Category: Spiritual Life

Bible, Christianity, Philosophy, Spiritual Life

What is a good person?

Dallas Willard defines a morally good person: The morally good person is a person who is devoted to advancing the various goods of human life with which they are effectively in contact, in a manner that respects their relative degrees of importance and the extent to which the actions of the person in question can actually …

Bible, Christianity, Spiritual Life

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Main Point: The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is meant to impart knowledge of good and evil through the constant practice necessary to say, “No” to the desire to eat from a tree with tasty fruit. Minor Point God never offers instant wisdom in Scripture, but instead treats wisdom as a good …

Christianity, Spiritual Life

I’m Bigger Than You

A friend recently texted, as a joke, “Calvinism is true because I’m bigger than you.” But being big has advantages. Physically Being obese is unhealthy. And being too tall can be harder on your heart as you age. But being physically bigger is good. Height provides advantages to lawyers, salesmen, teachers, principals, managers, and most …

Bible, Christianity, Mindset, Spiritual Life

To the Christian who Can’t

One of the saddest claims I hear from Christians struggling with suffering, sin, or bad circumstances is “I can’t do anything about it so I’ll just have to let God do it.” It’s a claim that sneaks into so many contexts. Even questions like, “What are some helpful tips that could make us better listeners?” …

Bible, Christianity, Culture, Spiritual Life

Jesus and Conservative Family Values

I saw a goofy journalist on Twitter claim, in essence, that Jesus opposed “conservative family values.” Nothing about Jesus of Nazareth screams “conservative family values” — Daniel José Camacho (@DanielJCamacho) July 1, 2017 Leave aside for a moment that Jesus wasn’t much of a screamer (Matthew 12:19-20). As an experiment let’s see what the gospels related concerning …

Bible, Christianity, Philosophy, Spiritual Life

Passions: Natural or not?

The Passions In Christian theology, the passions are the desires of the mind and body that often tempt people to sin. One of the big debates among ancient theologians and writers was over the passions: are they created by God or are they a deformation of character as the result of having sinned? I’m simplifying …

Christian Mindset, Bible, Culture, Mindset, Philosophy

Gary North on Training to Lose

Gary North wrote an article in 1980: Training to Lose, in which he observed: The athlete has to train before he enters the race. He must discipline his body and his will, in order to be fully prepared for the exertion of the contest. The contest has winners and losers, and the Christian is not …

Culture, Philosophy, Spiritual Life

Cro-magnon vs Cro-Ipod

Geoffrey Miller offers this thought experiment on the differences between ancient and modern life. While I enjoy the trappings of modern life, thought experiments like this make it easy to see how much of it is contrary to human nature (in an Aristotelian sense): Consider the average Cro-Magnon of thirty thousand years ago. She is …

Ethics, Mindset, Pedagogy, Philosophy, Spiritual Life

Effort Habit: Keep the Faculty of Effort Alive in You

William James on the Effort Habit One of my favorite selections from James’ psychology text book is about developing an effort habit: Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day. That is, be systematically ascetic or heroic in little unnecessary points, do every day or two something for …

Christian Mindset, Bible, Christianity, Spiritual Life

William James, God’s Word, and James’ Mirror

William James and the Four Selves In Principles of Psychology, William James outlines four aspects of the self: The material Self; (this is constituted by your physical body, clothes, property, and family) The social Self; (this your perception of the recognition you get from your fellows) The spiritual Self; (our estimation of ourselves as active players in …