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21. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Blake McAllister Divine Command Theory and Moral Supervenience
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Mark Murphy argues that the property identity version of divine command theory, coupled with the doctrine that God has freedom in commanding, violates the supervenience of the moral on the nonmoral. In other words, they permit two situations exactly alike in nonmoral facts to differ in moral facts. I give three arguments to show that a divine command theorist of this sort can consistently affirm moral supervenience. Each argument contends that there are always nonmoral differences between worlds with different divine commands. If there are such nonmoral differences, then there’s no conflict between divine command theory and moral supervenience.
22. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Philip A. Reed Pleasing People: A Christian Consideration
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This paper examines and evaluates from a Christian perspective the common Christian presumption against pleasing people, which is roughly the idea that Christians should not be motivated by or delight in the favorable opinion of others. I argue that several ways of saving the idea that Christians can blamelessly care what others think about them are misguided or insufficient. I contend that the most important way to save this idea is by drawing attention to concern for the opinions of others in the context of a social role.
23. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Myles Werntz Terrorism and the Peace of Christ: Seeking Pacifism’s Future in Theory and Practice
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Christian pacifism has often been construed as quietist and unconcerned with public order. By using the trifold categories of ad bellum, in bello, and post bellum used by just war theorists, I offer an account of how Christian pacifists might have a more full and active witness to the peace of Christ in times of conflict without abandoning their core convictions.
24. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Paul Copan Just War as Deterrence against Terrorism?: Options from Theological Ethics
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The increased terrorist threat troubles all right-thinking persons. Terrorism also raises particular theological and ethical questions for Christians. Is the use of (lethal) force ever permissible? Is there a difference between the individual Christian’s response to personal enemies and the Christian serving in an official capacity (for example, soldiering, policing) to stop (terrorist) threats to a nation or society? Jesus’s commands to “turn the other cheek” and “not resist evil” are understood differently by the just warrior and pacifist camps. This article sets the stage for related articles in this issue by describing the features of “terrorism,” Christian “pacifism,” and the Christian “just war” position as well as some of the attendant tensions and challenges.
25. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Gregory A. Boyd A Cruciform Response to Terrorism
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Jesus instructs us to “love,” “pray for,” and “do good” to enemies, going so far as to make this response to enemies the criterion for being considered “children of your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:39–45; Luke 6:27–36). Jesus based this instruction on the character of the Father, not on the character of our enemies, which means his instruction allows for no exceptions. In this essay I flesh out the implications of this for a Christian response to terrorism, arguing that this response should look radically different from that of just war theorists.
26. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Matthew Alexander Flannagan Thank God for the New Zealand Anti-Terrorist Squad
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On November 14, 1990, David Gray’s twenty-two hour shooting spree ended when the New Zealand Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) shot Gray dead. In this paper I argue that Christians should support the existence of state agencies like the ATS who are authorized to use lethal force. Alongside the duty we as Christians have to love our neighbors, live at peace with others and to not repay evil for evil, God has authorized the government to use force when necessary to uphold a just peace within the geographical area over which it has jurisdiction.
27. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
J. Daryl Charles Just War as Deterrence against Terrorism—Options from Theological Ethics: A Response
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This essay seeks to identify significant theological, philosophical, cultural, political, and moral issues that are raised by the four participants of the exchange on responding to terrorism. It argues that the “just war” concept, as classically developed and refined within the mainstream of the Christian moral tradition over the last two millennia, furnishes the best—indeed, the only morally responsible—alternative to addressing and deterring the terrorist phenomenon, given the commitment to justice and neighbor-love which underpins the tradition.
28. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Keith Pavlischek Can a Pacifist Tell a Just Counterterrorism Strategy?: Or, Why, if You Are a Pacifist Singing, “I Ain’t Gonna Study War No More,” You Shouldn’t Give Advice to Those Who Do
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In this essay I distinguish between classic Christian pacifists who embrace the dual­ism of the Schleitheim Confession, who believe that it is unjust, immoral, and in opposition to the teachings of Jesus for Christians to fight in wars or, more generally ever to threaten or employ lethal force, and modern Christian pacifists who believe this proscription also extends to secular government officials and legislators. For distinct reasons, neither have much to say to Christian just warriors or public officials seeking ways to combat the scourge of terrorism. I conclude by suggesting that attempts to find a “third way” between just war and either form of pacifism are theologically perilous.
29. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Myron B. Penner Alethic (Quasi-) Realism: Idolatry, Truth, and the Limits of Language
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Bradley N. Seeman charges that my book, The End of Apologetics: Christian Witness in a Postmodern Context, tends toward “the idolatry of linguistic license.” I point out some ways this runs against the text of the book and then outline a Wittgensteinian approach to language and truth that is alethically “quasi-realist.” On this view truth is both epistemic, or deflationary, in the sense that it depends upon assertability conditions for its truth values, while there is also a nonepistemic, realist component to truth in that these assertability conditions derive from forms of life that involve precognitive involvement with extralinguistic affairs.
30. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Kirk R. MacGregor The Neo-Molinist Square Collapses: A Molinist Response to Elijah Hess
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Elijah Hess has argued that, given the accuracy of Stalnaker-Lewis semantics, Molinists possess good reason to shift their position to neo-Molinism. Conceding the validity but denying the soundness of this argument, I contend that the Stalnaker-Lewis semantics is multiply flawed, especially in its definitions of □→ and ◇→ . Based on corrected definitions of □→ and ◇→ consistent with Molina’s own thought, I show how Hess’s neo-Molinist square of opposition collapses and his neological stages of God’s knowledge are undermined, thereby leading back to an original Molinism.
31. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Roberto Di Ceglie Christian Belief, Love for God, and Divine Hiddenness
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In two recent articles, Travis Dumsday has formulated a response to the problem of divine hiddenness on the basis of the Christian doctrine—especially Aquinas’s thought. I agree with Dumsday that Christians qua Christians can significantly contribute to the debate in question. However, in both articles the author overlooks a decisive aspect of Aquinas’s doctrine of faith and the Christian teachings that trace back to it. This article dwells on Dumsday’s interpretation of Aquinas’s thought, and from within my argument proposes a different response to the problem of divine hiddenness.
32. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Hugh G. Gauch, Jr. Biblical Authority and Public Presuppositions: A Reply to Scott Oliphint
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God’s authority justifies belief in scripture, yet scripture also offers corroborating witnesses of prophecies and miracles to Jesus’s authority.
33. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Scot McKnight Jesus, Bonhoeffer, and Christoform Hermeneutics
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Pacifism, as well as just war theory, are expressions of one’s general hermeneutic of reading the Bible. In recent New Testament hermeneutics, while the so-called old perspective might have more resonance with just war theory, both the new perspective and apocalyptic open the door to a hermeneutically based pacifism. I examine the case of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s under the category of a “Christoform hermeneutic,” namely, an approach to Christian ethics and the Christian and state that takes the suffering and cross of Christ as the chief orientation point.
34. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Richard Shumack Muslim Natural Theology Fights Back: Bolstering Christian Ramified Natural Theology against Muslim Objections
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Richard Swinburne and Robert Larmer have offered different natural theological arguments for preferring Christian belief over Muslim belief. This paper argues (a) that both arguments are vulnerable to real and imagined Muslim objections and (b) that, while both can be bolstered against such objections, Larmer’s argument from miracle has much better prospects. Swinburne’s probabilistic argument suffers the lack of a strong natural theological argument for the Christian model of divine–human interaction. The argument from miracle, however, can be formulated robustly enough to withstand the challenge of the strongest reasonable Muslim miracle account.
35. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Chad Meister Rethinking the Trinity: On Being Orthodox and Au Courant
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There is a renaissance of interest in the doctrine of the Trinity. Keith Ward’s book, Christ and the Cosmos: A Reformulation of the Trinitarian Doctrine, is a recent and important work that attempts to reimagine the doctrine of the Trinity in a contemporary context. The following symposium engages with this important work and offers profitable discussion on the doctrine of the Trinity today. It includes an opening essay in which Professor Ward delineates his views, nine essays by leading philosophers and theologians responding to his work, and his replies to the respondents. This essay provides some background to the discussion.
36. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Craig J. Hazen Editor’s Introduction
37. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Keith Ward Reimagining the Trinity: On Not Three Gods
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If God is agape-love, this implies that God creates and relates to other personal beings, in giving to, receiving from, and uniting those beings to the divine in love. In this relationship, God is threefold—the primordial source of all (the Father), the expressive image of divine love (Jesus), and the unitive power which unites the cosmos to the divine (the Spirit). These are three different “forms of instantiation” (hypostases) of one divine mind (ousia), not three distinct consciousnesses (the “social Trinity”). The threefold mind of God is not “modalist,” but an essential and indissoluble form of the divine nature.
38. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Stephen T. Davis Comments on Keith Ward’s Christ and the Cosmos
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The present essay is a response to Keith Ward’s recent book, Christ and the Cosmos. While deeply appreciative of this fine book, I raise two criticisms of it: (1) Ward’s claim (in agreement with much of the tradition) that we can know nothing of the divine essence has disturbing implications, the main one of which is that there may be large disjunctions between what God has revealed to us about the divine nature and the divine nature in itself. (2) Ward’s criticisms of the social theory of the Trinity are not compelling and indeed edge his own view close to modalism.
39. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Richard Swinburne Response to Keith Ward, Christ and the Cosmos
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Keith Ward understands the Trinity as “one conscious being” and the divine “persons” as three necessary modes of divine action. But he does not give a good reason for supposing that there must be just three modes of divine action. I argue that by contrast all the theories of the Trinity developed from the Nicene Creed by patristic and medieval writers, are “social” theories, or “three persons” theories (in a modern sense of “person”). I defend my a priori argument for the justification of a social theory—that three persons are the necessary minimum for the realization of perfect love, and (in the case of divine persons) the necessary maximum for this.
40. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Thomas McCall Professor Ward and Polytheism
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Professor Ward has offered a bold alternative to traditional doctrines of the Trinity. I focus on his proposal for understanding the identity of Jesus Christ. I note some ambiguities and raise some concerns, and I show that his theology is not obviously free of the error that motivates his rejection of more traditional views.