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My Monday Question

Normally my friend Scott asks a question on his blog every Monday but this week he must not have had time. So I’m going to borrow his idea this week. I saw a 60 minutes report yesterday on the “pleasure gospel” of Joel Osteen. It didn’t sit right with me. But I had a hard time explaining the difference between this brand of preaching and the concept of Christian hedonism as presented by John Piper. So I’m curious as to what you think.

What is the role of pleasure in Christianity? How should we view blessings vs. monetary gain vs pleasure?

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One Response

  1. Wellllll . . .

    Seeing as how I’m the guy that introduced you guys to John Piper (at least I introduced David), I’ll take a crack at it.

    Olsteen focuses on finding joy in God’s blessings, Piper on finding joy in God himself. The foundation is different. For Olsteen, the foundation is become a better you, enjoy God’s blessings, have your best life now. Piper’s foundation is make the glory of God your treasure and if that means embracing martyrdom in order to maximize God as your treasure so be it. The best life is not now, but the better and enduring pleasure of being at God’s right hand forever more. It is all about the OBJECT of one’s pleasure. Pleasure itself is a good thing. We basically worship whatever we take pleasure in. But is the object God’s blessings or God himself? That’s the difference.

    This question deserves a book-length answer – in which case, I’d suggest Piper’s God is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself.

    BTW, Bri is an absolute doll!

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