Christian Hedonism

Posted: May 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

The first person that I have heard use this term is John Piper. Typically we associate hedonism with immoral behavior. But purely by definition, hedonism is the seeking of pleasure. It is a philosophy that the seeking of pleasure is the highest ambition. Christian hedonism is discussed by Piper in his book, Desiring God. Among others, Jonathan Edwards is one that Piper cites as an early proponent of the idea behind this term.

Piper often says, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” I believe with all my heart that the purpose of man is to glorify God. I also believe that God is a loving Father who takes delight in providing for His children. Certainly in the garden before the fall, Adam and Eve enjoyed pleasure without any form of the curse of sin. Eternally in heaven we will enjoy “Paradise Restored.”

Psalm 16:11 says that in the presence of God we experience perfect joy. In the list of the fruit of the Spirit, joy comes right after the supreme virtue of love. Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with “Happy are those who. . .” So is it wrong to see pleasure as a healthy aim of the Christian life? I am having a hard time thinking so, as long as the pleasure we seek is in God.

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