The Joy of God
by S. M. Hutchens
I have little doubt that the authors of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, writing the famous response that the chief end of man is "to glorify God and enjoy him forever," meant this to be a powerful double-stroke. In their century, "to enjoy" meant the same thing as it does in ours: to experience pleasure from. But these seventeenth-century scholars must also have known that from the word's origin in Old French and Middle English (which was then still employed in certain expressions), it also meant "to cause pleasure for." Thus, they meant for us to learn not only that our chief end is to have God as the object of our joy, but also that we are to be the object of his.
S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!
Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
more on Christianity from the online archives
more from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor