मेरी माता के पुत्र मुझसे अप्रसन्‍न थे।

'मुझे इसलिए न घूर कि मैं साँवली हूं, क्योंकि मैं धूप से झुलस गई। मेरी माता के पुत्र मुझ से अप्रसन्न थे, उन्होंने मुझ को दाख की बारियोंकी रखवालिन बनाया? परन्तु मैं ने अपनी निज दाख की बारी की रखवाली नहीं की!' (1:6)

उपरोक्‍त आयत में शूलेमी अपनी दु:खपूर्ण गाथा सुना रही है। उसका अपने प्रेमी से प्रेम होने की वजह से उसकी माता के पुत्र अर्थात उसके अपने ही भाई अत्‍यधिक नाराज गये, उन्‍होंने उसे दाख की रखवालिन बना दिया। अत्‍यधिक तेज धूप में दाख की रखवाली करने के कारण शूलेमी के शरीर का रंग सांवला हो गया। शूलेमी को अपने ही परिवार के लोगों ने सताया तथा उसके सच्‍चे प्रेम को तोड़ने की कोशीश की। शूलेमी ने तो वफादारी के साथ अपने भाइयों की दाखबारियों की देखभाल की परन्‍तु वह अपनी बारी की रक्षा न कर सकी।

जब एक विश्‍वासी मसीह की ज्‍योति में आ जाता है तभी उसे अपने पूर्वजीवन का सारा कालापन दिखाई देता है। तभी सारी कमजोरियां दिखाई देती हैं। शूलेमी की सतावट घर से ही थी। बाहरी पीड़ा से घर की पीड़ा अधिक कष्‍टकर होती है। जो लोग सच्‍चाई के मार्ग में आगे बढ़ना चाहते हैं उन्‍हें घरवाले ही रोकेंगे। यीशु ने भी इस सच्‍चाई को नहीं छिपाया बल्कि चेतावनी देते हुए कहा: 'तुम्‍हारे माता पिता, भाई और कुटुम्‍ब ही तुमको पकड़वाएंगे' (लूका 21:16)।

प्रथम शताब्‍दी में जो सतावट मसीहियों पर आयी वह धर्मावलम्बियों की ही तरफ से थी। ठीक उसी प्रकार आज भी सच्‍चे विश्‍वासी को नामधारी मसीहियों की ओर से बहुत कष्‍ट दिये जा रहे हैं। आपके लिए मेरा यही निवेदन है - हे परमेश्‍वर के जन, अगर दुनियां तुझे घूर कर देखती है तो देखने दे। तू तो अपने हृदय की दृष्टि में अपने परमेश्‍वर को देख। तेरी दृष्टि हमेशा तेरे प्रेमी पर ही लगी रहे।

डॉ. कुरियन थामस की पुस्‍तक परिणयगाथा से। © Dr. Kurien Thomas, 1989
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Titus 1:1: Bondservant of Jesus Christ

"Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ..." (Titus 1:1).

A freeman, a citizen of this world, though I be, I'm a bondservant of Jesus Christ.
I am a slave without rights, bought by the price of Christ's very life,
By the blood that He shed as my price.
I'm bought by His love, sold to His love, and bound by His love to His love
Not just for a day but for eternity, I'm His irrevocable possession,
His trophy, His prize, and His symbol of victory;
I'm bought by the blood of Jesus Christ for all eternity.

I have no vision of my own, but of my Lord;
No dreams of my own, but of my Master.
I'm a servant in His house, my Temple, and my Heaven.
Can I ever forget the cage of iniquity from which He freed me?
Can I ever forget my sinful misery?
From the dark depths of sinful hatred,
He pulled me up with cords of love.
He washed me with His blood of righteousness
And filled me with His Spirit from above.
What did I do to ever deserve this grace?
Why was it that He took my place and bore my iniquities?
I can never understand His love,
But I'll always remain the bondslave of my Master,
My Lord, my Hero, my Savior.

© Domenic Marbaniang, August 2009.
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मैं काली तो हूं


"मैं काली तो हूं परंतु सुन्दर हूं, केदार के तम्बुओं और सुलेमान के पर्दे के तुल्य हूं।" (1:5)

इब्रानी भाषा का शब्द जो कालेपन के लिए यहां प्रयोग में लाया गया है वह 'शोरा' है जिस का अर्थ है धूप के कारण आनेवाला कालापन। यह कालापन पुराने पापमय जीवन को दर्शाता है। स्वाभाविक रूप से काली होने पर भी वह ईश्वरीय प्रेम में सुंदर है। मसीह का प्रेम भी परिवर्तन लाने वाला होता है जो हमें अर्थात कलीसिया को सर्वांग सुंदर बना देता है। प्रेमी भी अपनी प्रेमिका को जिस प्रकार सर्वांग स्वीकार करता है ठीक उसी प्रकार प्रभु यीशु मसीह ने कलीसिया को ग्रहण किया है।

प्रेमिका अपनी तुलना केदार के तम्बुओं तथा सुलेमान के पर्दों से करती है। यह पवित्र लोगों में पाई जाने वाली पवित्रात्मा की सुन्दरता के तुल्य है। पवित्र लोगों के धर्म के कार्यों की तुलना चिरकाल तक स्थिर रहेगी (प्रकाश. 19: 8)।

डॉ. कुरियन थामस की पुस्तक परिणयगाथा से। © Dr. Kurien Thomas, 1989
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Anatomy of Religious Violence

Anatomy
of  Religious Violence


The history of religion has been a seriously blood-bathed one. It reveals the intense power, weight, and depth of religion within the human heart. No wonder, the word “religion” itself comes from the Latin religare meaning “to bind”. Religion binds the adherent to its belief, authority, and community. It holds an intense power over the individual. Of course, there are several instances of religious faith opening itself to philosophical dialogues and investigations in the past. However, it is a fact undeniable that much of religious faith is a matter of faith alone and not rational discussion. Therefore, they have the potential to invite physical opposition by not submitting to any force of logic. That is why in some cases words are silenced by blows – with the sanction of some religious authority.
Religious violence may be defined as violence committed in the name of religion. It is both intra-religious violence and inter-religious violence; i.e. violence within the group and violence against other groups. It must be differentiated from communal violence, apartheid, and religio-political violence, i.e. political violence in a religious garb. While communal violence and the like are more a matter of cultural differences, communal feelings, and dehumanizing theories; religious violence is exclusively related to a clash between religious beliefs, religious sentiments, and religious practices. A religious community may suddenly get infuriated at some other religious community and commit violence; however, this kind of violence should not be termed as religious unless it is committed in the name of religion alone – i.e. in recognition (true or false) of some authoritative religious basis for doing it. In this essay, we will analyze some theories that authorize religious violence and then show their unspiritual nature and irrational procedure in the assertion of faith.
EPISTEMIC BASES OF RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE
By “epistemic bases” is meant the grounds for believing that religious violence is right. Analytically, all sanction for religious violence is based on authority. I used the word “analytically” because the word “sanction” itself implies sanction by some authority. There is no rational principle for religious violence. There may be one for justice and retribution but not for religious violence. On the other hand, one may look to instinct or emotion as the psychological basis for violence. However, such psychological sources of violence cannot be the sources of theories sanctioning religious violence; therefore, though instinct or emotion may be reactionary sources of violence they cannot be considered to be the epistemic basis for religiously justifiable violence. In fact, no religious authority ever sanctions the unreflective obedience to the passion of emotion. The epistemic basis is, therefore, neither reason nor experience, but it is religious authority in the form of religious tradition, leader, or scripture.

