CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

CT Direct has just put out a new article written by William Lane Craig, Ph.D., entitled God Is Not Dead Yet: How current philosophers argue for his existence. As the sub-title promises, Dr. Craig takes a brief look at some of the current arguments of natural theology (including the cosmological argument, the Kalam Cosmological Argument, the Teleological Argument, the Moral Argument and the Ontological Argument) and examines argumentation for God in a post-modern age.

Here is a sample:

However all this may be, some might think that the resurgence of natural theology in our time is merely so much labor lost. For don't we live in a postmodern culture in which appeals to such apologetic arguments are no longer effective? Rational arguments for the truth of theism are no longer supposed to work. Some Christians therefore advise that we should simply share our narrative and invite people to participate in it.

This sort of thinking is guilty of a disastrous misdiagnosis of contemporary culture. The idea that we live in a postmodern culture is a myth. In fact, a postmodern culture is an impossibility; it would be utterly unlivable. People are not relativistic when it comes to matters of science, engineering, and technology; rather, they are relativistic and pluralistic in matters of religion and ethics. But, of course, that's not postmodernism; that's modernism! That's just old-line verificationism, which held that anything you can't prove with your five senses is a matter of personal taste. We live in a culture that remains deeply modernist.

Otherwise, how do we make sense of the popularity of the New Atheism? Dawkins and his ilk are indelibly modernist and even scientistic in their approach. On the postmodernist reading of contemporary culture, their books should have fallen like water on a stone. Instead, people lap them up eagerly, convinced that religious belief is folly.

As usual for Dr. Craig, this is a carefully written and informative overview of the field. I recommend it.

13 comments:

for ten years I've been trying to tell both sides on message boards they are both missing the boat. Christians tend to get panicky about new things. They don't even know what Postmodernism is about and they are quick to speak of it in the same shunning tones of which they spoke of humanism.

Atheists should find Postmodernism a ready ally. The major PM's hated Christianity. But instead atheists tend to hate it because it would critique their one and only form of knowledge, science, and it requires that one appreciate other forms of thinking than empiricism.

God arguments are far from dead. They are getting better all the time. Postmodernism has a lot of offer God arguments.

Moreover, people are doing great things with experince arguments agan. just wait.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Post-modern philosophers may hate Christianity, but their thinking is absolutely saturated with Christian themes and symbols, and many of them have given extremely perceptive interpretations of key biblical narratives. Read Miroslav Volf's "Exclusion and Embrace" for a sampling. He got me thinking that even Nieztsche (however the hell his name is spelled!) has a lot of helpful insights for Christian theology.

The article is a good summary of the most popular arguments for God. I'd recommend it to anyone who hadn't heard these arguments.

Did any of those arguments make me have more faith when I was a Christian? Nope, even though I loved discussing them.

Do they convince me that I shouldn't be an Atheist now? Nope.

Only a real experience with God would do that. I had lots of experiences when I was a Christian of what I thought was God, but now see merely as coincidences and feelings.

Post-modern philosophers may hate Christianity, but their thinking is absolutely saturated with Christian themes and symbols, and many of them have given extremely perceptive interpretations of key biblical narratives. Read Miroslav Volf's "Exclusion and Embrace" for a sampling. He got me thinking that even Nieztsche (however the hell his name is spelled!) has a lot of helpful insights for Christian theology.

their critique of reductinism and of scientifism is essential for a thinking Christian.

Only a real experience with God would do that. I had lots of experiences when I was a Christian of what I thought was God, but now see merely as coincidences and feelings.

a vast body of scientific data and empirical studies prove that religious experince is valid and real. they obviously they can't prove it's God behind the experince, but they do prove it is a real in the sense that something is actually at work in the brain, tis' not just an attitude.

that doesn't speak to your experince, but I'm absolutely certain mine are valid expressions of that thing, whatever it is,the top of the metaphysical hierarchy or the transcendental signifier...the thing we call "God."

"a vast body of scientific data and empirical studies prove that religious experience is valid and real. they obviously they can't prove it's God behind the experience, but they do prove it is a real in the sense that something is actually at work in the brain, it's not just an attitude.

that doesn't speak to your experience, but I'm absolutely certain mine are valid expressions of that thing, whatever it is,the top of the metaphysical hierarchy or the transcendental signifier...the thing we call "God."


I don't deny that physiological things happen during events that are perceived as spiritual. I know about the brainwave activity seen during prayer and meditation. That stuff is great, and if you want to call your experience an experience with something you call "God", then fine, but don't expect everyone to call it God. I know several people that are complete panentheists or pantheists, but would never consider themselves as such. Yet, they don't believe in any kind of personal deity, but have a great love and adoration of the circle of life.

Why is it so important that I call the ultimate reality God?

I don't deny that physiological things happen during events that are perceived as spiritual. I know about the brainwave activity seen during prayer and meditation. That stuff is great, and if you want to call your experience an experience with something you call "God", then fine, but don't expect everyone to call it God.

