Posts tagged ‘Oxford’

August 13th, 2014

Eavesdropping Ep9: Max Baker-Hytch on Culture and Religious Belief

by Max Andrews

I recently presented at the Tyndale Fellowship Conference in Cambridge in July. Whilst in attendance I listened to a paper by Max Baker-Hytch on this issue of cultural contingency of religion (or God being a “cultural chauvinist”) from a Reformed Epistemologist perspective. The paper is titled “Religious diversity and epistemic luck” by Max Baker-Hytch (PhD Philosophy, Oxford) and was published in the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion.

This episode of Eavesdropping is the audio recording from his presentation in Cambridge.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.38.08 PM

September 20th, 2012

Free Papers on Jean-Jacques Rousseau

by Max Andrews

Oxford Journals is celebrating Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s 300th birthday by granting free access to many papers relevant to his work and thought. Here’s a brief history of Rousseau:

[J]ean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the most influential thinkers during the Enlightenment in eighteenth century Europe. His first major philosophical work, A Discourse on the Sciences and Arts, was the winning response to an essay contest conducted by the Academy of Dijon in 1750. In this work, Rousseau argues that the progression of the sciences and arts has caused the corruption of virtue and morality. This discourse won Rousseau fame and recognition, and it laid much of the philosophical groundwork for a second, longer work, The Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. The second discourse did not win the Academy’s prize, but like the first, it was widely read and further solidified Rousseau’s place as a significant intellectual figure.

October 20th, 2011

Dawkins and PZ Myers on William Lane Craig– That’s It?

by Max Andrews

I was quite surprised as I checked my Twitter feed this morning to find out that Richard Dawkins released another statement declaring his obstinate refusal to debate Christian philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig.  To much disappointment, the only excuses were based in mockery, arrogance, and hypocrisy.

Dawkins’ arrogant mockery of Craig. Dawkins minimizes Craig for who he is in academia by suggesting that “maybe he is a ‘theologian.’” I can see the Oxford professor doing the air quotes and saying with his germane English accent.  He acts as if no one in academia has ever heard of Craig and that he’s the equivalent of a community college professor trying to make it big.  Craig doesn’t need anything added to his CV, it’s already quite extensive and accomplished (as well as his publications).  I’m not sure how he can honestly say that he has not heard of Craig (being that he shared a stage with him at Ciudad de las Ideas).  Obviously, he knows who he is now (at least some aspects of him) but he needs to stop playing the tune of not knowing who he is and this CV jargon.  All Dawkins mentions on his schedule is that he is promoting a film “No Dinosaurs in Heaven” for October 25 when Craig is to debate Dawkins (leaving an empty chair with dire hopes of Dawkins showing up).  Oh, by the way, don’t pay attention to William Lane Craig’s events listed on Dawkins’ schedule.  Evidently, Dawkins doesn’t manage his own schedule because, as you’ll recall, he doesn’t know who Craig is…

Dawkins’ hypocrisy.  Dawkins caricatures Craig’s position with his megalomaniac-of-a-God argument by suggesting Craig argues for a God of genocide.  Okay, make the claim that this is what Craig believes, which isn’t true, but he goes on to construct an argument against Craig in this press release.  Wait a second, is he engaging in Craig’s thought here?  If yes, then why not commit to a substantive dialogue focused on, say, divine command theory?  If not, then it’s quite hypocritical.  Additionally, the hypocrisy shines when he will debate Alister McGrath and John Lennox (who both believe in inerrancy and would [I believe] defend divine command theory) but not Craig.  Surely, atheists have to be seeing this.

PZ Myers’ tomfoolery.  Myers posted an article on his blog this morning titled “Standing up to William Lane Craig.”  Most people in the scientific and philosophical blogosphere familiar with this arena of thought understand that Myers is admittedly outspoken, rude, and angry.  Sure, that’s not my preference but okay, he can be that way.  I don’t care too much about that.  What I find interesting is that he supports Dawkins’ refusal to debate Craig and considers it a “terrific put-down.”  He goes on to say,

I was pleased to see that one of Dawkins’ points was one that is not made often enough:William Lane Craig is a nasty, amoral excuse for a human being.

