Showing posts from 2011

Feser on Dawkins

This is well worth the read.

Dawkins vs. Dawkins (Updated)
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Dieu existe-il?

     Est-ce qu’il y a un être suprême qui est la source de tout ce qui existe, et qui gouverne le fil du temps avec sa main puissant? Dieu existe-il? Souvent quand on entend cette question on pense au Dieu des Juifs et des Chrétiens. En fait, la Christianisme est seulement vrai, si Dieu existe. C’est-à-dire, si Dieu n’existe pas, alors la Bible n’est pas la Parole de Dieu, et, alors, Jésus n’est pas Dieu, il n’était pas né par une vierge, et il n’est pas né sur une croix comme sacrifice parfait pour tous les péchés du monde. Dans les paragraphes qui s’ensuite j’aimerais essayer de présenter plusieurs arguments pour prouver que Dieu existe. Avant que je présente ces preuves, on doit premièrement demander si c’est même possible de savoir que Dieu existe, ou si ce n’est qu’une question de la foi.

A)Est-ce qu’on peut « savoir » que Dieu existe?
     C’est nécessaire, pour répondre à cette question, de bien comprendre la distinction entre la foi et la connaissance. La Foi est d’…

Feser on Nothing

I just read this blog post by Edward Feser the other night, and greatly enjoyed it. So, I'm passing it on. Enjoy.

A defense of Plantinga's Argument from reason against Naturalism

I have always been interested in Arguments from Reason against Naturalism. In fact, I wrote my master's thesis in defense of C. S. Lewis's Argument From Reason (which is found throughout many of his articles, but which is exposed and defended primarily in his book "miracles"). I have also studied, and found interesting, Plantinga's argument from reason against Naturalism. As such, I found the following blog post, which is on the blog Quodlibeta, quite interesting. It is well worth reading.

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Oligarchy & Democracy: Some Thoughts

According to D. S. Hutchinson, in the article "Ethics" in the Cambridge Companion to Aristotle, a democracy "claims that all freely born citizens are equal partners in society, and oligarchs claim that the rich contribute more." The principle is that, justice demands that what an individual person puts into an enterprise will be rendered to them in the appropriate ratio. If two partners each put in 50%, then they each receive 50% of the profit. The democratic argument is that all citizens contribute equally to society, and, therefore, all citizens should receive equal benefits from society. The normal position of an Oligarchy is that the rich citizens put more into society, and, therefore should receive more benefits. It seems to me that neither side is right. It is not true that all citizens contribute equally to society, therefore it is unjust for society to give equal benefits to all citizens. On the otherhand it is not necessarily true that the rich people in s…

Bruxy Cavey on the Calvinism/ Arminianism debate

A friend of mine reminded me of a well-known preacher, Bruxy Cavey, who did a series on the Calvinism & Arminianism debate. I greatly enjoyed the first sermon in this series (I haven't had time to look at the others), which is entitled "Embracing Grace", it can be found at the following link, in the 2011 sermon series called "Chosen & Choosing: How God's Life Becomes Ours". Bruxy Cavey, as he says in the first sermon became for a number of years a Calvinist, but returned to Arminianism. He has some very interesting insights. Please take the time to look at these sermons, they are very informative.

    By the way all of his sermons can be downloaded in either mp3 format, or as videos in m4v format.

An Interesting Problem with Calvinism's doctrine of Total Depravity

In the book The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis says the following, concerning the goodness of God,

    "If God's moral judgement differs from ours so that our 'black' may be His 'white', we can mean nothing by calling Him good; for to say 'God is good', while asserting that His goodness is wholly other than ours, is really only to say 'God is we know not what'. And an utterly unknown quality in God cannot give us moral grounds for loving or obeying Him. If He is not (in our sense) 'good' we shall obey, if at all, only through fear -- and should be equally ready to obey an omnipotent Fiend. The doctrine of Total Depravity -- when the consequence is drawn that, since we are totally depraved, our idea of God is worth simply nothing -- may thus turn Christianity into a form of devil-worship. (p. 28-9)"

    Now, C. S. Lewis is one of the best authors that Christianity has ever known, and he uses Rhetoric better than most, however, we …

Richard Howe and an interesting thought on the New Atheists

Richard Howe was my thesis advisor when I was doing my master's at Southern Evangelical Seminary. He is also a great christian philosopher and debater. As such I always enjoy reading his blogposts. If you follow the link that is listed below you will be pleasantly surprised with an interesting critique of the New Atheists. Some people think that philosophers are arguing, pointlessly, about definitions. Well, in most cases definitions are extremely important, and can be the deciding point in whether a position is viable or not. As Howe points out in this article, the New Atheists have painted themselves into a corner with their definitions of Atheism.
God Can Exist Even If Atheism Is True
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The Open Theist View of Divine Sovereignty and Human Free-Will

