform, so the only basis and motivation for it that many people can conceive is the notion of morality as the disinterested performance of duty. But when worship is reduced to disinterested duty, it ceases to be worship. For worship is a feast.”  — John Piper

I can’t wait to hear Pastor John in person. And the idea of hearing the same message four times in the span of two days does not bother me in the least. My hope and prayer are that his impact will be felt deeply at the Vineyard and our community will take heed of his advice to pursue God and passionately love Him.

“The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an “extra” that a person might grow into after he comes to faith. It is not simply a way to “enhance” your walk with the Lord. Until your heart has hit upon this pursuit, your “faith” cannot please God. It is not saving faith. Saving faith is the confidence that if you sell all you have and forsake all sinful pleasures, the hidden treasure of holy joy will satisfy your deepest desires. Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that He is desirable. It is the confidence that He will come through with His promises and that what He promises is more to be desired than all the world.” — John Piper

Learn more about John Piper's visit to Vineyard Cincinnati Church on October 27-28. 

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