Morality


Fulfillment vs. Pleasure

You were made for fulfillment! But that’s not the same thing as saying you were made for pleasure. Pleasure, however, is not a bad thing. Matter-of-fact, pleasure can be the natural consequence of eating a satiable meal or spending quality-time with an ole friend or behaving virtuously. The kind of pleasure that gets a bad rap is hedonism, that is, …Continue reading →

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 →

Is God an EGOmaniac Like Star-Lord’s Dad?

“When people think of a god that glorifies himself, they erroneously, although understandably, reach the verdict that he is an egomaniac. “John Piper talks about famous people, such as Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt, who have walked away from historic Christianity because they found the idea of God’s self-exaltation to be unloving and/or egocentric. (To watch the video, click here.) …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 →

Blurred Lines of Morality

What to do when you feel overwhelmed about the blurred lines of morality? What to do when you feel grieved over the cross-pollination of good and evil, right and wrong, in our ever-changing culture? There’s been so much media-attention recently concerning the political views and actions of the Right and the Left. There’s a presidential election on the horizon and …Continue reading →

Theological Happiness

I am sharing with you what is now Chapter 7 of my book Biblical Ethics. This happens to be my favorite chapter because it’s chock-full of vivid explanations of God’s emotional life and flourishing. It’s also a topic that is not talked about much from the pulpit, which I believe needs to be discussed in order to make sense of …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 →

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