I was introduced to the idea of ‘God-centered’ theology listening to John Piper preach at the second Passion Conference in Texas. He was expounding on Romans 3:21-26 and explaining the differences between a man-centered view of the gospel and a God-centered view. Essentially it comes down to how you answer this question: Why does God do what He does? Growing up, my answer would have been something like: ‘God does what He does because He loves me and loves the rest of the world.’ Truth is, that is not a terrible or unbiblical answer. It is just not enough. Yes, God loves the world and He is motivated by His love for humanity. But the primary reason God does what He does is for His own glory, His own praise. Such a statement may sound odd or even egotistical, but it is the best news we have ever heard. Why? Because we want God to be about that which is most important and most significant and how could that be anything other than Himself? Piper explained from Romans 3 that Jesus died for the glory of God, thereby eternally connecting my redemption to God’s glory. His glory and my good are forever entwined. This is good news! This is God-centered theology.
Yet, how do we know that God does everything for His glory? As Piper pointed out from Romans 3, the Bible repeateadly teaches us this truth, which is what leads me to my book for the day…
I don’t think I could do a good job summarizing Piper’s book ‘Desiring God’ and its impact on my life in one post. I’ll just say this: the Lord used this book to help me think rightly about God and what it means to live for His glory. Instead of trying to sum up the book, I really just wanted to post today about Appendix 1 in my version of the book (1996). You have to know that if the Appendix is good, then surely the rest of the book will be as well!
The purpose of the chapter is to give the biblical evidence for the truth that God does what He does for His glory. So Piper walks through the events of redemptive history and shows God’s purpose in them all: the exaltation of His great Name! From Creation to the Exodus, the monarchy to exile, and Jesus’ death to His return, all happen for the glory of God according to the Bible. This Appendix is so helpful because in just a few short pages you see the sweeping grandeur of redemptive history and how God’s glory is the reason for every event. It was writing like this that convinced me of the truth and importance of God-centered theology.
So buy the book for at least Appendix 1. And while you are at it, you should go ahead and read the rest of it as well!