Friday, September 19, 2014

Lewis’ & Piper’s Troubling Affirmations of Hedonism

The following article is also featured at Worldview Weekend (here).

For more background information on the legacy of C.S. Lewis: ataul.thearmoury.org

As a follow up to my September 10th article (Victoria Osteen & John Piper’s “Christian Hedonism”: What’s The Difference?) and my related interview with Brannon Howse on September 11th, I wanted to offer a series of columns addressing the continuing influences of C.S. Lewis’, as promoted through John Piper’s teaching on Christian Hedonism.[1] Originally, this entire discussion was triggered by the following tweet from the Desiring God Ministry on September 4th:

image

As was discussed on the September 11th Worldview Weekend broadcast, the notion of issuing partial affirmation to Victoria Osteen’s hedonistic pronouncement is disturbing at best, and it demands further scrutiny by Christ’s church. In addition to Victoria Osteen’s troubling tweet, I also mentioned Piper’s partial praise of Ayn Rand concerning her philosophy of hedonism. Overall, what I have presented thus far is that of a genuine concern for the continued promotion of Christian Hedonism in view of its dangerous undermining of the Scripture’s presentation of love, as an attribute of God and as the foremost of all Christian affections. Some of the things mentioned within these columns will be extracts from my book, Altar to an Unknown Love: Rob Bell, C.S. Lewis, and the Legacy of the Art and Thought of Man, however, many other points will be unique to this series. This article will consist of the first of four topics in the series:

I. LEWIS’ & PIPER’S TROUBLING AFFIRMATIONS OF HEDONISM

II. LEWIS’ & PIPER’S TRANSITIVE INFLUENCES ON EVANGELICALISM

III. THE BAD LEGACY OF MYSTICISM, SUBJECTIVISM, AND SECULARISM

IV. THE GRAVE NEED FOR REAL LIGHT IN A WORLD OF REAL DARKNESS

It is my hope and prayer that those who read these articles will be blessed, deeply challenged, and driven to search the Scriptures for the final authority in everything. The critical analysis of another man’s doctrine and teaching is a serious matter, and I do not take it lightly. Nor do I wish to be cavalier or unnecessary in my treatment of this subject. The doctrine Christian affections is a crucial one, and it is my prayer that this material will supply solid food for Christ’s sheep. If the reader is a supporter of John Piper’s ministry, then please know that my ultimate design is this: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy” Proverbs 27:6. If the word wounds us, then let us be healed by its perfect surgery. In the end, a world that will not endure the critical analysis of another man’s teaching is a dangerous place to be. We must all examine ourselves by the standards of God’s word. Overall, my ultimate goal is to point the reader to God’s word over and above the errors of men.

Let’s begin with our first point of consideration:

I. LEWIS’ & PIPER’S TROUBLING AFFIRMATIONS OF HEDONISM: As I have already stated, John Piper’s repeated emphasis on Christian Hedonism is, by his own admission, a construct of thought that stems largely from C.S. Lewis, who said:

“You notice that I am drawing no distinction between sensuous and aesthetic pleasures. But why should I? The line is almost impossible to draw and what use would it be if one succeeded in drawing it? If this is Hedonism, it is also a somewhat arduous discipline.”[2]

The repeated concern that I have expressed regarding John Piper’s teaching on Christian Hedonism is that the biblical notion of hedonism is entirely antithetical to godly Christian affections. It would appear that Piper understands this to some extent since he admits that the term has an “arresting and jolting effect” on others.[3] In addition to this, a repeated emphasis on subjective delight, within the construct of Christian Hedonism, diminishes the breadth of truth about the nature of our relationship with God. During the WVW broadcast on September 11th, I mentioned that Jonathan Edwards called love the “fountain of all the affections.” The broader quote is worthy of mention here:

"For love is not only one of the affections, but it is the first and chief of the affections, and the fountain of all the affections." (Matt 22:37-40) [4]

I also mentioned Thomas Boston’s description of the various Christian affections as being the “ingredients of love” [5] whereby he also said:

“Filial affections are due to a father; love, reverence, delight in him, and fear to offend him, Romans viii. 15.”[6]

