Edwards was the greatest pastor-theologian that America has ever produced. He wrote a book in 1755 called The End for Which God Created the World. The foundation and aim of that book is the following stunning insight. It is the deepest basis of Christian Hedonism. Read this old-fashioned English slowly to see Edwards’s brilliant resolution.
God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. His glory is then received by the whole soul, both by the understanding and by the heart. God made the world that He might communicate, and the creature receive, His glory; and that it might [be] received both by the mind and heart. He that testifies his idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his … delight in it.
This is the solution. Did God create you for His glory or for your joy? Answer: 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.
Here is the rock-solid foundation of Christian Hedonism: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
John Piper, The Dangerous Duty of Delight (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2001), 19–20.
I have just finished a study of this fantastic book. It is available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Question Subscription Service.