Monday, March 17, 2014

L’œuvre de Jésus sur la croix: Nécessaire ou Suffisante pour la Justification du Croyant?

Je vais dire quelque chose qui va, à première regarde, être choquant. Mais, ce que je vous demande, c'est que vous continuer à lire, et que vous portez attention à ce que je dit (pour éviter des arguments inutile).

"Paul ne nous permettre pas de pensée que c’est totalement l’œuvre de Jésus sur la croix qui, tout seule et sans aucun autre condition, justifié le monde." (Voit Romains 5:2.)

Permettez que j'explique ce que cette phrase veux dire.

Ce n’est pas de nié l’importance de l’œuvre de Jésus pour le salut du croyant. Au contraire, c’est de dire qu’il y a plus d’éléments nécessaire pour la justification d’un personne. (Ne soit pas choqué, continue à lire attentivement.)

 En logique on fait une distinction entre les conditions suffisant et les conditions nécessaire pour y

Une condition suffisant garantis, tout seule et sans une autre condition, que la conclusion (ou effet) va arriver.

Une condition nécessaire doit être présent pour que la conclusion (ou effet) arrive, mais ce n’est pas la seule condition qui doit être nécessaire pour que la conclusion (ou effet) arrive. 

Donc, si x est une condition nécessaire pour y, alors il y a d’autres conditions qui sont aussi nécessaire pour y. Si x est une condition suffisant pour y, alors il n’y a aucun autre condition qui est nécessaire pour y. Cette relation est présente dans une condition propositionnelle. Une condition propositionnelle (xy) propose que étant donné une condition (l’antécédent), une autre condition va se produire ou arriver (le conséquent). Dans une proposition conditionnelle l’antécédent est nécessaire pour le conséquent, mais pas suffisant. C’est tout à fait possible qu’une autre condition soit, aussi, la cause du conséquent (ay). Dans une proposition conditionnelle le conséquent est suffisant pour l’antécédent. C'est-à-dire, si la proposition conditionnelle est vrai, et si y se produit, alors on sait que x s’est aussi, déjà, produit. 

Donc, quand on dit que ce n’est pas l’œuvre de Jésus sur la croix qui, tout seule et sans aucun autre condition, justifié le monde, on est en train de dire que l’œuvre de Jésus sur la croix est une condition nécessaire, mais pas suffisante, pour la justification du monde. 

C’est justement ce que la Bible enseigne lorsqu'elle nous informe que la foi du croyant est aussi nécessaire pour la justification du monde (en fait, personne ne peut être justifié par Dieu que par la foi), et la grâce de Dieu (par lequel il a envoyé son fils comme sacrifice propitiatoire pour les péchés du monde) est aussi nécessaire pour la justification du monde. 

De l’autre côté, la justification d’un personne est un condition suffisante pour savoir que : 1) cette personne est un croyant qui a mis leur foi dans l’œuvre de Jésus et la promesse de Dieu que celui qui croit va être justifié, 2) que Jésus s’est sacrifié sur le croix comme un sacrifice parfait, et 3) Dieu a envoyer Jésus mourir sur le croix pour nos péchés, et promis que celui qui croit que Jésus est Dieu, et qu’il est ressuscité de la mort pour notre justification, va être sauvé. 

Selon Paul, si une personne est justifiée par la foi en Jésus (J), ce fait est suffisant pour savoir que chacun des 3 points (F = la foi, du croyant, dans l’œuvre de Jésus et la promesse de Dieu, O = l’œuvre de Jésus sur la croix, G = la grâce de Dieu par lequel il pouvoir pour un autre moyen, que l’accomplissement parfait de la loi, pour qu’on puisse être déclaré juste devant lui.) qu’on vient de mentionner sont arrivé ([F&O&G] →J), et chacun de ces points sont nécessaire pour la justification d’une personne.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thoughts on "Presuppositions and Realism" by Linus J. Thro

     I just finished reading "Presuppositions and Realism" by Linus J. Thro, from "An Étienne Gilson Tribute", p. 309-325. It was was quite interesting. Here is a quick resumé of his article, and some thoughts that it inspired.

     He argues that Realism (both Metaphysical and Epistemological) is without presuppositions. He begins by discussing different views on presuppositions (Hegel, Kierkegaard, Merleau-Ponty, and Nagel). He then explains some of the terms used by authors who discuss presuppositions (commitment, pre-philosophical influences, and philosophical presuppositions). He notes that it is important to make a distinction between "a presuppositionless beginning in philosophy and actually to begin without a presupposition. (p. 316.)" Finally he sets out his argument.