Doesn't matter what you call it. It's real and changes lives. But it's not just brain waves. eating chocolate changes brain waves, there's a center of brain activity in the hypothalamus that reacts to God talk, meaning the idea of God is hard wired. we are born with knowledge of this concept.

explains as to why that would be require LaMarkian premises. Larmarkian evolution is considered wrong and outmoded. therefore, there is no modern scientific explanation for it. The most logical prima facie explanation is that it's a reacting to a reality.




I know several people that are complete panentheists or pantheists, but would never consider themselves as such. Yet, they don't believe in any kind of personal deity, but have a great love and adoration of the circle of life.

we have to discuss that phrase "personal deity." That's a problematic concept. "Personal" is not a primary attribute of God. By that I mean it's not an attribute that makes God God, since there are other kinds of consciousness in the world, it' not unique to God.

Why is it so important that I call the ultimate reality God?

It's not important that you call it "God," It's important that you recognize it's relation to Jesus and his death on the cross, and that you seek to know that reality, whatever you want to call it, on an expirential basis.

My use of the word personal was incorrect, what I meant was any sentient being who is a deity, something more than just the wheel of life.

It's important that you recognize it's relation to Jesus and his death on the cross, and that you seek to know that reality, whatever you want to call it, on an experiential basis.

Ok, why is that important? I know what orthodox (Little "O") Christianity would say, but what does your more liberal Christianity say? I'm much more likely to believe in some sort of omnipresent and perhaps ambiguous deity than I am in Jesus Christ. I don't buy into Christ's death as atonement, universal or otherwise. It's going to take me forever to weed through the Metacrock blog, so if there's a specific post you'd like to direct me too, that would be cool if you feel one of them could answer my question.

Mike: {{I know several people that are complete panentheists or pantheists, but would never consider themselves as such. Yet, they don't believe in any kind of personal deity, but have a great love and adoration of the circle of life.

Why is it so important that I call the ultimate reality God?}}

If you're asking why some kind of real theism (in the sense of an actively personal ultimate deity) is so important as a belief, my "Heart of Freedom" essay, which I've just reposted for this year's Independence Day, gives what I believe to be a strong summary answer to that question. This answer explicitly respects people like the one whom I love the most in the world, who more-or-less fits into the description you gave there. {s} As a logical corollary, the more respect and regard I have for her, or even for one of the snarky opponents who show up here on a semi-regular basis (not meaning you, btw)--the more strongly and fully and completely that I truly believe in true love, in other words--the more I'm going to find I believe orthodox Christian theism to be true.


If what you're asking (also or instead) is why we should use a modified word for 'good' as a proper name and/or title for the ultimate fact of existence, then I offer this progressing series of articles (the table of contents of which can be found in this Cadre Journal entry, about halfway down the page where Section Four begins. The material from the "Heart of Freedom" essay, along with some other things, is slated to be presented in chapter format in this series as well, as Sections Two and Three, beginning later this year.)


For what it's worth, I wouldn't try to explain even what the sacrifice and atonement of Jesus Christ is-and-means, much less why one should accept it (including as a historical event), without dealing with the theology first. (That would be Section Five, as a beginning... {g})

I hope the HoF article will be a helpful summary anyway.

Happy ID4! {g}

JRP

Thanks Jason, I'll read what you suggested. Your repost of "Heart of Freedom" showed up in my RSS feed just as I prepared to respond.

And a happy Independence Day to you as well!

My use of the word personal was incorrect, what I meant was any sentient being who is a deity, something more than just the wheel of life.

God is not a sentient being, nor does he does God just happen tobe a deity. God is not "a deity" at all.

If you had the plate form which US dollar bills are stamped (the original form which the other plates are made) you would hardly say "this just happens to be a dollar bill." God is not an individual being, God is the basis upon which the concept of individual beings are possible. God is begin itself in which all individual being draw their being.


I said:"It's important that you recognize it's relation to Jesus and his death on the cross, and that you seek to know that reality, whatever you want to call it, on an experiential basis."

Ok, why is that important? I know what orthodox (Little "O") Christianity would say, but what does your more liberal Christianity say?

Jesus is the punctuation to the omega point. His death is God's statement of solidarity with humanity, the resurrection is the Hegelian synthesis out which God gives us a future.

pretty nifty hu?




I'm much more likely to believe in some sort of omnipresent and perhaps ambiguous deity than I am in Jesus Christ. I don't buy into Christ's death as atonement, universal or otherwise.

why not? don't you think God would want solidarity with you?


It's going to take me forever to weed through the Metacrock blog, so if there's a specific post you'd like to direct me too, that would be cool if you feel one of them could answer my question.

sure. I'll be back in a flash with the link. hmmm doesn't rhyme.

Mike, don't forget after my blog there is also my website. Doxa. So these urls are from that, it's easier for me to find stuff there. it's all organized by subject with links on the first page. you just ask what does it mean for us to say God is being itself? Well the place to look is in the "God" section.

url to that page:

http://www.doxa.ws/Being/Being2.html

here is my page on athonement which will explain the solidarity thing:


http://www.doxa.ws/Theology/salvation_others1.html

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