The Dangerous Duty of Delight, chapter 2

Glorifying God by Enjoying Him Forever

Chapter 2 announces the thesis of John Piper’s book– and pretty much everything else Piper writes. The previous chapter cleared the way for Piper to now argue, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him“. If you don’t read anything else by Piper, read chapter 2 because it is most characteristic of his work. Today we are just considering just the first few pages of the chapter (pages 10-14), with more to come over the next few days.

The book can be purchased here. The first two chapters are available as a free download here:

We remember that the first chapter put forward a case for ‘Christian Hedonism’– the idea that joy and obedience are always found together. By that, Piper means pursuing Christian Pleasure in God is a matter of obedience to the word of God. Flipping that coin over: Obeying God’s word requires pursuing pleasure in God. Chapter 2 now investigates the apparent tension created by ‘pursing our joy in God’ with ‘we exist to glorify God.’ If, as the Westminster Confession states, we have first and foremost been created (and all things have been created) to glorify God– then how can we be Christian Hedonists? Did God create us for His glory or for our joy?

The answer to our question is, ‘yes!’ Piper puts it this way:

“He created you so that you might spend eternity glorifying Him by enjoying Him forever. In other words, you do not have to choose between glorifying God and enjoying God. Indeed you dare not choose. If you forsake one, you lose the other. Edwards is absolutely right: “God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in.” If we do not rejoice in God, we do not glorify God as we ought… God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

John Piper, The Dangerous Duty of Delight, p14.

For Reflection

Beginning on page 11, Piper summarises the whole flow of our salvation: Predestination, Creation, Incarnation, Propitiation, Sanctification and Consummation. For each of these steps, he shows from the bible that God’s process of salvation demonstrates and magnifies his glory. God’s purpose in our salvation was always the promotion and magnification of his greatness, with us as grateful beneficiaries of all that he has done.

As an exercise in prayer, use Piper’s summary as a springboard for a time of personal praise and thanksgiving to God for his greatness in salvation, as demonstrated by these verses.