The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

What if God wasn’t there?

John Piper in his book, “God is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself,” ask this clarifying question:

“If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”
What are the implications of a question like that?
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Lynda Woodward

posted September 25, 2010 at 11:41 pm

How could it be heaven if God isn’t there?

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Lynda Woodward

posted September 25, 2010 at 11:45 pm

I think if Christ was not there it would be Hell, not Heaven.

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Jill Cullis

posted September 26, 2010 at 10:55 am

What a profound comment. It reminds me another famous quote by John Piper. “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” If we are most satisfied in God then what else do we need? It is easier said than done.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 3:31 am

Interesting question. But why not turn it around?
“If you could have hell, with constant sickness, and with all the enemies you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever detested, and all the activities normally forced on a chain gang, and all the ugliness you ever saw, all the physical pains you ever felt, and permanent human conflict and random natural disasters, could you be satisfied with hell, if Christ was there?”

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posted September 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm

If Jesus Christ is not there it sounds like it’s just a very good day. I have an expectant hope of heaven as a perfect place, a place beyond all I could ever imagine. The awesomeness of the presence of HIM is what sets it apart. No I couldn’t be satisifed I’d be disappointed.

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posted September 29, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Fascinating intriguing question.
It seems to me that none of the proscriptions of this “paradise” would be possible with out “God” or some omnipotent power in the first place. The question does not pose whether there is death, dying or sickness in this “paradise”. For sake of the question let us say these “afflictions” are NOT PRESENT either.
So is what we are saying that all the components of “salvation” are present and “Christ was not there”? Is not “God”, Jesus (this Christianity y’all…)and the miracles told in the bible a vehicle or means to achieve this paradise or redemption? If that is true, how could these things exist without God, without Jesus?
Just to take these details, proscriptions, rules, “advantages” of this new “paradise” as it is, I have to ask the question: If they got all this up there (over there, in there) what would Jesus be doing up there/in there anyway?

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