June 5th, 2015

## Explaining Middle Knowledge Without Being Complicated

In the beginning, there was God. Just God. No one or nothing else (“prior” to creation). Now, for the sake of taking some of the language down a few notches, let’s suppose God is deliberating between which worlds he wants to create (I deny divine deliberation, but work with me here).

Behind door number 1 is an option for a world and universe for God to create. Let’s concoct what this world would look like:

WORLD 1

• Cassidy owns a ginger cat named Basil
• Hugo won $156,000,000 in the lottery • James got a haircut on 09 November 2004 • Desmond went to prison December 26th, 2014 ## Pain and Suffering: When We Are Most Like God I was once at Cracker Barrel with someone, a favorite of mine. We sat down and we started talking about family and the issue of pain, suffering, and evil sneaked its way into our discussion. Evil, pain, and suffering are very serious issues that I do not take lightly. I lectured on the problem of evil a couple of years ago to one of my philosophy classes I assist/teach. I have the hardest time talking about pain and suffering and teaching it was difficult for me as well. I spent the first 40 minutes emphasizing how important the issue is ranging from its permeation into culture such as the movie I Am Legend film (Will Smith’s character denies God’s existence because of the evil), September 11th, and to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. I thought about our response to pain and suffering and then it dawned on me… a response of compassion, sympathy, and real spiritual anguish over such pain and suffering is when we are most like God. May 19th, 2014 ## The Spread of Molinism I’ve been off of Facebook for a while [for several reasons] and apparently there is now a Molinist group. I don’t know how many people are in it but it’s nice for like-minded individuals to share and exchange ideas with one another (likewise, of course, interacting with opposing views). I recently spent an afternoon with Tyler McNabb[1] in Glasgow. Later that day Tyler sent me an email of encouragement. Part of it was below. Apparently, someone asked, “Just out of curiosity, how many here were introduced to Molinism by WLC?” Below are a few responses. Dwight Stanislaw WLC and Max Andrews. Max led me to Keathley’s book, which was the first treatment on Molinism I’ve read. Now I’m reading Freddoso’s intro to Molina’s own work and it’s destroying every last brain cell I have left. Chad Miller Dwight literally took the exact route I did. I was intrigued by WLC but still Calvinist. I got to know Max via social media and communicated a lot with him. I asked him THE book on Molinism that gave the best argument and he recommend S&S by Ken Keathley, and now I’m here in this group and shall remain as long as Facebook is around… Jonathan Thompson WLC, Plantinga, and Max Andrews. I first came in contact with this view upon hearing WLC’s lecture “Is One True Religion Possible?”. April 26th, 2014 ## Ebook: The Problem of Existence on Sale for Lowest Price My recent ebook is now on sale for it’s lowest price at$2.99. Because of the size and volume of content it won’t let me sell it for any cheaper. I’ve begun a recent interest in mental health: depression, anxiety, bipolar, anger, etc. and this is a combination of my work in existentialism for those who are or know someone struggling. I just want the material out there regardless of price.

If you believe you have a special circumstance, please email me: mlandrews[at]sententias[d0t]com. I’m more than willing to correspond and hear your story.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Problem-Existence-Existential-Reflections-ebook/dp/B00IN4CQPM/ref=cm_rdp_product_img

April 17th, 2014

## Q&A 41: Doubt and the Gospel

Question:

Hello Max Andrews,
My name is David Hernandez and I’m a young minister with interest in theology and a keen interest in philosophy. First, I’d like to thank you for your website, it’s been a great help in understanding.
First, I’d like to talk to you about doubt. I’ve doubted for a long time. Not that I haven’t heard the arguments or atheism convinces me. It really doesn’t. But every now and then, I doubt a lot. I’m getting quite tired of it. I feel it hard to talk to an atheist for many of their arguments make me doubt. Some of them are stupid but I think, what if it’s true? Maybe it’s emotional.
Also, would you suggest any book for beginners in apologetics, philosophy of religion, and natural theology. I have a great interest though i feel God wants me to be a minister, particularly an evangelist (missionary most likely.)
Also, what’s the relationship between metaphysics and the physical universe? I’m not understanding exactly what the cosmological arguments are trying to say.
Also what can you say in taking the gospel to atheists? It is quite difficult. I find like that but sometimes these arguments don’t work in convincing them. I guess it must be appealing to head and heart. To me they become the most difficult to bring the gospel too. Maybe it’s just I feel that way since it’s really the only worldview that challenges mine. Idk well if you answer this email thank you so much. God Bless.

November 19th, 2013

## Divine Hiddenness and Inculpable Ignorance

J.L. Schellenberg is a professor of philosophy at Mount Saint Vincent University. Below is his “divine hiddennes and inculpable ignorance” argument. The hiddenness of God is certainly an interesting issue. I do believe God is quite hidden and he enjoys and has intended for himself to be at an epistemic distance from us but I don’t think this argument succeeds in being an argument against the existence of God.

1. If there is a God, he is perfectly loving.
2. If a perfectly loving God exists, reasonable nonbelief does not occur.
3. Reasonable nonbelief occurs.
4. No perfectly loving God exists.
5. There is no God.[1]

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 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.

April 17th, 2013

## When You Pray For Things That Seem to be Wrong

Now, I know this isn’t a term heard often but the imprecatory psalms are the psalms that make requests or desires known to God that are… well… evil.  Here’s a few.

Let death come deceitfully upon them; let them go down alive to Sheol, for evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.  Ps. 55.15

O God, shatter their teeth in their mouth… Ps. 58.6

May they be blotted out of the book of life and may they not be recorded with the righteous. Ps. 69.28

Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. Ps. 109.9

How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock. Ps. 137.9

I would encourage you to go to these passages and read them yourself.  Understand the contexts in which these words and thoughts were expressed.  Let’s not be too quick to say, “There’s no wrong in this!”,  ”This is the Word of God, these Psalms cannot be evil!”  I’m not saying the psalms are evil, I’m saying that aspects of what are being expressed are evil.  The psalmist, David for the most part, is desiring justice and vengeance.  He wants them to have death be surprised upon them, for them to be buried alive, for their teeth to be knocked out, for them not to receive salvation, and for their children to die in the manner in which his people’s children have been murdered.  I’m just guessing but if I had not set up these imprecatory psalms in a biblical context already you would think that they were pretty evil–no?

April 16th, 2013

## “Hey Unloving, I Will Love You…”

Just because you’ve read the Bible do you think that you know God?  You could probably predict what Hebrew word was used for a specific word based on the context… but you’ve never felt the passion behind David’s imprecatory prayers and the prayers of suffering.  You can parse every Greek word Paul uses in the book of Romans… but you’ve never felt the riddance and self-betrayal like he felt in chapter seven.

You can tell me how to encourage someone or what to do when counseling a depressed friend… but you can’t put yourself in his mind and ask yourself what it’s like to be him. You equate by analogy.  You can tell me how much you love your neighbor… but you condition it.  You can tell me how much God loves you… but you can’t understand the death of God and his spiritual and physical anguish as he passed from death to new life with you in mind.

You can quote Scripture, Ephesians 6 and the psalms, describing spiritual warfare and what to do… but you’ve never resisted sin to the point of blood.  You can quote theological works that systematically define God and who he is… but you’ve never experienced what it’s like to align planets and create stars, to watch you spit on his creation and cross, the gifts he gave for you for the very reason of your anticipated existence.