Archive for ‘Christianity’

April 6th, 2014

Reasonable Faith in an Uncertain World

by Max Andrews

This year’s Unbelievable conference is 12 July 2014. I haven’t scheduled out my summer yet but there’s a likelihood I’d be able to attend and I would love to meet fellow lovers of reason, truth, and Jesus at the conference. If you see me there please come up and introduce yourself!

  • This year’s conference will help ordinary Christians like you be equipped to:
  • Be confident in your faith and share it effectively
  • Engage with atheism, Islam and other worldviews
  • Give good reasons for God and the truth of Christianity

Contributors:

Conference Host: Justin Brierley

Justin hosts the popular UK discussion show and podcast Unbelievable? on Premier Christian Radio. He also writes for Christianity magazine.

 

William Lane Craig

Dr. Craig is one of the world’s leading philosophers of religion and has debated many of the world’s leading atheists around the world. He is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. 

February 26th, 2014

“The Problem of Existence” on Sale for Amazon Kindle

by Max Andrews

The Problem of Existence

 

UPDATE (3 March): This Saturday, March 6, I will be doing the drawing for the first few that have submitted their receipts of purchase to receive a $25 gift card. There are only a few more slots available to please be sure to send me your receipt!

The Problem of Existence: Existential Reflections on Pain and Suffering is now available for purchase at Amazon for $3.99. The first fifty people to purchase the e-book will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. All you need to do is take a screenshot of your purchase receipt and email it to mlandrews@sententias.org. Below are the links for The Problem of Existence’s availability in the Amazon marketplace around the world (prices adjusted for national currencies):

Purchase The Problem of Existence in the American Amazon market

The French Amazon market

The Brazilian Amazon Market

The Indian Amazon Market

The Spanish Amazon Market

The Canadian Amazon Market

The British Amazon Market

February 1st, 2014

The Incoherence of Claiming to be an “Ex-Christian”

by Max Andrews

old churchA while ago I was listening to Dan Barker talk about how he knew that he was a born again Christian. He went to all these church events and was heavily involved with evangelism–all the Christian things Christians do. Well, Dan Barker no longer describes himself as a Christian. He, and many people like him, are very emphatic when they say that they were once Christians and they actually were saved or born again. However, if anyone is going to claim to be an Ex-Christian they’re going to have to say that they never were saved to begin with.

My concern isn’t with the doctrine of preservation or perseverance. (You can read about my position in my post, “Can You Lose Your Salvation? A Molinist’s Perspective.”)

January 15th, 2014

The Affirmations and Denials Directory

by Max Andrews

I’ve decided to make a referent post that outlines my position on many things philosophical, theological, scientific, biblical, and other. I have many similar directories: Molinism, Multiverse, Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, and the Origins Directory.

Ontological Basics

  1. Ontological Status. Existent
  2. Necessary. No
  3. Contingent. Yes
  4. Person. Yes
  5. Organic. Yes
  6. Faculty of Will. Incompatibilist (although all we need is that flicker of freedom).
  7. Personhood. Cartesian Substance Dualist, leaning Hasker’s emergentism.

Bible & Theology

  1. Theology. Theist
  2. Religion. Christian
  3. Trinity: Social Trinitarian
  4. Denomination. Associate Reformed Presbyterian (Don’t ask me how that happened…)
  5. Catholic. No. Some Catholic Dogma is contrary to what I understand the gospel to be. Some Catholics love Jesus and are saved as well, though in spite of the Catholic teaching.
  6. Eastern-Orthodoxy. No. See above.
  7. Middle Knolwedge. Yes
  8. Molinist. Yes.
  9. Soteriology. A Molinist Model
    read more »

January 7th, 2014

Abstract for an Upcoming Paper Developing my Model of Modal Realism

by Max Andrews

I’ve recently submitted an abstract for Glasgow University’s Philosophy of Religion Conference concerning my recent research of the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics along with my secondary research of its theological implications. I won’t find out for for another week or two as to whether it has been accepted but my hopes are high. Here’s my abstract:

The Ontology of Many Worlds and
Thomistic Modal Realism

Abstract: Hugh Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics (MWI) has caused perturbations in the fields of physics and philosophy. There are many aspects about the interpretation that make it favorable due to its objectivity and lack of logical holes. If MWI is adopted due to its favorability then this creates a problem for understanding macro-states. If it’s true that all-possible states are true and exist simultaneously then defining the mechanism, which causes these ‘splits’ and how these ‘splits’ and branches operate, are problematic on the macro-scale. The question becomes, “How does this work on the macro-level?” In order to construct an argument that traces the historical development to propose a preferred understanding for the macro-ontology I will discuss

December 21st, 2013

Jesus Wasn’t Born on Christmas

by Max Andrews

Let’s start giving a full disclosure concerning Christmas: Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. (That’s what I mean by Christmas. I’m referring to its date.) I think most people know that, but what’s important is knowing when Jesus actually was born (approximating) and the origins of the date. Spoiler alert: the date has pagan origins. Is that a problem? I don’t think so and we shouldn’t be up in a twist about it. The main point is marking a point of celebration. Christmas is about the incarnation–God becomes man. Does our celebration of the incarnation have to be on a specific day? No. It has simply become Christian tradition that we do celebrate the incarnation. The birth of Jesus is another way of looking at it but a theologically rich view of Christmas views the season as a celebration of the incarnation of God.

