4 Defining Characteristics of Biblical Flourishing
How do you live the good life? How do you really, truly flourish?
What’s more, how do we as Christians navigate the clash of cultural visions concerning “the good life” and what it means to flourish?
For Christians, the notion of “flourishing” goes much deeper than the standard cultural definitions. It’s not just “the good life” – it’s the way life was meant to be.
When God finished creating the world He said it was, “Very good.” His intent for his creation was for it to flourish. As part of God’s creation, being made in his image, we feel this desire for flourishing deep in our bones.
As such, flourishing is a major theme found in the Bible.
Theologian Jonathan Pennington argues in an upcoming IFWE research paper that,
Human flourishing is in fact a key biblical theme woven through the whole canon, one which, when recognized, explains and enhances some foundational aspects of the Bible’s testimony, including the very nature and goal of God’s redemption for us in Christ, who, after all, promises us eternal and abundant life. That is, the Bible, across its whole Christian canon of both Old and New Testaments, is providing its own God-of-Israel-revealed-in-Jesus-Christ answer to the foundational human question of how to flourish and thrive.
The question of how to “flourish and thrive” is answered very differently by scripture than it is by our culture. Here are four examples of the clash between the biblical and cultural definitions of flourishing.Common Good, Shalom