“Should I Be Alarmed by the Concept of Christian Hedonism?”
I am alarmed to hear about a concept called “Christian hedonism,” which my wife encountered in a Beth Moore study. As we were beating this around, I checked on the web and found that there were some philosophers, like Erasmus and Thomas More, who attempted to syncretize religion and hedonism together. But I see a difficulty with this just like I see a difficulty with the term “Christian existentialism.”
The first time you come across the term “Christian Hedonism,” it really does make you scratch your head, if not blanch. I understand! But other writers are developing this idea, which actually makes a lot of sense when you get into it. John Piper’s book Desiring God is about enjoying God. Here’s a great explanation on that: http://www.desiringgod.org/library/what_we_believe/christian_hedonism.html
Actually, I think it’s a great concept because we evangelicals need to connect our heads with our hearts. For too long, Christianity has been nothing but an intellectual exercise, with our hearts going untouched and, in many cases, unchanged. What a travesty! When we get caught up in God’s “wonderfulness,” there is a whole new motivation to cooperate in His transformation of our lives and hearts; we can eagerly open ourselves to Him out of love instead of sterile duty.
So, bottom line–I think Christian hedonism is a great concept, and I hope it becomes increasingly contagious! <smile>
Hope this helps!