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Welcome to our website which aims to evaluate John Piper’s philosophy of Christian Hedonism in the light of biblical truth.  Scripture exhorts Christian believers to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). The reason is because there are false teachers who have surreptitiously crept into the Church in order to pervert the gospel of Christ. Our Lord gave us this warning: ‘Take heed that no man deceive you… And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many’ (Matthew 24.4, 11). The apostle John warns believers not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits whether they are of God (1 John 4.1). As Christians, we are instructed to test all things and hold and hold fast what is good and to abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 521-22).

John Piper’s Christian Hedonism?

What are we to make of John Piper and his doctrine of Christian Hedonism? His bestselling book, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (1986), claims to help readers embark on a dramatically different and joyful experience of their faith. Piper explains his new philosophy of life, which he calls ‘Christian Hedonism’, in these words:

‘My shortest summary of it is: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.’[1]

From a study of secular philosophy, Piper became convinced that all decisions and conduct in life are predicated on man’s pursuit to find pleasure. Those who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of pleasure have been known throughout the ages as hedonists.

Piper’s Desiring God has been massively influential, and some reviewers have declared that, next to the Bible, it was the most life-changing book they had ever read. It has been called a 20th century classic that has changed lives. Hundreds of reviews, published over the years, show that almost everyone believes Desiring God to be a wonderful exposition of authentic Christianity.  Many have lifted it to a pedestal only slightly below that of Scripture.

Since 1986, when Desiring God, first burst upon the scene, John Piper has preached and taught his unorthodox doctrine of Christian Hedonism across the world, winning over many, especially many young people, to his radical new view of the Christian Faith.

A careful reading of Desiring God shows that Piper modifies the biblical doctrine of salvation.  Piper raises the question:

‘Could it be that today the most straightforward biblical command for conversion is not “Believe in the Lord,” but, “Delight yourself in the Lord”? And might not many slumbering hearts be stabbed broad awake by the words “Unless a man be born again into a Christian Hedonist he cannot see the kingdom of God”? (John Piper, Desiring God, page 55).

So he asserts that salvation is dependent on one first becoming a Christian Hedonist.  But there is no biblical basis for claiming that hedonism plays any role in salvation.

The focus of Piper’s first address at the Passion Conference in 1997 was Christian Hedonism. Preaching to a large audience of young people, he declared:

‘So my call to you now, in the name of God Almighty, is that you might make it your eternal vocation to pursue your pleasure with all the might that God mightily inspires within you.’[1]

A thriving sub-culture has been built around the term ‘Christian Hedonist’.  Yet many Bible believing Christians feel uneasy about the radical message of Christian Hedonism. They believe the term is oxymoronic, for ‘Christian’ is the term used to describe followers of Jesus Christ, while ‘hedonism’ is the term used to describe followers of pleasure.  But the purpose of a Christian believer is not to follow after pleasure, but to deny himself and take up his cross and follow Christ (Matthew 16.25). The aim of this website is to examine Piper’s ministry in the light of biblical truth.  Despite his massive popularity, there are many who believe the Piper is compromising the reformed faith that he claims to proclaim.


[1] From Desiring God website: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/christian-hedonism