This morning, I ran across a blog post that was praising an article by Craig W. Booth entitled "God Is Most Glorified...When?" The article is an attempt to paint John Piper as a false teacher for promoting the concept of "Christian hedonism," which he sums up in the phrase "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."
I can't help but wonder if Booth and the blogger he so impressed have ever heard John Piper speak or have ever read anything he has written. For one thing, in their attempt to shred his philosophy they immediately overlook the two little words "in us." I think it is inarguable that God certainly is most glorified in us (in our lives) when we are most satisfied in Him.
What do we think God wants? Are we supposed to go through life as sour-faced suffering servants? Does it bring God pleasure when we begrudgingly perform our Christian duties with no desire to be happy and fulfilled?
"These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11). That's Christian hedonism in a nutshell. We are to find pleasure in the Lord. He should be the source of our joy. And if we are "most satisfied in him," who do think is the one giving us that satisfaction?
Jesus says in John 6:35, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." Why does he say that? Because Christ is the only one who can satisfy.
If we're supposed to take issue with the phrase "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him," then what are we to do with the commands to be happy and satisfied in the Lord? Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." In Psalm 100:2 we read, "Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!" In doing so, are we not fulfilling the commandment to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind" (Luke 10:27)?
The concept of Christian hedonism isn't that difficult to understand. As Piper notes, it is nothing more than "stating an ancient, orthodox, Biblical truth in a fresh way."