christianity, desiring god, happy God, John Piper, makarios, restitution, Rob Bell, universalism
Here’s what I wrote about my goal in this blog when I first changed its name to HappyGod in 2002… the aftermath of 9/11, the time when I was taking care of my dad in his waning months, and working alone at home. I guess getting and staying happy was important to me:
So here’s what this blog is about. Why is God described by the Apostle Paul with the Greek adjective, makarios — best translated, “happy”?
Well, Paul was countering, and teaching Timothy how to counter, the heavy influence of Gnosticism. The foundational attitude behind Gnosticism is the view that the Creator of Earth is not a happy guy at all, but a sort of male chauvinist who grumbles whenever anyone else is not in pain. Twice in his descriptions of God in the epistles to Timothy, Paul calls him, not “the Blessed” which means we praise him, but “the Happy” which means he’s cool whether we bless him or not.
So this blog explores that view of God and that attitude. How to be happy though not blessed. How to be aware of what makes God happy. How to understand that God is not happy with current events but he’s happy because of where they’re leading… to the place where all people are humble, alive, thankful, and in love with God and each other. Hard to see that just now, but that’s where we’re headed, as I read the Bible.
So I’ll be arguing with the Hell viewpoint among my Christian brothers. I’ll be arguing against Calvinism, and against Arminianism, too. I’ll be having a conversation with anyone who’s willing to question a Christian orthodoxy which views the human race as a failure, a nice creative exercise that got screwed by the Devil and human self-will.
Let me just quote Solomon: “God has made everything beautiful in his time.” Hard to believe but I hope to convince you!
That was the goal then, and you know what? It’s still the same. Except I’m no longer trying to convince anyone….
Back then, I had just read Desiring God by John Piper… and that’s probably where I discovered this nugget of insight into the meaning of the Greek word that is twice used to describe God. And the funny thing is, his idea of the gospel is a tiny shadow of what I believe the good news really is … something called the Restitution of All Things by Peter … something really good for ALL people who have ever lived. But when, a couple of years ago, Rob Bell wrote a book called Love Wins that suggested the hope that maybe everyone would benefit from Jesus’ life, John Piper tweeted, “Goodbye, Rob Bell.” So much for Piper’s “Christian Hedonism”… happy to watch the masses burn.
The issue remains vitally important to me, and though it doesn’t seem to be getting much traction, I want to keep talking about it. I am focused on getting these ideas out of the corners of Christianity and into a broader discussion. With brevity, gravity, clarity, levity and all the depravity that comes from being associated with me!