Adam Johnson

If God Is the Source of Morality, Would that Mean Morality Is Subjective?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Introduction

The moral argument for God’s existence is often summarized as follows:

There is objective moral truth. The best explanation for how and why there is objective moral truth is the existence of God. Therefore, we have good reason to believe God exists.

Those who use the moral argument argue, as part of their defense of premise two, that God is the source of morality. However, some who push back against this argument (which includes atheists as well as theists who think the moral argument is a poor argument) argue that if God is the source of morality then morality would be subjective, not objective.


How Stories Can Encourage Evil

Evaluating Hit Man, the #1 Movie on Netflix as of June 2024

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Some people dislike stories that involve appalling evil such as sexual immorality and murder. However, such stories can be powerful tools to encourage us to do what’s right and fight against our prideful, selfish desires. Often this is done by having an appealing character make an evil decision and then showing the audience how that decision destroys his life. A famous example of this is the story of David whose decisions to commit adultery with Bathsheba and murder her husband ruin his life, his family, and his kingdom.


How Apologetics Died in the Twentieth Century

A Critique of Karl Barth’s Reply to Emil Brunner

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

There are several reasons that apologetics largely died out in the 1900s. Many of these reasons have to do with how postmodern thinking influenced how Christians thought about the role of human reason. In general, postmodern movements in the 1800s and 1900s, which viewed human reason too negatively, were overreactions to the modernism of the 1700s which viewed human reason too positively.

An example of how postmodern thinking influenced how Christians thought about human reason can be seen in the work of the most influential theologian of the twentieth century—Karl Barth.


Is It Morally Permissible for Some People to Rape and Murder?

Responding to Erik Wielenberg’s Argument That Divine Command Theory Fails to Explain How Psychopaths Have Moral Obligations

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

In April 2023, Adam published a paper in the journal Religions which offers a response to an objection to Divine Command Theory put forth by Erik Wielenberg. In this paper, Wielenberg argued that Divine Command Theory is implausible as an explanation of objective morality because it fails to explain how psychopaths have moral obligations. Adam’s response to this in Religions is open-access (free to read) and can be found by clicking the button below:

Adam’s Article in Religions

A Short Review of Taking Morality Seriously by David Enoch

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Summary

Enoch begins his book Taking Morality Seriously by stating that he believes there must be some normative moral truths that are irreducibly normative, truths that are perfectly objective, universal, absolute, and that are independent of us, our desires, and our wills. These truths are not an expression of our practical attitudes but are truths we discover rather than create or construct. This realist view was in the minority when he first argued for it in 2003, but by 2011 some were saying it was now the majority view. He admits his robust realism has heavy ontological commitments, but he is willing to defend such commitments.


A Short Review of Moral Realism by Russ Shafer-Landau

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

In his book Moral Realism: An Introduction, Russ Shafer-Landau argues for, unsurprisingly, moral realism. On the first page he explains that the project of this book is to explain how the moral law could be something not of our own making, something whose truth did not depend on the commitments of those who are bound by its dictates. He argues that moral judgements enjoy a special sort of objectivity, that when they are true, they are so independently of what any human being, anywhere, in any circumstance, may think of them.

Part 1: Realism And Its Critics

In part one of this book, Shafer-Landau provides a helpful catalogue of metaethical positions.


Apologetics for Teens

What is apologetics? In short, it is giving good reasons and evidence to believe that Christianity is true. Apologetics focuses on some big questions about the truth of Christianity, like “Does God exist?” “Who was Jesus?” “How do we know Jesus is God?” “Is the Bible even historically reliable?” Often, these questions can be hard to answer to a skeptical world, especially when being confronted with them for the first time. In this course, we seek to equip teens with the resources they need to navigate these issues. This course contains most of the same basic material from the “Intro to Apologetics” course, but it is presented at a high-school level.


Is Modern Science Compatible with Christianity?

A Review of Stephen M. Barr’s book Modern Physics and Ancient Faith

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor Stephen M. Barr has written an accessible yet scientifically in-depth book that shows how science, over the last one hundred years, has made several discoveries which strengthen the arguments for the existence of God. His book Modern Physics and Ancient Faith was published by the University of Notre Dame press in 2003. All citations below are taken from his book.

Barr explained that over the last few centuries there has been a brooding conflict between religion and materialism. He defined materialism as the philosophical view that nothing exists except matter (p.


Can Christians Lose Their Salvation?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Most Christians will struggle, at least once, with the issue of losing their salvation. For some people this struggle becomes a lifelong trial of frustration and anxiety. Some protestant denominations, including Methodists and Lutherans, teach that it is possible to lose your salvation. But other denominations, such as Presbyterians and Baptists, teach that once you become a Christian, you can never lose your salvation. So who has the final say in such matters? We should always look to God and His Word as our first and final authority. He has given us His instructions in the Bible, and we’re responsible to study it diligently so we know the truth.


Connections Between Psychology and My Divine Love Theory

A Review of Edward T. Welch’s Book When People Are Big and God is Small

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Background Information about Edward T. Welch

Edward T. Welch earned an M.Div. degree at Biblical Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah. He serves as the director of counseling and as an academic dean at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) and professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. His work has led to several of his own books, contributions to many others, and numerous articles for both theological and secular journals.