Best Advice Ever is a show on YouTube. Great people talk about the best advice they ever got. Guests share wisdom, personal stories, and life lessons.
I was fortunate to sit down and chat with Dr. David Kyle Johnson. He teaches at King’s College in Pennsylvania, and here is his bio.
David Kyle Johnson specializes in and has published on logic, critical thinking, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of science for journals such as Sophia, Religious Studies, Think, Philo, Science, Religion and Culture, and SHERM (Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry). He also teaches for The Great Courses, edits and writes regularly for the Wiley/Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, and maintains two blogs for Psychology Today: Plato on Pop and A Logical Take. He is the author of The Myths That Stole Christmas and the editor of the Palgrave Handbook of Popular Culture as Philosophy. Johnson’s CV, along with all his works that are legally allowed to be shared for free, is available at academia.edu.
We talked for approximately fifteen minutes. What follows are the high points of our conversation. If you want to see the entire talk, it’s here.
Dr. Johnson is an atheist. His first piece of advice took me off guard. He also offered a second bit of wisdom that still resonates with me.
Dr. Johnson: I thought about this, and I have two definitions of advice in mind. One way to understand the term is someone giving advice that you can take with you and use every day. Another way to understand the word would be someone advising me to do this rather than that in a particular situation.
Andrew: One is general and the other specific.
Dr. Johnson: The best advice that I ever got when someone said, “Yeah don’t be with that person or don’t do something” would be a piece of advice from my former youth pastor. He advised me to become a philosopher.
Back in the day, I felt the calling to be a minister. This is how things are termed in the protestant community. I actually went to school to become a pastor, and I was going to a certain Nazarene University. It was a very conservative religious school.