Philosophy


A Postmodern Mode of Happiness

“What’s right for me is right, and what’s right for you is right.” This postmodern slogan drips rich with agent relativism or moral subjectivism.[1] Moral subjectivism maintains that there are no objective, universal, absolute, or external ethical truths or norms for all people at all times and in all circumstances. There are only one’s own individualistic tastes to sample and …Continue reading →

Ethic of Consequences (Ego vs. Thanos)

In the recent cinematic production of Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), a ruthless “Celestial” (deity), who came into existence millions of years ago and goes by the name “Ego,” has grown bored of his own immortality, not to mention being deeply disappointed with the inferior beings who inhabit the universe. So he plans to use his …Continue reading →

Postmodern Christianity and the Irony of Happiness

Some Christians are scared of the term “happiness.” They believe that since “happiness” is relativized today in our postmodern culture to mean doing whatever pleasurable thing one wants with whomever one wants, it is not a biblical term. But this analysis is fraught with several fallacious assumptions. FIRST Happiness, expressed in three hebraic terms–esher, barak, and shalom–is de facto a …Continue reading →

Out of Despair and Into DeLight

From the dark abyss of suffering was born my book Biblical Ethics. Five years ago, the last thing on my mind was writing a book on how to live a morally happy, flourishing life. I was deep in the throes of a PhD program when the walls of my intellectual ivory tower came crashing down. Debilitating depression, anxiety, and insomnia …Continue reading →

Preface to BIBLICAL ETHICS, Volume 1: Old Testament Flourishing

When we live the way we are supposed to, God is glorified and we are blessed (happy)! Sadly, most well-meaning dutiful Christians take issue with the notion that happiness is for the here-and-now, delaying it for the afterlife. Too often they gorge themselves on an ethical diet of doing the right thing out of a sense of duty, while their …Continue reading →

unseen

When I was in graduate school at Biola, I had a professor who would call us “naturalists”! At the time I thought he was saying it in jest, but now I realize he was at least partially kidding. So how can self-professed Christians be naturalists? I think what my professor meant was that as Christians we often behave as if …Continue reading →

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 →

Spiritual (Character) Formation

One of my favorite Bible verses is 2 Corinthians 5:17, which claims, “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT) But what does that mean in relation to who we are as a complete human being? Does it mean that everything about us–our whole spiritual AND moral …Continue reading →

Plight of an Artist II

Curiosity and distractibility are braided together. Imagination and impulsivity hold hands. Temptation is built in to this intricate web of choosing. Patience–a virtue–is your best friend helping you unravel the knots of tension between beauty and betrayal. Wisdom–another friendly virtue–requires a vocation of untangling flowers from weeds. This, too, is the plight of an artist.

epistemology

Besides the fact that epistemology is a teleological gift, it’s also fascinating because it’s very much like a beam of light, which emits natural revelation and illuminates our path to continue seeking, not only the origin to thought provoking questions, but also to arouse genuine curiosity towards its eternal Source.

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