Posted by: Brian Musser | January 16, 2013

A Resource Review: Desiring God: Finding Complete Satisfaction and Joy in God (DVD)

A review Desiring God by John Piper

This review is for WaterBrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books Program

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First, I have to say that it took me 18 months and 3 separate tries to make it through the entirety of this DVD.  There are several reasons for this:

1)      I have trouble learning from lectures and videos so a video presentation of a lecture is not good for me.

2)      My life schedule does not have large amounts of down-time with DVD player capabilities.  I usually ready in transit often on a train during the daily commute or during long work trips.  Reading is easier to fit into my schedule than watching.

3)      I was actually expecting a book instead of a DVD.  I should have looked at the details more.

With all those things said, I have finally finished watching John Piper’s Desiring God:  Finding Complete Satisfaction and Joy in God from Multnomah DVD.

BloggingForBooks-120x600Things I liked.  John Piper is a good teacher and easy to listen to.  He is clear and concise.  His linear presentation sufficiently handles the topic.  His advice about prioritizing a commentator’s arguments over their conclusions was a needed for everyone to hear.  And he follows through by giving multiple clear and concise arguments for each of the points he is trying to make.  The overall sense of the presentation is one of quality thought and work throughout.  He is very quotable.  There are some bits and pieces of this presentation that I will be remembering for a while.  Piper’s admission to struggling with staying focused while praying and his using Scripture to stay focused completely resonated with my own personal devotional life.    He is very well read.  His use of outside sources such as Jonathan Edwards, C.S. Lewis, Blaise Pascal, Ayn Rand and others were valuable to me as well.

Things I did not like.  It is a video of a man giving a lecture using an overhead presentation in a church multi-purpose room.  The DVD itself has some good menus and introductions.  Someone producing it had the talent to use technology to spruce up the entry but the actual presentation is about as bland as can be.  Now, I’m not necessarily complaining that it was boring.  I’m saying that if you are going to use modern technology to bring this presentation to the masses you may want to think about using modern technology within the presentation as well.  Secondly, being part of the education process we know that lecture is one of the least effective teaching approaches available.  The content was excellent but I wish someone would think about how to use modern technology effectively to make the delivery as effective as the content was excellent.  The second thing I did not like was more of an issue for me.  Probably, within his own ministry life there has been a significant amount of controversy over the idea of Christian Hedonism.  I’m assuming that for him that controversy has been in the forefront and he felt it was necessary to spend a good amount of time dealing with those who have opposed his ideas.  However; for some of us the time spent on the controversy may have been unnecessary.  I would not have thought about it if he did not bring it up.

My overall impressions of the resource are good.  I agree with the basic ideas behind Christian Hedonism.  Maybe, I have just had good teachers in the past but I’m not sure it is a big of a paradigm shift as some others have indicated.  With limitations of the nature of the actual lecture this is a decent in depth presentation of Christian Hedonism.  If listening to videos of lectures is your preferred learning style I would highly recommend this.  The resource does exactly what it intends to do.  If you have no idea what Christian Hedonism is then this might be sufficient enough of a description.  For those who have dealt with the Piper’s concept before this may be a concise way to review it.  The DVD resource serves a very specific purpose and is quality for that purpose.  The question is only do you need it in your ministry and/or personal context?

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Responses

  1. honest and thorough review, Brian. God bless.


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