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Pastor John Piper, my pastor, the champion of Christian Hedonism, has stated that the Bible is indiscriminate in the terms it uses for the positive feelings that a Christian experiences when he learns about, sees, knows and worships God. Those of us who consider ourselves serious Christians prefer the word ‘Joy’ and eschew the word ‘Happy’, but Pastor John points out that the Bible doesn’t have such reservations.
The Christian who seeks after God is promised not only Joy, but happiness, and delight and blessedness, contentment, satisfaction and pleasure.
But . . . not fun. Fun is not in the Bible. And Pastor John does eschew this word, to wit:
Those who have seen and savored the holiness of God and justice and wrath and grace of God, can never again trivialize worship. It is so sad when someone hears a message like this and then comes up and says, “Don’t you think we can have fun in worship?” What is sad about that response is that their heart is so small that the only alternative they can think of to fear is fun. I don’t like to use the word “fun” for what we do in worship—or in ministry for that matter. It is a sad commentary on the superficial condition of our times that one of the most common things said about good experience in ministry and worship is that “we are having fun.” John Piper – The Present Effects of Trembling at the Wrath of God – March 6, 2005 – Romans 12:19
Now keep in mind, one can barely find a Piper sermon that doesn’t talk about the good emotional results of knowing God and his Son. So this dislike of a generally-considered positive word is somewhat striking. In any case, I thought it might be interesting to do a word search of the word ‘Fun’ in Pastor John’s messages and sermons (easy to do over at desiringgod.org). This search yielded several passages from the last nearly thirty years . . .