Boston’s mention of filial reverence is important since it reminds us of God’s priority for such affections with His people:

Isaiah 66:2: “…But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

Isaiah 66:2 further expands our sense of understanding of what godly affections entail, to include humility, contrition, and reverence before God in view of the absolute authority of his word. Simply put, those who love God truly will exemplify more than just one or two affections, but will embrace the full spectrum of that which genuine love actually produces in the heart of the redeemed. We must remember that, of all the affections described in the Old Testament Scriptures, Christ calls love the foremost in Mark 12:28-31. Combining all these considerations, this is why I wrote in Altar to an Unknown Love:

“…the foremost commandment encompasses a full spectrum of affections, thoughts, and convictions within the worshipper, including: personal/relational knowledge [yada],[7] trust [betach],[8] delight [‘anag],[9] devotion [gol],[10] rest/dependence [damam],[11] hope [hochelet], filial fear/reverence [yare],[12] and joy [semachot].[13] This is not an exhaustive list of godly thoughts and affections, but it offers a sample of the ingredients[14] of genuine love as found within God's Word.”[15]

The above paragraph supplies a collection of affections from Psalm 37 and other texts. Clearly this is a limited treatment of the full breadth of Christian affections, but it is supplied in order to remind the reader of the danger of limiting the full counsel of God’s revelation on this, or any other subject. It should be noted that John Piper frequently quotes Psalm 37:4 alone whereby David enjoins us: “…delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This is a wonderful and precious truth, however, by sampling just one verse out of Psalm 37 the reader is stripped of the other thoughts and affections mentioned in this one Psalm. John Piper may see this limited exegetical practice as being helpful to his defense of Christian Hedonism, however, this tactic hides the broader realm of love as the fountain of all Christian affections.

All of this brings me back to my expressed concern regarding Piper’s teaching on Christian Hedonism, along with his willingness to issue partial praise for a false teacher and an outspoken atheist: Victoria Osteen and Ayn Rand. The common denominator between these two examples is hedonism. For Victoria Osteen, her comments are self-explanatory:

"I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we're not doing it for God—I mean, that's one way to look at it—we're doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we're happy. That's the thing that gives Him the greatest joy…So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy," she continued. "When you come to church, when you worship Him, you're not doing it for God really. You're doing it for yourself, because that's what makes God happy. Amen?"

The linked article in the Desiring God tweet, by Chad Ashby, alludes to the presumption that Victoria Osteen was “trying her best at a John Piper ‘Christian Hedonist’ impression,” though she was missing the mark. Ashby offers no evidence about how he could know what she was "trying" to do, however he later states that Victoria Osteen was expressing a desire which echoes “God’s original design for us as humans.”[16] Based upon this, Ashby called her comments “half right,” and the proprietors of Desiring God Ministries echoed this sentiment via their tweet. In the case of Ayn Rand, Piper makes his sense of connection quite clear in his paper: The Ethics of Ayn Rand – Appreciation and Critique:

“To this day, I find her writings paradoxically attractive. I am a Christian Hedonist. This is partly why her work is alluring to me.”[17]

Within the “Appreciation” section of this same paper, Piper offers this affirmation of Rand’s individualism and hedonism:

“Happiness, for Ayn Rand, ‘is a state of non-contradictory joy—a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction’ (VS, 29). On the basis of this definition, I am willing to say yes to the following sentence: ‘The achievement of his own happiness is man’s highest moral purpose’ (VS, 27).

imageThe references of “VS” represent Rand’s book entitled, The Virtue of Selfishness. It seems difficult to grasp that any believer would seek to find elements of appreciation within such a book as this, but the reader should also be aware of Rand’s definition of love from the vantage point of her hedonism:

"Love and friendship are profoundly personal, selfish values: love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one's own values in the person of another. One gains a profoundly personal, selfish joy from the mere existence of the person one loves. It is one's own personal, selfish happiness that one seeks, earns and derives from love." [The Virtue of Selfishness]

