Archive for ‘Theology’

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.

November 4th, 2013

Eusebius of Caesarea–An Overview

by Max Andrews

Eusebius of Caesarea (AD 260-340) grew up in Palestine.  There is nothing known about his parents, or how and when he became a Christian. He is also known as “Eusebius of Pamphilus.” Pamphilus had studied under Pierius, who had been a disciple of Origen.  When Pamphilus moved to Caesarea, Eusebius came under his influence.  Together they cataloged Origen’s library and wrote the multi-volume Defense of Origen.  Their collaboration came to an end following Pamphilus’s arrest (307) and execution (309) during the reign of Maximinus Daia.

Eusebius’s Church History consists of ten volumes, the last three of which deal with the church in his day.  It appears that the “History” originally ended with Book VII prior to the outbreak of the Diocletian persecution in 303, with later books being added in successive editions (the last coming in 323).

October 3rd, 2013

Q&A 34: Thomas Aquinas’ Understanding of Creation and Time

by Max Andrews

Question:

Hey Max I have a few questions about your cosmological argument from Thomas Aquinas:

(1) Did Aquinas believe in creation out of nothing?

(2) Did Aquinas believe that the universe existed eternally side by side with God even though it was contingent?

Also, how can be God be timeless on the view that the universe did not begin to exist? If God’s relation to the universe is always present, would that not imply an eternal relation of God with the universe, which would involve time itself? It is difficult for me to make sense of how God could be timeless on this view and not simply temporal.

Thanks,

Ben Williamson

Answer:

Hi Ben,

Here’s the short answers:

1) Yes.

2) I don’t think Thomas would phrase it that way but Thomas is okay with a creation that has existed for an infinite duration in the past–emphasizing the radical contingency.

July 31st, 2013

Q&A 30: Does Ken Ham Preach Heresy?

by Max Andrews

Q&A GraphicQuestion:

Max:

My final e-mail about YE matters:

I wrote the following to the elders I correspond with at [a church]*. They replied that heresy was probably too strong a word to apply to Ken Ham. I’m not sure I’m persuaded.