I began stumbling on other Christian hedonists. Perhaps Augustine is the most blatant historical example. Of his conversion in 386, Augustine wrote, “How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!... You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure.” My heart leaps as I read words that I, too, have lived!
Jonathon Edwards was another. In 1755 he wrote, “God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those who see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it.”
C.S. Lewis was also a fine Christian hedonist. He wrote: If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
My favorite example of a holy hedonist from the early twenty-first century (is John Piper). Although you could almost pick any of his works for evidence, he draws his hedonistic conclusions best in one statement: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”…
C.S. Lewis was right. We have been too easily pleased. Somewhere along the way many of us formed a concept of Christ and settled with it. So few really grasp the invitation to great adventure. They try to reduce God to nothing but religion then grow bored with the image they created. As a result, hearts become accidents waiting to happen, for our souls were instead created to exult and dance in holy passion. If we don’t find it in the holy One, we’ll search for it amid the smoldering heaps of the unholy. I have burn scars to prove it.
Quoted from The Beloved Disciple, by Beth Moore
Oh, God! Please, let me take your offer of the vacation by the sea... I know I'm the skittish and cynical orphan you plucked from the middle of Trash Town, but oh, how my heart longs to trust You. To believe how awesome and amazing and wonderful You truly are... To believe that You are more than a fairy tale. Lord, I pray that You would satisfy me so that I would "exult and dance in holy passion". I want a relationship with You that satisfies the deepest hunger of my soul...
And so it goes.
3 months ago