Rand can be credited for her honesty and even her accurate understanding of the biblical definition of hedonism, however, the end product should be refuted rather than praised. Tragically, John Piper believes that Rand’s hedonistic creed - “The achievement of his own happiness is man’s highest moral purpose” - is an agreeable statement. I say that this is tragic because any effort to Christianize Rand’s creed within the motif of Christian Hedonism will fail for one simple reason: Rand’s important use of the word “own.” Clearly, Ayn Rand rightly understood the principle of hedonism as being selfish, autonomous delight/happiness. As the author of The Virtue of Selfishness, she does deserve that much credit. For her, this was central to her understanding of man’s “highest moral purpose.” However, antithetically (according to Christ), love for God[18] (as those who have been first loved by Him[19]) is the foremost purpose of mankind. These two concepts are not at all close, instead they represent polar opposites of each other. In this respect, Paul’s antithetical warning strikes a deafening tone:

2 Timothy 3:1–2, 4: 1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers… 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure [philedonai] rather than lovers of God [philotheoi]…

Paul’s description of the ungodly affections and actions of men in the last days showcases the antithetical nature of hedonism versus Christianity. As I mention in my book, Altar to an Unknown Love, the Greek words eros and hedone, denoting selfish desire and pleasure, bore a strong family likeness to each other – literally:

“…eros was more than a philosophy of self-pleasure, it was the formal name of the god of love, whose spiritual progeny, hedone, embodied a similar notion of autonomous self-delight.” (Altar to an Unknown Love, p. 65)

Though my book focuses on the corrupt notion of eros, more than hedone, their similarity in concept is important to keep in mind. In the former case, the New Testament writers completely avoided the use of the words eros, eran, and erastes,[20] because these words had “become so steeped in sensual passion, carried such an atmosphere of unholiness about them (see Origen, Prol. in Cant. Opp. tom iii. pp. 28–30), that the truth of God abstained from the defiling contact with them…"[21] In the latter case, hedone is used in the New Testament on just five occasions. In the case of both of these terms, the concept of a relationship with another is not in view, unlike love. However, central to Christianity is the reality that love emphasizes union with another. Thus, the Christian’s every affection is rooted in the idea of union with Christ. Clearly, hedonism stands in opposition to the core realities of Christian faith. In order to see how the biblical writers understood and utilized this term, the following is supplied from The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (TNIDNTT). I would ask the reader to peruse this very carefully:

NT In the NT hedone is found only 5 times. All are in later books and all have a bad connotation.

1. The desire for pleasure fills the man estranged from God. He thinks that he is living out his own irresistible desire for pleasure, and in so doing he revolts against God and his will, but in fact he becomes the slave of the hedonai. He has become a doulos – slave and lives in – sin. He is separated from God, unless God delivers him from this slavery (Tit. 3:3 ff.). 2 Pet. 2:13 ff. give a picture of these people who have given themselves over to their hedonai, showing how they have become the victims of the destructive powers which are in revolt against God.

2. Men estranged from God are not the only ones threatened by the insatiable desires of the impulses (Tis. 3:3). The Christian also remains exposed to this power. Even prayer can be misused as a means to satisfy these passions. Jas. 4:3 shows how vain prayer is under these circumstances. Where unrestricted impulses have their way and hedone rules the life, man’s relationship to God is inevitably threatened, inner – peace is destroyed, and good relationships with one’s fellow-man are poisoned. If a man gives way to his desires, he is entangled in perpetual dissatisfaction and finds himself in a chaotic condition (Jas. 4:1). The NT lists of vices picture clearly and in detail the characteristics and results of hedone. They range from unrestrained sexuality through all the symptoms of lack of self-discipline to a self-centered indifference to one’s fellow-man.

3. The dangers which unchecked impulses have for faith are seen most clearly in the interpretation of the parable of the sower. The word is used only in Lk. 8:14, hedonai tou biou “pleasures of life” (cf. the par. In Mk. 4:19 and Matt 13:22). Where hedone reasserts its mastery, faith dies, choked among the thorns.

4. This process is seen most clearly in false teachers. They entangle themselves in false teaching, lead others astray into it, and become victims of a moral self-destruction. This is described in vivid detail in 2 Tim. 3:1-5 as one of the ways in which “the last days” can be recognized. Here Paul uses the Hel. Forms philedonai, lovers of pleasure, and in contrst philotheoi, lovers of God (both NT hapax legomena, but used already by Philo).