My only reaction to this is simply laugh.  No serious academic or inquirer for the truth can take these comments seriously.  I think it’s an amazing demonstration of lack of substantive retort and refusal to dialogue.  Dawkins and Myers simply want to monologue and when someone wants to engage, shame on that fool for thinking differently.  So much for free thought, right?

The thing is, Craig has already taken on the leading atheists and to top Dawkins would be too much of a blow for the atheist camp. He is their last hope for saving face in the public sphere.  Now, I’m not going to suggest that atheism has been dismantled in academia, because it hasn’t.  The purpose of debating is to bring the issues to a public forum and let the premises and arguments, which underlie these competing worldviews, be heard, examined, matched against peers, and argued against (which helps prevent strawmen).  Debating isn’t an academic double-blind - journal and no one ever said it was.  I suspect Dawkins isn’t the most adept debater and that’s okay.  I would be content with him saying that he isn’t sufficient in a formal oral debate and would prefer more of an academic review/written debate (and leave formal oral debates to those who can).  That’s fine with me.

Paradoxically, I believe Dawkins’ lack of debate is a bigger defeat for new atheism then if he did debate Craig.  It says so much more than if they were to engage in substantive dialogue because it demonstrates the new atheists’ desire of monologue.  They want to shout on their blogs and books that there is no God (or on busses that there probably isn’t a God).  If you stand up to question them they have nothing to respond with but strawmen arguments.  So much for standing up to William Lane Craig, this is more of a stepping-to-the-side and getting out of his way.

October 14th, 2011

Resources on the Reasonable Faith UK Tour

by Max Andrews

William Lane Craig is starting off his UK Reasonable Faith Tour from October 17-26.  Below are some resources for information concerning the tour. (Thanks to drcraigvideos for the links and videos).

Websites on the UK Tour

http://www.bethinking.org/craig
http://premier.org.uk/craig

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/ReasonableFaithTour

Interviews on the Tour

Interview with Justin Brierley at Premiere Christian Radio in the UK

Interview with Kevin Harris with the Reasonable Faith Podcast

New Articles/Stories on the Tour

Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God (The Telegraph)

BBC on “No Dawkins” Oxford Bus Campaign (BBC)

British Humanists Take to the Bunkers (Be Thinking)

Christian Philosopher William Lane Craig Is Ready to Debate, but Finds Few Challengers (Fox News)

Dawkins defends decision not to debate apologist William Lane Craig (Christianity Today)

October 11th, 2011

No Dawkins? Don’t be Daft!

by Max Andrews

There have been quite the development of criticisms of Richard Dawkins in the last few weeks in light of his denial to debate Christian philosopher William Lane Craig. I’ve been a participant in the blogosphere and in the forums and I’m familiar with what others are saying about everything. The basic principle that’s being asserted is that Dawkins will have a monologue concerning his arguments against God but he will not dialogue about it. I mean really, why debate the existence of fictitious entities and fairies?

August 17th, 2011

How to Get a Theological Education Through iTunes U

by Max Andrews

Guest Blog Post by Joshua W. Anderson (joshuaanderson<at>fuller.edu)

What if I told you it’s possible to get a free theological education online? It’s well known that one can get a degree online these days; more and more schools are making their courses available on “virtual campuses.” They include the same lectures you would hear in the classroom—just recorded and posted online. Applying for school online has become a viable option, especially for those whose current walk in life makes them unwilling or unable to move across country to be on campus.

But let’s say you don’t want to actually enroll in a program and dish out the money for a degree. (Maybe you already have another degree, or are in the workforce, or ministry). Can you still get a theological education for free? You sure can: many Christian colleges and seminaries have posted classes to download for free on iTunes U. So much so, you can build your own curriculum rivaling the amount of classroom time it would take to actually go to school. At the end of your studies you won’t get a piece of paper to hang on the wall and show your friends, but you will learn a lot that God will be able to use for your ministry.

