Psychology


Postmodern Christianity and the Irony of Happiness

Some Christians are terrified 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 →

Spiritual Heirlooms

It is most unfortunate that some believers find it unnatural to disrobe themselves of their religious superstitions and convictions that prevent them from standing naked and unashamed before their Creator-Redeemer. It’s as if they’re still running around in the Garden after the Fall fearful of their own nakedness. One of the hardest things to let go of for most people, …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.

Fear

Fear stifles love and ultimately imagination. To freely love and be loved (that is, to create a moment or memory with someone), one must stand ground in the presence of fear and its twin, condemnation, and smile in the dark. By the term “imagination” I mean the soul’s ability to freely create with bold, unapologetic pleasure. This courage and joy …Continue reading →

Amen!

Love me. Teach me. Guide me in all Your ways. Help me humble myself before You everyday, and if need be, humble me, so my thoughts may be pure and pleasing to You. May my actions never cease to emulate You releasing a sweet smelling fragrance of salvation’s freedom. More than anything, I seek to please You – the One …Continue reading →

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