John Piper and “Christian Hedonism.”
For those not familiar with this term it was coined by Pastor John Piper back in the eighties with his book entitled Desiring God. The basic premise was that God’s glory is actually intertwined with our enjoyment of Him. In fact he modified the answer to the Westminster Catechism question, “What is the Chief end of man?”:
“The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
This idea most certainly begs the question of Piper: if God is MOST glorified when we are enjoying Him and He has the ability to draw all of us into that desire and love for him then why wouldn’t He? (If you are a Calvinist.) On the other hand if you are a believer in free-will (Arminian) then this beautiful idea of being “most glorified” is just a hopeless wish by God which will never be realized. He will never be MOST glorified, only a LITTLE glorified. This is because God will fail to have the worship of billions of His image-bearers and instead receive their hatred and rebellion for all eternity. I don’t think this is what Piper had in mind but it is where this idea leads. He has yet to take his theology to its logical end.
However, this incredible insight by Piper is actually a powerful revelation of God’s intimate connection with His image-bearers. God will not be fully glorified until ALL His creation is in alignment with His heart and fully enjoying His beauty and glory! Saint Irenaeus put it this way: “The glory of God is mankind fully alive.”
It must then be true that, “in Him we live and move and have our being” and that His plan is to be “all in all” …”everything to everyone!” (Acts 17:28; 1 Cor 15:28)
John Piper doesn’t realize it but he is forcing us to see that there cannot be any other way! “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.” For a Calvinist like Piper that should mean only one thing: He will indeed receive ALL the worship and glory!
“Let EVERYTHING that has breath praise the Lord!” Psalm 150
“…so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11