Christian Living

If Life Ends at Death, Then Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, for Tomorrow We Die

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

The book of Ecclesiastes is notoriously difficult to interpret. In this article I share my best attempt at understanding and explaining what this book is about. Many have argued that the main message of Ecclesiastes is that we shouldn’t look for meaning and purpose in this world or in this mortal life. While that might be a valid application of the truths found in Ecclesiastes, I don’t think that is its primary message. It seems to me that the main purpose of Ecclesiastes is to teach the following conditional: If life ends at death, then life, and the toil of this life, is vanity because it’s fleeting, futile, meaningless, and absurd.


What is the Meaning of Life?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Ancient philosophy began when people started thinking about ultimate reality. These early philosophers proposed theories about the ultimate elemental stuff which everything else comes from or is made of. Some of the early theories were earth, air, fire, or water. One ancient philosopher, Democritus, even suggested that everything is made up of tiny particles he called atoms. However, if Christianity is true, and I believe it is, then when the final curtain of reality is pulled back, we won’t find earth, air, fire, water, or atoms. Instead, we’ll find loving relationships between three divine persons. Ultimate reality, from which everything else comes, is a God which exists as a Trinity: three divine persons united in one essence and united in Their loving relationships with Each Other.


How the Bible Celebrates Sex

What is morally right and wrong when it comes to sex? Apart from considering Christianity or the Bible, we can establish that sex is morally good inside marriage (one man and one woman) and morally bad outside marriage. Consequences, how an action affects human flourishing, can help us know what is morally good or bad. We know that individuals as well as societies flourish when sex is kept inside marriage, but sex outside of marriage can result in emotional, relational, physical, and financial suffering, as personal experiences and sociological evidence can attest. How has our culture come to believe that sex outside of marriage is not morally wrong, that if we desire something then we should do it? It has to do with the history of Western culture from the modern to postmodern eras. Modernism hit a dead end by concluding that life had no ultimate meaning, and postmodernism reacted to this by claiming that meaning comes from within each individual. Postmodern ideas have told us that we should “follow our heart” and indulge all our inner desires. But sometimes our desires can be bad, and it is morally good to control and discipline our desires, including our sexual ones. Christianity gives us more understanding of why this is true. In Christianity, something is only good if it resembles the true love of God in the Trinity. Thus, the Bible celebrates sexual desires if they resemble the love of God and conform to His purposes. What is the evidence that the Bible celebrates sex as God designed it? Song of Songs gives us a beautiful picture of romantic, sexual love within a marriage.


Q: How Can I Discover My Place in Ministry?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

How can I discover my purpose in the church and community? How do I discover and nurture my talents, gifts, and capabilities?

This question is near and dear to my heart. I’ve gone through this exercise many times in my life. Again, just recently God has been taking me through this terribly important question in order to determine His will for my life. Hopefully I can share with you some things He’s taught me as I’ve struggled through this question.

I’ve always told my children to, first, find out what you are good at and then, second, find out how to use those talents to help other people.


Q: Why Do Christians Still Sin if We Are “Freed from Sin”?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

That is a great question. I remember the first time I heard that question; I was in high school in a youth group meeting when another fellow student asked the leader this question. I honestly don’t remember the answer given at the time, but I just remember thinking it was very insightful to ask that.

I mean, it’s true. Jesus said, “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). We know He’s talking about freedom from sin because just before that in John 8:34 He says that everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.


Q: How Can I Know God Well?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Lately, I have this feeling that’s been eating me up inside about God. I am a saved Christian who has accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior by faith alone. But just recently I’ve been pondering this: why won’t God interact with me more? Like, if I were to sing a song of praise just in my bedroom or something, I could know He heard me, but I don’t get any special feeling nor does He give me a sign or anything letting me know that He loved my singing or something. Maybe I’m going too much by my feelings, but I just feel like He should be doing things with me.


Q: Did God Test Adam and Eve’s Obedience in the Garden of Eden? Does God Also Test Our Obedience?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Yes, I believe you could say that God tested Adam and Eve’s obedience in the Garden of Eden. The Bible never says it in those exact terms, or at least I’m not aware of any such description, but you certainly get that impression from reading the account in Genesis.

Ultimately, it was a test to see if they would trust God or not. Obedience flows out of a healthy trust in God. He told them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they trusted God that He knew what was best for them, that He told the truth to them, and that He loved them, then they wouldn’t have disobeyed.