Political Allegiance through Religious Allegiance
In the Roman persecution of Christians in early Church history, the authority was chiefly political. The persecution of Christians was mainly because they were suspected of working against the State. Their allegiance to the State was examined by asking them to deny Christ and sacrifice to the gods for the well-being of the king, failing which they were punished.[1] This reveals the epistemic bias of judgment; that an individual’s allegiance to any God should not be above the state or against any decree of the king.
Later, however, when Emperor Decius assumed control in 249 Christians began to be persecuted and punished for failing to show their respect and allegiance to the Roman gods through offerings to them. The assumption was that anyone who had no respect for the Roman gods could also have no respect for the government that honored these gods. Therefore, Christians who did not offer to the gods were singled out as traitors of the Empire. In modern secular politics, however, with the separation of religion from state such criteria of allegiance no longer exist. However, there is always the danger of fundamentalist tendencies gaining root to the extent that the political guarantee of religious freedom is lost.
Dharma and Violence
The concept of religion in popular Hinduism is captured in the word dharma. Dharma means duty or righteousness (or being true to what one ought to be). Dharma includes among many things the practice of truth, justice, caste-duty, and spiritual discipline. In modern times, however, dharma is often used for “religion”. But many Hindus still don’t see an infrastructural difference between world religions and consider the essence of religion to be dharma (observance of what is one’s right). That is why, Hinduism is considered to be a pluralistic religion. Its pluralism is expressed by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita[2] in the following words:
By whatever way men worship Me, even so do I accept them; for, in all ways, O Partha, men walk in My path (IV. 11).
Whatever form a particular devotee wishes to worship with faith – concerning that alone I make his faith unflinching. (VII. 21).
However, this liberalism is not without its restrictions; for it is soon qualified by Krishna’s claims to his own exclusivity.
Even those devotees of other gods who worship (them) endowed with faith, worship Me alone, O son of Kunti (Arjuna), though in an unauthorized way (IX. 23).
Notice that Krishna calls the other ways of worship as “unauthorized” or, as one version says, “not according to ordinance.”[3] Still, those ways are acceptable to him. However, though the ways of worship may be different, such differences and relativity is not allowed in matters of dharma or personal duty; for all personal duty (primarily of caste) is by divine ordinance. Thus, when Arjuna, the archer, is saddened by the thought of having to kill his cousins in the war, Krishna shows the irrationality of all such grief by teaching him the gist of what he claims to be true dharma.  One quickly notices in the early part of the Gita the common-sense teleological ethics of Arjuna in contradiction to Krishna’s view of true morality or dharma. Krishna explains to him that his grief over having to kill someone is unfounded since death is never a final event. The phenomena of slayer, slaying, and slain is not real in the ultimate sense; since the self is neither born nor does it ever die; it only changes bodies at death and rebirth as people change clothes (II. 19-23), phenomenally speaking but in its true sense it is unmanifest, birthless, and immutable. Arjuna must do his own duty (swadharma) which evidently in this case is punishing the wicked. The caste-duty (varnashrama dharma) of a kshatriya was to vanquish the foes of righteousness. The Gita never promotes religious violence in the sense of persecuting other religions; however, it does sanction violence against downright wickedness as a religious duty with a justification based on pantheism and the immortality of the soul. 
The Command to Defend
 The Koran declares Allah as the All Sovereign and Merciful one (Sura V. 39, 40). Therefore, he forgives those he chooses to forgive and punishes those he chooses to punish as it says: “Unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. He forgiveth whom He will, and punisheth whom He will. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (Sura III. 129).[4] In other words, since God is Sovereign Lord, He may forgive whom He will and punish whom He will. The condition for forgiveness is, however, belief. Unbelief is intolerable by God with such severity that believers (Muslims) are commanded to fight and destroy the unbelievers till they are all destroyed or converted, although they are also to be judged in the Day of Resurrection. In fact, violence in Islam originally began as a means of self-defense and as a response to the unabated religious persecution by the people of Mecca. Seeing that such persecution is only detrimental to Islam, the Koran declares: “fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah” (Sura VIII. 39). The fight against unbelievers, however, is merciless against those who do not convert. Accordingly it says,
The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom (Sura V. 33).
Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (Sura IX. 5).
The injunctions are clear: those who war against Allah are to be destroyed and those who repent are to be accepted as brethren. One knows of the many atrocities committed by kings like Aurangazeb who wanted to establish the Islamic religion. But there are also examples of those like Akbar and the Sufi saints who looked for peace and tolerance rather than snatch away from others their religious freedom. It is evident that all methods of conversion by force are only, at the most, externally efficient. They can’t affect the internal soul. But while self-defence is justifiable seeing that one has also the obligation to care for his own body, yet it is wrong to inflict pain on anyone just because of his faith. Truth is never in need of violence unless it is in danger of being violently destroyed. However, truth cannot be violently destroyed because it is founded in the nature of God Himself and no one can destroy God. At the end, all things will be brought to judgment and consummation. Therefore, the Bible tells us not to take vengeance, for vengeance belongs to the Lord.
The Command to Love
The New Testament is straightly against violence, except when it is justly executed by a civil government, in accordance to the Law of God (Rom. 13: 1-5). However, religious violence is never endorsed by Christ for political purposes. It was biblically untrue for the Church in the past to unite with political leadership and punish those who it considered to be heretics. The Crusades are a dark spot on the history of Christianity. However, they lack an epistemological foundation in God’s revelation through His Word. It was during the Reformation that the evil of the Church’s uniting with political leadership to persecute the true Christians was observed. Luther differentiated between the kingdom of the world and the kingdom of God and made room for just rebellion against evil government when they violated God’s Laws.
The Beatitude says: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of God” (Matt. 5: 10). The contrast between Krishna and Christ is stark here. While Krishna calls those blessed that persecute others for righteousness’ sake; Christ said that it is not the inflictors but the sufferers of persecution for righteousness’s sake who will be rewarded. For the strength of the belief is not measured by the ability to hunt people down but by the commitment to live for it and die for it. Thus, though permitting violence in accordance to the justification of moral governments for establishing justice in society, the ultimate end of all relationships according to Christ is the Love of God. He Himself is our example who chose to suffer rather take revenge on His enemies. He doesn’t take the law into His own hands until the Father permits it. For, though Christ is our Savior, He will also return as Judge of both the living and the dead.
Thus, we have seen two kinds of epistemic bases: politico-religious relationship and scriptural authority.
PSYCHOLOGICAL DIMENSION
Modern psychological research has shown that authoritative devaluation of any human through dehumanization and deindividuation can lead to severe crime in society. Contrary to the anarchists who say that man rules and is ruled best when left to himself alone with nature; psychological research has shown that by demeaning someone, treating people as anonymous or by treating them as less than humans, violent emotions and actions against them can be evoked.[5] Propaganda through literature, billboards, advertisements, secret meetings, etc are ways in which indoctrination regarding falsehood occurs. The brute extent of it was witnessed during World War II in the Nazi concentration camps. Obviously, the Nazi tortures were not confessedly religious; however, they at least tell how dehumanization can bring a change in the character of man. Professor Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University, who has done intensive research on the psychology of evil, writes:
At the core of evil is the process of dehumanization by which certain other people or collectives of them, are depicted as less than human, as non comparable in humanity or personal dignity to those who do the labeling. Prejudice employs negative stereotypes in images or verbally abusive terms to demean and degrade the objects of its narrow view of superiority over these allegedly inferior persons. Discrimination involves the actions taken against those others based on the beliefs and emotions generated by prejudiced perspectives.[6]
Dehumanization is only possible where love for one’s neighbor doesn’t exist. However, while earthly philosophies are not opposed to hatred for the enemy – even torture of him, Jesus teaches us to love our enemies and pray for them; because it is hatred that dehumanizes any individual or community and discriminates against them. Love accepts the fact of being in opposition (it doesn’t suppress it) but it refuses to let such opposition transform its perspective into prejudice and hateful discrimination.
One another psychological influence is mass suggestion where deindividuation gathers high tones. Riots and majority ruling influence people to join gang of persecutors in their evil acts; in such mob-feeling, conscience is set aside. Further, propaganda and false testimonies lead to enrage people in such direction.
CHRISTIANITY AND RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE
Evidently, the Old Testament cannot always be seen as supportive of religious tolerance. For instance, the Law of Moses stipulated death penalty for idolatry and witchcraft, for breaking the Ten Commandments, and for dishonoring God (Lev. 24: 16). But this was only binding on those who were considered to be the members of the Covenant. Neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament allows any persecution of other religions in the name of religion.
The Bible indicates in 1 Timothy 2: 1, 2 that if people are not able to live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty, then a great part of it is due to the failure of civil governments to comply with the moral government of God. The word for honesty is semnotes in the Greek and also means “dignity” and “honor”. Obviously, in a state where religious violence is rampant the dignity and honor of the citizens is lost through dehumanization. Therefore, Christians are called for to pray for the government so that there may be peace and order in the state.
We also learn from the life of Jesus and the apostles that religious persecution must be avoided as far as possible. For instance, Jesus tells His disciple to leave any city which as a whole refuses Christ’s message and starts persecuting the messengers (Lk. 9: 5; cp. Acts 13: 51). Jesus Himself avoided unnecessary falling into the enemy’s traps (Matt. 4: 12; Lk. 4: 30). Similarly, Paul escaped once through a basket when people were in wait for him, was prevented by the disciples from getting beaten by a crazy mob, and took measures to inform the authority of a group of Jewish fanatics who had vowed to not eat till they killed him (Acts 9: 25; 19: 30; 23: 17-21). He also used his Roman citizenship as a privilege to prevent unnecessary torture, to appeal to the highest court of justice, i.e. to Caesar, and to get people understand that they cannot just by-pass laws to persecute the minority (Ac. 16: 35-40; 22: 25; 25: 11). Thus, it is obvious that the Bible desires Christians to be rational in their conduct of life, seeing that the Bible does allow the avoidance of persecution if it is possible.
But in any case the Scripture forbids vengeance (Rom. 12: 19). Trials do show the strength of the truth of one’s faith in the Gospel and in the love and justice of God. The Scripture exhorts us to bless our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5: 44). Jesus came not to punish the wicked but to save the sinners. However, man is accountable for his every word and deed at the final Day of Judgment. The believer, truly, is not frightened by anything for he walks not in agitation but in faith, hope, and love.
References
Bhagavad Gita, trans. Swami Vireswarananda (Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1974).
Booty, John E. The Church in History, New York: Seabury Press, 1979.
Frost, Jr. S.E. (ed.) The Sacred Writings of the World’s Great Religions, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1972.
The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, trans. M. M. Pickthall, New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 1992.
Selected Glossary:           
Dehumanization – process or procedure of divesting humans of their human identity, dignity, and rights.
Deindividuation – process or procedure of removing individual identity and individuality; thus, creating a sense of anonymity.
Epistemic – epistemological or that which is related to the problem of knowledge.
Individualism – philosophy that emphasizes individual worth, rights, and specific identity apart from society.
Secularism - philosophical ideology that stresses, especially, the separation of science and politics from religious dominance.
Secularization – process by which society is freed from absolute dominance of religion or the supernatural.


