Stephen Colbert interviews author Kurt Anderson – Watch the clip on CTV
They were talking about economics, but out of the blue the topic of the Puritans (who comprised the first European settlers of America) came up.
Kurt Anderson: “Puritans are highly underrated as a form of American….”
Stephen Colbert: “You want us to be both? Puritan hedonists?… I don’t understand you.”
Puritan hedonists. That phrase reminds me of John Piper’s description of a follower of Jesus as a ‘Christian hedonist’. In short, the thought is that God didn’t make us to deny our deepest desires. Rather, He created us to recognize a relationship with Him as our depeest desire.
Though I often don’t “feel” this to be true, the truth is that Christian life is not about denying yourself what brings you authentic satisfaction or fulfillment in order to pursue something higher and “spiritual”. Really, it’s about denying yourself things that fail to properly satisfy you in order to walk with the One who will satisfy, and does satisfy.
Everyone desires. What most of us don’t realize is that our desires ultimately lead us to God, or else they lead us to inadequacy. In the clip I linked to above, Stephen Colbert jokes with Anderson after the topic of Puritans comes up about the whole notion of ‘moderation’ But in so doing, I think he inadvertently sums up the human condition and reveals why a person either comes to know God, or comes up empty.
“What is moderation, how do I get it – because I want it all.“
– Stephen Colbert