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« Consistently Pro-life | Main | Religious Stew »

January 25, 2007


This seems to be true..

We've discussed this one quite a bit in our congregation; our concensus is that we distinguish "happiness" as of lesser consequence and depth than "joy". Paul may not have been "happy" while shackled in a filthy dungeon after yet another nasty thrashing, but nothing could shake his "joy". We decided that joy is a precious gift of the Holy Spirit, not just a mere consequence of our "head knowledge" of our salvation and ultimate certainty of eternal freedom from sin.
Looking forward to discussing this further with Brother Paul...

What you have described is indeed the common way Christians today characterize "happiness" and "joy." While this does capture a good concept that is pertinent to our culture today, the point of the post above (and Moreland's new book) is that there is an older, classical sense of "happiness" - the sense used, for instance, in the Declaration of Independence ("life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness") - that is sorely missing from both our modern vocabulary and our modern lives, and could greatly impact our understanding of Biblical texts on happiness, as well as the practice of our faith. For an introduction to this, try listening to the interview Greg did with Moreland here:
and tell me what you think.

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