In this pivotal year for gene editing, the breakthrough molecular system CRISPR–Cas9 has advanced on three fronts. In under seven months, an influential scientific body—the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—cracked open the door to human germline gene editing, ownership of patents covering CRISPR–Cas9 came into much sharper focus as a result of a dispute between two parties, and experiments showing proof of concept of the most controversial of uses—altering germlines of (...) humans—were revealed as having been successfully performed by a mainstream laboratory. Given the vast spoils that await the patent owners, final results of all patent disputes over CRISPR–Cas9 patents may stretch on for years. Meanwhile, bioethical considerations of CRISPR–Cas9 have also been contentious as the United States and other countries grapple with how best to regulate gene editing. (shrink)
It has become standard practice for scientists to avoid the possibility of references to God by adopting methodological naturalism, a method that assumes that the reality of the universe, as it can be accessed by empirical enquiry, is to be explained solely with recourse to natural phenomena. In this essay, I critique the Christian practice of this method, arguing that a Christian's practices should always reflect her belief that the universe is created and sustained by the triune God. This leads (...) me to contend that the Christian should adopt a theologically humble approach to the sciences, with which she humbly acknowledges that special divine action is not discernible by empirical science. To further my critique, I consider three ways in which the practice of MN can be particularly problematic for Christianity. (shrink)
In Practice in Christianity, Søren Kierkegaard's pseudonym, Anti-Climacus enters into an extended engagement with Matthew 11.6, ‘Blessed is he who takes no offense at me’. In so doing, he comes to an understanding that ‘the possibility of offense’ characterises the ‘crossroad’ at which one either comes to faith in Christ's revelation or rejects it. Such a choice, as he is well aware, cannot be made from a neutral standpoint, and so he is led to propose that it is ‘the thoughts (...) of the heart’ (i.e. a person's disposition) that constitute the pivotal factor in determining whether or not God will reconcile a person into the Christian faith. In this paper, I discuss Anti-Climacus' interpretation of Mt. 11.6 and consider his reasons for interpreting a person's predisposition as being so decisive for faith. (shrink)
A question that is often asked of analytic theologians is: what, if anything, distinguishes analytic theology from philosophy of religion? In this essay, I consider two approaches to what is called “analytic theology.” I argue that the first approach, which I associate with the common practice of analytic theology in the university, is very difficult to distinguish consistently from philosophy of religion. I also argue, however, that there is another approach that can be more clearly distinguished from philosophy of religion. (...) Following Aquinas, I associate this with a scientific approach to analytic theology: an approach that is distinguished by a specific commitment to understanding the mind-independent reality of God and all things in relation to God. The primary aim of this essay is to present an account of this latter approach and ask whether it might be possible to take such an approach in the contemporary university. (shrink)
Kierkegaard is well known for being critical of a scholarly reading of the bible. It is generally understood that his primary concern was that “objective” biblical scholarship was undermining the possibility of a reader's subjective life being affected, challenged and provoked by its message. That is, it encourages an overly detached reading of Scripture that distracts persons from responding to its call to discipleship. It is indeed the case that Kierkegaard devoted himself to challenging the fact that the nominal Christians (...) in Denmark were not actively responding Scripture. However, I shall argue that there is something much more fundamental to his critique of biblical scholarship. For Kierkegaard, the faithful reader is not primarily called to respond to the message of Scripture but to the living God who communicates to persons through Scripture. This paper will look at how Kierkegaard sought to remind Christians that Scripture is not an end in itself but a witness to the living God. (shrink)
In response to Hud Hudson's The Fall and Hypertime, I raise the question as to whether it is constructive to to use the story of Adam, Eve, and the Fall to make a specific apologetic point that draws attention to a reading of the story that we would not otherwise want to affirm?
For 60 years, Herbert Schneider has been making notable contributions to philosophy. In 1972, at a surprise party for his 80th birthday, friends presented him with a collection of essays on areas of philosophy in which he himself had done pioneering work. These essays, together with five previously published but difficult-to-find papers written by Schneider himself, are included in the present book, along with a biographical sketch of Schneider prepared by the editors and a list of Schneider’s writings. Among the (...) better-known contributors are Joseph L. Blau, Max Fisch, Lewis Hahn, George Kline, Paul Kurtz, and Richard H. Popkin. The essays include historical studies in ancient and modern philosophy as well as analytical studies in social theory and problems of education. (shrink)