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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 6
The Bible and Philosophy

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Displaying: 1-20 of 39 documents


articles
1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
Eleonore Stump Visits to the Sepulcher and Biblical Exegesis
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In this paper I juxtapose a representative sample of contemporary historical biblical scholarship, namely, Raymond Brown’s well-regarded interpretation of the empty tomb stories in the Gospel of John, with an example of biblical exegesis drawn from a typical medieval play, Visitatio Sepulchri. The point of the comparison is to consider the presuppositions on which these differing approaches to the biblical texts are based, The naive inattention to history shown by the play shows the importance of the work of historically oriented biblical critics. On the other hand, reflection on the methodology of the play provides some reason for doubting that the methodology employed by Brown is acceptable in every case.
2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
James A. Keller Accepting the Authority of the Bible: Is It Rationally Justified?
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This paper provides an answer to this question: is the Christian of today rationally justified in using the views expressed in the Bible as a (or the) standard for what she should accept for her own beliefs and practices. I argue against trying to answer this question on thebasis of some alleged character of the biblical writings (e.g., their inerrancy or inspiredness). Such a thesis would itself have to be rationally justified, as would the interpretations and applications of biblical writings made by a Christian of today who held the thesis. Instead she should seek to understand how the writers’ faith was expressed in their views and use that understanding to guide her as she constructs (or adopts) a set of beliefs by which to express her faith today. I argue that using the Bible in this way and the conclusions reached in doing so are rationally justified.
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
George I. Mavrodes Revelation and the Bible
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Jesus said to Peter, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven,” This looks like a noetic miracle which happened in (or to) Peter. Must all Christians have a comparable miracle in themselves, or does the Bible enable us to apprehend, in some “natural” way, the revelations made to prophets and apostles long ago?I suggest that we need not have a single answer to this question, and that the “mix” of revelation and reason, natural and supernatural noetic elements, may be different in various believers.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
James Barr Literality
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Although the concept of the literal is very widely used in the discussion of biblical interpretation, it has seldom been deeply analysed. “Conservative” understandings of the Bible are often thought of as literal, but it is equally true that “critical” views are built upon literality. In some relations, literality seems to imply physicality, in others to mean exactitude in the rendering of “spiritual” realities. In Christianity the relation of Christians to the laws of the Old Testament is a prime area of application of these categories. Are the silences of the Bible to be taken as “literally” as its words? And does literality give us access to intentions?
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
Nicholas Wolterstorff Evidence, Entitled Belief, and the Gospels
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In this paper I discuss the conditions under which a person is entitled to believe the gospels. And in particular, I have my eye on the Enlightenment thesis that one is not entitled to do so unless one has collected adequate evidence concerning the reliability of the writers and the content of what they said, and has adequately appraised this evidence. There is no way of answering our question, however, without asking it with respect to some interpretation of the gospels. Accordingly I explain and use Hans Frei’s contention, that the gospels are identity narratives concerning Jesus of Nazareth.
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
Index: Volume 6, 1989
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articles
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Diogenes Allen Incarnation In the Gospels and the Bhagavad Gita
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This article is a venture into a Christian Theology of Other Faiths. In contrast to History of Religions, which seeks to understand a religion from its own point of view, a Christian Theology of Other Faiths seeks to understand another religion from the perspective of the Christian revelation.Here I present Simone Weil’s claim that the Word of God is manifest in human form in other faiths, and that the Gospels are written from the point of view of a victim, and are completed by the Bhagavad Gita which is written from the point of view of an agent who wields a sword.
8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Louis Dupré Reflections on the Truth of Religion
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Is it possible to reflect on religious truth from a position outside faith without seriously distorting what faith itself understands by its truth? As long as philosophy and theology remained united---until the end of the middle ages---such a reflection was neither needed nor attempted. The standpoint which an independent philosophy in the modern age has taken with respect to the problem of truth, where the knowing subject becomes the source of truth, would appear to render such an effort suspect. Nevertheless, this essay argues, we are justified in approaching the truth of religion through the models available in present philosophy: correspondence, coherence, disclosure. In all three cases, however, the application of the models needs to be qualified if it is to account for truth as faith itself understands it.
9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Caroline J. Simon Judgmentalism
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Under what circumstances, and with what attitudes, should we make moral evaluations of others? I attempt to answer this question by examining a common vice connected with moral evaluation, judgmentalism (the disposition to derive satisfaction from making negative moral assessment of others because one believes one’s own moral worth is enhanced by the failure of others). A Christian view of judgmentalism is discussed, as well as the vice which is the opposite of judgmentalism, moral cowardice (the disposition to be so adverse to making negative assessments of others that one avoids doing so even when such assessments are appropriate and warranted).
