What does it mean to live in the light? What type of light? Where would I find this light? These are valid questions and ones that demand an answer. We would be foolish to think that it is something that we could somehow dissect in a brief blog post or a short book. However, that is what John Piper wants us to do with his new book.
Piper is a world-renowned theologian and teacher. Whether or you agree with every detail of his theology or cannot stand to listen to his teachings, you cannot deny the impact he has had on modern Christianity. It seems as if there is no other man who has had as much of an impact on modern Christian thought than John Piper. But, let us move on or else one would think this is a post all for Piper’s purpose.
Living In The Light comes with a longer subtitle than title, but the truth contained in it is invaluable and worth a lot more than just these few words. Piper addresses three of the most dangerous desires of mankind. He does not present this book as the sole authority on the subjects, but rather as an introduction and a warning of the sincere nature of the topics.
The three topics addresses by Piper are, you guessed it, money, sex, and power. He is quick to identify all three of these as gifts from God, but with great responsibility. All of these can quickly become what your heart gravitates towards instead of God. While we should recognize the heavy weight that comes with them, we should not disagree with their privileges either. All three in and of themselves are not sinful, but they can quickly turn that way.
We have seen people who have had possessed great wealth be overtaken by greed and the desire to accumulate even more. Rather than giving to God cheerfully and helping to meet the needs of those around them, they become more interested in growing their bank account. In our culture we have turned the good gift of sex into an afterthought and are simply told to pursue our every desire. Whatever form that sexual desire takes, we are told to embrace it and work hard to obtain it. Power is a little more difficult to describe. While I would have chosen the word influence, I think power is sufficient. Piper wants us to notice that we will be overseeing someone in our life and find ourselves under someone else’s dominion. It could be the man leading his family at home or the CEO who has found out that she is still under the feet of the shareholders. Every person has the desire for more power and must work to remain humble and be a good steward of the power they possess.
As you can see, while these things are not sinful, it is a slippery slope that will lead us into sin. Piper’s book has a handful of chapters and while we could disagree over how they should have been laid out in print, it is quality content. He writes enough to get us thinking about our own lives and how we should be living in the light of Christ. If we continue to keep ourselves there, we will find ourselves in a graceful position in awe of the beauty of the cross.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. These words are my own and have not been influenced by the publisher or author in any manner.