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For almost a decade I've had a book on the shelf in my living room by John Piper about loving God with our mind. I recently picked it up and gave it a read. Here are 20 things that I underlined as I read it:


The ultimate goal of life is that God be displayed as glorious because of all that he is and all that he has made and done--especially the grace he has shown in the work of Christ. The way we glorify him is by knowing him truly, by treasuring him above all things, and by living in a way that shows he is our supreme treasure.


…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. Treasuring God is the essence of loving him, and the mind serves this love by comprehending (imperfectly and partially, but truly) the truth and beauty and worth of the Treasure.


If all the universe and everything in it exist by the design of an infinite, personal God, to make his manifold glory known and loved, then to treat any subject without reference to God's glory is not scholarship but insurrection.


Thinking is not an end in itself. Nothing but God himself is finally an end in itself. Thinking is not the goal of life. Thinking, like non-thinking, can be the ground for boasting. Thinking, without prayer, without the Holy Spirit, without obedience, without love, will puff up and destroy (1 Cor. 8:1). But thinking under the mighty hand of God, thinking soaked in prayer, thinking carried by the Holy Spirit, thinking tethered to the Bible, thinking in pursuit of more reasons to praise and proclaim the glories of God, thinking in the service of love--such thinking is indispensable in a life of fullest praise to God.


The apex of glorifying God is enjoying him with the heart. But this is an empty emotionalism where that joy is not awakened and sustained by true views of God for who he really is. That is mainly what the mind is for.


God has revealed himself through a book.


While all of God's creation serves to reveal him in some way, he has willed that the clearest and most authoritative knowledge of him this side of heaven come through his written Word, the Bible … The Bible is the main place that we come to know God, and the Bible is a book, and a book requires thinking.


So, even though our natural minds are depraved and darkened and foolish, the New Testament demands that we use them in coming to faith and leading people to faith and in the process of Christian growth and obedience. There is no way to awaken faith or strengthen faith that evades thinking.


You don't have to be born again to love being guilt-free and pain-free and disease-free and safe and wealthy. All natural men without any spiritual life love these things But to embrace Jesus as your supreme treasure requires a new nature. No one does this naturally. You must be born again (John 3:3). You must be a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15).


What does it mean to love God "with all your mind"? I take it to mean that we direct our thinking in a certain way; namely, our thinking should be wholly engaged to do all it can to awaken and express the heartfelt fullness of treasuring God above all things.


God has given us minds so that, by thinking with the Spirit's help, we can know the truth and beauty and worth of God through Jesus and treasure him above all things and spend our lives expressing this in as many ways as our minds can pursue.


If we were to succeed in raising a generation of people who give up serious, faithful, coherent thinking, we will have raised a generation incapable of reading the Bible …reading is thinking. Either we do it carefully and accurately or we do it carelessly. and inaccurately. 


The problem with those who debunk the gift of thinking as a way of knowing God is that they do not spell out clearly what the alternative is. The reason is that there isn't one. If we abandon thinking, we abandon the Bible, and if we abandon the Bible we abandon God.


There is no reading without thinking. And there is no reading carefully and faithfully and coherently without thinking carefully and faithfully and coherently. The remedy for barren intellectualism is not anti-intellectualism, but humble, faithful, prayerful, Spirit-dependent, rigorous thinking.


…a logical presentation of the gospel of Christ is like wire along which the electricity of spiritual power runs. Wires do not make lights go on; electricity does. But in the providence of God, electricity runs through wires. And in the design of God, the use of our minds in knowing, ordering, and presenting the truth of Christ is the normal way that the eyes of the blind are opened and belief in Jesus is awakened.


Knowledge is susceptible to pride because it is the result of getting, not giving. Knowledge is a possession. It is something we have attained. So we are prone to boast about it. Love, on the other hand, is the act of giving, not getting. Love is not an attainment or an acquisition. It moves outward. It shares. It takes thought for the interest of others. It builds up the faith of others rather than the ego of the lover.


…all learning, all education, all schooling, formal or informal simple or sophisticate—exists for the love of God and the lone of man. It exists to help us know God more so that we may treasure him more. It exists to bring as much good to other people as we can especially the eternal good of enjoying God through Christ.


(quoting Mark Noll) The Protestant Reformers, English Puritans, leaders of the 18th-century evangelical Awakenings like John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards, and a worthy line of stalwarts in the last century like Francis Asbury, Charles Hodge, and John Williamson Nevin—all believed that diligent, rigorous mental activity was a way to glorify God. None of them believed it was the only way, or even the highest way, but all believed in the life of the mind. And they believed in it because they were evangelical Christians.


…everywhere Christianity has spread, schools have spread. 


(James Denney) “ no man can give the impression that he himself is clever, and that Christ is mighty to save.”

If you enjoyed these quotes, grab a copy of the book to read here through Amazon or directly from Piper's ministry "Desiring God".