Brad Pitt: Why Emphasize God’s God-Centeredness

In a 2007 interview for Parade, actor Brad Pitt describes how he stumbled, as C.S. Lewis and Michael Prowse and Erik Reece before him, over God’s ego.

Pitt was raised a conservative Southern Baptist. For a while, his religion worked. But not for long.

Religion works. I know there's comfort there, a crash pad. It's something to explain the world and tell you there is something bigger than you, and it is going to be alright in the end. It works because it's comforting. I grew up believing in it, and it worked for me in whatever my little personal high school crisis was, but it didn't last for me.

Why not? He points to the ego of God.

I didn't understand this idea of a God who says, “You have to acknowledge me. You have to say that I'm the best, and then I'll give you eternal happiness. If you won't, then you don't get it!” It seemed to be about ego. I can't see God operating from ego, so it made no sense to me.

So there it is again.

God is infinitely wise, just, holy, strong, and good. But God’s command that we see him for what he is, and be glad about it, is the reason Pitt found God unintelligible. God’s god-ness has always been the main problem.

There is an answer to the seeming egomania of God, and his demand that we embrace him as the supreme—and supremely satisfying—Treasure of the universe:

Reason #1 — He is supremely valuable and supremely satisfying.
Reason #2 — Receiving him as such is the only way we will find full, everlasting joy.
Reason #3 — Therefore, his demand that we do so is love, not egomania.

Pray for the thousands of Brad Pitts to see that God’s demand for worship is a demand that we enjoy what is supremely enjoyable.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.