By Enjoying Him Forever

John Piper opens his classic work, Desiring God, with these very thought provoking and helpful words. Perhaps they will induce you to read the book.

You might turn the world on its head by changing one word in your creed. The old tradition says,

The chief end of man is to glorify God
enjoy him forever.

“And”? Like ham and eggs? Sometimes you glorify God and sometimes you enjoy him? Sometimes he gets glory, sometimes you get joy? “And” is a very ambiguous word! Just how do these two things relate to each other?

Evidently the old theologians didn’t think they were talking about two things. They said “chief end,” not “chief ends.” Glorifying God and enjoying him were one end in their minds, not two. How can that be?

That’s what this book is about.

Not that I care too much about the intention of seventeenth century theologians. But I care tremendously about the intention of God in Scripture. What does God have to say about the chief end of man? How does God teach us to give him glory? Does he command us to enjoy him? If so, how does this quest for joy in God relate to everything else? Yes, everything! “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

The overriding concern of this book is that in all of life God be glorified the way he himself has appointed. To that end this book aims to persuade you that

The chief end of man is to glorify God
enjoying him forever.

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