happiness


Worldly Happiness vs. Biblical Happiness

Worldly “happiness” is merely subjective (i.e., emotional) and non-virtuous, ergo, non-moral, not to mention superficial and fleeting. The world seeks it directly as a feeling but cannot attain it because true happiness is a byproduct of morality (e.g., justice and righteousness). By comparison, biblical happiness is character-based. That is, true felicity is virtuous, ergo, moral. True, it involves emotions and …Continue reading →

Justice, Righteousness, and Shalom: An Interpretive Virtue Ethic of Isaiah 32:16-17 for the Whole Community

When we live the way we are supposed to God is glorified and we are blessed or happy (shalom). The biblical view of happiness is cultivated by living according to biblical virtues, such as justice and righteousness, which are motivated by flourishing (shalom). In this paper, I explore the prophet Isaiah’s prognostication in Isaiah 32:16-17 of not only human flourishing …Continue reading →

Thrive Not Just Survive

A strictly Darwinian process of evolution is insufficient to account for a universal principle such as the pursuit of happiness. Admittedly, natural selection as an unguided (“blind”) and purposeless process may explain why human beings seek to survive, but it fails to explain why we seek to thrive. Human flourishing seems superfluous to the individuals who are chosen to pass …Continue reading →

Introduction to Biblical Ethics Podcast

The heart of God is for human flourishing. Episode 3, Intro to Biblical Ethics

“Introduction” to BIBLICAL ETHICS: An Exegetical Approach to the Morality of Happiness

IDEAS have consequences. For example, the invention and devastation of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, during World War II, started with an idea of atomic fission. Likewise, beliefs have consequences. For example, the Columbine school massacre on April 20, 1999, the 110th anniversary of Adolph Hitler’s birthday, was in part the result of one of the shooter’s …Continue reading →

“Preface” to my book, BIBLICAL ETHICS: An Exegetical Approach to the Morality of Happiness

WHEN WE LIVE the way we are supposed to God is glorified and we are blessed (happy)! Sadly, most modern Christians take issue with the notion that happiness is for the here-and-now, delaying it for the afterlife. Too often we gorge ourselves on an ethical diet of doing the “right thing” out of a sense of duty while our taste …Continue reading →

Correlation Between Happiness and Character

Happiness is not contrary to character, but complementary to it. Happiness, properly understood, is not merely the thin, shallow concept of an elated emotion that changes minute by minute, but the state of wellbeing (shalom) that one lives virtuously, day by day. This Christian concept of happiness is the result of sanctifying one’s character through acts of self-sacrifice. But self-sacrifice …Continue reading →

MacIntyre’s Theistic Eudaimonism in a Fallen World

If you’ve ever wondered about the relation between meaning (in a material world) and altruism, as well as the relation between happiness and suffering for Christians, then read MacIntyre’s Theistic Eudaimonism in a Fallen World.

Winter

A student of love takes the train to visit the last of tomorrow’s rain. A locomotive steams between the undulated mountains that grow greener by the passing whisper of her name. Flooding the country with sorrow’s showers, she struggles to hold her head up high. She ponders the collision of eternity and happiness as she imprints the wet earth with …Continue reading →

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