wink ;): September 2005 Archives

The following is the first paragraph of Piper's new book, God is the Gospel:

From the first sin in the Garden of Eden to the final judgment of the great white throne, human beings will continue to embrace the love of God as the gift of everything but himself. Indeed there are ten thousand gifts that flow from the love of God. The gospel of Christ proclaims the news that he has purchased by his death ten thousand blessings for his bride. But none of these gifts will lead to final joy if they have not first led to God. And not one gospel blessing will be enjoyed by anyone for whom the gospel's greatest gift was not the Lord himself.

Piper continues by pointing out that we too often see the good news of the gospel as eternal life or heaven or the avoidance of hell and wrath. But all of these are worthless unless we see God himself as the greatest gift of the gospel.

Piper makes his point, as always, in a very readable manner, avoiding dense academic theological jargon in favor of his trademark clear and brisk style. But make no mistake, Piper has chosen his words carefully and every sentence is loaded with theological freight even though he writes with great accessibility.

Piper's Desiring God and its associated Christian Hedonism asserts that "The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever". For many years, I agreed with Piper. Indeed, his book was instrumental to getting me to where I am today. But now I find his Christian Hedonism to be too weak. Piper makes some key insights but doesn't take them far enough. Instead he tries to combine those insights with a traditional model that can't bear their weight. These posts will explain why I disagree with Piper.

(For a primer on Piper's Christian Hedonism, read Jeremy's excellent post which summarizes Piper's view and contrasts it to other Hedonism frameworks.)

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