Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Redeeming Pleasure~



Redeeming Pleasure: How the Pursuit of Pleasure Mirrors Our Hunger for God 

This is an interesting book, with contents accurately described by its title, "Redeeming Pleasure." 

If this world was made by God, and if it's as full of pleasurable things as we all know it is, then what does that mean for us humans trying to "live God's way?" 

At some point, we will wonder "How do I navigate my life without either A: taking advantage of others and harming myself in pursuit of various gratifications, or B: shunning enjoyment and fearing desires?" 

Well, no single volume can fully answer such a question, but this book can certainly spark a conversation. 

What is pleasure? Does God take pleasure in this world, and if so, in what? Can we take pleasure in what delights him?How do you categorize the kinds of pleasure? Is a pleasure of the mind, such as the satisfaction of learning a new thing, really that different from a pleasure rooted in the body, such as the taste of our favorite food and drink?

Obviously, God made humans to find pleasure in a variety of things, in a variety of ways. There's the satisfaction of getting work done well even if it was difficult, and the simple enjoyment of your favorite music or reading material. There's the delight of spending time with your favorite people, with different nuances to that depending on the nature of your relationships. 

Some pleasures are clearly good, intrinsically right and made to be enjoyed fully- the breath of fresh air and the beautiful view from the top of a hiking trail, for example. And there are other pleasures that often seem more suspect- the pleasure found in various controlled substances, for example.

Jeremy talks about all these concepts and more, and how could a book about pleasure and God not be engaging?  But if you need to hear one quote to convince you to try this book here it is: "When we experience God without pleasure, it's like holding a snakeskin and convincing yourself you are holding the snake itself." 

In this book, Jeremy tries to wrestle with the real live snake-the point where holiness and desire meet- and he encourages us to join him.
I thank Worthy Publishing for my review copy. 

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