5. Both in epithumia and hedone the sinister power of the instincts is expressed. It is insatiable and directed against God. It lives in man, threatens his ethical standards and enalsves him. The NT warns the Christian not to be driven by them – even if the hedonai are expressly mentioned only in Tit. 3:3 – and not to neglect watchfulness. Hedone as the drive to self-expression can be conquered only by the power of God. We must beware of confounding hedone with the desire for true – joy (chara) which is never rejected by the NT. Joy is satisfied rather by communion with God, often even in the midst of suffering and persecution. If G. Stahlin (TDNT II 926) is correct in seeing the contrast to 2 Pet. 2:13, “They count it pleasure (hedonen) to revel in the daytime”, in Jas. 1:2, “Count it all joy (charan)…when you meet various trials”, then it is clear how paradoxically the Christian’s longing for joy finds its fulfilment and goal. [Bold, italics mine]

I would ask the reader to look at, once again, the crucial thought supplied in the above article:

All are in later books and all have a bad connotation…We must beware of confounding hedone with the desire for true – joy (chara) which is never rejected by the NT. Joy is satisfied rather by communion with God, often even in the midst of suffering and persecution.

The summary found in TNIDNTT, from beginning to end, reminds us that the biblical writers understood the sinful notion of this word. The fact that it was employed, exclusively, to convey the idea of selfish, sinful desire is self-explanatory. Thus, as a biblical term it should be used in a biblical way. However, we see an abundance of people in the modern day employing scriptural terms in unscriptural ways; or using sensual terms in order to convey biblical concepts. During the radio program, mention was made of Mark Driscoll and Ann Voskamp in this vein, but there are many, many more examples that we could expose. In the end, all of this runs contrary to the sound counsel which John Piper confidently resisted in his appendix to Desiring God:

“I am aware that calling this philosophy of life ‘Christian Hedonism’ runs the risk of ignoring Bishop Ryle’s counsel against ‘the use of uncouth and new-fangled terms and phrases in teaching sanctification.’ Nevertheless I stand by the term…”[22]

I believe that Mr. Piper could have benefited further from Bishop Ryle’s mature counsel. Because of this, I will supply a more complete portion of Ryle’s counsel so that the reader can see the very counsel that Mr. Piper admittedly set aside:

"Finally, I must deprecate, and I do it in love, the use of uncouth and new-fangled terms and phrases in teaching sanctification. I plead that a movement in favor of holiness cannot be advanced by new-coined phraseology, or by disproportioned and one-sided statements--or by overstraining and isolating particular texts--or by exalting one truth at the expense of another--or by allegorizing and accommodating texts, and squeezing out of them meanings which the Holy Spirit never put in them--or by speaking contemptuously and bitterly of those who do not entirely see things with our eyes, and do not work exactly in our ways. These things do not make for peace: they rather repel many and keep them at a distance. The cause of true sanctification is not helped, but hindered, by such weapons as these. A movement in aid of holiness which produces strife and dispute among God's children is somewhat suspicious. For Christ's sake, and in the name of truth and charity, let us endeavor to follow after peace as well as holiness. 'What God has joined together let not man put asunder.' It is my heart's desire, and prayer to God daily, that personal holiness may increase greatly among professing Christians in England. But I trust that all who endeavor to promote it will adhere closely to the proportion of Scripture, will carefully distinguish things that differ, and will separate 'the precious from the vile.' (Jeremiah 15:19.)"[23]

"There is an Athenian[24] love of novelty abroad, and a morbid distaste for anything old and regular, and in the beaten path of our forefathers. Thousands will crowd to hear a new voice and a new doctrine, without considering for a moment whether what they hear is true.--There is an incessant craving after any teaching which is sensational, and exciting, and rousing to the feelings.--There is an unhealthy appetite for a sort of spasmodic and hysterical Christianity. The religious life of many is little better then spiritual dram-drinking, and the 'meek and quiet spirit; which St. Peter commends is clean forgotten (1 Peter 3:4.). Crowds, and crying, and hot rooms, and high-flown singing, and an incessant rousing of the emotions, are the only things which many care for.--Inability to distinguish differences in doctrine is spreading far and wide, and so long as the preacher is 'clever' and 'earnest,' hundreds seem to think it must be all right, and call you dreadfully 'narrow and uncharitable' if you hint that he is unsound!"[25]

