Q & A

Here is where you’ll find my question and answer archive. Please submit any questions concerning philosophy, theology, or science to mlandrews[at]sententias.org. I suppose I could take a few personal questions as well. I will choose a question once a week, which will be posted every Monday. If I don’t answer your question right away don’t fret, it will be kept in consideration for another week. If I don’t know the answer to the question I’ll be sure to answer it to the best of my ability and point you in a direction that will hopefully help you in your question. I’ll also include guest respondents for technical questions outside of my field.

Q&A GraphicWeek 1: Kalam and the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Week 2: The Ontological Argument, Logic, and… Aliens?

Week 3: Why Get a Degree in Religion?

Week 4: Studying Techniques?

Week 5: Abandoning Apologetic Arguments and Philosopher Love?

Week 6: Scientism and Inference to the Best Explanation

Week 7: What are the Weak Spots in Apologetic Arguments?

Week 8: The Logical Coherence of the Trinity

Week 9: Layering Divine Middle Knowledge

Week 10: The Problem of Defining Science 

Week 11: Is the Belief in Free Will a Properly Basic Belief? Defeaters?

Week 12: How Can We Know God is Good and Not a Sadist?

Week 13: Materialism and the Philosophy of Mind

Week 14: Why Don’t the Laws of Nature Evolve?

Week 15: What, Exactly, IS Gravity?

Week 16: How Robust Are Theistic Explanations?

Week 17: How Does God Know These Things With Certainty?

Week 18: The Metaphysics of Time and the Kalam Argument

Week 19: Calvinism and Free Will

Week 20: Does God Know Infinite Sets and Can God Learn Anything?

Week 21: John 6, Calvinism, and Free Will Revisited

Week 22: Rapid Fire Round–Divine Freedom, the Bible, and Creationism

Week 23: Heaven, Paradise, and Resurrection

Week 24: Induction, Deduction, and Falsifiability

Week 25: Assessing the Harm Principle

Week 26: Revisiting the Viability of Theistic Explanations

Week 27: Personal Thoughts in the MIddle of a Personal Search for Truth

Week 28: The Multiverse, Many Worlds, and the Problem of Evil

Week 29: Why Do You Believe in God in the Absence of Good Arguments?

Week 30: Does Ken Ham Preach Heresy?

Week 31: Can Atheism be Shown to be Logically Incoherent?

Week 32: Young Earth Creationism as an Apologetic Methodology?

Week 33: Abductively Reasoned Religious Experience

Week 34: Thomas Aquinas’ Understanding of Creation and Time

Week 35: Arguing with Pantheists

Week 36: Don’t Get an Apologetics Degree

Week 37: Homosexuality and Ethical Semantics

Week 38: The Infinite Set of You in the Multiverse

Week 39: Ethical and Epistemic Dilemmas in Education

Week 40: William Lane Craig on the Multiverse and Is Free Will Incoherent?

Week 41: Doubt and the Gospel

Week 42: Cultural Contingency and Religion: Causation or Correlation?

5 Comments to “Q & A”

  1. I’ve been studying Proverbs for several of weeks now and came across a thought dealing with the Problem of Evil that I’d like to share. I would like for you to review it and see what you think.

    Proverbs 16:26 ESV
    “A worker’s appetite works for him;
    his mouth urges him on”

    All throughout the OT we acquire the idea that God hides his full self from us since the Fall of man. (Psa 10:1; Psa 44:24; Psa 89:46; Job 13:24). Could this be the same philosophy that God uses for the purpose of Evil? Are we driven further, faster, and harder to give God glory, given his jealous character, because we are uncomfortable with the evil this world contains? It points us directly to the reward of everlasting life, oh so more. If not Evil, then conceivably, the absence of God here on Earth. Perhaps this is why He hides from us, given the idea that were are naturally attracted to the Creator. Does this natural law give purpose to the mystery of the unrevealed side of God? Yes, Paul writes that the Gospel revealed some “mystery” that was hidden for ages to the Saints (Col 1:26), but I believe it would be foolish to believe that God has completely revealed himself to our sin-ridden bodies. We have seen the self perpetuating trait (taking into account that all things begin and end with God) of our sovereign God through the creation of the universe (vacuums, light, etc.); creation tends to rely on itself which relies on the creator for its own existence. Therefore, can God use this same law to drive us to give Him glory through our uncomfortableness here on Earth due to the Evil that we were not created for or the absence of our creator here?

  2. Max,

    Your ability to communicate technical information is very encouraging. Philosophy of Science, Philosophical Theology, and the History of these disciplines are no easy subjects to master. I know that we will never know all their is to know this side of heaven, but I glean much from reading your succinct, yet informative posts.

    My question to you is a simple one: How do you manage your time for reading, writing, and general studies? I think that for many who want to be more conversant with various fields intellectually, one of the Achilles’ heal we run into is that we do not manage our time appropriately. What sort of patterns have you found to be helpful in this area and what advice would you give to someone seeking to make the most of their studies?

  3. Impressive work. Any recommended philosophy of science articles, authors, concepts? I’m particularly interested in the scientism debate, but also the assumptions of various world views/ideologies within science. (naturalism, physicalism, etc..) Critiques of scientism & even reductionism could be helpful/interesting.

  4. What prescriptive NT commands/narratives would undermine church structure if found to be descriptive?

    I was reading “Ethics” and Bonhoeffer keeps speaking of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection as the form that creates all formations. He was speaking in terms of knowing what Gods will is but i have been thinking about Christ’s form in terms of how the church uses the Bible to create our many different variations of doctrine, polity, and governance. There are many reasons for our differences and we all use different commands in scripture or point to different narrative accounts to prove ourselves correct. Is it possible that all of these commands and all of these narrative accounts from the early church are not persciptive at all but are simply a history of how believers in Christ have done their best to live the form of Christ out in their concrete world? The commands and rules and formations we see in the New Testament might be the practical reality of Christ being used to answer specific questions at a specific time in history. Perhaps this narrative is not to be taken prescriptively but as an example of revealing God through his Sons body, the church.

  5. The shroud shows the front and the back of an individual; but if it covered the body as indicated, where is the top of the skull?

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