JRP's Sword to the Heart -- Contents Page

[Update: the full 870 page 3rd Edition text can now be found as a pdf file for free on this page (and the other four related topical overview pages) at the EU forum. I would have attached it here, too, but I don't know how to do that for Blogger posts.]

Back in late 99/early 2000, I wrote a very large book for my own critical exercise, analyzing various metaphysical claims for the purpose of seeing if I could synthesize together a progressing argument for purposes of deciding what I should believe to be true about reality. I went much further than I expected I would be able to go--which is why it's a very large book!--and the results, with occasional correction and refinement, have served me well in the ten years since then.

I called it Sword to the Heart: partly because I enjoy fencing (and teaching fencing); partly because 'to decide' is based on an old word for cutting, as with a sword; partly because (paradoxical though this will sound) I was trying to be fair to opponents (thus involving circumcision of my heart, analogically speaking); partly because the volume on ethics really cut home to me on why injustice is so bad, especially injustice I do--and partly because the argument arrives at an expectation of God sacrificing Himself for our sake, both from (and as) the foundation of the world, and in history. Taking a sword to the heart, from us, for our sake.

In the summer of 2007, I posted up almost all of the fourth volume here on the Cadre Journal in a series of entries titled "Ethics and the Third Person". That winter, I went back to the very start and began posting entries in a series titled "How Should I Be A Sceptic". Those should be considered 2nd edition entries, if you will.

In 2009, I began posting a 3rd edition version of the first volume (or section of chapters) as guest author at the Evangelical Universalist forum. Having completed that, and taken a break for the summer, I'm now cranking up on posting Section Two--so it's time for me to start posting it here, too!

Below are links to the currently existent entries (updating as I post new ones), sorted by section (of the original book), chapter (of the original book), and specific entry (I tend to break chapters into two or more journal entries).

An index page, or topical summary page rather, for the 3rd edition of the "How Should I Be A Sceptic" material can now be found here at the EU forum. The material linked to below, here on the Cadre, is 2nd edition. The differences aren't significantly great, so I'm in no hurry to repost or edit up the Cadre Journal entries. (But when-if-ever I do, I'll add a bit of info to those threads, and back here, alerting that the Cadre Journal version of that entry is now up to 3rd edition.)

I am updating the Section Four chapters (on ethics) to 3rd edition as I get to them, so as to preserve the flow of argumentation. But since it will take me a long time to get there, I will leave links to the 2nd edition versions in the contents below until then.

How Should I Be A Sceptic (Section One) [2nd Edition]
Chapter 1 -- Preliminary Clarifications

Chapter 2 -- Presuppositionalism and Negative Agnosticism
a first question of feasibility
presuppositionalism vs. progression to a worldview

Chapter 3 -- Reason and Faith
one brief history of the reason/faith dichotomy
an important recognition about religious faith

Chapter 4 -- Belief and Reason
belief and reason
a question of external validation of reasoning
belief without reason?
religious belief and reasoning

Chapter 5 -- Against Contradictions
contra contradictions
paradoxes and contradictions

Chapter 6 -- Can God be an abstract generality?
an introduction to generaleism (or final abstraction)
particular problems with generaleism

Chapter 7 -- In Question of Infinite Regression and Infinite Possibilities
an introduction to independence
in question of infinite regression
in question of infinite possibilities

Chapter 8 -- In Question of Multiple IFs

Chapter 9 -- God and gods

Chapter 10 -- Theism or Atheism, vs. Theism and Atheism?
theism and atheism?
theism or atheism

Chapter 11 -- 'On' Metaphors
thought and imagination
an unwanted level of religious complexity?

Chapter 12 -- Evidence and the Supernatural
evidence and the burden of proof
a sieve of curious similarities
evidence from reasonable scepticism to reasonable belief

Chapter 13 -- The Leveled Playing-Field
a summary of results
the leveled playing-field

Reason and the First Person (Section Two) [3rd Edition]
Chapter 14 -- The Golden Presumption
the Golden Presumption
another Golden Presumption?

Chapter 15 -- A Necessary Characteristic of Reasoning

Chapter 16 -- Real Action and Atheism
the key implication of real action
defenses against the implication of real action

Chapter 17 -- Atheism and the Justification of Justification Ability
atheism and rational action further considered
the dialogue begins: the cardinal difficulty of atheism
the sceptical threat
a shared criteria in favor of reason (and theism!)

