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The Greatest Objection to the Christian Faith

I cannot believe that after all these years I have missed this objection! It absolutely disproves everything! I am dismayed! You can read this astounding piece of logic here. I will give a response a little later. I should quickly note that most Christians consider this passage to be a later addition to the NT canon. Of course we do not expect critics of the Christian faith to understand Textual Criticism. That would be to much work.

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S.M. Baugh Reviews Kenton Spark’s Divine Words In Human Words

We can readily grant and even delight in the fact that God chose to speak to us in the Scriptures through fellow humans. Let me repeat this so that it is not overlooked. The “oracles of God” (Rom. 3:2) are fully divine while concurrently fully human. But we do not grant that the Bible’s humanity necessarily implies that the inspired texts are laced with crippling errors which give inroads to the high priests of critical scholarship who propose that their scientific augury can divine the Bible’s errors for us. Sparks focuses on Scripture’s inerrancy, but a more fundamental issue is its function as our epistemological canon. The word of God is the truth itself (e.g., John 17:17) and is itself the ultimate measure of truth. If the Bible were errant as Sparks claims, then we would certainly be thrown back on Enlightenment criticism with “the disembodied rational self as the arbiter of truth” (Meeks).

Read the whole review here.

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Updated Reading List

1) Finishing Introduction to the Philosophy of Science: Cutting Nature at Its Seems
2) Moving on to Martin Luther’s Basic Writings
3) Brushing up on my Hebrew and Greek.
4) Then…. updated later.

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Changing Gears

I believe I will be changing gears in my studies very soon. I have a few friends who have, or will, convert to Eastern Orthodoxy. I had an infatuation with it for a while, but I think it is time for me to examine it. It may be a while before I post on the subject, since I have a proclivity not to ever write anything, because I feel it has already been said better elsewhere.  So, now my question is were should I start? I think I will begin with reading some exegetical theology, church fathers, and some modern proponents of Orthodoxy.

Soli Deo Gloria

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Quick Plug for a Philosophy of Science Intro

Since working at Oxford University Press (Cary, NC) I have had the opportunity to check books out of our company library. Recently I picked up the book Introduction to the Philosophy of Science: Cutting Nature at Its Seams. The author is Robert Klee; he is professor of Philosophy and Religion at Ithaca College.

The book centers on the debate between realism and anti-realism. Klee leans towards realism (as he says in the last chapter), but fairly represents the anti-realist position. The book is written as an intro to Philosophy should. He makes the subject matter understandable even when introducing difficult subjects, such as Positivism’s language of mathematical logic.

The really interesting thing is that Klee represents the epistemological problems in scientific theorizing not by an appeal to physics, but immunology.  Much of the current debate between realist and anti-realist comes from debates over the proper interpretation of quantum mechanics, but Klee shows that many of the epistemological problems exists in the life sciences also.

I have not finished reading the book yet, but half way through I am more than pleased.

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Reflections on the Craig vs. Kagan Debate

Craig vs. Kagan Debate

This was probably one of the better debates I have watched. Kagan and Craig seemed to respect one another, and both men attempted to handle the other philosopher’s position with care and fairness. I found Kagan to give the most well thought out, and reasonable case for a Naturalistic Ethic that I have heard. I cannot really say who won this debate.

I came away from this debate asking questions instead of having questions answered. The two big ones are as follows:

1) On Kagan’s view objective morals exist, because of a social contract. Kagan put this forward as a thought experiment. If a group of people came together what would then need to have a contract? Kagan points to two things (that I can remember) a) The Veil of Ignorance and b) the bargainer’s must be reasonable. Kagan then asked, “What would the terms of a contract agreed to by reasonable people be?” Kagan then deduced that it would be wrong to rape the innocent, steal, murder, and etc. While this view has some plausibility I feel he lost it when he admitted determinism. Craig’s response I think is difficult to over come:

If a person is determined by physio-chemical processes, then the thoughts actions, and beliefs of that person would be no different than a tree growing a limb, or a rock rolling down a hill. In another words physical actions do not have moral value. Moral value seems to come from agents, but naturalism seems to destroy agent causation. I am not saying that these objections cannot be overcome, but they seem substantial to me.

2) Kagan posed some very good questions to Dr. Craig. Kagan pointed out that we can all ask why some action x is right given the conditions. For instance Kagan says rape is wrong based on his contractarian theory, because it would not be reasonable, and the state can punish the offender. Craig believes it is objectively wrong because God will punish the offender. What is the difference? What makes God’s law any more binding on the human community than the contractarian’s law?

Any comments would be appreciated.  I found it interesting that Kagan gave a nod to the idea of sin in a naturalistic frame work.

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Plantinga’s “Warranted Christian Belief” Online for Free

You can check it out here:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/plantinga/warranted.toc.html

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