Open Theism is a fairly new development, and has raised a lot of controversy in theological and philosophical circles. In our exposition of Open Theism we will refer primarily to John Sanders book, The God Who Risks:A Theology of Divine Providence.[1] In this book Sanders points out that his main worry, in his theological endeavor, is to preserve the relationship of true love between God and his creatures.[2] The Open Theist view depends upon placing God within time,[3] and claiming that God actually interacts with man exactly as the Bible portrays his interactions.[4]
Divine Sovereignty
            Open Theism holds that God is indeed in control of the universe, but qualifies that control. “God does not control everything that happens but does control many things.”[5] God’s control consists in creating this world, setting us loose in it, and guaranteeing a happy ending. “God has sovereignly established a type of world in which god sets up general structures or an overall framework for …

A thought on Suicide by C. S. Lewis

In two previous posts (here, and here) I addressed the question of suicide. In The Problem of Pain C. S. Lewis, says, in a couple sentences what took me two posts to say. He says,

    "'It would be better for me not to exist' -- in what sense 'for me'? How should I, if I did not exist, profit by not existing? (p. 27)"

Molinism and C. S. Lewis

I gave a brief (perhaps too simple) exposition of Molinism in a previous post. This morning, in reading C. S. Lewis's book The Problem of Pain, I cam across an interesting remark. I don't think that he is addressing the Molinistic theory concerning Divine Sovereignty and Human Free-Will, however, his comment seems to apply to this theory.

    He says, "Perhaps this is not the 'best of all possible' universes, but the only possible one. Possible worlds can mean only 'worlds that God could have made, but didn't'. The idea of that which God 'could have' done involves a too anthropomorphic conception of God's freedom. Whatever human freedom means, Divine freedom cannot mean indeterminacy between alternatives and choice of one of them. Perfect goodness can never debate about the end to be attained, and perfect wisdom cannot debate about the means most suited to achieve it. The freedom of God consists in the fact that no cause other than Hims…

The Calvinistic view of Divine Sovereignty and Human free-will

Calvinism is a view that has been growing in popularity in recent years, due mainly to the writings of some of its most eloquent proponents, John Piper and John MacArthur. Calvinism holds that divine sovereignty and human freewill are compatible. For our exposition of Calvinism we will primarily use the book by Jonathan Edwards, Freedom of the Will,[1] and the book by J. Gresham Machen, The Christian View of Man.[2]
Divine Sovereignty
            Calvinists hold the view that God, by his sovereignty, governs, or determines, all things. Machen says, “How much is embraced in the eternal purpose of God? The true answer to that question is very simple. The true answer is ‘Everything’. Everything that happens is embraced in the eternal purpose of God; nothing at all happens outside of His eternal plan.”[3] In fact, Gods providence extends to even the free acts of his creatures. “According to the Bible, God governs all, and the Bible is particularly clear in teaching that He deter…

Great Article by Paul Helm on John Piper

For a while now I've been intrigued by John Piper's teaching about finding pleasure in God. I heard him preach about it in Montreal a couple years ago, and couldn't help thinking that there was something about his teaching that wasn't quite right. Piper is a reformed pastor, last night, through Steve Cowan ( I came across the following article by Paul Helm (a reformed theologian teaching at Regent College in Vancouver). In this article he confirms my suspicions and explains what seemed strange about Piper's teaching. I would encourage everybody who has ever come in contact with Piper, either through his books or sermons, to read this article.

Helm's Deep: Christian Hedonism: Further Thoughts

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The Molinistic view of Divine Sovereignty and Human Free-Will

There are four major views of Divine Sovereignty and Human Free-will. They are Calvinism, Open Theism, Molinism and the Thomistic view. They are all trying to explain the question of how to explain divine sovereignty and human free-will. In this post I will give a brief exposition and explanation of the Molinistic view. In my explanation of Molinism I will primarily refer to works by Thomas P. Flint and William Lane Craig, who are some of the leading scholars who hold to the Molinistic theory.
Divine Sovereignty
       The Molinist view of sovereignty sits squarely within the traditional view. Flint describes the traditional view as follows, “Divine control over all that occurs, along with both foreknowledge and knowledge of counterfactuals of creaturely freedom, are non-negotiable elements of a sound doctrine of providence.”[1]Flint further elaborates on the traditional view in his book, where he says, “…to see God as provident is to see him as knowingly and lovingly directing e…