Showing posts from May, 2010

Divine Hiddennes as a Mechanism of God's Mercy

This is my third post on the issue of divine hiddenness. The first post laid out the so-called problem of divine hiddenness, flagged some of its limitations as an argument against God's existence, and offered a number of suggested answers to the objections usually associated with divine hiddenness. One of those suggestions was: Or perhaps the "epistemic distance" is in fact a mercy. That the more clear, the closer, is God's presence to humans the closer and swifter his judgment must be. God is, after all, an "all consuming fire." Heb. 12:29. Perhaps God has balanced the level of evidence of His presence with His desire to give more time for the spread of the Gospel before His judgment must come. This post expands on this point. A recurring theme throughout the Old Testament is that human beings cannot stand the full presence of God, at least not in their current condition. In Exodus 3:5-6, God revealed himself to Moses through a burning bush, but even s

The Nature of Doubt and Divine Hiddenness

In a previous post , I began a discussion about the issue of Divine Hiddenness. A perhaps unwarranted assumption of the argument from divine hiddenness is that more evidence of God's existence would necessarily result in the conversion of all rational unbelievers. While it is possible that more evidence of God’s existence or nature may result in the conversion of more unbelievers, it is by no means certain and it is doubtful that it would lead to the conversion of all rational unbelievers. The assumption that more evidence will result in such conversions rests on the questionable premise that the rejection of God is simply a matter of intellectual rigor rather than of rebellion. Christianity does not accept this assumption nor should it. In Romans 1:18-24, Paul is clear that people who have sufficient knowledge of God continue to sin because they choose to do so. Although “God has made it plain to them” they “have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and d

The Genre of the Gospel of John (Part 1)

What is the genre of the Gospel of John and why does it matter? The latter question is easy to answer. It matters because “identification of a work’s genre helps us understand its place within the literary history . . . and aids us in its interpretation.” A.R. Cross, "Genres of the New Testament," in Dictionary of New Testament Background , eds. Craig Evans and Stanley E. Porter, page 402. When you pick up a contemporary book, you start with the knowledge that what you are reading is a romance, a science text book, a science fiction novel, a biography, or a book of history. That knowledge informs how you understand the text you are reading, such as reading how spaceship's propulsion system works in a scientific textbook or a Star Trek "technical manual". Or a scene of combat found in a historical novel or a biography of a medal of honor winner. Although these accounts may be described in similar ways, one you accept as true and the other you treat as fict

The Courage to Be vs. The Cowardly Mind

Paul Tillich wrote a little paper back called The Courage To BE in which he set forth one of his most important concepts, the "God beyond God." That phrase refers to the truth of God beyond the cultural constructs and religious doctrines which are constructed out of cultural constructs. Of course Tillich didn't write in all this post structuralist jargon. The idea behind the title is that belief requires courage. A lot of people think he was saying that the existentialists have the real courage, but he was not only lauding the existentialist but any person of faith who is willing to seek God beyond traditionalism. The phrase "cowardly mind" I take from Joseph Campbell in his Hero With A Thousand Faces . There he says that cynicism appears as insight to the cowardly mind. This is phrase is very apt for atheists on CARM and fora  huge segment of atheists in general, especially the "new atheists." What the phrase means is this, you have cynics who do

Omnisicence and Omnipotence : Is God's Nature Contradictory?

  Atheists think it is. I've seen many a knock down drag-out fight, multiple threads, lasing for days, accomplishing nothing. I wrote that dilemma off years ago before I was an internet apologist, so long ago I don't remember when. I wrote it off because at an early date I read Boethius who, in his great work The Consolation of Philosophy (circa 524), puts to rest the issue by proving that foreknowledge is not determinism. In this essay I will demonstrate not only that this is true but the atheist error about omniscience and omnipotence contradicting are actually hold overs from the pagan framework which Boethius disproved. ___________________   Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (480?-524)   Aurthor The Consolation  of Philosophy ___________________ For years my debates on the matter were marked by silly repetition. I would constantly argue that just knowing that someone does something is not controlling it. But atheists were always cock sure that it was. I used the follow an