One thing that sets different worldviews apart from one another is their conception of what is good, or what is the primary goal (or end) of life. Each worldview answers this question differently, even if some answers seem similar.
Aristotle, in his Nicomachean Ethics, says that happiness is the “supreme good.” Indeed he says the following:
“Happiness, then, is found to be something perfect and self-sufficient, being the end to which our actions are directed.” (Ethics, 1097b, 20)
For Aristotle, happiness is the point of life. What about the Christian? What should we say is the point of life? The famous phrase from the Westminster Shorter Catechism sums the answer up well (and those of you familiar with the teaching of John Piper will be familiar with this):
“What is the chief end of man?: To glorify God, and enjoy him forever.”
The point of life is firstly to glorify God. Isaiah 52:7, after describing the defeat of the enemies of God’s people, gives credit to those who bring good news of “happiness”, and proclaim the rule of God. Psalm 17:15 says that he will be “satisfied with [God’s] likeness.”
The second point of life is to enjoy God! Nehemiah 9:25 describes how God’s people “delighted themselves in [God’s] great goodness.” Proverbs 19:23 says that “the fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied.” Zechariah 9:17 speaks of “how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!”
It is certain that if we satisfy ourselves with glorifying God, and enjoying Him, we will find what Aristotle says the point of life is. But happiness is not the point of life: God is.
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