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Old 02-11-2020, 09:59 AM   #1
Sons to Glory!
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Default The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

John Piper changes the Westminster Shorter Catechism from "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever," to "The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever."

Two questions I think this brings up:

1. What do you think of this change?

2. Witness Lee's definition (as I remember it) of "God's glory" was "God expressed." That is, wherever God is expressed, there His glory is. Do you think this is an accurate description of glory?

Another question might be - Many define grace as "unmerited favor." Witness Lee says this is true and goes on to say that grace is "the enjoyment of Christ Himself." Is this a good definition of grace? see here for WL article on grace (Personally I like, "Grace is all that God has in Christ freely coming to us." Not sure where that came from . . .)
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

#1 There is no change. It is a difference without a distinction, and I really doubt that Piper meant to make any significant distinction. After all, what is the real distinction between "and enjoy him" and "by enjoying him"? That's a mighty fine hair to split, and since neither the Gospels nor the epistles make any such distinction, I think we should just let this one pass by.

#2 Firstly, I've never seen any strong scriptural references provided by Witness Lee or his followers that God desires (much less commanded) that man "express" him. I see many references where God has said that we should obey him, love him, praise him, exalt him, give him glory. I don't see where God has commanded us to express him. I don't think God needs our help for him to be expressed. God has been fully expressed for trillions upon trillions of eons. The heavens declare the glory of God. (Psalm 19) The Lord Jesus proclaimed that if his people are silent "the stones will cry out!" (Luke 19:40) My 50+ years of reading and studying the Bible, along with my experience, tells me that we are not qualified to express God. Maybe one day we will be qualified in the age to come. In the meantime, let us do what he has commanded - to love him with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
#1 There is no change. It is a difference without a distinction, and I really doubt that Piper meant to make any significant distinction. After all, what is the real distinction between "and enjoy him" and "by enjoying him"? That's a mighty fine hair to split, and since neither the Gospels nor the epistles make any such distinction, I think we should just let this one pass by.

#2 Firstly, I've never seen any strong scriptural references provided by Witness Lee or his followers that God desires (much less commanded) that man "express" him. I see many references where God has said that we should obey him, love him, praise him, exalt him, give him glory. I don't see where God has commanded us to express him. I don't think God needs our help for him to be expressed. God has been fully expressed for trillions upon trillions of eons. The heavens declare the glory of God. (Psalm 19) The Lord Jesus proclaimed that if his people are silent "the stones will cry out!" (Luke 19:40) My 50+ years of reading and studying the Bible, along with my experience, tells me that we are not qualified to express God. Maybe one day we will be qualified in the age to come. In the meantime, let us do what he has commanded - to love him with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind.
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Sorry, but I don't agree with either.

1. "By" is a significant word, in my opinion. Piper actually devotes a lot of attention to that word in his book, Desiring God, where he introduces the modification to the old catechism. This is the same book where he uses the term, "Christian Hedonism," to say that man's purpose is about partaking in the highest form of enjoyment, namely God Himself. And therefore the way to really glorify God is to enjoy Him . . . and in tern we express Him.

2. If we are not meant to express God, what do we do with the beginning of Genesis when God makes man in His ("Our") image and likeness? And then Christ, who came as a man, is said to be the exact image and representation of the invisible God, right? Doesn't the Son express the Father? Further, Christ prays that the glory the Father has given Him, be given to us.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Chief End of Man: Glorifying & Enjoying God

And, of course, the NT tells us repeatedly that we are being conformed to the image of the Firstborn . . .

But I wanted to go back to this item I'd added to my first post that may have been missed:
Quote:
Another question might be - Many define grace as "unmerited favor." Witness Lee says this is true and goes on to say that grace is "the enjoyment of Christ Himself." Is this a good definition of grace? See here for WL article on grace (Personally I like, "Grace is all that God has in Christ freely coming to us." Not sure where that came from . . .)
Thoughts?
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