     His basic contention is "that realism does not assume, presuppose, or dogmatically assert that there are knowable things existent and available to knowledge, and that man operating normally has true knowledge about them. On the contrary, I contend that both are discovered in ordinary human experience, and that realism, in reflective evaluation of the self-evidence of these insights into the real, stands upon them as its basic principle. The evidence is accepted because it is understood to be unquestionable. Hence, realism, I maintain, is founded, not upon an unexamined and unjustified presupposition of a harmony between the 'subjective logos' and the 'objective logos' but upon the discovery in experience of the intelligibility of being and upon the development of its own directive principle as realism through reflection upon the evidentiality of being. (p. 317-318)" The central point of Realism, Thro says, is "the cognitive immediacy of the evidence of existence. (p. 381)" Knowledge just is the actual union of the knower with the thing known. This is a description of the event of presuppositionless knowing. There just is no presupposition "that it is possible or impossible to know X". The knower and the doubter alike, the naturalist and the theist alike, insomuch as they are, are confronted by beings. The being-appeared-to-by-X may be interpreted differently by different people, but it is a presuppositionless state of affairs that is common to all beings that are capable of presuppositions.

     The author gives a couple of illustrations from scientific research. He concludes by noting that "realism, as I understand it, rests its case for a sound starting-point upon the twin elements which reflection finds in ordinary knowledge. There is the givenness of the subjective experiencing, but only simultaneously with the inescapable givenness of what is experienced; the experiencing is not a detached phenomenon any more than the experienced; neither is accounted for in terms of impressions, ideas, representations, or sense-data, whether atomic or contextual. What is experienced may be a remembered event, or a present pain, or, as the realist will insist is the most usual situation, some other reality apart from the experiencer but acting in some way upon him. (p. 324-325)" Thro concludes that if his description of Realism is accurate, if it is an accurate description of human knowledge, "then realism cannot be charged with resting upon the unjustified assumption that beings exist and are understood in experience. On the contrary, these are not presuppositions but are the fundamental insights in human experience upon which all human knowledge, action, and aspiration depend. (p. 325)"

      If such is the case, then although different people may interpret (give sense or meaning to) different beings that present themselves to those people (those different beings may be beings "of reason", or "real" beings), those interpretations can be contested, discussed, refuted or defended. Just because one person has an interpretation of some being that is present to them, that does not mean that their interpretation is true. Interpretations may be true or false. However, to even be able to talk about true or false interpretations implies the possibility of being able to test them for truth. For a realist, in order to test the truth or error of one's judgements about the beings that are presenting themselves and impressing themselves upon the knower, the knower must "return" to the being that is presenting itself, either through the senses, or through reflection, and allow oneself to be presented to again, and again. Some have said that there is no way to return to the very same being through the senses, but in a sense there is. That is, in order to even be able to say "this X was that Y", one must be able to identify something about both X and Y that is common to both. For two different artifacts (i.e. - a bed made out of what was once planks of wood), or a substance that came to be from another substance (i.e. - the corpse of a formerly living animal), it may be common matter. For an X that is still an X, but has changed in some accidental manner (i.e. - place, size, colour, etc.) there appears to be a sort of X-ness that is common to the former and the latter X which allows one to say, this is an X. In this latter case, it is possible, in a sense to constantly return to the same X and to allow oneself to be appeared to by this X, so as to verify one's original judgments about X. This, in fact, what one might call the principle of the continuity or the uniformity of Nature (cf. Thro, 315.), is the primary presupposition of science. For the realist, the principle of the uniformity of nature is not a presupposition, but a deduction based upon observation. This principle, which is necessary even for the possibility for Christian theology (one cannot possibly think that the Bible that one is currently studying is the same as the Bible that one studied yesterday, unless the principle of the uniformity of nature is true), underlies all of the sciences. It is based upon the notion that things have "natures" (that which is common to X1 and X2, which allows one to say that they are both X), and that those natures remain the same throughout change. For the realist, this notion is a deduction from being-presented-to, and reflection on this being-presented-to. As such it is not a presupposition for the realist, but a discovery.

     If all that "is" has a nature (even beings "of reason"), and it is that nature that presents itself to the knower when a being presents itself to the knower, and knowledge just is the intellectual union of that nature with the knower, then it is possible to know the nature of those things which are and which present themselves to the knower. If it is possible to know the nature of those things which are and which present themselves to the knower, then it is possible to discover truth and error by continually reflecting on the nature of that which presents itself to the knower. In this way, through hard work and a persistent desire to know truth, knowers will be able to arrive at some knowledge of truth.

