a definition of Christian Hedonism

I’ve been oh so slowly working my way through John Piper’s book Desiring God, Meditations of a Chrisitan Hedonist. This book requires me to linger and read paragraphs over and over again, summarizing his eloquent words so they fit in my tired brain. I’ve been wanting to share some of these things written in his book with you, but I sit and look and a computer screen, waiting for the words to come. And the words haven’t come yet. So, straight from the introduction of the book, here is a definition of what Piper calls the Christian Hedonist.

Christian Hedonism is philosphy of life built on the following five convictions:

  1. The longing to be happy is a universal human experience, and it is good, not sinful.
  2. We should never try to deny or resist our longing to be happy, as though it were a bad impulse. Instead, we should seek to intensify this longing and nourish it with whatever will provide the deepest and most enduring satisfaction.
  3. The deepest and most enduring happiness if found only in God. Not from God, but in God.
  4. The happiness we find in God reaches its consummation when it is shared with others in the manifold ways of love.
  5. To the extent that we try to abandon the pursuit of our own pleasure, we fail to honor God and love people. Or, to put it positively: The pursuit of pleasure is necessary part of all worship and virtue. That is:

The chief end of man is to glorify God


enjoying Him forever.


So what are your thoughts? Are you interested in reading more about Christian Hedonism?


2 thoughts on “a definition of Christian Hedonism

  1. This is so fascinating, Kelly! It seems that Christians are so often taught (or at least it’s implied) that pursuing pleasure and happiness is somehow sinful. But to think of happiness and pleasure as actually an act of worship…that’s pretty radical! I’ve got to get my hands on this book. In the meantime, please do share more!

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