Posts tagged ‘religion’

January 15th, 2014

The Affirmations and Denials Directory

by Max Andrews

I’ve decided to make a referent post that outlines my position on many things philosophical, theological, scientific, biblical, and other. I have many similar directories: Molinism, Multiverse, Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, and the Origins Directory.

Ontological Basics

  1. Ontological Status. Existent
  2. Necessary. No
  3. Contingent. Yes
  4. Person. Yes
  5. Organic. Yes
  6. Faculty of Will. Incompatibilist (although all we need is that flicker of freedom).
  7. Personhood. Cartesian Substance Dualist, leaning Hasker’s emergentism.

Bible & Theology

  1. Theology. Theist
  2. Religion. Christian
  3. Trinity: Social Trinitarian
  4. Denomination. Associate Reformed Presbyterian (Don’t ask me how that happened…)
  5. Catholic. No. Some Catholic Dogma is contrary to what I understand the gospel to be. Some Catholics love Jesus and are saved as well, though in spite of the Catholic teaching.
  6. Eastern-Orthodoxy. No. See above.
  7. Middle Knolwedge. Yes
  8. Molinist. Yes.
  9. Soteriology. A Molinist Model
    read more »

October 28th, 2013

Top Ten Podcasts for the Christian Thinker

by Max Andrews

The following are a list of podcasts that I’ve been following and listening to that have been quite helpful in my philosophical, scientific, and theological studies.  The criteria for consideration are based on 1) quality of content, 2) accurate presentation of the material, 3) constructive and respectful criticism of opposing views, 4) frequency of podcast release, and 5) a broad range of topics/issues discussed.

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 12.24.53 PM#1. Unbelievable? – Hosted by Justin Brierly with Premier Christian Radio.  Unbelievable? is a UK-based public radio program, which airs every Saturday afternoon with an occasional podcast posting mid-week.  Justin brings in several leading scholars in theological and philosophical matters and they debate and dialogue particular issues ranging from ethics, comparative religions, the existence of God, science, doctrinal differences, and current events.

August 23rd, 2013

Recent Study Arguing that Atheists are more Intelligent than Religious People is missing Several Key Factors

by Max Andrews

The recent paper “The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity” published in Personality and Social Psychology Review argued that atheists tend to be more intelligent than religious people. The research has frontloaded the study on faulty assumptions and is missing a key factor—a correspondence of worldview to truth.

First and foremost, the research and data gathering is commendable but the assumptions and hidden premises within the study are unsound.

The study associates atheism as non-conformity when stating, “more intelligent people are less likely to conform to religious orthodoxy” (p. 16). This is a category error. If atheism does not conform to the religious majority it still conforms to the non-conformist minority. When this is applied in majority atheist societies, a la Scandinavia, it’s more so dismissed nonchalantly though this criterion is still applied elsewhere in more religious countries (pp. 17, 22). Therefore, non-conformity should not be a measure of intelligence because some societies are religious and others are not; thus, atheism can be either conformist or non-conformist depending on the country, so it can’t be measured that way.

April 22nd, 2013

Q&A 19: Calvinism and Free Will

by Max Andrews

Question:

Hey! My name is Josh. I’m a young college student by day (and christian apologist by night, jokes). But in my personal life, apologetics is important to me.Aside from that, I have a question I think you could help me with. I’m a Calvinist (hold the tomatoes) because I think, Biblically, it’s the most accurate putting together of scriptural truth (basically the best systematic theology). My problem is this:
Total Inability and free will. How are we morally responsible if we cannot choose otherwise? And since no one seeks God (Romans) and no one can come to Christ unless the Father brings them (John 6), how is it that we can really talk about free will? How would this be the best possible world where most free creatures choose Christ, when they cannot choose Him unless He first removes their inability? It seems that it doesn’t matter what world God created becaue technically speaking, He could remove the inability from all people, resulting in everyone freely choosing Christ. I hope my questions make sense. I’m eager to hear your response.Keep up the good work. I love your website!God Bless :)

Answer:

Josh,

Thanks for your question. Since I’m not a Calvinist my answer will probably be a little different from what you were anticipating. First, I’ll respond to you question from within the Calvinist system (as best as I can). Then I’ll give you  my response and thoughts on the issue as a Molinist.

March 30th, 2013

Bellingham Lectures in Philosophy & Religion — Eleonore Stump

by Max Andrews

Eleonore Stump recently delivered lectures for BLPR on pain and suffering.

Eleonore Stump is The Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, where she has taught since 1992. In 2012, Dr. Stump was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among other honors, she is past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the American Philosophical Association, Central Division. She delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Aberdeen in 2003, the Wilde Lectures at Oxford University in 2006, the Thomas Merton Lecture at Columbia University in 2008, and the Stewart Lectures at Princeton University in 2009. She is the author of numerous articles and books, includingWandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering (Oxford 2010).

