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101. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
J. Caleb Clanton A (Partial) Peircean Defense of the Cosmological Argument: A Response to Rowe
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William Rowe’s criticism of the cosmological argument takes aim at the argument’s reliance on the principle of sufficient reason. In this short paper, I outline out how C. S. Peirce’s insights regarding abductive reasoning might be useful in defending the cosmological argument against Rowe’s worry concerning the principle of sufficient reason and the role it plays in the argument.
102. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Nathan D. Shannon Aseity of Persons and the Oneness of God: A Review Essay of Brannon Ellis on Calvin’s Trinitarian Theology
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Brannon Ellis’s book Calvin, Classical Trinitarianism, and the Aseity of the Son is a detailed historical theological study of Calvin’s defense of the doctrine of the self-existence of the person of the Son. The text emphasizes and endorses Calvin’s defense of the necessity and authority of special revelation and the biblical credentials of a distinction between two ways of speaking of God: nonrelatively as to the divine essence, and relatively as to the persons. With these commitments in mind, Calvin’s defense of the aseity of the Son brings the full authority of Trinitarian confession to bear on philosophical theology and implicates at a methodological level the rationalistic tendencies of Thomistic natural theology and perfect being theology.
103. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Joshua Lee Harris Who’s Truth?: A Response to Davis and Franks’s “Against a Postmodern Pentecostal Epistemology”
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This paper is a response to an article in Philosophia Christi by W. Paul Franks and Richard B. Davis entitled “Against a Postmodern Epistemology.” In this article, the authors offer a critique of James K. A. Smith. I respond to three of their particular criticisms in the following manner: (1) by explaining the motivations behind rejecting a modern “correspondence theory of truth”; (2) revealing what I take to be an invalid inference on the topic of scripture and interpretation; and (3) offering an alternative account of the “universality” of the gospel.
104. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Kegan J. Shaw On Reflection
105. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Stewart Goetz Contemporary Philosophical Naturalism and Its Implications
106. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Adam Omelianchuk Inerrancy and Worldview: Answering Modern Challenges to the Bible
107. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Mihretu P. Guta Wise Stewards: Philosophical Foundations of Christian Parenting
108. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Michael T. McFall Prelude to Philosophy: An Introduction for Christians
109. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
News and Announcements
110. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Hugh G. Gauch, Jr. Best Practices for Prophecy Arguments
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The argument for Christianity from fulfilled Bible prophecies, when implemented with best practices, can be public, impartial, empirical, significant, efficient, and promising. The competing hypotheses considered here are that Bible prophecies exhibit spectacular accuracy because of revelation from God, or else miserable accuracy because of merely occasional luck from unaided humans. A new statistical analysis can test these hypotheses efficiently with a manageable collection of fulfilled Bible prophecies, typically about five to twenty prophecies, and also can refute a charge that these successful prophecies result from mere luck and bias.
111. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Craig Hazen Editor’s Introduction
112. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Allen Gehring Truthmaking, Truthbearers, and Divine Simplicity
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Recent work using the idea of truthmaking to articulate the doctrine of divine simplicity has not paid enough attention to truthbearers. I address this issue by challenging the assumption that God’s simplicity needs to be conceived as an all-or-nothing matter. For it is possible to distinguish between a weak and a strong version of divine simplicity, and there are reasons regarding truthbearers that provide reason to uphold, at most, the weak version. The weak version of divine simplicity articulated here has some similarities with the view of God advocated by Modified Theistic Activists, but it has important differences as well.
113. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Paul M. Gould Theistic Activism and the Doctrine of Creation
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This paper provides a plausible answer to the question of how God created. In addition, it explores an additional reason, beyond those related to the debate over God’s relationship to abstract objects, for thinking theistic activism true. Specifically, a new model of God’s creative activity—the activist model—will be offered that satisfies key desiderata with respect to the nature of God’s perfect power to create.
114. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Bruce Reichenbach God and Good Revisited: A Case for Contingency
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Treatments of God’s goodness almost always appeal to the traditional Christian doctrine that God is necessarily good, but this introduces the question whether God’s goodness properly can be understood as necessary. After considering an ontological conception of God’s goodness, I propose that God’s goodness is better understood as satisfying six criteria involving moral virtue, intellectual virtue, right actions, right motives, freedom of choice, and freedom of choice with respect to the rightness of the action. I defend the result—that God’s goodness must be understood contingently, not necessarily—against recent critics of this view.
115. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Loren Pankratz Mormonism’s “Great Secret,” Freedom, and Evil
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As Mormonism comes to the forefront of American culture, some people may be tempted to assume that the past philosophical victories of Christian theism can be equally applied to the version of theism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In this paper I attempt to show that there are differences in the LDS worldview, and in the LDS conception of the Divine Nature that make the problem of evil, both in its logical and probabilistic form, a very live threat to its brand of theism. This paper is a project of ramified natural theology that attempts to demonstrate that Christian theism is in a much better philosophical position than LDS theism with regards to the logical and probabilistic problem of evil.
116. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Adam C. Pelser The Courage of Faith: Kierkegaardian Reflection on the Spiritual Danger of Enjoying Finite Goods
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In Fear and Trembling, Søren Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous character, Johannes de Silentio, highlights the spiritual danger inherent in the Christian life of enjoying finite goods (especially our relationships with other people) without giving into the temptation to idolize or become too dependent for our happiness on them. In light of this danger, de Silentio suggests that the life of faith depends on a special kind of courage—“the courage of faith.” Here, I offer an analysis of the courage of faith, underscoring its importance for the Christian life, and I explore the interdependence of courage, faith, and a third virtue—humility.
117. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Curtis Rigsby An Evidentialist Critique of Evangelical Treatments of Non-Christian Religions: A Prolegomena to Dialogue
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In treating religious pluralism, Anglophone philosophical literature often turns to markedly general investigations—“meta-issues”—which by their generality minimize empirical content. On the other hand, more conservative Christian philosophers often do appeal to markedly empirical groundings for inquiry, particularly in the Bible. However, in this essay, I conclude that prominent evangelical Christian treatments of religious pluralism—because of their lack of attention to the extrabiblical data of non-Christian religions themselves—often risk being significantly irrelevant or inaccurate, or unclear in representing other religions. I further propose that excessive attention to philosophical “meta-issues” or neglect of the empirical details of particular religions threatens to obscure or to cause the overlooking of important data, such as significant continuities between prima facie very different traditions. As a corrective to such neglect, I undertake an evidentialist evaluation of religious pluralism, focusing especially on significant similarities and differences between Christianity and Pure Land Buddhism. This trajectory leads me to end with the question: if the doctrines of two or more religions are sufficiently similar to be mutually translatable, and if one of these religions issues true or soteriologically effective claims, then do its corresponding analogates similarly designate truth or promote soteriological efficacy, and if so, to what extent?
118. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Michael Gurney Same-Sex Marriage and the Church: The Public Relevance of Theistic Morality
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The contentious debate over same-sex marriage raises significant questions about the public relevance of theistic ethics in addressing broad social issues beyond the moral boundaries of the Christian community. Using the issue of same-sex marriage as a case study, it is argued that “natural law” kinds of arguments can provide epistemic support as “public reasons” for cogent theological-based arguments against same-sex marriage and can be successfully defended against frequent objections to the use of religious reasons in a pluralistic context.
119. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Richard Swinburne Jesus and the Total Available Evidence: Second Response to Cavin and Colombetti
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Cavin and Colombetti correctly affirm that in judging the probability of a hypothesis we should take into account “the total available evidence.” However, they neglect their own affirmation when they claim that I make an unwarranted assumption that God would not massively deceive the human race, when they claim that I do not take into account any evidence favoring hypotheses incompatible with the traditional account of what happened to the body of Jesus, and when they claim that I do not take into account the evidence that humans have a strong propensity to private sinning.
120. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Robert Greg Cavin, Carlos A. Colombetti Negative Natural Theology and the Sinlessness, Incarnation, and Resurrection of Jesus: A Reply to Swinburne
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We respond to Swinburne’s reply to our critique of his argument for the Resurrection by defending the relevance of our counterexamples to his claim that God does not permit grand deception. We reaffirm and clarify our charge that Swinburne ignores two crucial items of negative natural theology (NNT)—that God has an exceptionally weak tendency to raise the dead and that even people with exemplary public records sometimes sin. We show, accordingly, that our total evidence makes it highly probable that Jesus was not sinless, incarnate, or resurrected and that God has permitted massive deception regarding these defining Christian dogmas.