[1] John E. Booty, The Church in History (New York: Seabury Press, 1979), pp. 150-151.
[2] Bhagavad Gita, trans. Swami Vireswarananda (Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1974).
[3] S.E. Frost, Jr. (ed.), The Sacred Writings of the World’s Great Religions (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1972), p. 58
[4] The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, trans. M. M. Pickthall (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 1992). All quotations from the Koran, unless specified, are taken from this translation.
[5] www.zimbardo.com & www.prisonxp.org
[6] “The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo” (www.lucifereffect.com).


Published in Basileia (Itarsi: CITS, Oct 08). Copyright © 2008 by Domenic Marbaniang 
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Thy Kingdom Come



Thy Kingdom come...

Night dragged on clumsily as the disciples snuggled miserably against their drowsy companions. From a distance, the painful cries of their Master fell heavily on their dull ears. One silently observed in the moonlit darkness, the thickness of the Master’s sweat-drops in prayer falling like drops of blood to the ground. In agony, the Lord cried ‘Father, if it’s possible, let this cup pass from me….’ Darkness gloomed terribly, as if with incisors ready to devour patience, before the Lord steadily continued ‘nevertheless not as I will, but as You will it.’

Matthew tells us that Jesus repeated the same words not once, but thrice before He was arrested in Gethsemane that Passover evening of April, 32 AD (Matt. 26: 44). Indubitably, those words sum up the whole struggle of spirit against flesh from the creation till the end of the world. While disobedient Adam and the adamic race lost the battle and fell into the voracious jaws of death, Jesus Christ submitted to the will of God and dealt death a fatal blow on the cross of Calvary. So, the crucifixion of Christ is not tragic news: it is good news.

The will of God is paramount for all things owe their existence to God’s will (Rev. 4: 11). Therefore, Jesus taught His disciples to pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6: 10). Heaven is where God rules; in other words, whatever God rules over absolutely is heaven-ruled. And so, if God rules over our lives, our lives become heavenly. Hell is just its opposite. Jesus began His ministry preaching about the kingdom of heaven. ‘Repent,’ He said, ‘for the kingdom of heaven is near’ (Matt. 4: 17).

This world we live in is a synonym of evil. Just a cursory glance around displays a morbid exhibition
of authorized evil. It is no wonder that the Christian is identified by his separation from the world, whether it appears good or evil. Paul said that by the cross of Jesus Christ he was crucified to the world and the world to him (Gal. 6: 14). The Christian does no longer belong to the world; he belongs to the kingdom of Jesus Christ (Col. 1: 13). A Christian will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15: 50). Thus, the kingdom of God unleashed by Jesus Christ is both a present and a future reality.

Sinners are being saved, the sick healed, and nations transformed; this shows that the kingdom of God is at work right now. A day also will dawn when the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healings in His wings. Then will be fulfilled the prayer: ‘Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.’
THE HUMAN PREDICAMENT
In Cecil DeMille's movie The Ten Commandments (1956), to Moses’ question of why God left his people in bonds of slavery, Joshua replies, ‘God made man; and man made slaves.’ Human government has historically been a host of inequality. The veins of politics carry germs of corruption fed by lust of power and pleasure. Though the rule of wise and strong men is desired, almost elevating the ruler into a god or demi-god, what really rules all men alike is a fact that could shock anyone.

Two millennia and a half ago Plato (c. 428-c. 347 BC) envisaged a polis in which wisdom ruled over passion. Plato was aversive of the irrational form of democracy (or mobocracy) in which indiscretion was the judge. To him wisdom and justice had no shelter in a democracy where majority vote killed the wise Socrates, his teacher.[1] Not surprising then, his The Republic is a serious attempt to destroy democracy and establish the rule of wisdom.

