Is it okay for a Christian to, gulp, enjoy a nice steak, the laughter of good friends, or, even a football game between two good teams? Joe Rigney says yes. He’s not a new book out, Things of Earth, Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts. Last Friday I had the chance to interview him about this:
It seems much of Christian teaching is about a choice between loving God and loving the world he has made. But you’re saying that it doesn’t have to be this way?Well, the Bible certainly does present the dichotomy that way sometimes. John says “Don’t love the world or the things in the world,” by which he means that we shouldn’t delight in that which God has forbidden. Elsewhere Paul tells us that he counts everything as rubbish compared to knowing Christ. So it’s certainly legitimate to put creation on one side of the scale and God on the other, provided that we find God to be infinitely more precious and delightful than the world he’s made. That’s why the psalmist says, “On earth there is nothingI desire besides you.”
I want to suggest that the Bible speaks in other ways about the relationship between loving God and loving his gifts. For example, “Eat honey, because it’s good” is a biblical exhortation. “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Not just the heavens, but everything else. The visible world was made to reveal the invisible God, and so there must be a way of enjoying it that also enhances and increases our enjoyment of him. I wrote the book to flesh out what exactly that type of God-centered delight in created things looks like.
You can read the rest of the interview here: