Alone among the most influential worldviews in the world, Christianity claims that though we have fallen, God created man to embody his creativity, justice, responsibility, order, and compassion. In short, God made man to flourish.
Despite the shattering effects of the Fall, Christ’s redemption enables us, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to live in a way that brings blessing to the nations (Genesis 3:6-9). “Human flourishing” is a phrase many Christians now use to illustrate this idea. Michael Miller, a research fellow at the Acton Institute and director of PovertyCure, explained in an interview that the actual term human flourishing was coined by Aristotle. Some think it means to chase after happiness. But, just as the U.S.’s founding fathers meant happiness in a particular context when they invoked the phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Aristotle thought of flourishing as the pursuit of virtue and excellence, not the mere pursuit of personal pleasure.
Christianity teaches us that excellence and virtue are standards set by God. According to Miller, human flourishing is “a life well lived according to our nature made in the image of God; it seeks the good, the true, and the beautiful.” (Part 3 to follow.)
From Jeff Myers at Summit Ministries
This is an article by Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries in Colorado. It makes a very interesting point that I want to lay out in a few separate parts. It’s worth the read.
The American Revolution has had a lasting, positive impact because its leaders focused not on angry vengeance (like in the French Revolution) but on freeing people from the barriers that prevented them from living out their full potential as image-bearers of God. They believed humans were made to create and unleash social, economic, and spiritual potential from which the entire world has benefited.
Whether America’s founders were Christians (and most were) is not as important as the fact that their view of humanity can be rationally derived only from a biblical worldview. While America’s founders failed to live up to their own expectations on issues like slavery, they set in motion a self-correcting system through which the young nation could grow in its recognition of human dignity.
The founders’ focus on human flourishing not only changed America, it changed the world. Many of the cultural battles of our day are being lost because Christians have lost sight of this focus. From a biblical view, “winning” isn’t about seizing the reins of power as much as it is creating such a robust vision of a flourishing society that human-crippling worldviews are revealed as the shriveling and anemic perspectives they are. In this article we’ll flesh out the concept of human flourishing and show how the biblical worldview alone genuinely secures it. We’ll also explore ways to apply thinking about human flourishing to the issues you face in your community. (Part two to follow soon!)
Okay, look… We know this blog has sat here, rotting away with nothing to contribute since 2010. Well what did you expect from a blog going by this name? Not much, I hope. But when we have something to say we actually do say it.
These days are too darn crazy to remain silent on all sorts of topics. I’m tired of “holding back” for fear of offending, or being contentious, or being seen as the abominable whatever. Sure, I can continue to post nicey-nice sayings or cutesy photos with heart-warming captions like we all do on facebook. But we also are ignoring practically the whole world when we do that. Okay, that’s fine… but let’s make room again for some insight, some content, something for your brain to chew on! Anybody else tired of going along with the pop status quo of what I call “niche happiness?” Well, I want out of my niche. I want positive and good things to actually grow outside of the niche. It might mean discussing topics outside of our comfort silos and back into the marketplace of ideas! That’s where influence can happen.
Of course, I’ve never been one to opine on a political matter (yeah, right!). However, after having seen some FB friends make comments about the results of the recent mid-term elections, I thought I’d toss in my $0.02 worth and add support for Nancy Pelosi’s nomination as the Democratic House minority leader in January. You go, girl!
For the past several weeks I have been tracking how much time I spend watching TV. I wanted to find out how much time was spent in an already over-scheduled day watching TV rather than spending time reading or playing guitar. The answer: Too much. The things I wanted to do got squished out by TV.
Today I spent 4 hours on the internet catching up on my RSS reader, Face Book messages, email, Hulu and YouTube. Digital Media (TV, internet, iphone, etc.) seems to be overtaking my life. It’s time for a little balance.
A recent letter to the Editor to the Northern Wyoming Daily News in Worland, Wyoming had this to say:
To the Editor:
I object and take exception to everyone saying that Obama and Congress are spending money like a drunken sailor. As a former drunken sailor, I quit when I ran out of money.
Bruce L. Hargraves
I was talking with our neighbor a while ago who was concerned about buckthorn trees growing between our houses and thought it best to clear it out as buckthorn is invasive and will eventually poison the surrounding ground and kill off everything else. We set up today as the day to cut and hack and otherwise do manly work clearing out all of the buckthorn trees. After many trees had been cut down, three huge piles made with all the debris and a couple of guys standing around admiring our efforts and feeling the satisfaction of a job well done, a neighbor comes over and asks why we’re cutting down the ‘cherry’ trees? Huh? Apparently – and (of course) unbeknown to us, cherry trees and buckthorn look a lot alike with regards to leaves and bark and it’s only when you cut away a chunk of the bark that one can tell if it’s buckthorn due to the orange color just under the bark. I immediately felt sick at the thought of having cut down good trees. I hope I didn’t look as embarrassed as my neighbor. Still, we looked closer and cut away at some of the bark of the felled trees. Arrrgggg!!! I don’t even think the handyman’s secret weapon – duct tape – is going to be able to fix all the wrongly felled trees which constituted the majority of our labors. Oh well. Lesson learned – after the fact, of course.