“In a surprising work of “lived philosophy” Jer Clifton takes on the tough realities of freewill and God and comes out with joy. Filled with lively philosophical argumentation and livelier stories, this book will make you wonder why your introduction to philosophy professor didn’t talk more about personal life experiences! Filled with wisdom, wit, and good thoughts, Therefore Joy is truly philosophy with a soul.”
Mark S. McLeod-Harrison
Ph.D., Philosophy, University of California, Santa Barbara
Professor of Philosophy at George Fox University
Author of Apologizing for God, Repairing Eden, & Make/Believing the World(s)
“.…[Jer] writes with so much grace and integrity….At ease with complex, subtle ideas, he finds ways to give them expression as readable, intelligible, accessible prose….”
Ronald J. Oakerson
Ph.D., Indiana University, 1978
Professor, Former Dept. Chair, Dean & VP
Former Senior Analyst on US Advisory Commission on Intergov. Relations
With Jer, co-author of “Urban Decline as a Tragedy of the Commons”
“I would recommend Therefore Joy to anyone who struggles with seeing the glass as half empty. It offers a well-reasoned and inspiring argument for the simple discipline of taking joy from every day, from living from a stance of gratitude, and taking comfort in the fact that the universe that we occupy is a meaningful one. The beauty of Therefore Joy is that it is not just an interesting philosophical perspective, it is the doorway to a satisfying and passionate way of life.“
Buffalo area Writer, Editor, & Artist
Senior Editor, Therefore Joy
Jer is an exceptional writer. His voice is unique, charming, and hilarious—you cannot help but like him. His prose is lucid and some of the most readable writing from a peer that I have come across. His exposition of freewill does a fantastic job of drawing out intuitions that anyone can understand around the often difficult to explain compatibilist position. His discussion of God is heartfelt and moving and his experience-based argument is refreshingly blunt. His voice and spirit leaps off of the page and allows this work to stand on its own – a rare achievement. I was absorbed, entertained, and enlivened by his take on ideas. Jer is gifted.
Excerpt from preface to Therefore Joy:
“Therefore Joy is like no other book I’ve ever read. It’s part autobiography, but mostly it’s apologetics—apologetics for philosophy, apologetics for God, and apologetics for human free will, all wrapped up in one narrative argument. But Jer wants more than just to convince his reader of the existence of philosophy, of God, and of free will. He wants to convince the reader that belief in philosophy, God, and free will matter in real life. Furthermore, they matter, not just for right living, not just for good living, but even more so, for joyful living.
The reader begins Therefore Joy in puzzlement but ends in delight. At the start, it is not at all clear where the journey is going to lead. By the end, one has been drawn into the joy through the journey. In between the puzzlement and delight, the book challenges, surprises, but never bores. It offers sound arguments, raises provocative questions, and challenges stereotypes–as one would expect a philosophical book to do, but it also engages the imagination which is not often what one expects from philosophy. Perhaps most unusual of all, the book is a celebration—a celebration of the pleasures of philosophical enquiry, the Grace of God, and the extravagant gift of personal agency.
The literature of philosophy is full of sound arguments, provocative questions, and deconstruction. (And this book can certainly hold its own on these terms.) But in the literature of philosophy, there is still much room for celebration and joy. I am thankful to Jer Clifton for helping to fill that space. Once again, I am impressed.
I will recommend this book to my friends and offer it to wayfarers, who, for sure, want to live the Right Life, and the Good Life, but who also don’t want to miss out on Joy.”
Shirley A. Mullen
Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Wales, 2000
Ph.D., History, University of Minnesota, 1985
President, Houghton College
“With Therefore Joy, Jer will develop national excitement. He knows how to engage thinking people, whether still in a Christian environment or already on the outside because no one was willing to listen to their concerns.”
Stobbe Literary Agency
Former editorial director of Moody Press
Author or co-author of 14 books