Category: Morality, Papers, Polity, Psychology, Scripture, Spiritual Formation
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 but also the flourishing of nature by a supernatural outpouring of divine spirit. The virtue ethic of justice and righteousness, which are the foundation of YHWH’s throne (see Ps 89:14) are responsible for Isaiah’s vision of a renewed society—a new age of God’s rule (see Is 2:1). These virtues are derived from the righteous reign of King Hezekiah (see Is 36-37) and ultimately of an eschatological oracle concerning Israel’s messianic king—King Jesus—who governs a nation “on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever” (Is 9:7). God uses a standard conduct by which to adjudicate a righteous king from a rebellious one. If a king practiced the ethical standard of the Tanak (viz. exhibiting a healthy fear of God via fulfilling a virtue ethic of justice and righteousness), then he was considered righteous and just. These moral norms have been called the “Yahweh criteria” by my spiritual mentor and former professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, Jefferson McCrory. Thus, the Yahweh criteria of justice and righteousness result in modeling a morality of happiness (shalom).
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Justice, Righteousness, and Shalom
It’s a sad commentary on our times that the practice of justice and righteousness has become disassociated from people’s understanding of happiness. How much more would people experience true, lasting happiness if they were to value righteousness. Our relativistic society only breeds discontent and fleeting happiness. Thank you, Chester, for reminding us through your powerful work how to frame the idea of happiness in a meaningful, purposeful way.
It’s my pleasure, Sari! 😉
Category: JESUS, Morality, Polity, Psychology, Short Stories, Suffering, Theology
Vampires as a whole mock the celebration of Christmas on December 25th, knowing that it’s merely a placeholder on the Julian calendar. But don’t mistake these vampires for blood-sucking atheists. They believe wholeheartedly in the power of Jesus’s blood. They observe Maundy Thursday as the most important day of the year. Conversely, on that day, true believers partake of the sacrament of communion as Christ showed them what it truly means to be devoted to God and to each other. But for these hideous creatures, the body and blood of Christ are a means to an end of survival. They believe Jesus to be the last prophet in “the order of Cain” these last 1,500 years, to save them from one called “the Impaler.”
Category: Philosophy, Poetry, Spiritual Formation, Suffering, Theology
“When I was ambitiously young,
looking to grow my Nebu brand
and my Chaldean kingdom,
“an invisible hand hewed a rock
from the Mountain
that struck the base of the fountain
that raised to life a statue
with metal alloys and clay parts.
Category: Beauty, Literature, Philosophy, Psychology
In order to invoke imagination, we must break free from the contempt of illusion by appealing to the wondrous child in people. Doubt is the current condition; impartiality is the preferred attitude; familiarity—the hackneyed cavity; and so the method is to strike the “nerve of novelty” (as Chesterton brilliantly puts it), in order to achieve the goal of being winsome, like a fetching story…
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