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Both Paul and Moses said they would rather be personally damned in order for others to be saved — a sort of trade. So doesn’t this imply that their vision of mission was a higher priority than their personal and eternal joy in the presence of God? In other words, didn’t Paul and Moses prioritize mission over joy in God? Wow. The question is from Josiah in Michigan.
“Dear Pastor John, when I first heard of Christian Hedonism, I was put off. I recognized that with God, the concept of altruism breaks down, but I still considered it virtuous for the biblical examples of Moses and Paul. Moses, while trying to make atonement for the sins of the Israelites — the golden calf — offers to God the option of blotting himself from the book of salvation rather than fully punishing the people (Exodus 32:32). And the apostle Paul said he wished he were ‘accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh,’ the unbelieving Jews (in Romans 9:3).
Book - Desiring - God - Fond - Theology
“As I work through your book Desiring God, I have become more fond of the theology. But I still don’t see how it works with the above two passages, which seem altruistic. My question: How could a Christian Hedonist, with a properly ordered mind, accept eternal separation from his greatest delight for the sake of achieving some other end? Aren’t Paul or Moses suggesting a personal end in which the salvation of the lost, not God, is their higher concern?”
No, I don’t think that is what Paul and Moses are suggesting — namely, that the salvation of the lost has a higher value to them than the glory of God. I don’t think so. Let me deal directly with Paul and his words in...
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