It is both striking and ironic that the atheist Ayn Rand had a better understanding of the meaning of hedonism than many today. By confessing to be a hedonist, Rand expressed an innate knowledge of that universal philosophy common to all the descendants of Adam: that the chief end of man is his own selfish pleasure. Selfish, autonomous delight is a universal religion practiced by all unbelievers, and this stands as the antithesis to Christianity:

“they will be…lovers of pleasure [philedonai] rather than lovers of God [philotheoi]…”

Once again, it is no compliment to the advocates of Christian Hedonism that an atheist like Ayn Rand has a better grasp of hedonism than they. All men are pleasure seekers, but no descendent of Adam can love God until God first extends His love to us:

1 John 4:19 “We love, because He first loved us.”

Such a miracle of salvation places a heart of flesh within the believer so that God’s formerly unknown love would be known and experienced by His children:

1 John 4:16: “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”

And as those who now love God, our every affection flows from the very love that He first gave to us. It is in this union – this relationship of love with God – that we find the fullness and beauty of all genuine Christian affections. All of this is a precious miracle, and it has absolutely nothing to do with hedonism. Because of this, I was filled with absolute incredulity when John Piper went so far as to make this statement earlier this year:

"…here's what attracted me and how I think she [Ayn Rand] points to truth and to Jesus ultimately: she esteemed reason, individualism, and hedonism - and so do I..."[26]

In view of what has been written thus far in this column, the above statement by Mr. Piper is stunning, reckless, and disturbing. Piper’s comments spread a troubling message to his vast audience. By suggesting that Ayn Rand “points to truth and to Jesus” through her esteem of “reason, individualism, and hedonism,” Mr. Piper has dispatched a message that confuses the Gospel itself, for hedonism does not point to God – it points away from Him. Simply put, Ayn Rand didn’t point to Jesus, instead her life exuded a genuine enmity against God through her public blasphemies of His name and proud declarations of autonomy. However, according to Piper, Rand’s hedonism brought her close (but not quite) to the mark of God:

“…This was her biggest problem…she thought that the highest virtue was happiness through reason…and I want to say “yes”… through the right use of reason to know what’s really there. And then she made one massive flaw that totally created many other flaws, that is, she totally rejected the existence of God and that made her blind to what true happiness is and what virtue truly is…she was almost landing on the moon with her rationalism; almost landing on the moon with her individualism; almost landing on the moon with her hedonism and she missed it, because she had no God in her system…”[27]

Contrary to Piper’s assumptions, Rand’s rationalism, individualism, and hedonism reveals a trajectory of complete opposition to God, rather than “almost” hitting the mark. Her lost condition and thinking should remind us of the true value of human wisdom and reason:

1 Corinthians 1:18–25: 18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Ayn Rand, like any other sinner, will never be drawn to God by human wisdom. Those who try to salvage points of praise from the trash heap of human wisdom are engaging in a procedure that is in opposition to the Apostolic example:

2 Corinthians 10:3–5: 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations [logismous] and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…

Paul’s use of the word logismous (speculations/reasoning) is important. By it, Paul reminds us of our relationship with the world’s wisdom and reasoning: we are at war with worldly reasoning and wisdom, and we battle against such things with the true knowledge of God. However, those who employ human reasoning and wisdom are working against God’s campaign of truth, while siding with this fleshly world and its supposed wisdom. Concerning Ayn Rand’s rationalism, it was thoroughly irrational because it was raised up against the knowledge of God. As well, her “individualism” was nothing but pure rebellion:

“I will not run anyone’s life—nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone—nor sacrifice anyone to myself.” [The Ayn Rand Column]

A better expression for Rand’s “individualism” would be moral autonomy (auto + nomos: a law unto herself). Clearly, she would not bend her will to the great Lawgiver. And, as already noted, her hedonism was an honest expression of eros and hedone, as is common among all men until they are redeemed by God Who is love (as already cited):

