Are we God-centered because We Love God or Ourselves?

Erik Raymond —  November 10, 2010

Sometimes you are reading along a quote trips you up a bit like an unsuspecting rock on a trail. The trail, like the subjects here, are well familiar; but it is the way it is laid out and reasoned that causes me to pause, think, and examine myself.

Author Stephen Nichols quotes John Piper here. At issue is a potential mis-step in the radical ‘God-centeredness’ that seems to be so popular. In short: are we God-centered because we love God or ourselves.

“I believe that if we are God-centered simply because we consciously or unconsciously believe God is man-centered, then our God-centeredness is in reality man-centeredness. Teaching God’s God-centeredness forces the issue of whether we treasure God because of his excellence or mainly because he endorses us.”

And Stephen Nichols adds: “It could be easy to be driven by God-centered means to accomplish human-centered ends. Piper, drawing heavily as he does on Edwards, reminds us that God-centered means lead to God-centered ends.”

–Stephen Nichols, chapter 1 in The Glory of God, p. 41

I could go on here, but think the quote is better shared than obscured. No doubt  it will reappear at a later time as it is fruitful blog-fodder.

Erik Raymond

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Erik has been writing at Ordinary Pastor since 2006. He lives in Omaha with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at

3 responses to Are we God-centered because We Love God or Ourselves?

  1. I like that you are quoting Nichols, who is quoting Piper, who is drawing heavily on Edwards. Can I quote you on this? I would say great minds think alike or that truly God centered men think with the mind of Christ.

  2. Steve, Good observation and conclusion!

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