February 14th, 2013

Max Tegmark on Religion and Science

by Max Andrews

The bulk of my graduate research is focused on the work and thought of Max Tegmark, an MIT astrophysicist/cosmologist, who’s responsible for a tremendous contribution to multiverse models. In honor of Charles Darwin’s 204th birthday he did an article for the Huffington Post, “Celebrating Darwin: Religion and Science are Closer Than You Think.” There are some very interesting survey results regarding faith and conflict between evolution and big bang cosmology.

So is there a conflict between science and religion? The religious organizations representing most Americans clearly don’t think so. Interestingly, the science organizations representing most American scientists don’t think so either: For example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science states that science and religion “live together quite comfortably, including in the minds of many scientists.” This shows that the main divide in the U.S. origins debate isn’t between science and religion, but between a small fundamentalist minority and mainstream religious communities who embrace science.

December 24th, 2012

Q&A 3: Why Get a Degree in Religion?

by Max Andrews

Q&A GraphicQuestion:

Hello there Max Andrews, my name is Brian Urias. I’m 19 years old, live in Virginia, and am planning on transferring to Liberty University, or to whatever school the Lord leads me to go. I have a heart and passion for Gods kingdom and seeing lives change for Jesus Christ. I’ve been particularly interested in theology and apologetics since my junior year of high school. I literally have a whole library of books on theology and apologetics in my house haha. My long term goal is to be a professor and publish my own work and continue to spread the gospel throughout the academia as you are. I know this is all random so let me get to the point. One day I decided to look up local Christian apologists on google and your website came up. I watched a portion of your debate and read some of your other material and I must say that God has given you a gift! It honestly inspired so much. I know this is all very random, but I have a question. I saw that you got your bachelors in Biblical studies, and I want to know what exactly you did from that point? I love Gods word and I feel that he might be calling me to major in Biblical studies as well. I don’t necessarily fear what people would think, I just fear what people say about “Bible majors.”

October 3rd, 2012

Philosophy and Religious Studies Rated 4th Worst College Major

by Max Andrews

Kiplinger recently did a study on the ten worst college majors. Amongst the list included were anthropology, fine arts, film, studio arts, and sociology. Concerning philosophy and religious studies Kiplinger writes,

via Kiplinger

Unemployment rate: 7.2%

Unemployment rate for recent grads: 10.8%

Median salary: $42,000

Median salary for recent grads: $30,000

Projected job growth for this field, 2010-2020: not available

Likelihood of working retail: 2.0 times average

Philosophy might improve your mind, but it won’t do much for your pocketbook. In fact, the salary prospects for a philosophy major could be called ascetic. Recent grads make 19% less than young grads from the top 100 majors, and the gap narrows only slightly for experienced workers with degrees in philosophy and religious studies.

September 16th, 2012

The Case for Day-Age Creation

by Max Andrews

By Hugh Ross

No one approaches the Bible completely free of bias. Mine was a secularist’s assumption that this book, like other texts considered “sacred,” would be easy to dismiss as a culturally important yet humanly crafted document. I did not disbelieve in a Being beyond the universe. I had studied enough to see growing evidence for the universe’s transcendent beginning and, thus, the reality of a transcendent Beginner. I felt no compelling need, however, to find the Bible either true or false.

Some may consider my early attraction to astronomy as a bias, but I see no basis for discounting a researcher’s truth filters — such as the rules of logic and evidence — as if they are inappropriate study tools. So this is where I started. I could not have imagined where my inquiry would lead.

From where I stand today, with full confidence in the truth of Scripture and high regard for the prolific scientific enterprise that sprang from widespread access to the Bible, I cannot help but wonder if something other than exegetical difficulties is fueling the creation controversy. The push to choose either a high view of the Bible or a high view of nature’s record seems to come from a sense of vulnerability — an apprehension that discoverable facts might somehow, someday clash irreconcilably with biblical theology. And then what? I simply do not see that danger as real. God’s constancy and consistency of character, observed in both Scripture and nature, takes it away.

August 21st, 2012

The Magis Center for Reason and Faith

by Max Andrews

A reader of the blog recently contacted me about the Magis Center for Reason and Faith. I’ve since added it to the Resources page. A few years ago I was able to listen to Fr. Robert Spitzer give a presentation on the fine-tuning of physics. (I don’t remember if you can see me in the video but I’m in the house right.) There’s a wonderful resource, the Physics FAQ, which I’ve linked below.

The Magis Center of Reason and Faith is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to explaining the consistency between science and spirituality in contemporary physics. In the past ten years, implications of transcendence in physics, philosophy of mathematics, and metaphysics have become more pronounced. Indeed, no other decade in history has revealed more or better evidence for God. So what is this evidence?