"Love and friendship are profoundly personal, selfish values: love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one's own values in the person of another. One gains a profoundly personal, selfish joy from the mere existence of the person one loves. It is one's own personal, selfish happiness that one seeks, earns and derives from love." [The Virtue of Selfishness]

To be blunt, the reader should receive the apostolic message, while rejecting the thoughts of those who wish to suggest that the godless “point to truth and to Jesus” through their reasoning and wisdom. When it comes to the merits of mere religion or human philosophy, Paul had a remarkably clear assessment of matters: “…in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” Paul, does not say that the wise of this world come close to truth through their reason, individualism, and hedonism, instead he argues that they miss the mark entirely and continue to do so until their world is invaded with the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

In all of this, the transitive influences of C.S. Lewis and John Piper continue in the present day. It continues to spread like wildfire, and the church must be ready to address these important matters for the sake of Christ’s glory and our Gospel witness within this fallen world. Thus, this subject: Lewis’ & Piper’s Transitive Influences on Evangelicalism, will be addressed in the next column.


[1] Throughout this series of columns, the expression Christian Hedonism will be in italics in order to distinguish it as a manmade philosophy, distinct from any explicit or implicit teaching of Scripture.

[2] Lewis, C.S. (2002-11-04). Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (pp. 90-91). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

[3] John Piper, Desiring God, p. 298.

[4] Jonathan Edwards, A treatise concerning religious affections: (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

[5] Boston, An illustration of the doctrines of the Christian religion, p. 401.

[6] Thomas Boston An illustration of the doctrines of the Christian religion with Respect to Faith and Practice upon the plan of the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism: In Three Volumes (Printed by John Reid), p. 277.

[7] For some specific uses of yada, see Psalm 46:10, and 100:3. Also, in Psalm 37 David speaks of “God,” not generically, but personally through his use of God’s personal memorial-name [Lord ~ yahweh]. David’s frequent use of God’s personal name reveals his personal/relational knowledge of the one true God who intimately loves His chosen people as His children.

[8] Psalm 37:3, 5.

[9] Psalm 37:4.

[10] Psalm 37:5.

[11] Psalm 37:7.

[12] Deuteronomy 10:12. “Filial affections are due to a father; love, reverence, delight in him, and fear to offend him, Romans viii. 15.” Thomas Boston An illustration of the doctrines of the Christian religion with Respect to Faith and Practice upon the plan of the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism: In Three Volumes (Printed by John Reid), p. 277.

[13] Psalm 16:11.

[14] Boston, An illustration of the doctrines of the Christian religion, p. 401.

[15] Matthew 22:40.

[16] In the comments thread, Chad Ashby tries to clarify his article as follows: “…as people made in the image of God, even in our depravity, we express desires that echo God’s original design for us as humans. Mrs. Osteen may not even know the first question of the WSC, but her statement echoes something about the chief end of man whether she knows it or not. That was the point I sloppily tried to explain in the final portion if the article.

[17] John Piper, The Ethics of Ayn Rand: Appreciation and Critique, June 1 1979 (Revised, October 9, 2007).

[18] Deut. 6:4-5

[19] Deut. 7:7-8

[20] Eros, who according to Hesiod was a primordial deity believed to be one of the three key sources of the family tree of Greek gods.

[21] Trench, R. C. (2003). Synonyms of the New Testament. (9th ed., improved.) (43). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[22] Piper, Desiring God, p. 287.

[23] J.C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, & Roots, (Charles Nolan Publishers, Moscow Idaho, 2001), p. XXIX.

[24] Ryle's mention of Athenian love of novelty refers to what is described in Acts 17 - a subject that will be addressed in greater detail in chapter 1 of this book.

[25] Ryle, Holiness, p. XXIX.

[26] March 6, 2014, Ayn Rand’s Tragic Trajectory (Episode 292) https://twitter.com/JohnPiper/status/441732767915601920

[27] Ayn Rand’s Tragic Trajectory (Episode 292) https://twitter.com/JohnPiper/status/441732767915601920