Peter van Inwagen is a philosopher who became a Christian at the age of forty. His conversion was not a return to the religion of his childhood, but, on the contrary, consisted of the adoption of beliefs that had been held in explicit contempt by the Unitarian Sunday school teachers of his youth, the philosophers responsible for his professional training, and his colleagues in the philosophy department where he had been teaching for ten years at the time of his conversion.This (...) collection of classic writings represents van Inwagen’s attempts to answer the philosophical objections to Christianity that he encountered in these intellectually hostile environments. They include reflections on the charge that religious belief is belief that is unsupported by evidence, on arguments that purport to show that the doctrine of resurrection is metaphysically impossible, on the problem of evil, and on Hume’s famous argument against belief in miracles. (shrink)
It is a widely held viewpoint in Christian apologetics that in addition to defending Christian theism against objections (negative apologetics), apologists should also present arguments in support of the truth of theism and Christianity (positive apologetics). In contemporary philosophy of religion, the Reformed epistemology movement has often been criticized on the grounds that it falls considerably short of satisfying the positive side of this two-tiered approach to Christian apologetics. Reformed epistemology is said to constitute or entail (...) an inadequate apologetic methodology since it rejects positive apologetics or at least favours negative over positive apologetics. In this paper I argue that this common objection fails on two grounds. First, while the arguments of Reformed epistemology are relevant and useful to apologetics, neither Reformed epistemology nor its epistemological project should be identified with a distinct school or method of apologetics. Secondly, while certain claims of Reformed epistemology seem to imply a rejection of positive apologetics, or at least a preference for negative or positive apologetics, I argue that no such conclusion follows. In fact, although unimpressed by particular versions of natural theology and positive apologetics, Reformed epistemologists have provided criticisms of each that can constructively shape future approaches to the apologetic employment of natural theology and Christian evidences. (shrink)
A glimpse of the new application of Buddhist logic in the seventeenth century leads us to reflect about our approach to logic in a given religious tradition: Should we isolate a logical system from the very context that has given rise to the genesis and development of such an intellectual apparatus? Methodologically, we do have the legitimate right to approach Buddhist logic from a purely logical point of view. However, when we study the actual use of Buddhist logic in the (...) seventeenth-century anti-Christian polemic, an analysis of its intentional application allows us to conclude that Buddhist logic in the context of controversy is primarily apologetic. Therefore, with a methodological concern, I suggest that philosophers and logicians should reconsider the apologetic nature of logic in any given religious tradition. (shrink)
The word transcendence comes from the Latin and means literally to climb across or go beyond. To transcend is thus to surpass or excel or move beyond the reach or grasp of something. Sometimes the term is used epistemologically, as when something is beyond the reach of human knowledge. But in reference to the Christian doctrine of God, divine transcendence is used ontologically, and refers to God being beyond anything that is other than God. In Christian theology what’s other than (...) God is, by definition, the creation. (shrink)
Hume’s "Of Miracles" concludes with the claim that prophecies, too, are miracles, and as such are susceptible to the same arguments which apply to miracles. However, both Hume and his commentators have overlooked the distinctive features of prophecy. Hume’s chief objection to miracles--that one is never justified in crediting second-hand testimony to miraculous events--does not necessarily apply to the argument from fulfilled prophecies as it was understood in the eighteenth century. Neither was prophecy necessarily thought to entail any breach of (...) the laws of nature. Consideration of Hume’s argument in its historical context shows that it fails to counter the argument from prophecies and was known to have failed. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Rick Anthony Furtak; 1. The 'Socratic secret': the postscript to the Philosophical Crumbs M. Jamie Ferreira; 2. Kierkegaard's Socratic pseudonym: a profile of Johannes Climacus Paul Muench; 3. Johannes Climacus' revocation Alastair Hannay; 4. From the garden of the dead: Johannes Climacus on religious and irreligious inwardness Edward F. Mooney; 5. The Kierkegaardian ideal of 'essential knowing' and the scandal of modern philosophy Rick Anthony Furtak; 6. Lessing and Socrates in Kierkegaard's Postscript Jacob Howland; 7. (...) Climacus on subjectivity and the system Merold Westphal; 8. Humor and irony in the Postscript John Lippitt; 9. Climacus on the task of becoming a Christian Clare Carlisle; 10. The epistemology of the Postscript M. G. Piety; 11. Faith and reason in Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript C. Stephen Evans; 12. Making Christianity difficult: the 'existentialist theology' of Kierkegaard's Postscript David R. Law; Bibliography; Index. (shrink)
The article surveys few of the most important philosophical contributions by Christians in the 21st century. Those surveyed include Francis Schaeffer, Alvin Plantinga, Norman Geisler, and Ravi Zacharias.
