Christian Hedonism in Two Minutes
Happy Wednesday, and welcome back to the podcast. We talk a lot about this thing we call Christian Hedonism around here. So what is it? What’s the best, simplest, shortest definition of Christian Hedonism? Well, I have it for you today.
Back in 2006, Pastor John was asked to define Christian Hedonism in two minutes. And he delivered his response in one minute, forty seconds. Here’s what he said.
Christian Hedonism is the conviction that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. I won’t take the time to put all the textual foundation under that. I’ve done that in many places. But let me explain the implication. If God is made to look glorious by my being satisfied in him, then pursuing my satisfaction in him becomes essential to obedience and worship. And therefore, Christian Hedonism says, you must pursue your maximum joy. And that’s maximum in two senses: maximum in quality, maximum in quantity. In other words, I want fullness of joy, and I want joy forevermore (Psalm 16:11). And that’s only found in God.
So I have no hesitation saying that the Christian life is the pursuit of maximum joy in God, because my soul is satisfied and God is glorified. And those two things — God’s glory and my joy — are not at odds. And that’s the beauty of Christian Hedonism. God has sent Jesus Christ to die for my sins and to rise again, so that it’s possible for me now to have total and complete satisfaction in God forever. And when I pursue that, I’m showing that God is infinitely valuable, infinitely satisfying, so that he gets the glory and I get the joy.