1). Dating the account requires synoptic correlation by referring to Matthew’s account of the same events.

  • Mt. 2.1: Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem.”
  • Mt. 2.19: “But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt.”

2). Herod died in 4BC. Jesus had to have been born before this, which would be between 6-4BC. During this time, Herod was sick and there was much turmoil. Augustus would have wanted a census taken.

December 16th, 2013

Ergun Caner and The Great Evangelical Coverup

by Max Andrews

For the last 6 [or so] years Ergun Caner has buried himself in a controversy of lies. I was a Liberty University student who sat in during many of Caner’s false claims of debating several Muslim apologists, which he claimed were misstatements, and apparent falsities concerning his history. I was a graduate assistant during the exposure of these problems and whilst talking with some other GA’s who knew/worked with Caner I was told that he wasn’t “allowed” to defend himself. As a student who sat under dozens of his sermons I feel particularly invested in Caner’s restoration.

This has been [rightly] dubbed The Great Evangelical Coverup–and it’s true. The evidence is incredibly overwhelming with so much evidence falsifying his claims of history and experience (see this account, which has is several years old but still worth noting–more has since been uncovered). Unfortunately, Caner has resorted to suing a pastor in good standing with his congregation [Southern Baptist] over use of a publicly available talk of Caner speaking to US Marines that contain documented lies.

December 12th, 2013

“The Suitability of Aristotelian Metaphysics for Theism” EPS 2013 Paper

by Max Andrews

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 11.52.42 AMI recently coauthored a paper with Dave Beck (Liberty University, Department of Philosophy): “The Suitability of Aristotelian Metaphysics for Theism”  presented at the Evangelical Philosophical Society in Baltimore, MD (November 2013). We primarily focus on critiques of Aristotelian/Thomistic metaphysics offered by Richard Swinburne and Lydia Jaeger. Dave primary contribution was the body-soul discussion and I focussed on Christian thought and science and our Thomistic cosmological argument. This version of the argument is something that we’ve developed over the last year or two. He also worked with my contributions as well. It was a mixed and shared effort by both of us.

Swinburne actually sat in and listened to the presentation. Afterwards, he said the critiques were fair and accurate. Likewise, he agreed that Jaeger should be read and discussed more in Christian philosophy/theology and liked our critique of her as well. He has since offered for us to send him our paper so he can review and critique it. That is certainly an honor and privilege. We haven’t finalized plans for a journal submission but I suspect we may plan to do that in the near future.

Here is our introduction to the paper:

Not just a few current philosophers and theologians have asserted that the metaphysics of Aristotle, even after it was transformed and adapted by Thomas Aquinas, will not meet any or all the requirements of a robust Christian Theism. There is nothing new about that. Both among the Patristics and the Medievals were those who for various reasons rejected Peripatetic metaphysics, primarily for its alleged physicalism. Of course the Condemnations of 1277 didn’t help things either. While directed principally against Averroistic Aristotelianism that was infecting the University of Paris, 20 of the 219 condemned theses were Thomistic. Nevertheless, Thomas would prevail, not only to sainthood, but to become the patron of education and the Teacher of the Church.

December 8th, 2013

Love, Philosophy, and Love

by Max Andrews

264207_10150227244710163_6694857_nWhen you say “I love you” to your fiancé[e], spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend the profundity behind that declaration is incredible.  So, if my beautiful wife asks, “Why do you love me?” what do I say?  Well, I give her my reasons of course… but at what point do I originate my reasons?  Yes, God has orchestrated the world that it be this way but what factors are involved in God’s providential molding?

I believe the question of love ultimately comes down to the individual’s agency, their free desire and choice to love.  If all my reasons to love are external then that would seem to imply that there could be external reasons for me to stop loving.  Here’s a few examples. I love my wife because:

  • She has a beautiful smile.
  • She is fun.
  • She is intelligent
  • She has gorgeous eyes.
  • Her personality complements mine.
  • She is kind and gentle.
  • We have memorable moments.
  • She makes me happy
  • Etc.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but I chose features and examples that a lot of people will say up front.  All of these are external features and reasons.  What if these change and

November 19th, 2013

The Origin of the Seven Deadly Sins

by Max Andrews

Most of us are quite familiar with the seven deadly sins: Pride, Greed, Wrath, Luxury/Lust, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth. However, these are much more profound then they seem to be at face value and they go much, much deeper, penetrating the depths of our soul to bring about a conviction and guidance needed during some of the darkest times of our lives. This brings us to John of the Cross…

John of the Cross (1542-1591) was committed to Catholic reform and was imprisoned, or put in confinement, by those who opposed the reform. During this time he wrote his most famous work, The Dark Night of the Soul. The concept of the dark night is key to one’s spiritual journey. It’s not when one is experiencing joy and light but rather sorrow and darkness.

When enduring through the dark night there is a loss of pleasure.  After you first become a Christian, God cares for and comforts the infant soul.  You will pray with urgency and perseverance and engage in all kinds of spiritual activity. What’s important to know is that this whole gauntlet is an act of God.  God will bid you to grow deeper and remove precious consolation from the soul in order to teach it virtue rather than developing vice.

The following is a list of [seven] sins that makes clear the soul has begun to misuse its spiritual consolation and why God must take it away in order to purify the soul from imperfections.