If you’re feeling led to do this, I’d recommend downloading a flash card program like Anki http://ankisrs.net/ and building flash card decks full of only the information you hear in the lectures you want to stick in your brain. Don’t go crazy building a huge deck of cards you’ll feel overwhelmed with; just put stuff on there you actually want to be able to quote off the top of your head. Then incorporate a daily (or weekly) time of study into your life. Just listen to a lecture (taking notes or adding info to your Anki deck), and then go over your flashcards again for the day. Anki is really cool because it’s designed upon an algorithm that works with the way we learn—so you only have to designate a set amount of time you want to study each day and over time you will master large amounts of material.

The time is going to pass either way: a year from now either you will have absorbed the equivalent of a master’s degree of knowledge, or not. I’m just telling you that you can do it for free!

Check out the links below for schools that have courses online, and my own ideas for putting together a curriculum.

God bless you in your studies.

Christian Schools:

Fuller Theological Seminary:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/fuller-theological-seminary/id380159118

Reformed Theological Seminary:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/reformed-theological-seminary/id378878142

Biola University:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/biola-university/id389654288

Dallas Theological Seminary:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/dallas-theological-seminary/id386158137

Liberty University:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/liberty-university/id427898998

Westminster Theological Seminary:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/westminster-theological-seminary/id430331214

Concordia Seminary:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/concordia-seminary/id426790662

Christian History:

History of Christianity I (Reformed Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/history-of-christianity-i/id378878676

History of Christianity II (Reformed Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/history-of-christianity-ii/id378878708

History I (Reformed Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=378878750

History II (Reformed Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=378878755

History of the Christian Church I (Liberty University)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=427913072

History of the Christian Church II (Liberty University)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=431286200

Ancient and Medieval Church History (Covenant Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=418582066

Christian Philosophy and Apologetics:

Critical Reasoning for Beginners (Oxford University)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/critical-reasoning-for-beginners/id387875757

Ethics for Complete Beginners (Oxford University)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=438910219

History of Philosophy and Christian Thought (Reformed Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/history-philosophy-christian/id378879176

Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (Notre Dame)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=382668779

Defenders Class by William Lane Craig (ReasonableFaith.org)

http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/defenders-podcast/id252618196

Apologetics and Outreach (Covenant Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=418582076

Introduction to Apologetics (Liberty University)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=427913229

Christian Apologetics as Taught by Ronald Nash (Reformed Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=409829793

Christian Apologetics as Taught by John Frame (Reformed Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=378879273

History and Nature of Apologetics (Westminster Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=430339495

Hermeneutics and Exegesis:

Biblical Hermeneutics (Fuller Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/ne505-biblical-hermeneutics/id380159148

Bible Study Methods (Dallas Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=386158693

Biblical Hermeneutics (Concordia Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=426809720

The Gospels as Histories taught by Richard Bauckham (Reformed Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=426936770

The Pentateuch (Fuller Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=380159249

The Prophets (Fuller Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=380159288

Textual Criticism:

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (Daniel Wallace)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/center-for-study-new-testament/id416966041

Biblical Languages:

Basics of Biblical Hebrew (Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/beginning-hebrew-ruth-class/id392738805

Elementary Hebrew (Concordia Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=426804337

Elementary Greek (Concordia Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=426804037

Elements of Greek I (Dallas Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=386159183

Elements of Greek II (Dallas Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=386159200

Preaching and Homiletics:

Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety (UC Davis)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/overcoming-public-speaking/id414117823

Expository Preaching I (Dallas Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=386159618

Homiletics II (Concordia Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=426816801

Systematic Theology:

Systematic Theology as Taught by Wayne Grudem

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wayne-grudems-systematic-theology/id322844869

Intro to Theology (Dallas Theological Seminary)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=386159276

Some Notable Secular Institutions and Courses:

Oxford University:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/oxford-university/id381699182

Yale University:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/yale-university/id341649956

Harvard:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/harvard-university/id379060688

MIT:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/mit/id341593265

Stanford:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/stanford/id384228265

Philosophy of Mind as Taught by John Searle (UC Berkley)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=438307693

Science and Religion Lectures (Cambridge University)

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=418516646

*Note

I stuck with only links through iTunes U (except for William Lane Craig’s Defender’s class, and Dan Wallace’s material, because I couldn’t resist) but obviously you don’t have to limit yourself to this; there are also awesome podcasts that you could learn from that are not affiliated with a Christian university. Just go for it!