What is Christian Hedonism?

Cover of "Desiring God: Meditations of a ...

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Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.  Soren Kierkegaard

Define Success.

I spent years defining success for myself.  Success was a scholarship, then I got one.  Success was a Championship, then I won one.  Success was having a sick job, then I got it.  Success was making six-figures, then I did it.  Success was being Sales person of the year, then I earned it.

Each time left me searching, what WILL fulfill me?  When will I be satisfied?  Is success fulfillment or satisfaction?

I finally asked the question.  What is my purpose?

All about method.

Purpose is an easy question to ask; a much harder question to answer.  I tried to find success forever, but purpose left me searching for more.

So I began starting activities with the end in mind.  I call it playing the “End Game.”  Play X out to the very farthest point, then you should… Y.  Hedonism, for example.  If pleasure is my goal, then I should find the most pleasurable activities and do them over and over, again forever, until my knees fall off and my heart fails.

How you find pleasure is the bigger question?

What is Hedonism?

And so is the point of Christian Hedonism.  Hedonism, just in the word itself can be misleading.  Hedonism defined looks like:


1. The pursuit of pleasure.
2. The ethical theory that pleasure is the highest good and proper aim of human life.
The problem is that the pursuit of pleasure can be a very selfish activity.   Selfish enough to make one miserable.
Seems today the two words, Christian and Hedonism come with very weighted definitions.  Both honestly, sound more negative then positive in many peoples ears.
Someone hears that I am a Christian Hedonist, they question?  Who is this guy?  Why’s he saying that?

Magnanimous Goal

I began reading books from C.S. Lewis, John Piper, GK Chesterton, JI Packer and others.   I trusted that these great thinkers could help me iron out my missteps. I discovered a treat when I found Desiring God by John Piper.

In Desiring God, Piper lays down his whole theology about finding joy in God.  Philippians 4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say Rejoice.”  No where else in the Bible is a command repeated like that- Do not Covet and again Do not Covet. ~ Sounds weird, right?   REJOICE.

The command in scripture to find joy in Him, and our natural inclination to not find joy where it should be found are so instinctual and natural, but so implicit in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism summarises the “chief end of man” as “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  Pastor John Piper, from Bethleham Baptist, writes a whole book on the subject of changing the word AND to BY.  Leaving my purpose statement to be:

The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever.

God’s the ultimate goal, purpose and success.  The day you have all of Him is the day you are left with nothing, because it is all His.  How you get there?  You choose.
Piper gives the book away online:

What do you think about Christian Hedonism?

2 thoughts on “What is Christian Hedonism?

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