This was the great coming together for me-the breakthrough. What was life about? What was it for? Why do I exist? Why am I here? To be happy? Or to glorify God? Unspoken for years, there was in me the feeling that these two were at odds. Either you glorify God or you pursue happiness. One seemed absolutely right; the other seemed absolutely inevitable. And that is why I was confused and frustrated for so long.
Compounding the problem was that many who seemed to emphasize the glory of God in their thinking did not seem to enjoy him much. And many who seemed to enjoy God most were defective in their thinking about his glory. But now here was the greatest mind of early America, Jonathan Edwards, saying that God’s purpose for my life was that I have a passion for God’s glory and that I have a passion for my joy in that glory, and that these two are one passion.
When I saw this, I knew, at last, what a wasted life would be and how to avoid it.
God created me-and you-to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion-namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. Enjoying and displaying are both crucial. If we try to display the excellence of God without joy in it, we will display a shell of hypocrisy and create scorn or legalism. But if we claim to enjoy his excellence and do not display it for others to see and admire, we deceive ourselves, because the mark of God-enthralled joy is to overflow and expand by extending itself into the hearts of others. The wasted life is the life without a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples.
Paul K. Moser, Christ-Shaped Philosophy: Wisdom and Spirit United, page 2.
I’ve started reading through some of the papers that the Evangelical Philosophical Society has posted as part of their Christ-Shaped Philosophy Project. There are at least 25 papers, responses and rejoinders that grew out of a response to this paper by Moser. It’s a fascinating give-and-take about which I will be posting a lot more here.