Archive for April 6th, 2012

April 6th, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: Jonathan

by Max Andrews

One mistake many people make is to think that our intuitions are largely unreliable or intellectually irrelevant as a deliverance of reason.  I am not one of those persons. To be clear, we generally trust our minds to inform us of a physical universe. Am I supposed to become skeptical just because my mind perceives truths concerning God, sin, and guilt? I think not!

Now, if one reflects on their moral condition with the corollary that God exists, we’ll see that we’re morally guilty before a Holy and righteous God. We’ll also notice that Christianity, as a justifiable set of beliefs, looks really good. The beauty and plausibility of Christianity is not merely it’s positive arguments —though I think there are many— it’s that Christianity, well at least, mere-Christianity, basically agrees with our intuitions about what God would be like in case He existed. That God would be holy, righteous, and just explains recognition of moral failure. That God would be love, explains our sense that He desires to restore us, forgive us, and rescue us from ourselves. When the Judeo/Christian account indicates that God has “lowered the bar” so that everyone can enter into a love relationship with Him, I’m buying it. When our descriptions of God match scriptures declaration that God saves because He is gracious, my intuitions are satisfied. For me the veridicality of my intuitions are satisfied with the gospel of Christ. Coincidence? Perhaps, but the peace I have from a commitment to Christ far surpasses anything I’ve ever known.

April 6th, 2012

Is the Concept of God Logically Incoherent?

by Max Andrews

In response to the defintion of God being the greatest conceivable being there are a couple objections. 1) All great-making properties (GMP) must emit of maximality and 2) these properties must be co-possible. For instance, the maximality of the angle of a Euclidian triangle is 180 degrees.   Tom Morris makes the case that it doesn’t follow that God must have all GMP.  For instance, moral duties are a GMP but God doesn’t have moral duties.  He acts in accordance with duties but does not act out of duty.  It may be the case that God’s properties are perfectly modulated (or regulated).  Sometimes the best state is perfectly regulated.  For instance, the best Olympic runner’s heartbeat mustn’t be infinite but appropriately regulated. The properties must be maximally compossible and it may be the case that the maximal state is in the middle.

April 6th, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: Alfonso

by Max Andrews

The Christian experience in the Philippines is a typical mixup of misconceptions involving the idea of an all-seeing Divine Entity whose eye is always watching what you’re doing, and ready to zap you with a punishment for a wrong that you commit.  Add to that, a litany of what you should do, and what you cannot do, and continual visits to the parish church for confession, and a lot of practices like not bathing at 3pm on Good Friday and a great many other imaginative theories that make up the uniquely Spanish influenced animist Philippine religious experience.

No wonder we’re confused as a people.

I grew up in a household that was very much influenced by the Hispanic flavored Roman Catholic experience.  Because of our middle class background, we were sent to Catholic schools, and we had Jesuit priests to provide our spiritual guidance.

It wasn’t very helpful.  Specially because they didn’t provide very good answers to probing questions that I had about the God we were supposed to worship and the confusing literature that we had to use for our religious education.

Sometime in the early 1980’s a dear friend in a radio station where we worked together started attending bible studies with another friend and it was there that I discovered the Bible and what it taught about salvation.  It was crystal clear and quite logical, even if it was the King James version.

April 6th, 2012

Parallelomania: The Purpose Fallacy

by Max Andrews

The Purpose Fallacy

  • The purpose and nature of the pagan mystery religions is completely different than the purpose and form of Christianity
    • MR are cyclical:  cycle of birth – death – rebirth following the vegetative – harvest cycle.
    • MR involve secrecy – only members can participate; had to go through secret initiation rites; secret knowledge
    • MR: Doctrine and beliefs were unimportant, emphasis was on mystical experience
    • MR was not interested in historicity of its myth and often acknowledged myths as non-historical

Pagan Copycat Theory: The story of Jesus Christ as presented in the gospels is a myth incorporating various aspects of other ancient pagan religions.