Category: Devotionals, Gospel, Spiritual Formation
Works of faith, not works and faith, is what pleases God. A sincere faith that produces good works is most beneficial for the preservation of all creation. It’s in our best interest to investigate, refine, and express our faith in order to “redeem our consciousness” (Luther), and preserve our purity for the sake of others….
Category: Devotionals, JESUS, Spiritual Formation, Suffering
If we are to be like Christ, we must know something of self-sacrifice. To think that God will not refine us through the fires of pain and suffering, and melt away our imperfections like the dross of silver is to relegate the tao of Christianity. Let us embrace sufferings that serve to embrace our longing…
Category: Beauty, Morality, Scripture, Spiritual Formation, Suffering, Theology
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…
Category: Morality, Philosophy, Polity, Psychology, Scripture, Spiritual Formation, Theology
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…
Category: Morality, Philosophy, Psychology, Spiritual Formation
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….
Category: JESUS, Morality, Philosophy, Psychology, Spiritual 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…
Category: Devotionals, Literature, Spiritual Formation, Theology
The literary devices of style (i.e., how something is said), tone (i.e., an attitude towards the subject), and mood (i.e., feelings and emotions created in the reader), which make up the author’s voice is of no minor importance in a narrative. The same goes for the narrative of our life, which the Supreme Author writes….
Category: Philosophy, Psychology, Spiritual Formation
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.
Category: Devotionals, JESUS, Morality, Prayers, Psychology, Spiritual Formation
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…
Category: Devotionals, JESUS, Philosophy, Psychology, Spiritual Formation
The struggles we encounter are not always elicited by self-destruction and self-dilapidation, but by strategic trials that are necessarily entailed by divine circumstances. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. This is not an appointed suffering by a draconian deity. Look at the life of a “blameless and upright”…
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