10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Bernard J. Verkamp Kueng’s Ecumenical Dialectic
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For some years now, Hans Kueng has been advocating use of the dialectical method to make peace among the world religions. In this paper I try first to locate his Hegelian understanding of this method within its long and complex historical development. I then inquire about its value as an ecumenical tool by investigating some of its underlying assumptions about the subjective/objective, literary/figurative, monistic/pluralistic nature of religious truth. Along the way, doubts are raised about the likelihood or desirability of its bringing the various religions any closer together than have earlier absolutist and syncretistic approaches to ecumenism.
11. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Alfred J. Stenner A Paradox of Omniscience and Some Attempts at a Solution
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A paradox is constructed employing four languages L1-L4, such that L1 is a metalanguage for L3, L3 for L2, and L2 for L1; L4 functions as the semantic meta-metalanguage for each of L1-L3. The paradox purports to show that no omniscient being can exist, given that there is a set of true sentences (each true within its respective language) from L1, L2, and L3 that no omniscient being can believe.The remainder of the paper consists in an examination of some attempts at challenging the paradox on syntactic, semantic and pragmatic grounds. Just which of these attempts are the most promising for the religious person is a question which is left open.
discussion
12. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Evan Fales Antediluvian Theodicy: Stump on the Fall
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This paper is a discussion of Eleonore Stump’s “The Problem of Evil.” Stump, I argue, has attempted a theodicy with several desirable features; among them, an effort to provide a positive account of the compatibility of natural evils with God’s goodness that makes use of specifically Christian doctrines. However, the doctrines Stump makes use of---and, in particular, her conception of hell and her interpretation of original sin---raise, I suggest, more problems than they solve.
book reviews
13. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Philip L. Quinn The Virtue of Faith
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14. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Richard Swinburne Anselmian Explorations, Essays in Philosophical Theology
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15. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Robert C. Roberts Kierkegaard’s Critique of Reason and Society
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articles
16. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Bruce Russell The Persistent Problem of Evil
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In this paper I consider several versions of the argument from evil against the existence of a God who is omniscient, omnipotent and wholly good and raise some objections to them. Then I offer my own version of the argument from evil that says that if God exists, nothing happens that he should have prevented from happening and that he should have prevented the brutal rape and murder of a certain little girl if he exists. Since it was not prevented, God does not exist. My conclusion rests on the claim that no outweighing good was served by allowing that murder, or any other instance of comparable evil, to occur. I take up the objection that my argument moves illicitly from apparently pointless suffering to the claim that there is reason to believe that there is pointless suffering. I offer an example to show that the existence of apparently pointless suffering counts to some extent against the existence of God and to show that no basic belief that God exists that rests on certain sorts of grounds can remain justified in the face of apparently pointless suffering.
17. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Charles Taliaferro The Vanity of God
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Christian theism gives rise to what may be termed the problem of Divine vanity. The God of Christianity seems to be vain with respect to matters of creation, worship, and redemption. God’s creating beings in His own image is akin to an artist creating self-portraits. The Divine command (or invitation) that these image-bearers worship Him seems to be the height of egotism. In matters of redemption, God still insists upon being in the limelight, the talk of the town. This prima donna God does not seem very self-effacing. In “The Vanity of God” I articulate and reply to the charge that God is vain.
18. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Mark R. Talbot Is It Natural to Believe In God?
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Believing that traditional Christian theism implies there is something epistemically wrong with religious unbelief, I examine John Calvin’s claim that everybody would believe in God if it weren’t for sin. I show why this claim ought to be more common than it is; develop it in terms of our naturally having certain reliable epistemic sets; utilize that development to specify exactly what is wrong with unbelief; and then argue that even unbelievers have some reason to think it is true.
19. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig “No Other Name”: A Middle Knowledge Perspective on the Exclusivity of Salvation Through Christ
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The conviction ofthe New Testament writers was that there is no salvation apart from Jesus. This orthodox doctrine is widely rejected today because God’s condemnation of persons in other world religions seems incompatible with various attributes of God.Analysis reveals the real problem to involve certain counterfactuals of freedom, e.g., why did not God create a world in which all people would freely believe in Christ and be saved? Such questions presuppose that God possesses middle knowledge. But it can be shown that no inconsistency exists between God's having middle knowledge and certain persons' being damned; on the contrary it can be positively shown that these two notions are compatible.
20. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Gary L. Comstock Is Postmodern Religious Dialogue Possible?
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Not long ago, interreligious conversations were regulated by the ideals of truth, goodness, and beauty. We are suspicious of these noble sounding ideals today. In a world of liberation theology, feminist criticism, and the hermeneutics of suspicion, can there be any new, “postmodern,” rules to govern our religious dialogues? Not able to consult any general theory, or “metanarrative,” in order to provide the answer, I simply tell the story of the only postmodern Catholic I have ever known. On the basis of that experience, I argue that something like the old rules will have to accompany us into the new age.