For all the Blessings of this Life
On Worship as Thanksgiving
I argue, first, against the idea that Christian thanksgiving is about counting one’s blessings, or finding something specific in every circumstance which is intended by God for one’s own good. For we cannot know how God specifically intended to benefit us in most circumstances, and such knowledge is required for blessings-counting; and the New Testament models a different kind of thanksgiving which makes more sense in light of Christian theology. I also argue against the conception of Christian gratitude as a positive (pleasant-feeling) emotion, given the fallen nature of the world; instead, it must be a mixed emotion, combining a pleasant-feeling anticipatory joy over God’s action of world-salvation with unpleasant feelings such as dissatisfaction, restlessness, or yearning.