An analysis of the Platonic problem is necessary. The root problem of politics is the avaricious nature of man. Governance is necessary because passion is chaotic. The struggle is between wisdom and untamed passion. Plato argues that the best government is where wisdom prevails over passion. This requires that first the rulers be purged of all folly and corrupt desires before the state as a body is purged. The situation is a serious one because humans are seen to be basically selfish. In The Republic, Plato posits this problem in the person of Glaucon, who states it through the story of Gyges. According to the story, Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the king of Lydia. One day, while he was out in the field feeding his flock, there was a great storm and a great earthquake which left a big opening in the ground nearby. Startled by this sight, Gyges descended into the opening to see, among many marvels, a hollow brazen horse within which was a naked corpse wearing a gold ring. Gyges took the ring, wore it and got out of the hole. On coming back to his companions, he noticed that whenever he turned the collet of the ring inside his hand, he became invisible to all, and whenever he turned the collet outwards he reappeared. Quite dazed, he made several trials of it before realizing that he was in possession of this magical ring that could make him invisible. By means of this new acquirement, he contrived to enter the court, seduced the queen, slew the king, and took the kingdom. Glaucon concludes, ‘Suppose now there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other; no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men. Then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust; they would both come at last to the same point.’[2]

Gyges’ story is reminiscent of the biblical account of man just before the Flood (Genesis 6: 1, 2). Since there was no established form of human government then, might became right and man did whatever he liked. The resulting condition was so chaotic that God had to destroy the world by means of a flood before renovating it with only eight members of a family whom He had saved. Further studies of Scriptures show that though evil men were exterminated, evil itself retained its scepter over human hearts.

As solution to the human predicament, Plato proposed a well-designed program of education whereby able men could be trained to be rulers and warriors of the state. Obviously, the rulers would be philosophers trained in the highest form of learning. They would possess the four virtues of wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice. Thus, Plato believed wisdom and justice would be guaranteed in his utopian city. But, the possibility of producing such guardians has been greatly debated.
History is evidence that evil and political leadership have deep relationships. Still deeper is the relation between evil and the human heart. Different opinions exist regarding this problem. Some like Plato believe that education and training based on idealism can cultivate the good spirit of man and help to overcome the fleshly passions.[3] Some, however, believe that education cannot transform man since his nature is corrupted by inherent sin. Sin rules deep within the heart of man. Transformation is only possible by the gracious enabling of God’s Spirit.

There are still others who, like Nietzsche, believed in the total elimination of the old notions of good and evil and the redefinition of values along evolutionary lines.

The rise of Adolf Hitler as an incarnation of Nietzsche’s superman who scoffed at the ‘weak’ virtues of Christianity is well-known to history. The destructiveness of such an approach is a lesson learnt at the price of World War II. Peace and human rights has become an important concern since then as seen in the rise of the UNO. Man has come to realize that he cannot live without regard for his neighbour. ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’ is a divine directive for the only possible harmonious life in this world.
While knowledge of morality is ubiquitous to man, the probabilities of adherence are minimal. Therefore, civil government aims to restrain evil through forceful execution of law and order. Man has no rights in the ‘natural’ state of anarchy. This makes civil government a necessary agent of justice. Unfortunately, even the agent of justice is tainted by its own sins and stands condemned by the law it seeks to uphold. The dissatisfaction with governments and growing political confusion reflects the moral (and immoral) unrest of the world that can’t manage itself.
Religions look to things other than human government for the maintenance of justice. For instance, Hinduism accepts the law of karma as the regulating principle of good and evil. Christianity, on the other, hand looks to God for justice. Karma, however, being an impersonal principle has no sympathy and is bereft of mercy. Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism see the existence of man itself as evidence of ‘sin’ or ‘wrong desires’ or  ‘self-centeredness’. But the problem of salvation from sinful living and its penalty is not satisfactorily answered. The Hindu advaitin attempt to deny the reality of sin and the Buddhist attempt to deny the reality of the soul are nihilistic and do not answer to reality.
THE BIBLICAL ALTERNATIVE
In moving our discussion from human government to religion, we have also moved from the natural to the supernatural. Sin is not just a physical problem; it is originally a spiritual problem. By reason of proximity and closeness, the world is very appealing to man through his senses. The natural man, according to Paul, lives to fulfill his flesh’s desires (Rom. 7: 5). Comfort, security, and fleshly satisfaction in the immediate present are his priorities. However, being created in God’s image, man is not left to his instincts but is endowed with intellect and volition for responsible conduct of life (Gen. 1:27; Rom. 2:15). Therefore, man is without excuse for having chosen to debase himself despite of God’s law revealed within his own heart. Man stands condemned before God and is incapable of extricating himself from the reality of divine judgment.
God’s answer to man comes in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of divine salvation. He is God’s life and righteousness (1 Jn. 5:20; 1 Cor. 1:30). The destiny of humanity is decided by its decision regarding Christ. By His atoning sacrifice Christ has offered His blood as the price of our ransom from sins. He gave His life as the sin offering on the cross so that those who look to Him in faith will be saved as the Israelites were by looking at the brazen serpent. Faith in Christ, therefore, justifies the sinner and presents him guiltless before God (Rom. 8:1).
The first step into God’s kingdom is the acceptance of Jesus as Lord of life. Christ cannot be savior unless He is first Lord of our lives. This is the key-stone of sanctification and victory over sin and the devil. Ascetic techniques and yogic principles may avail a little in controlling the body but they cannot bring victory (Col. 2: 21-23). It is only the consecration of will at the altar of the Lord that emancipates the soul (Rom. 12:1, 2). ‘Not as I will, but as You will it’ is the statement of victory. It is the declaration of faith in God and the  submission of self to  His total  outworking in  one’s life. The Spirit, the Paraclete, works only in co-operation, alongside of us. One needs to make up one’s mind despite the painful struggle, and endure to the end (Heb. 12: 1-4). A Christian who lives such committed life displays the rule of God’s kingdom in his life. He becomes a vessel that is sanctified for the Lord’s use, prepared unto all good works (2 Tim. 2: 21).

