Book Review: Living in the Light

At the beginning of this year, I decided to try listening to more audiobooks1 as an alternative to reading books in physical form. In 2018, I was able to get through three excellent books in audio format much more quickly than if I had attempted to read them, and I feel I got much more continuity out of the experience as well. The most recent of those books I listened to was Rocket Men by Robert Kurson.

Anyways, with new inspiration to listen to more audiobooks, I started off the year with Living in the Light: Money, Sex, and Power by John Piper. I started listening to the book for 30 minutes on my lunch hour while taking a 2 mile walk near the office where I work. Following this routine, I was able to get through the book in just one week. And what an incredible book! John Piper takes three significant areas of danger and blessing that face most Christians and very succinctly drilled down to the root of the problems with each, and the solution for dealing with them.

I was especially impacted by the clear description of our problem as described in Romans 1. We have knowledge of God as the creator of this world, but we do not want to acknowledge God or be thankful to him. Instead, we choose foolishness, darkening our minds and exchanging the incredible glory of God for something else. In many cases, one of the things we exchange God for could be Money, Sex, or Power.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

– Romans 1:21-23 ESV

And yet, as John Piper so clearly illustrates, God is so much more to be desired than any of these things. In fact, God is the most valuable, desirable, glorious being in the universe, and should be at the forefront of all our longings and enthusiasm.

If you’ve wrestled with the desire for money, sex, or power – this is a fantastic little book. I was especially impacted by the chapters on money and power, which led me to see that much of my focus on “stuff” is really an attempt to satisfy my desire for God with things, and my pursuit of “acceptance” from others is really an attempt to attract power/fame for myself, when it really belongs to God. So incredibly convicting and impactful. I highly recommend this book!

  1. As a side-note, my local library has a number of online options for checking out ebooks and audiobooks. My favorite so far is Hoopla – they have many excellent titles from ChristianAudio and they don’t require waiting in line to check them out like other platforms.