Blog Posts on Christian Hedonism

The Soul’s Final Feast

John Piper

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

God is not unresponsive to the contrite longing of the soul. He comes and lifts the load of sin and fills our heart with gladness…

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What Your Passions Say About You

Tony Reinke

Actions speak louder than words — but desires speak loudest.

The pursuit of pleasure is what drives all our actions and decisions, driving us into relationships, driving us to watch football, driving us toward excellence at work. We authentically pursue what we are convinced will bring us pleasure.

John Bunyan was a pastor who spent considerable time thinking about how pleasures operate in our lives. In one of his sermons…

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When the Christian Life Becomes Impossible

Jonathan Parnell

“Christian Hedonism is a liberating and devastating doctrine,” John Piper writes.

It teaches that the value of God shines more brightly in the soul that finds deepest satisfaction in him. Therefore it is liberating because it endorses our inborn desire for joy. And it is devastating because it reveals that no one desires God with the passion he demands. Paradoxically, many people experience both of these truths. That certainly is…

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We Are Far Too Easily Pleased

David Mathis

It’s a beautiful thing when a single sentence reorients a soul for good. When one proposition proves potent enough to be life-changing for the better. Especially when it’s a short one.

For me, it was the spring of 2000 — perhaps you have your own story about being rocked by this shorty from Lewis. An older student, who was leading a Bible study on my freshman hall, picked Desiring God

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Hedonism to the Extreme: Lamborghini and Our Souls

Jonathan Parnell

“What does a tractor manufacturer know about sports cars?” said Enzo Ferrari to an Italian mechanic from humble roots.1

This mechanic, Ferruccio Lamborghini, did manufacture tractors, and he did well. But he also liked fast automobiles and building things, and in the decade following World War II he decided to try his hand at supercars. Frustrated with the Ferrari’s handling on the road, and Ferrari’s dismissal at some suggested…

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When Delight Means Doxology

Jonathan Parnell

But may all who seek you
     rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!"

David's prayer in Psalm 40:16 can absolutely change your life. At first glance it may not stand out. Perhaps, like me, when you've read it before you glossed over the parallelism that makes this verse so special.

Now parallelism is a pretty simple rhetorical…

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Christian Hedonism in 155 Words

Tony Reinke

How do you explain “glorify” to a small child? Biblical concepts like this pose a particular problem for parents, and author Sally Lloyd-Jones provides us with some help. I included her book Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing in my list of top 12 books of 2012, largely for how well she translates complex and abstract theological categories (like glory), through story, for young children (particularly mine).

One…

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The Bedrock Under Christian Hedonism

Tony Reinke

What foundational biblical texts provide the bedrock for Christian hedonism, the idea that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him?

This was a question asked of Pastor John in a discussion recorded back in 2011. He responded with a cluster of texts: Psalm 16:11, Psalm 37:4, and Philippians 1:20–21. Here’s his brief exposition (3 minutes):


For more on the basics of Christian Hedonism, see:

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"All Men Desire Happiness" Can Be Confusing

John Piper

When Blaise Pascal1 and Jonathan Edwards2  (and I3) say that all human beings desire happiness we say something true and, for some, misleading.

Here’s the problem. Happiness (I’m not distinguishing it from joy) is an experience of the soul, something outside of me to be desired. So to desire happiness is not the same as desiring a cheese biscuit at Red Lobster, nor the same…

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Staying for the Best Things

Jonathan Parnell

I can't shake the scene of that little room where Passion and Patience sit waiting. The boys' sitter instructed them to stay still, to rest side by side, to hold out for what's best. What we come to find is a quest for pleasure so intense we're compelled to take note.

John Bunyan is telling that kind of story in The Pilgrim's Progress. He brings us along with Christian…

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