Monday, March 3, 2014


Prelude to Philosophy: An Introduction for Christians. By Mark W. Foreman. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2014. 208 pp. $20.00. ISBN 978-0-8308-3960-5.

            There are a lot of introductions to philosophy on the market. It could probably be claimed, with a certain amount of precision, that there is at least one introduction to philosophy for every particular approach to philosophy…and then some. As such, it can always be asked, why another introduction to philosophy? However, this book is not, in the traditional sense, an introduction to philosophy. Mark W. Foreman has written what he calls a prelude to philosophy, with the idea that this book should be read prior to reading an introduction to philosophy. In this review I will note the purpose of this book, the intended audience, the general outline of the book, and its relative worth.

            The purpose of this book is written with the purpose of explaining what philosophy is. As such, rather than to introduce the domains of philosophical research (although he does mention them) or to give an overview of the history of philosophy (although Foreman does mention the main divisions of the history of philosophy), Foreman seeks to explain to the reader what it means to do philosophy – to philosophize. This is not all, of course, for Foreman, in this book, is seeking to help the reader to understand what it means to have a philosophical mindset, to demystify philosophy, and to help the reader become a philosopher. The intended audience of this book are those Christians who “are new to philosophy and who may have misgivings and reservations about what they are getting into. It is written at a basic level and assumes the reader has no knowledge of philosophy. (p. 13)” It should be noted right away the author has, according to this reader, fully succeeded in writing a book that introduces the non-philosopher, to what it means to be a philosopher. His book is easy to understand, and ably avoids, or explains when avoiding is impossible, technical terminology, allowing the non-philosopher to fully understand what is being explained.

            The book is divided into 7 chapters and an epilogue in which Foreman outlines the 7 virtues of the Christian philosopher. This last chapter makes this book worthwhile for even seasoned philosophers, who will be encouraged and challenged by the epilogue. Chapter 1 is an interesting explanation of just what philosophy is. Foreman approaches this question in four different ways. He begins by providing a nominal (or working) definition of what philosophy is. He then describes philosophy. He compares it with other domains of scientific or religious research, and finally he explains that the final way of finding out what philosophy is, is to experience it – that is, to do philosophy.

            In Chapter 2 Foreman explains why philosophy is important, in general, for everybody, and in chapter 3 Foreman explains why philosophy is important for, specifically, for Christians. What he wants to show, in these chapters, is not so much that it is important to know what particular philosophers have said, but, rather, that it is important to develop a philosophical mindset. He tells us that “A philosophical mindset is an attitude or approach to life that involves regularly examining beliefs to ascertain what they mean, whether they are true and what value they have. (p. 52)” In chapter 4 he seeks to explain what most philosophers typically consider as the main divisions of philosophy. He begins by noting the different ways in which philosophy can be divided: Historically, according to overarching worldviews, or according to the different domains of philosophical research. In this chapter he divides philosophy up according to the primary domains of philosophical research, and considers the three most important branches: Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Axiology. He finishes the chapter with a consideration of other smaller branches of philosophy, such as politics, philosophy of history, science, etc.

            The rest of the book considers logic and argumentation. In chapter 5 Foreman introduces the reader to basic logic. He considers the various types of logical proofs, as well as deductive and inductive arguments. In chapter 6 Foreman lists and explains pretty much every informal fallacy. In chapter 7 Foreman explains, first of all, how to construct a good argument, and secondly, how to analyse arguments. These three chapters are vital for anybody who wishes to be a responsible citizen in whatever country he lives; for anybody who wishes to understand the Bible; for anybody who wishes to engage in theological, apologetical, or philosophical discussion (as well as the formulation of scientific theories and arguments).

            The book is introduced by J. P. Moreland, who provides an interesting forward. It contains a table of contents and a very useful index. One other useful aspect of this book is that the author has also provided exercises for the chapters concerning logic, and the answers to the exercises. As such, this book is a great book for anybody who, not having studied philosophy, is being confronted by philosophy. Parents and pastors would find book to be extremely helpful. This book would also be useful for students of theology, who don’t have time to study philosophy to any great extent. Finally, this would be a great book for an introductory course to philosophy at a bachelor’s level. All in all, I would highly recommend that everybody have this book in their library, regardless of whether or not they intend to pursue philosophical studies.