March 3rd, 2014

## The Problem of Bad “Biblical” Rhetoric

If we are pursuing truth then there are many means to discovering what the truth is [about God, reality, etc.]. It’s incredibly naïve to dismiss something because it is not in a preferred category. If we are pursing truth then it would be a category error to dismiss a challenging viewpoint simply because of categorically dismissiveness. Throwing words around like unbiblical, sub-biblical, and non-biblcal are rhetorical devices used in a debate when both parties (or more) believe that they are defending a biblical position. You may believe that something is one of the aforementioned categories but to continuously bring it up is quite the rhetorical effort, and I admit, probably effective to the listeners and debaters, but it doesn’t help and it’s simply annoying. The same thing goes for the claim of “meaningful exegesis” (some people may recognize that line). The two parties in the debate sincerely believe they are doing meaningful exegesis but it simply rhetoric and places the person categorically below the other one by trumpeting their position as being [the only] biblical position. It’s like political public opinion. If you repeat something long enough, be it true or not true, they’re going to start believing it (analogically speaking, the audience or listeners).

February 26th, 2014

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 February 20th, 2014 ## “The Problem of Existence” E-Book on Feb 26 and Giveaway On Feb. 26 my first e-book, The Problem of Existence: Existential Reflections on Pain and Suffering, will be available for Kindle download for$3.99. I’ve been working on this project for over a year and I’ve recently delving back in to finishing it. Essentially, the book is for those who are suffering or in pain and for those who may know someone who is going through hardship and suffering. We find ourselves thrusted into existence and we observe so much absurdity around us. This is the problem of existence. It’s the why questions.

Regular readers over the years will recognize a lot of the content. I’ve compiled everything in what will, hopefully, be an easy read formatted in an understandable way. Some of it is story telling and other parts are serious philosophy and theology. This e-book is a bit different than my normal topics related to science and philosophy. I found that while composing and editing it I was really just speaking to myself. Like the psalmist does so often, “Why are you cast down, O soul?” Sometimes we need to preach to ourselves and this is really just a glimpse of my heart.

February 12th, 2014

## Boethius, Foreknowledge, and Human Freedom

Boethius discusses the problem in reconciling genuine human freedom with God’s foreknowledge in “Divine Foreknowledge and Freedom of the Will” (proses III-VI).  He bases his whole discussion on whether or not something that is foreknown happens by necessity.  He offers the disjunctive option of the necessity of either thing, which are going to happen be foreseen by God or that what God foresees will in fact happen—either way, he argues, human will is removed.  When discussing the uncertainty of future events he concludes that, for God, there must be no uncertainty in these events because it’s then reduced to possible conditionals, or could-counterfactuals.  Hence, the law of excluded middle is true for knowledge of future tensed events.  He makes an interesting point when discussing aspects about Cicero’s contribution to the problem.  If foreknowledge is removed then the events of human will are no longer necessary. Considering all of the discussion so far he believes that everything that happens does so by necessity.

January 7th, 2014

## Abstract for an Upcoming Paper Developing my Model of Modal Realism

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

November 19th, 2013

## Problem of Evil 101

Levels of the Problem of Evil

1. Religious Problem:  How do I relate to God in the midst of real evil, tragedy, and suffering in my life and those around me?
2. Psychological Problem:  How do I relate to myself, what strategies can I use to deal with evil?
3. Theological Problem:  How can I relate sin and suffering with God’s sovereignty and other doctrines?
4. Philosophical Problem:  How am I to understand that there is evil and a good and loving God?

The Logical Problem of Evil (LPOE)

1. God is all-good (holy)
2. God is all-powerful (omnipotent)
3. God is all-knowing (omniscient)
4. Evil is real

November 19th, 2013

## Is an Eternal Hell Morally Justifiable?

In a debate of mine from this past summer my opponent brought up the problem of hell. His objection was, “There is no moral justification for sending anybody to suffer eternally in hell.” Before defending the doctrine of an eternal hell I need to make clear how far this objection actually goes. This isn’t an objection to the existence of God nor is it an objection to Christianity. This is an objection to hermeneutical principles and, possibly, in a worst case scenario, an objection to inerrancy. Should it be the case that the objection succeeds then we ought to modify our hermeneutical grid by which we understand special revelation concerning the final destination and consequences for the reprobate damned. Should the best hermeneutic affirm the doctrine of eternal hell then the objection brings inerrancy into question. However, I don’t think the objection succeeds at all and below was my response defending the doctrine of an eternal hell:

November 17th, 2013

## Theology and Nature

Theology is doubly revealed and many Christians often ignore God’s natural revelation as being a valid object of interpretation.  It’s all too often that many Christians reject many valid scientific theories.

“Theology is properly distinguished as natural and revealed.  The former is concerned with the facts of nature so far as they reveal God and our relation to him, and the latter with the facts of Scripture.” –Charles Hodge

Theology refers to the all encompassing knowledge of God.

Theology of Nature refers to the Book of Nature as revealed in Scripture (Ps. 19.1-4; Rom. 1.20)  Look at Psalm 19. When speaking of God it refers to his general name (El, Heb., continuous, abundant, universal). Some of the themes are creation’s contingency, Imago Dei, Stewardship, the fall, etc.

November 17th, 2013

## A Theological Argument for Many Worlds

The following is the abstract to Don Page’s paper, “A Theological Argument for an Everett Multiverse.”

Science looks for the simplest hypotheses to explain observations. Starting with the simple assumption that {\em the actual world is the best possible world}, I sketch an {\it Optimal Argument for the Existence of God}, that the sufferings in our universe would not be consistent with its being alone the best possible world, but the total world could be the best possible if it includes an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God who experiences great value in creating and knowing a universe with great mathematical elegance, even though such a universe has suffering.

November 17th, 2013

## Ambrose of Milan

St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397) is one of the four traditional Doctors of the Latin church along with St. Jerome (345-420), St. Augustine (354-430), and St. Gregory the Great (530-604). Ambrose was born into the increasingly prevalent Christian minority of the aristocracy. His father was Praetorian prefect of Gaul.  His father died not long after he was born, leaving his mother and sister to raise him.  His training was in law, and included a knowledge of Greek.  He followed his father into the imperial administration and, after practicing in Roman law courts, was appointed governor of Aemilia-Liguria, ca. 370, the seat of which was Milan.