However, there is a prospective reality of the Kingdom of God as well, which is ultimately significant. The present experience of the Holy Spirit is only a foretaste of the powers to come (Heb. 6: 4, 5). The Spirit of God in the believer is a guarantee of his inheritance in the Kingdom of God (Eph. 1:13, 14). The outpouring of the Spirit on the believers after the ascension of Christ was an unleashing of a power in the midst of the Church that ultimately means the vanquishing of the Kingdom of darkness. The upsurge of evil in the end times is but the sudden flare of an extinguishing flame. The Kingdom of God is God’s answer to the internal and external problem of evil. The resurrection of Christ meant a death blow to death itself. His resurrection is an assurance of the resurrection of saints in the last day (1Cor. 15: 20-26). The German theologian Pannenberg was right in a way when he stated that the end of the world has begun with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.[4] We are living at the end of the age. The end will consummate in the revelation of the Son of God from heaven, the judgment of the world, and the gathering of all things in Christ (2 Thess. 1: 8-10; Eph. 1: 10). Then will all knees bow at His name and all tongue confess that He is Lord (Phil. 2:10, 11). Therefore, obedience, now, to the Gospel of the Kingdom is vital. The Kingdom is not just an option: it is a forced option that decides the choice between life and death.[5] The choice of disobedience is a revolt against the divine proposal of peace: it only means the death of the rebel. Therefore, obedient faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is crucial to the experience of Kingdom righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14: 17).

‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done’ is a prayer that is prophetically secured. The only need is for the individual to submit to the Kingdom offer of peace and a life that pleases the King. ‘Not as I will, but as You will it.’

References
Durant, Will. The Story of Philosophy, New York: Washington Square Press, 1961.
Ken Gnanakan, Kingdom Concerns,  Bangalore: TBT, 1989.
Plato, The Republic and Other Works; trans. B. Jowett; New York: Anchor Books, 1989.


[1] Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy (New York: Pocket Books, 1953), p. 12
[2] Plato, The Republic and Other Works (trans. B. Jowett; New York: Anchor Books, 1989), p. 44
[3] The development of material culture as the focus of modern education relegates spirituality to the private life.
[4] Ken Gnanakan, Kingdom Concerns (Bangalore: TBT, 1989), p. 85.
[5] According to the American philosopher William James a forced option is one that cannot be avoided. Once the option is presented, there is no standing place outside of the alternative.

Published in Basileia (Itarsi: CITS, Oct, 08). Copyright © 2008 by Domenic Marbaniang

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20th Century Christian Contribution to Philosophy

20th Century
Christian Contribution to Philosophy


The twentieth century has also witnessed the same kind of interaction between theology and philosophy as in the early church age. On one side are those who with Tertullian (c.160-230) would ask ‘What is there in common between Athens and Jerusalem? What between the Academy and the Church?’[1] In other words, Christianity and philosophy are two poles apart. On the other hand, there are those who feel that philosophy can be a great tool in elucidating and establishing theology. One must understand that though philosophy is not recognized to be the ultimate source of theology, yet philosophical categories such as substance, ousia, etc have found a significant place in Western theology. A study of the history of Christian theology shows how St. Augustine was influenced in his theology by Platonic philosophy while St. Thomas Aquinas was influenced by Aristotle in formulating his systematic theology. In the modern period, philosophies such as existentialism and process philosophy have greatly influenced theologies. In the Indian sub-continent itself, one can see the grand influence of the different philosophical systems in the development of Indian Christian theologies.[2]

Thus, it can be seen that philosophy has always had some role in the development of theologies. However, it is even more pertinent to ask how far Christians have contributed towards the development of philosophy in the past, especially in the twentieth century. It is ubiquitously known that Christians played an important role in the development of philosophy in the early period. However, such contribution has not dwindled in the modern period. This article seeks to appraise the twentieth century Christian contribution to philosophy. A few Christian philosophers have been chosen for the sake of study in this direction.
Alvin Plantinga
The name of Alvin Plantinga is of particular relevance in the field of epistemology, particularly in the development of foundationalism which also serves as an apologetic for theism in the epistemology of religion. According to Plantinga, in the human noetic structure, there are beliefs that are not based on nor need any other evidence since they are basic to the noetic structure. One of such basic beliefs is belief in God. Plantinga has shown a skeptical face towards the assumed success of natural theology. His Reformed background may be an explanation for this. To Plantinga the existence of God doesn’t need to be proved at all. He advances an epistemological viewpoint known as broad foundationalism according to which there are certain beliefs that are basic; they do not need to be supported by any other beliefs, on the other hand they are basic to other contingent beliefs.
According to Plantinga, belief in God is basic. His criterion for basic belief is that ‘a belief is properly basic only in certain conditions; these conditions are…the ground of its justification and, by extension, the ground of the belief itself.’[3] Accordingly, ‘there is in us a disposition to believe propositions of the sort this flower was created by God or this vast and intricate universe was created by God when we contemplate the flower or behold the starry heavens or think about the vast reaches of the universe.’[4] To a believer many of the events in his life can be explained by his basic belief in God’s existence and involvement in the world. In fact, unless one has theism at the foundations of his knowledge one cannot be having a healthy epistemic life is what Plantinga contends.[5]
One important contribution of Plantinga has been to trace the epistemological implications of natural evolutionism. According to Plantinga, the belief that the human mind is the product of blind chance interplaying with matter in the natural process implies that the deliverances of the mind are dubitable, obviously because of the flux involved in the process. However, this also implies that one cannot believe the proposition of the mind that humans are the product of a blind interplay of natural processes.[6] Thus, natural evolutionism is epistemologically self-defeating.
In his 1982 presidential address to the American Philosophical Association, Plantinga demonstrated the impossibility of anti-realism, an argument which he developed in his lecture “Two Dozen (or So) Theistic Arguments.” Plantinga was reacting to Hilary Putnam’s proposal for anti-realism to replace metaphysical realism which had given rise to much skepticism. Metaphysical realism, simply stated, is the position that reality is objective and unaffected by any individual’s personal interpretation of it. Thus, whether one believes or not that the sun is hot, it is hot. This means that it is possible for a person to be in error with reference to his knowledge of things; thus, giving rise to skepticism. Putnam proposed to solve this problem by replacing metaphysical realism with anti-realism, the view that much or reality is dependent on the noetic activities of human beings. Plantinga shows that such anti-realism is uncalled for. In fact, if one believed in an omniscient God who created humans with the right basic beliefs of the universe and the ability to know then one could still be a metaphysical realist and a theist without entertaining skepticism at all.

