Internet Monk: The Spiral of Despair in Christian Hedonism: Steve Brown’s Take on John Piper (also see the lengthy comment by “J Rig”)… the whole matter basically comes down to the idea that John Piper‘s view of Christian Hedonism leads to guilt because you’re not happy enough to be pleasing to God.
Errr, I don’t quite get that. If you’re striving to be happy with happiness as the goal, sure… you aren’t likely to find it. If that leads you into guilt because you’re purpose-driven for happiness and it’s not working, it makes some sense… but I think the point in Piper’s message is not that you must delight in God by doing A, B, and C… just that you should delight in God. Given the myriad of ways in which we as humans are wired, istm that there are probably different ways in which each of us may find our delight in God. Maybe we appreciate the creator while enjoying nature. Maybe we’re contemplative and meditate on scripture. Maybe we love music and delight in worship of God that way. Maybe it’s prayer.
The point is that the ways we delight in God may not be the same ways as someone else goes about it. Maybe it’s found in ice cream, or at the movies. Lose the preconceived idea of what delight looks like and I think maybe this guilt issue goes away. The thing about hedonism, about happiness, about delight, is that the apparent goal is always a byproduct and not the real thing… and you must understand that in order to get the whole hedonism thing right, and thereby achieve the real goal. Happiness can’t be a goal, only a byproduct… and one for which there’s really no set formula to achieve.
Just a thought… from someone who feels no guilt while enjoying Piper’s writings.