Posts Tagged by Christianity

Transcendence and Immanence, Logic and Superlogic- and Sublogic

Orthodox Christianity holds that God is both a transcendent entity and immanent. If you understand what Christians propose to be true about God, you understand why both attributes follow necessarily. All religions boil down to some expression of one of these two attributes, usually to the exclusion of one to the other. Deism, for example, emphasizes transcendence and despises immanence. Various forms of paganism emphasize immanence, that is they identify ‘God’ with the universe and reject that there is a God ‘outside’ it. Even atheism takes a position here: naturalism is just another variation on immanence and ‘God’ is just another label for the ‘universe.’

Christianity insists that God is both transcendent and immanent.

At any rate, there are some implications of this and I think it would be helpful to understand some arguments regarding Christian theism. I can begin with by trotting out the old ‘Can God create a rock that he cannot lift or move?’ line. The contention is that if God is all powerful he should be able to do this but in doing so he would simultaneously undermine his own omnipotence. Most of the time this is answered by pointing out that some statements are just nonsense and God’s omni-characteristics do not require him to be able to achieve the nonsensical. To understand how this is nonsensical we might take on the next line in this attack, “Can God make a round square?” We see in this case that what is involved is simply definitional. If round is properly and consistently defined and asked to apply to a square, also properly and consistently defined, then the request is nonsensical. Something doesn’t become reasonable just because you insert ‘Can God’ in front of it.

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Madagascar and Unconditional Love versus Romantic Love

Last night I went and saw Madagascar II with my wife and kids. Though there were a couple of things that were over the top they were fortunately things my kids didn’t think twice about. Still, wish they wouldn’t do that. Anyway, there was this one scene that got me thinking. The scene is where hunk hippo Moto Moto is asked by New York Girl hippo Gloria ‘Why do you like me?”

How about some background first?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsV1zxRuOOA

I will contend that the right answer to “Why do you love me?” is “For no reason at all.” This is in fact the answer I gave to my girlfriend in college, with predictable results.

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Transforming the Culture by Transforming People: Apologetics

There is again a clear correlation between beliefs and the one receiving the vote. I don’t perceive this as particularly insightful: it isn’t brain surgery to deduce that one’s beliefs impact where one puts their vote. However, my proposed solution doesn’t seem as obvious to the Christian church as it does to me: if you want to transform the culture, raise up more educated, informed, passionate Christians.

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A Christian Review of Anne Rice’s Called Out of Darkness: a spiritual confession

Anne Rice begins her book by laying out in careful detail what her early life was like. It was a life that was thoroughly drenched in the Roman Catholic Church and culture as it was practiced in New Orleans. She attended Catholic schools and had Catholic friends. At one point, she wanted to be a nun. She delighted in the architecture of New Orleans and her Catholic surroundings.

However, she fell away from all this after high school. Though the seeds had been planted earlier on, in college she came into contact with people who loved learning, were smart, and cared about doing the right thing- all without religion, Christianity, or Catholicism.

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The Abortion Issue Now that Obama has Won

The Obama victory offers us a grand opportunity. Let’s face it, Obama can make the matter only slightly worse, at least in the near term. We are all already acclimated to a world in which a million unborn children die each year in America alone. For so long we pursued legislative means to change this and as legitimate and as important as these efforts were, and are, legislative efforts are successful by persuading more individuals to support your views then there are against them. This individual persuasion is the area where the ultimate solution lies and the area that has chiefly been lacking.

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Online Apologetics Academy Enrolling

The Athanatos Online Apologetics Academy is enrolling now. Enroll in the “Introduction to basic Biblical Greek” course which starts Oct. 27. Beginning on Nov. 3 is the course on “The Reliability of the New Testament Documents.” Beginning on Nov. 17 is the follow up course, “The Formation of the New Testament Canon.” Also beginning on Nov. 17 is the course “Studies in Atheism.” www.academyofapologetics.com

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Abortion and the Pro-Life Movement if Obama Wins

The dreadful reality is that we are always only a moment away from the collapse of civilization. We act as though we have a right to peace and security, prosperity and plenty. We do not. It is true that we had peace and prosperity in large part because of our Christian heritage. This is a blessing, not a right. It was a gift, not an inevitability. And it never was the case that it could substitute the church acting out in a Love so fierce and noble that none could mistake it for something other than supernatural.

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Nudisnudum Christ sequi: A Naked Hope

People put their hope into things in proportion to the things they fear. If you’re afraid of being sick you put your hope in your doctor. If you fear ignorance in the masses you put your hope in schools. There is one thing we fear that poses a problem. That thing is DEATH. It poses a problem because it is the common problem facing all mankind but mankind appears to have absolutely nothing to balance against it. For sickness and ignorance we can create doctors and teachers. What can we do about DEATH? Nothing. Because of this we sometimes try to paper over our fears about death and focus on lesser problems.

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NBC Heroes, Original Sin, and the Image of God

Heroes is continuing to try to string along the religious viewer by employing Christian verbiage such as ‘image of God’ and ‘God’s will.’ Tonight we had something that passes as a good juxtaposition between the Christian worldview and the secular worldview though ironically the roles were reversed… Nathan Petrelli has ‘got religion’ and is now seeking transcendental meaning for his life. So far, so good. A Nathan Petrelli in the future attempts to reason with his brother, Peter, that we’ve all got good in us since we’re made in the image of God- as such, we can center extraordinary power in a superpowerful army of good intentioned individuals with ‘Heroes’ powers. (As I understand the conversation). Peter, who hasn’t said a peep about religion or God doesn’t trust people and believes his brother is wrong.

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The Problem of Pain Defeated by the Problem of Good

A recent commentator on my youtube vid of me responding to a question about the problem of pain declares “The analogy fails.”  What I had said was that the problem of pain reflected a heart wrenching reaction to what we see in the world but we already have in hand the principle to unravel it: […]

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God Created Your Brain: Fall 2008 Online Apologetics Academy Enrolling

The Athanatos Online Apologetics Academy announces their fall session starting dates and courses offered. They include: “Studies in Atheism” “Biblical Greek” “Reliability of the New Testament” “Formation of the New Testament Canon.” Others may be offered. Visit www.academyofapologetics.com for more information.

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The Economy and the Christian- reflections on a limited government and the Church and abortion

I haven’t posted much on the current economic crisis.  A friend asked me what I thought.  I told him that I was unconcerned about the ‘cost’ to the taxpayers since the truth is that the government will just be printing the money anyway… the dirty little secret is that the government hasn’t needed taxpayer dollars […]

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Who made God? Who made the Universe? Chicken, meet the Egg

The value of the Barker quote above is to corroborate my assertion that it is not inherently inferior to say that there is a God, eternally existing, because no matter what, we posit something eternally existing, without a cause. We can turn Barker’s quote around: “Who made the universe? If a universe can be thought eternal, then so can God.”

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NBC Heroes, Faith, Philosophy, Christianity

So last night was the season opener for the NBC series Heroes.  Am I the only person left scratching his head?  I had hoped that the series would start making sense again but instead it seems to have become even more convoluted.  I want to enjoy the show but there is just way too much […]

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