Thus, it can be seen that Plantinga has contributed a lot to epistemology by not only providing a theory of epistemology that includes divine existence as a basic belief but also by showing how atheistic naturalism could lead to irrationality and anti-realism but theism leads to rationality and realism.
Francis Schaeffer

An important contribution to the history of modern philosophy comes from the founder of L’abri Fellowship, Francis Schaeffer. There have been many attempts at chronicling philosophy; however, Schaeffer’s work differs from all of them in that he not only sees philosophy in its historical contexts but also sees philosophy in its relation to the sciences and arts while tracing the logical development all through to the present age. Schaeffer’s Escape from Reason, despite its small size, is a bold assessment and analysis of the route taken by philosophy beginning at the Scholastic movement of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274).

According to Schaeffer, Aquinas is responsible for the bifurcation of knowledge into two storeys, a bifurcation that took momentum until one was completely dissolved by the other. Aquinas had divided all human knowledge into an upper storey and a lower storey; the upper storey contained all that man could know only by revelation, i.e. of God as creator, of heaven and heavenly things etc; the lower storey contained all that man could know by reason, viz., the created, the visible and what nature and man do on earth.[7]

Schaeffer astutely points out that this division of knowledge was foundational to the development of  philosophy in  the  West, eventually  leading  to the despair of existentialism and nihilism in the modern era. Schaeffer’s unique contribution in this field is to show how philosophy is not something within the confines of academicians but is something that has affected the whole structure of human existence pouring itself out in the fine arts that unravel the soul of man and the spirit of the age. It may be noted that the concept of human autonomy entertained by modernism combined with the implications of evolutionism were behind the development of dictatorial regimes in the modern period.

Schaeffer shows that the effect of the Thomistic bifurcation was that man’s intellect became autonomous and, thus, there was at least one realm in which man was now independent. Aquinas had made man autonomous. This led to the development of natural theology on the presumption that God could be known apart from revelation. Philosophy became free and was separated from revelation.[8] This liberating of philosophy from revelation proved very expensive to the West.[9] The influence was instantly visible with Giotto (1267-1337) painting the things of nature as nature and Dante (1265-1321) writing in the way that the painters painted. The ultimate impact could be seen when in 1465 Filippo Lippi painted the Madonna and the girl he painted as Mary was his mistress. This was a shocking difference from the earlier zeitgeist in which paintings of the saints were always reverent and contrasted to the natural. Schaeffer calls the instance of Lippi’s painting the historical juncture of nature killing grace.

Later on, with the sacred and reverence for it out of picture, the bifurcation was seen not between grace and nature but between freedom and nature. The question was whether the individual’s freedom was meaningful in the natural process of things. Obviously, the onslaught of determinism was heavy: freedom was beginning to be lost. Man, nature, and machine became synonymous. At this juncture, Kierkegaard put away the hope of a unified field of knowledge and vouching on the theme of the paradox of faith bifurcated faith from rationality. Thus, faith was seen as irrational. Eventually, with irrationality upstairs and the dissolution of absolute categories, absurdity reigned high. The Theatre of Absurd is a classic example of the effects of making man autonomous.

The consequences have been disastrous: there was the loss of moral standards with no categories upstairs, there was no adequate basis for law, no answer to the problem of evil, and the Church lost its chance of evangelization as truth became relative.[10]

Thus, Schaeffer has made an important contribution to the history of philosophy by showing how philosophy was separated from divine grace and revelation in Scholasticism and how this has led to existential despair in the West. It is no surprising then that many Westerners find in the Eastern philosophies an alternative for their situation. It would be far better if philosophy found its place back in Christianity so that the unity of truth would be seen through the eyes of Biblical revelation.
Norman Geisler
Norman Geisler is both a philosopher and an apologist. His contribution extends to all the main fields of philosophy. Some of the most significant issues of metaphysics, viz., the existence of God, the nature of reality, and human freedom are aptly dealt by him.

In Introduction to Philosophy[11] which Geisler co-authored with Paul D. Feinberg, he tells of the various values of studying philosophy in that it helps to understand society, liberate one from prejudice and provincialism, and help to understand one’s faith in a better way. The book itself is a systematic and comprehensive introduction to philosophy that not only deals with metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics in general but also is filled with insights from the Christian revelation. Thus, Geisler shows the practical relevance of philosophy as greatly beneficial and purposeful when seen within the framework of the Biblical revelation.

Geisler has made an important contribution to Eco-philosophy in his Christian Ethics (1989). He analyses the three important viewpoints of environment and shows how each can influence one’s relation to nature and thus affect ecology. Analyzing the materialistic view, Geisler puts forth arguments to prove why the materialistic concept of the world as eternal, of energy as unlimited, of technology as able to solve our problems, of maldistribution as the root problem, and education as the answer is inadequate. He shows that the concept of an eternal world and unlimited energy is repealed by the second law of thermodynamics or the principle of entropy, according to which the total amount of usable energy is steadily decreasing. Geisler reminds us that education is not the final solution. On the other hand, the fact that Stalin, Hitler, and Adolph Eichmann are examples of evil geniuses proves that education cannot transform a person into a good being.[12] Geisler, then, attacks the Pantheistic view that nature is a living organism, that living species are manifestations of God, that humans are one with nature. Nature can neither be regarded as a machine or a god, he says. The pantheistic view only confounds the human situation and relation to the world.