Chapter 18 -- Atheism and the Justification of Non-Justification Ability
can evolutionary non-rationalism be sufficiently rational?
sauces, ganders and geese
probability estimation and non-rational justification
evolutionary development of instinctive probability estimation
the problem with not being a million centuries old
the unavoidable implications of reasoning (and the end of the dialogue)

Chapter 19 -- The Theistic Argument From Active Reasoning
Part 1 of the argument
Part 2 of the argument
Part 3 (and conclusion) of the argument

The Kodachi (a more colorful summary of the SecTwo precepts so far):
The Argument From True Love
Reductions and Absurdities
Atheism, Theism, and Artificial Intelligence
I Am A I
A Conclusion That Begins

Chapter 20 -- A Serious Problem With This Argument For Theism

Chapter 21 -- Some Detours
personhood and God
independence and God
gender language, names and God

Creation and the Second Person (Section Three) [3rd Edition]
Chapter 22 -- The Aseity

Chapter 23 -- The Unity
aseity and the Unity of God
the interpersonal Unity of God

Chapter 24 -- Creation or Creator?

Chapter 25 -- Supernaturalism

Chapter 26 -- God and Creation

Chapter 27 -- My Relationship To Creation And To God
an argument from disparity
God and system generation

Chapter 28 -- Principles Of A Commonly Shared Nature

Chapter 29 -- Resolving the Grand Paradox
a foundational summary
relational creation
the creation of me

Chapter 30 -- The Doctrine of Derivative Spirit
a personal story
an evolutionary story
a genesis story

Ethics and the Third Person (Section Four) [3rd Edition]
Chapter 31 -- An Introduction to the Question of Ethics

Chapter 32 -- Ethics and Rational Invented Behavior

Chapter 33 -- Ethics and Discovered Non-rational Behavior

Chapter 34 -- Ethics and Discovered Rational Behavior

Chapter 35 -- The Terminal Problem With Ethical Theism

Chapter 36 -- Discovered Rational Secular Ethics?
a return to secular ethics?
the final problem and piece of the puzzle

Chapter 37 -- Returning to the God of Justice

Chapter 38 -- Inferring the Third Person of God
procession and the overarching system
an introduction to the Holy Spirit

Chapter 39 -- The Role of the Third Person of God
some requirements for personal interaction
the minimum standard

Chapter 40 -- An Introduction to the Concept of Sin
contradiction and ethical failure
the choice of the Good, and other choices

Chapter 41 -- The Consequences of Sin
the waging, and the wages, of sin
regarding the argument from evil

Chapter 42 -- Death
sin and death
the death of sin, and other deaths

Chapter 43 -- The Highest Death

Chapter 44 -- The Fall
the fall of me
the fall of man

Chapter 45 -- A History of the Fall
the original sinners (and I)
results of the fall
a question of salvation

(a summary of sorts for Section Four up through the end of (what is now) Chapter 45 can be found here. This was how I originally stopped when first posting up the 2nd Edition material.)

Chapter 46 -- The Children of the First Sinners
the broken inheritance
we the unjust, beloved of God!

Chapter 47 -- The Sinners Before the First Sinners

The Story of Passion And Atonement (Section Five) [3rd Edition]

Chapter 48 -- The Story From Theology

Chapter 49 -- The Genesis of Atonement

Chapter 50 -- Principles of Immanuel

Chapter 51 -- The Hope Of The People Sitting In Darkness

Chapter 52 -- A People Chosen

Chapter 53 -- The Harmony of Dissonance

Chapter 54 -- The Son of God

Chapter 55 -- The Good News

Chapter 56 -- The Price For Our Sins

Chapter 57 -- The Sword To The Heart

After Word, Fore Word


Jason Pratt said…
Registering for comment tracking.
JohnOneOne said…
Because of the subject matter involved within your book, on the chance that you didn't know of this work, I thought it might be of interest:

Hal Flemings. "A philosophical, scientific and theological defense for the notion that a God exists" (Oxford ; Lanham, Md. : University Press of America, 2003.) ISBN: 0761826475 & 9780761826477.

Agape, JohnOneOne

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