Friday, August 17, 2007

A brief emendation

I finished the last chapter of John Piper's Desiring God this morning. I still need to read the appendixes, but I need to retract my earlier criticism of his discussion of duty. In his concluding chapter Piper gives seven reasons why he wrote the book and addresses several remaining objections. One of the smaller reservations he addresses is what to do when our desire is not to do our duty with joy. He does not advocate refusing the duty, nor does he say that doing the duty in spite of contrary feelings is worthless, though he does admit that it is sin (to which I agree). He then gives a brief guideline for dealing with those instances when our feelings are thwarting our joy in doing our duty and one of the appendixes deals more fully with the question. So, I am recanting my earlier criticism of Piper's discussion of duty having been fully satisfied by his reply in the final chapter and probably abundantly satisfied by the time I finish the appendixes.

To finish off this brief emendation then, I'd like to share a verse from Ecclesiastes, which was expounded to me by John Ferguson during his sermons series on Ecclesiastes, and which I think fits well what Piper is getting at:

"There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from his who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God." Ecclesiastes 2:24-26

So to the one who finds joy in Christ shall more joy be given, but to the one who pursues joy apart from Christ that gain shall also be given to the one whose joy is in Christ. There is no enjoyment that is not given by God. All the pleasures of sin are far from joy, but are merely the fleeting sensations of the self before it is cast into destruction.

1 comment:

Jacob Haynes said...

Josh, thanks for your imput over at my blog. I'll respond once I get back from West Texas.