The British writer C. S. Lewis, in an oft-quoted passage in his short piece "The Weight of Glory", likewise objects to Kantian ethics: If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and to earnestly hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I suggest that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. [8] On the contrary, Christian hedonists advocate for a consequentialist ethic based on an understanding that their greatest possible happiness can be found in God. Though Aristippus may have been the first to teach hedonism, he wasn’t alone. Many passages also speak positively of seeking a “reward” or “prize” (e.g. For many, the word “hedonism” may conjure ideas of loose living or earthly pleasures.

I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [13][verification needed] It has little commonality with philosophical hedonism; however, Piper has stated that a provocative term is "appropriate for a philosophy that has a life changing effect on its adherents." ", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Christian_hedonism&oldid=931950854, Wikipedia articles with style issues from January 2014, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from January 2018, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 22 December 2019, at 11:58. [1] Piper summarizes this philosophy of the Christian life as "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. Hedone (Ancient Greek: ἡδονή) was the personification and goddess of pleasure, enjoyment, and delight. For many, the word “hedonism” may conjure ideas of loose living or earthly pleasures. Galatians 5:19-21 ~ Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. However, hedonism itself is thoroughly condemned in the Bible, as clearly stated in 1 John 2:15-17: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. The goal of Christian hedonism is to pursue God as the greatest joy. Though the idea has grown and is now taught and supported by a variety of church leaders, “Christian hedonism” was first coined by Reformed Baptist pastor John Piper in 1986 in his book Desiring God.

According to Piper, one of the goals of Christian hedonism is to replace the Kantian morality that goodness only comes if one is doing something out of duty even though one has no desire to do so, with no interest in a reward (including pleasure) being gained. [1] She was associated more specifically with sensual pleasure. What Is Hedonism? Pleasure also does not seem to be condemned by the Bible, but rather is portrayed in a positive manner when that pleasure comes from God (e.g. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. John 9:3). Psalm 16:11). Christian hedonism is a Christian doctrine believed by some evangelicals, more specifically those of the Reformed tradition especially in the circle of John Piper. During the Greek and Roman periods, hedonism was popular but controversial; many Greeks worshipped a god called Dionysus, the god of wine and pleasure. “Christian hedonism” is not a term found in the Bible. Thus, support for and against Christian hedonism can only be inducted from various passages.

A good man in Scripture is not the man who dislikes doing good but toughs it out for the sake of duty. She was associated more specifically with sensual pleasure. What Does it Mean That Jesus Leaves the Ninety-Nine? It is also the root of the English word "hedonism". Genesis 3:6 says that Eve chose to eat the forbidden fruit partly because it was a “delight” to her eye. However, some Christians believe that a different form of hedonism— “Christian hedonism”—is in fact worthwhile and ultimately glorifying to God. 2 Timothy 2:22 ~ So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Piper argues that the pursuit of pleasure only leads to problems because, in the words of C. S. Lewis.

Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 ~ Flee from sexual immorality. Can a Christian Doubt God and Still Have Faith? If she asks why and the husband replies, “Because it is my duty,” it will not be a very satisfactory answer. I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. "[3] Piper has said, "The great goal of all Edwards' work was the glory of God. The closer he came to true goodness the more naturally and happily he would do what is good. more nuanced psychological and ethical theory, that pleasure is a gauge of what one values, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.

The idea of enjoying the Lord seems to be thoroughly biblical. [6] This can be understood within the philosophy's position that emotions are by definition excessive or are excessive impulses that exceed the measure of natural reason and – as in other forms of excess – leads to other evils of irrationality. The term hedonism itself dates back to the ancient Greek word for pleasure.

[5] It is good if it is a consequence of a virtuous life as opposed to the position of some philosophers such as Aristippus, which holds that it is wholly good.

[9] Another Epicurean reading, which distinguished hēdonē from terpsis, referred to it as a feeling of pleasure that is episodic and might or might not be beneficial. [2] Kant argued that actions should be considered praiseworthy only if they do not proceed from the actor's desires or expected benefit, but rather from a sense of duty. Many passages seem to suggest that this does indeed glorify God, since the Bible frequently records shouting, dancing, or other joyful activities performed with the intent to glorify God. However, some Christians believe that a different form of hedonism— “Christian hedonism”—is in fact worthwhile and ultimately glorifying to … Rather, it encourages seeking God as the highest pleasure. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. John Piper, “What is Christian Hedonism?”, Sam Storms, “What is Christian Hedonism?”. Piper wishes to eradicate duty-focused Christianity and replace it with joy-filled Christianity in which the doer actively pursues doing good and finds pleasure in it. The better the man, the more joy in obedience. "[2], Christian hedonism may anachronistically describe the theology of Jonathan Edwards: "God made the world that he might communicate, and the creature receive, his glory; but that it might [be] received both by the mind and heart. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? A good man loves kindness (Micah 6:8) and delights in the law of the Lord (Psalm 1:2), and the will of the Lord (Psalm 40:8). The term Hēdonē, which is a Greek word meaning pleasure, is used as a philosophical concept in ancient Greece. 1 Corinthians 10:13 ~ No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. The term was coined by Reformed Baptist pastor John Piper in his 1986 book Desiring God based on Vernard Eller's earlier use of the term hedonism to describe the same concept. Christian hedonism holds that God is most glorified when His people are most satisfied in Him.

[11], But not only is disinterested morality (doing good "for its own sake") impossible; it is undesirable.

The Epicurean school of thought flourished, especially in Rome, and was one of the forces that resisted early Christianity. Likewise, Piper claims that God is glorified when the Christian finds pleasure in Him.