Review: John Piper’s A Godward Heart

A Godward Heart is classic John Piper. It’s full of passion, full of delight in God, full of awe and wonder. It reminds me of a narrative Psalms. As I was journeying through, I was searching for a unifying element. The meditations seemed so different, but the further I read the more I understoond that God himself held all of these meditations together. All of these meditations drive our hearts to God. They drive our minds to God. And they do so without wavering.

A Godward Heart starts with a brilliant piece on hearing God speak. You think at first Piper might be extolling the charismatic gifts, but as the meditations progress he’s undoubtedly extolling the Scriptures. Piper says, “Think of it. Marvel at this. Stand in awe. The God who keeps watch over the nations, like some people keep watch over cattle or stock markets or construction sites—this God still speaks in the twenty-first century. I heard his very words. He spoke personally to me [in Psalms 66:5-7]” (3).

Piper touches on a myriad of other topics. From the mundane to the doctrinal. About marriage Piper says, “Wives and husbands are second priorities, not first. Christ is first. Marriage is for making much of him” (46). About loving our Muslim neighbors, “The most loving thing we can do for Muslims, or anyone else, is to tell them the whole truth about Jesus Christ, in the context of sacrificial care for them and willingness to suffer for them rather than abandon them” (101). About justification and sanctification, “Christ’s wrath-enduring, propitiating work on the cross is the foundation for our justification and sanctification. This justifying work of God corresponds to and conquers Satan’s work of accusation. And this sanctifying work of God corresponds to and conquers Satan’s work of temptation” (116).

Major themes of suffering, love, joy, and holiness emerge all orbiting around the awesomeness of God and all applying to ordinary Christian living. A Godward Heart  will renew your passion for God and revive your affections.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Mathew B. Sims is the author of A Household Gospel: Fulfilling the Great Commission in Our Homes and writes for CBMW Manual, Gospel-Centered Discipleship, Borrowed Light, and other publications. He also works as the managing editor at Gospel-Centered Discipleship and offers freelance editing and book formatting services. He is a member at Downtown Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC.