Archive for June 12th, 2012

June 12th, 2012

How to be a Consistent Infralapsarian

by Max Andrews

A few years ago Ken Keathley, Professor of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, presented a paper at the SBC’s Building Bridges Conference.  Keathley is a Molinist and the title of his paper [on election] was “How to be a Consistent Infralapsarian.”  This paper was the primary content in the chapter on election in his book Salvation and Sovereignty: A Molinist Approach. There is an audio version of his presentation but all the links I found online were broken.  Be sure to download the draft of the paper in the link above and read through it.  He outlines a very robust model of election and reprobation. (As a Molinist I, of course, affirm much of what he argues.)  Nonetheless, you cannot deny that he is being biblical and consistent in his model of election.

I had a review of Salvation and Sovereignty published in the Midwestern Journal of Theology you can read.  Concerning Keathley’s chapter on election, his paper, this is what I had to say:

Keathley’s understanding of sovereign election, which he calls “consistent infralapsarianism,” follows from his understanding of overcoming grace.  Under this view, God elects all individuals who would freely cease to resist his saving grace.  God will so arrange the world, via strong and weak actualizations, to bring about a person’s experiences and circumstances in which they would freely refrain from rejecting him. 

June 12th, 2012

Alex Rosenberg on Whether Philosophy Emerges from Science

by Max Andrews

Rosenberg breaks questions into two orders: first order questions and second order questions.  First order questions are normative.  This asks, “What is a number?”, “What is the nature of the abstract?”, “What is time?”, and “What is justice?” The questions are typically associated with what are now considered to be metaphysical, axiological, and aesthetic questions.  The second order questions ask, “What are the appropriate methods for science?”, “How does this work?”, “What cause could produce such and effect?”, and “How does science apply in this circumstance?”

There are two types of explanation: philosophical explanation and scientific explanation.  The philosophical explanation takes many forms.  Some Platonist philosophers treat the claims of science as truths to be discovered whereas others treat science as a human institution, something invented as a mode of discovery and to organize our experiences and enhance our technological control of nature.  Philosophical explanations, according to Rosenberg, are merely questions left unanswered and are only secondary to scientific explanations.  Scientific explanations attempt to make an objective relation between facts and/or statements that we set out to discover.[1]