Posts tagged ‘Theology’

March 14th, 2014

Upcoming Paper on Divine Sovereignty and Omnipotence

by Max Andrews

Several months ago I was approached by an editor for a journal (Testamentum Imperium) requesting that I submit a paper. The theme of the issue is   “Divine Sovereignty in Reformed Theology.” They are backlogged with some people having withdrawn before submission. I suspect I’ll be the token Molinist. Naturally, I’ll be offering a defense of a Molinist model of divine sovereignty. Below is the abstract for my paper titled, “The Sovereignty of God and Omnipotence”.

Abstract: The means by which God conducts his sovereign rein over creation has varied amongst theologians and philosophers of religion for centuries. I will argue that omnipotence is a modal function and is a bilateral means in conjunction with omniscience by which God sovereignly controls creation. Without having these two attributes (as well as goodness, love, etc.) functioning together then there are deleterious theological consequences for the actualization of states of affairs.

March 12th, 2014

The Winner of the Problem of Existence Amazon Gift Card

by Max Andrews

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 8.34.02 PMAs promised with the sales of the The Problem of Existence the first fifty sold and to send me their receipt were entered to win a $25 gift card. The winner is Austin McNair! (Keep reading, even if you didn’t win or didn’t enter…)

You can view the drawing from [Seattle!] hat: http://instagram.com/p/ldXxIyFi9y/

I was very encouraged by so many people sharing the book and purchasing the book. I know some people may have needed it for themselves and I know some people are reading it to help others, which is so important. It shows that there are people who want to learn about these problems that others are facing in life. It’s not all about the sales. It’s about sharing the knowledge and loving others. I was particularly encouraged by one of the submissions by Michael Chardavoyne:

“The Problem of Existence” A book that reaches the mind and the heart at the same time. I find myself pulled in page by page as if it was meant for me to digest in the core of who I am and my perspective of those around me. If we are intrinsically valuable and there is a Creator life has meaning. If not where does meaning and purpose come from?

March 4th, 2014

God, Man, the World and Ontological Relations

by Max Andrews

God created both us and our world in such a way that there is a certain fit or match between the world and our cognitive faculties.  This is the adequation of the intellect to reality (adequation intellectus ad rem).  The main premise to adequation intellectus ad rem is that there is an onto-relationship between our cognitive or intellectual faculties and reality that enables us to know something about the world, God, and ourselves.[1]  This immanent rationality inherent to reality is not God, but it does cry aloud for God if only because the immanent rationality in nature does not provide us with any explanation of itself.[2]

In reality all entities are ontologically connected or interrelated in the field in which they are found.  If this is true then the relation is the most significant thing to know regarding an object.  Thus, to know entities as they actually are is to know what they are in their relation “webs”.  Thomas Torrance termed this as onto-relations, which points more to the entity or reality, as it is what it is as a result of its constitutive relations.[3]

March 3rd, 2014

The Problem of Bad “Biblical” Rhetoric

by Max Andrews

If we are pursuing truth then there are many means to discovering what the truth is [about God, reality, etc.]. It’s incredibly naïve to dismiss something because it is not in a preferred category. If we are pursing truth then it would be a category error to dismiss a challenging viewpoint simply because of categorically dismissiveness. Throwing words around like unbiblical, sub-biblical, and non-biblcal are rhetorical devices used in a debate when both parties (or more) believe that they are defending a biblical position. You may believe that something is one of the aforementioned categories but to continuously bring it up is quite the rhetorical effort, and I admit, probably effective to the listeners and debaters, but it doesn’t help and it’s simply annoying. The same thing goes for the claim of “meaningful exegesis” (some people may recognize that line). The two parties in the debate sincerely believe they are doing meaningful exegesis but it simply rhetoric and places the person categorically below the other one by trumpeting their position as being [the only] biblical position. It’s like political public opinion. If you repeat something long enough, be it true or not true, they’re going to start believing it (analogically speaking, the audience or listeners).

February 26th, 2014

The Atheist Argument from Fine-Tuning is too Coarse

by Max Andrews

Believe it or not an atheist friend of mine has presented an argument from fine-tuning to demonstrate that God doesn’t exist. I think there are several different problem with the argument but I’ll be as charitable as possible to my anonymous friend @SkepticismFirst (SF).

