Skip to main content

Piper3:Trinitarian Hedonism

Paul Huxley walks in the footsteps of Glen Scrivener and Dan Hames to think about John Piper's theology and the Trinity...

Piper himself notes: "Why did God create the world? Surely not, as some popular theology has it, because he was lonely and frustrated and needed man to make him happy. Before creation, God was, in a profound sense, content in the fellowship of the Trinity. What moved him, then, to create the world? The closest I can come to an answer is this: God was profoundly happy and joyful. But there is in joy an inevitable compulsion or pressure to expand, to extend itself by involving others in it. And this is no deficiency in God, for, as Jonathan Edwards says, "It is no argument of the emptiness or deficiency of a fountain that is inclined to overflow."1 This tendency of joy to expand itself moved God to create beings to share in his joy. Thus creation was a supreme act of love because it aimed at the joy of the creature. But God was not indifferent to his act of creation as if it meant nothing to him. It was his joy in his own perfections that overflowed in the creation of beings to share that joy."

And  onwards (ht: Huxley) Douglas Jones offers Trinitarian catechism... some of which is:

Why do they love the dark and not the party?
The dark helps them pretend they are alone,
where they can play the king of all,
where no one pushes back against their face.

C. And why does God offer a feast?
God is a feast: come taste and see; sweeter
than honey. He is a party, a dance
named Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

D. But what sort of dance is the Lord?
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit dance
like heroes after triumph, King David,
and those women whirling at God's wedding.

E. Wait, why does God have a wedding?
His joy bursts out, spilling; He wants to share
the pleasure of this dance. The Spirit woos;
the Father calls; the Son seeks out His bride.


  1. Yes - that's much better from Piper than the stuff in his seven theses here:


    "Q2: Who is the most God-centered person in the universe?
    A: God."

  2. Yeh! One of the things from Piper that really struck me post-9/11 was the way he was so clear on the need to be specific - saying we can't just say 'God' cos we have to mean God the Trinity.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…