Archive for ‘Theology’

November 19th, 2013

Problem of Evil 101

by Max Andrews

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
    read more »

November 19th, 2013

Is an Eternal Hell Morally Justifiable?

by Max Andrews

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

by Max Andrews

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

by Max Andrews

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

by Max Andrews

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.

November 15th, 2013

Q&A 35: Arguing with Pantheists

by Max Andrews

Q&A GraphicQuestion:

Mr. Andrews,

Thank you for your website. It has helped me greatly.

Recently I have been witnessing to some Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer followers. They are diehard pantheists. After using the cosmological and contingency arguments to establish first cause and God’s separation from his creation I tried to use a logical argument against pantheism. In response to one of them saying that he was god I tried using the Law of non contradiction against his statement. I said its at contradiction to be necessary/ contingent, eternal/ temporal, infinite/finite, uncreated/created etc. His response was that Jesus was. I went on to explain how Jesus had two natures and there was no contradiction. He said so did he. Of course Jesus proved his divinity and these guys couldn’t.

Sir do you know any good arguments against Pantheism using the laws of logic?

Thank you Sir, I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Wishes,
Chris Lyons

November 8th, 2013

Christo-Monism and Why You Should Know the Term

by Max Andrews

Barth has made many contributions to Christian theology. Christo-monism came to light in contrast to liberal anthropocentrism.  It adopts ecclesial-centrism of Catholicism.  With this, Jesus Christ is the center and focus of all revelation and so of all God’s elective and redemptive work for humanity.  Therefore, all doctrinal headings are brought in naturally under Jesus Christ.

November 7th, 2013

The Hegelian Model of the Trinity

by Max Andrews

For Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, his major emphasis was upon the dialectical process of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.  This process leading toward actualization of one’s spirit or geist extends down to humans but only because it first applies to God as the Absolute Idea.  Within Hegel’s thought, the universe is in a constant process of development.  In this process, God (THESIS) interacts with nature (ANTITHESIS), which results in the SYNETHSIS of human development.

One must keep in mind the fact that God is first engaged in the process of actualization, all other actualization occurs as a result of God’s increasing toward actualization.  God ultimately is that being working its way in and through the whole of history so one traces out God by tracing out history wherein God is actualizing himself dialectically.  Thus, within the natural realm, humans in history too are in the process of increasing in actualization. Human actualization therefore is in a sense to be viewed “on God’s coattails” in a trinitarian process.  There is also a sense in which God IS history and the process whereby history is progressing upwards dialectically is a work of the divine Spirit working toward actualization wherein God himself is working toward actualization.

Hegel perceives God’s “tri-unity” as an outgrowth of self-consciousness as a person and the means of divine self-actualization.  God as an “I” by self-consciousness objectifies itself as THOU.  In looking at himself as a SELF is to objectify the subjective element thus establishing another of the ONE.  The unity/synthesis of the “I” and the objectified “I” forms the third element.  This third element is the unification as sprit (Holy Spirit).  As Absolute Ideas and as PERSONAL, GOD goes out from himself and is estranged from himself.  In the completion of the trinitarian movement, God then returns to himself, overcomes the estrangement of I from I, actualizes himself, and in the process actualizes man and all of history with him.

November 7th, 2013

CS Lewis’ Idea of Heaven

by Max Andrews

Pleasures are to last forever in some form or another.  According to Lewis, a pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.[1] This full knowledge and complete fruition of pleasure will only be in the fulfillment of one’s telos.  This lapse in knowledge, the separation between the subject and object (the epistemic gap between the subject and the object of desire that full one’s pleasures) is removed in heaven.  In Narnia, The Last Battle is the battle of the real forms—a draw to a close between this epistemic gap.  Digory, looking at the new Narnia, seeing that it is a fuller, more real version of the old Narnia, comments that, “It’s all in Plato, all in Plato.”[2]  Lewis’ Platonism is one in which ideas becomes concrete forms.  In heaven, Lewis says, is where heaven is a place where subject and object come together: thought and form become one when subject experiences object.[3] 

November 7th, 2013

An Ethic of Love

by Max Andrews

This is an ethic proposed by Søren Kierkegaard based out of 1 Pt. 4.8.

Hiding by Not Discovering

Hiding:  “[Love] does not discover sins; but not to discover what still must be there, insofar as it can be discovered—that is hiding.”

Discovery:  Reveals sin and increases the multitude of sin.

“To make discoveries even with regard to evil, with regard to sin and the multitude of sins, to be the shrewd, sly, foxy, perhaps more or less corrupt observer who can really make discoveries—this is highly regarded in the world.” It is not that any discovery of sin is bad or itself a sin, but rather the attitude that seeks out sins in others and relishes in their discovery is.