Fine-tuning is something I’ve invested quite a bit of research in. My MA (philosophy) thesis was on the Fine-Tuning of Nomic Behavior in Multiverse Scenarios and I’m continuing that research right now in my PhD (University of Edinburgh). So, I’ve written quite extensively on this issue. Here are a few links to get the fine-tuning argument presented by the proponents of fine-tuning:

February 26th, 2014

“The Problem of Existence” on Sale for Amazon Kindle

by Max Andrews

The Problem of Existence

 

UPDATE (3 March): This Saturday, March 6, I will be doing the drawing for the first few that have submitted their receipts of purchase to receive a $25 gift card. There are only a few more slots available to please be sure to send me your receipt!

The Problem of Existence: Existential Reflections on Pain and Suffering is now available for purchase at Amazon for $3.99. The first fifty people to purchase the e-book will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. All you need to do is take a screenshot of your purchase receipt and email it to mlandrews@sententias.org. Below are the links for The Problem of Existence’s availability in the Amazon marketplace around the world (prices adjusted for national currencies):

Purchase The Problem of Existence in the American Amazon market

The French Amazon market

The Brazilian Amazon Market

The Indian Amazon Market

The Spanish Amazon Market

The Canadian Amazon Market

The British Amazon Market

February 20th, 2014

“The Problem of Existence” E-Book on Feb 26 and Giveaway

by Max Andrews

The Problem of Existence Amazon CoverOn Feb. 26 my first e-book, The Problem of Existence: Existential Reflections on Pain and Suffering, will be available for Kindle download for $3.99. I’ve been working on this project for over a year and I’ve recently delving back in to finishing it. Essentially, the book is for those who are suffering or in pain and for those who may know someone who is going through hardship and suffering. We find ourselves thrusted into existence and we observe so much absurdity around us. This is the problem of existence. It’s the why questions.

Regular readers over the years will recognize a lot of the content. I’ve compiled everything in what will, hopefully, be an easy read formatted in an understandable way. Some of it is story telling and other parts are serious philosophy and theology. This e-book is a bit different than my normal topics related to science and philosophy. I found that while composing and editing it I was really just speaking to myself. Like the psalmist does so often, “Why are you cast down, O soul?” Sometimes we need to preach to ourselves and this is really just a glimpse of my heart.

February 11th, 2014

Admit it, We’re All a bit Jonah

by Max Andrews

Question:  When I say, “Jonah,” what do you think of?

Historical Background:  Eighth century B.C.—Jonah was a prophet from Israel (Northern Kingdom) called to preach repentance to Nineveh (Assyrian).  Instead, he attempted to flee to Tarshish (Spain?).  Jonah had many reasons not to like Nineveh.

  • During Assyrian captivity they would torture.  Their methods would be cutting the skin on the side of the body and peeling it off a live person.
  • They would place bodies on spears for display.
    read more »

February 6th, 2014

Encouraging Email from a Reader

by Max Andrews

writing a letterDear Mr. Andrews,

I want to thank you for inspiring my son, Elijah.  Elijah is 14-years-old and an avid reader of your blog and of all things philosophical and theological.  He is a true believer in Jesus who is endlessly reading and learning in order to strengthen and understand his faith.  He seeks out debates to watch online, and is most recently consumed with a book on Molinism.  One of his great thrills was meeting Dr. Robert George of the Witherspoon Institute when he spoke last semester at Clemson University on the topic, ‘Was Jesus a Socialist?’  Of course, today he was also thrilled that you responded to a comment of his on your blog.

Elijah is that rare creature of the mind whose interests are wide-ranging, from ancient history to physics.  He is an excellent mathematician who recently finished his first college math class.

I want to encourage you, as a father and fellow believer, to continue to inspire your readers and students whenever that opportunity should arise again in the future.  We little know the effect of the ripples we send out, but yours have touched the life of a young man who may yet be a scholar (or who knows what).  Certainly, a young man who might be your graduate student someday!

February 1st, 2014

The Incoherence of Claiming to be an “Ex-Christian”

by Max Andrews

old churchA while ago I was listening to Dan Barker talk about how he knew that he was a born again Christian. He went to all these church events and was heavily involved with evangelism–all the Christian things Christians do. Well, Dan Barker no longer describes himself as a Christian. He, and many people like him, are very emphatic when they say that they were once Christians and they actually were saved or born again. However, if anyone is going to claim to be an Ex-Christian they’re going to have to say that they never were saved to begin with.

My concern isn’t with the doctrine of preservation or perseverance. (You can read about my position in my post, “Can You Lose Your Salvation? A Molinist’s Perspective.”)