Here is the biblical text:
Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heat and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment." Matthew 22:37-38
Here are a few of John Piper's comments, pretty verbatim, but a few times with a little bit of paraphrase. I encourage you to read them carefully, for some of them will probably surprise you.
Our thinking should be wholly engaged to do all it can to awaken and express the heartfelt fullness of treasuring God above all things. pp. 83
I define loving God mainly as treasuring God. That is, it is an experience of cherishing, delighting, admiring and valuing . . . pp. 84
Love for God is most essentially an experience of the affections, not mere thought or behavior. pp. 86
(To love God means that He has become) compelling attractive. His glory, his beauty - compels your admiration and delight. He becomes your supreme treasure. pp. 87
Now for a few of my observations:
Piper does not neglect or minimize the importance of strong, logical, careful thinking or obedient, faithful living. What he does is to elevate the centrality of the HEART and its AFFECTIONS to the place it deserves. He provides the biblical study to support his position. I won't reproduce that here.
I think our evangelical culture of late modernity has seriously misunderstood, neglected and downplayed the significance of the affections. We rarely comment on the emotional life unless we are reprimanding those who seem dependent on them, or criticizing the charismatics for displaying them.
Just listen to this language used by Piper and this is what it means to love God with the mind in an "affective way."
Treasure God... cherish... delight... admire... value... find compelling attractive... glory... beauty... supreme treasure...
May we all love God with all of our mind, think carefully, read widely, speak clearly and live wisely; and in the words of the Apostle Paul, "may the eyes of your heart be enlightened" (Ephesians 1:18).
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International