Blaise Pascal (2007/2003). Pensées. In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub..score: 6.0
"I know of no religious writer more pertinent to our time."—T. S. Eliot, Introduction to Pensees Intended to prove that religion is not contrary to reason, Pascal's Pensees rank among the liveliest and most eloquent defenses of Christianity. Motivated by the seventeenth-century view of the supremacy of human reason, Pascal (1623–1662) had intended to write an ambitious apologia for Christianity in which he argued the inability of reason to address metaphysical problems. His untimely death prevented the work's completion, but the (...) fragments published posthumously in 1670 as Pensees remain a vital part of religious and philosophical literature. W. F. Trotter translation. Introduction by T. S. Eliot. (shrink)
This short book offers an alternative reading of the impact of modernity on Christian faith to that advanced by Don Cupitt in his television series and book, The Sea of Faith. Hebblethwaite gives a spirited defense of belief in the objective reality of God and in life after death, as opposed to Cupitt's radically interiorized and expressivist view of religion. As attractive as many may find a denial of the traditional church doctrines in favor of an anti-metaphysical, non-dogmatic expressivist version (...) of Christian faith, Hebblethwaite insists that of far greater importance is the question of objective truth that he focuses his attention. After arguing against Cupitt's response to the modern situation, Hebblethwaite shows how belief shows how belief in an objective God is both possible and highly plausible, despite the impact of modern science and historical criticism. (shrink)
FOLLOWING A THREE CHAPTER INTRODUCTION ON FAITH AND REASON, THE AUTHOR PRESENTS, IN TWO CHAPTERS, A COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF AN UNCAUSED ENTITY. EIGHT CHAPTERS OF CRITICISM OF ALTERNATIVES FOLLOW. THREE FOUR-CHAPTERS PARTS ON THE MEANINGFULNESS OF GOD-TALK, EXISTENTIAL OBJECTIONS TO GOD, AND THE MEANINGFULNESS OF CHRISTIAN BELIEFS CONCLUDE THE WORK. (BP).
Playing with Truth is the first comprehensive work on Pascal to be devoted to his use in the Pens'ees of key terms depicting its central subject--the human condition. Generally acknowledged as one of the greatest masterpieces of seventeenth-century France, the Pens'ees is an unfinished work which has both inspired and perplexed readers in succeeding centuries. In this study Nicholas Hammond explores such fundamental notions as language and order, proceeding with a detailed analysis of the words inconstance, ennui, inqui'etude, bonheur, f'elicit'e, (...) and justice. In the process, he gives an in-depth account of many important critical controversies of the day, as well as offering a novel and provocative insight into the persuasive purpose of the Pens'ees. (shrink)
Is morality too difficult for human beings? Kant said that it was, except with God's assistance. Contemporary moral philosophers have usually discussed the question without reference to Christian doctrine, and have either diminished the moral demand, exaggerated human moral capacity, or tried to find a substitute in nature for God's assistance. This book looks at these philosophers--from Kant and Kierkegaard to Swinburne, Russell, and R.M. Hare--and the alternative in Christianity.
In Philosophical Fragments the pseudonymous author Johannes Climacus explored the question: What is required in order to go beyond Socratic recollection of eternal ideas already possessed by the learner? Written as an afterword to this work, Concluding Unscientific Postscript is on one level a philosophical jest, yet on another it is Climacus's characterization of the subjective thinker's relation to the truth of Christianity. At once ironic, humorous, and polemical, this work takes on the "unscientific" form of a mimical-pathetical-dialectical compilation of (...) ideas. Whereas the movement in the earlier pseudonymous writings is away from the aesthetic, the movement in Postscript is away from speculative thought. Kierkegaard intended Postscript to be his concluding work as an author. The subsequent "second authorship" after The Corsair Affair made Postscript the turning point in the entire authorship. Part One of the text volume examines the truth of Christianity as an objective issue, Part Two the subjective issue of what is involved for the individual in becoming a Christian, and the volume ends with an addendum in which Kierkegaard acknowledges and explains his relation to the pseudonymous authors and their writings. The second volume contains the scholarly apparatus, including a key to references and selected entries from Kierkegaard's journals and papers. (shrink)
Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript is a classic of existential literature. It concludes the first and richest phase of Kierkegaard's pseudonymous authorship and is the text that philosophers look to first when attempting to define Kierkegaard's own philosophy. Familiar Kierkegaardian themes are introduced in the work, including truth as subjectivity, indirect communication, the leap, and the impossibility of forming a philosophical system for human existence. The Postscript sums up the aims of the preceding pseudonymous works and opens the way to the (...) next part of Kierkegaard's increasingly tempestuous life: it can thus be seen as a cornerstone of his philosophical thought. This volume offers the work in a new and accessible translation by Alastair Hannay, together with an introduction that sets the work in its philosophical and historical contexts. (shrink)
THE TRUTH OF RELIGIOUS JUDGMENTS, THE AUTHOR CONTENDS, IS TO BE ESTABLISHED BY AN APPEAL TO EXPERIENCE WHICH MUST BE DISTINGUISHED FROM PRAGMATISM AND THEORIES OF COMMITMENT AND APPEAL TO AUTHORITY. (BP, EDITED).
Preface -- Introduction -- There is only one reality -- The ultimate perspective and the ultimate drama -- Proof #1: Science -- Proof #2: History -- Proof #3: Prophecy -- Proof #4: Supernatural -- Proof #5: Psychology -- Proof #6: Sociology -- Proof #7: Inerrancy -- Proof #8: Micro-science -- Proof #9: Logic -- Proof #10: The only provably -- Inerrant, complete system -- Why proof is important -- Personal iplications of proof.