The other day… as I sat there savoring hot tubness, cracking small jokes and adjusting to the feel of being bubbled over from all angles, it struck me that the hot tub is the perfect symbol of the modern route in religion. The hot tub experience is sensuous, relaxing, floppy, laid-back: not in any way demanding…but very, very nice, even to the point of being great fun.
Many today want Christianity to be like that, and labor to make it so. The ultimate step, of course, would be to clear church auditoriums of seats and install hot tubs in their place; then there would never be any attendance problems….
But if there were no more to our Christianity than hot tub factors—a self-absorbed hedonism of relaxation and happy feelings, while dodging tough tasks, unpopular stances, and exhausting relationships—we should fall short of biblical God-centeredness and the cross-bearing life to which Jesus calls us, and advertise to the world nothing more than our own decadence.
― J.I. Packer, Hot Tub Religion, 1987