Geisler shows why the Christian view is a foundation of a better ecology for the following reasons: The Christian view is of the world as God’s creation, of God’s possession, of God’s reflection, as sustained and operated by God, as under covenant with God. God made a covenant with all living creatures after the flood (Genesis 9: 16). The Christian view is that mankind is keeper of the environment and is appointed a steward over it. The Biblical law of stewardship, Sabbath rest, land resting, jubilee, sanitation, and warfare lays down principles by which environmental health is promoted. Thus, Geisler shows that one’s ideological position has a great impact on how one approaches nature.

Thus, Geisler’s great contribution is in attempting to bring Christianity and philosophy together in order to gain a better view of life, world, and values.
Ravi Zacharias
As one of the foremost Christian apologists of this century, Ravi Zacharias’ specialization in Western, Eastern, and Middle-Eastern philosophy takes him to numerous academic circles all over the world. Through his rich literature, broadcast, and record ministry, he has addressed millions of people all over the world. Most of his books and lectures address the present condition of the Western man which he diagnoses as caused by the invasion of rationalistic atheism and secularism in the once Christian societies.

Ravi has shown that the invasion of secularism, existentialism, and Eastern philosophy has led to the relativizing of truth in present day society. His apologetic is against the agnostic and skeptic stance one takes with respect to truth. He says, ‘truth by definition is exclusive. If truth were all-inclusive, nothing would be false. And if nothing were false, what would be the meaning of true?’[13]

With regard to metaphysical issues, Ravi echoes the Socratic dictum ‘an unexamined life is not worth living’ in the words: ‘Everyone: pantheist, atheist, skeptic, polytheist has to answer these questions: Where did I come from? What is life's meaning? How do I define right from wrong and what happens to me when I die? Those are the fulcrum points of our existence.’[14] Thus, Ravi drives metaphysics to its practical and existential relevance. This is one genius of Ravi that he brings down philosophy to the floor of human life. Philosophy begins to become vivacious in his words; it no longer remains an abstract pastime of the melancholic. Ravi asks whether the non-Christian positions can adequately and consistently explicate the problem of human existence. He concludes that none of them are consistent in their assumptions. It is the Christian world-view alone that provides the most consistent doctrine of creation and destiny that explains the cosmological and teleological dimensions of human reality.

Though Ravi speaks on themes connected with logic and metaphysics, he also has a special thrust upon values in the present age. An expert on existentialism, Ravi divides philosophy into three levels.[15] The first level is theoretical which seems less appealing to the general public due to the theoretical complexity involved. However, this is the foundational level of all philosophy because it is here that experts wrestle. The second level is the arts, where philosophy finds expression. Novels, paintings, music, and movies are the best place where the zeitgeist (spirit of the age) expresses the affect of the philosophical wind that is driving it. For example, Albert Camus’ The Plague (1948) and Sartre’s Nausea (1949) were expressions of the existential despair produced by feelings of forlornness and helplessness owing to the onslaught of atheism and liberalism. The second level doesn’t go into the foundational questions but approaches the philosophical problem only existentially. The third level of philosophy which is of great significance, according to Ravi, is found in the daily life of the layman, which consists of kitchen-table talks and common discourse. For instance, a mother tells her son not to do a certain thing; he asks why he should not do it, and she replies because it is wrong. There is no philosophical argument given in support of her commandment. Something is just assumed to be right or wrong by faith. The third level is just prescriptive and has no reference to the logic of the theoretical. It is very important for Ravi, however, that in certain matters of belief the foundational level must be raised by helping the believer to question his own foundations. The modern generation is a prey of philosophies and ideologies which it never questions, but simply believes and follows the implications. The result is the loss of values since values can have no absolute foundation for existence in the absence of an absolute God. Ravi also notes the post-modern feeling of disgust against the absoluteness of Truth. Post-modernism, he explains, is a mood against truth and rationality. The modern age can’t tolerate anyone professing possession of truth. However, the relativizing of truth can only mean the loss of truth, where one abandons truth to believe whatever he chooses without regard to whether it is true or false; since truth does not exist.

In an age where the visual dominates the rational and people are losing the ability of abstract reasoning, feelings are beginning to rule humans leading to apathy towards absolute values. With unstable feelings as guide, callousness and apathy are the result. Ravi sees the rise of crime to be directly related to the spread of atheism and ungodliness in the world. To Ravi, then, a return to the Biblical concept of God and salvation is necessary in order to restore meaning and purpose to human existence. In a world without definite and absolute categories, philosophy must find an anchor in the eternal Word of God revealed to man.[16]
Conclusion
Plantinga, Schaeffer, Geisler, and Ravi illustrate the kind of contribution Christianity can make to philosophy. Prominent is the concept of positively relating philosophy to Christianity. As Schaeffer has shown, a dividing of philosophy from divine revelation was prompted by the concept of the autonomous man, though limited to a certain storey. This has led to the evidentialist position in epistemology where modernity assumes proof as necessary for any belief. Man becomes the pivot of verification. Plantinga, however, has shown that this approach is not always valid. There are certain beliefs that are basic and do not need to be authenticated by other evidences. Belief in God is one such basic belief that is not in need of proofs from natural theology. In fact, the consequences of not including theism among the basic beliefs leads to an unhealthy epistemic position, which as Ravi shows, ends up in the loss of values and degeneration of morality. The importance of the Christian view is also powerfully stated by Geisler, in that he compares various philosophical positions on different issues with the Biblical worldview and demonstrates how philosophy devoid of the revelatory data can stray into undesired arenas. At the end, it is the Biblical viewpoint that gains better ground.

The Western attitude of separating philosophy from revelation is strange to an Indian mind. Such an attitude assumes that man is not in need of God in the field of knowledge. Man is autonomous in knowledge. Thus, all fields of knowledge are liberated and considered to be scientific only when seen as segregated from divine revelation or grace. Obviously, the loss of spirituality and the increase of the cults and occults point to the failure of philosophy when divided from divine revelation.
Christian philosophers like Schaeffer and Ravi have shown that such bifurcation of faith and rationality is only detrimental. Consequentially speaking, a wedding of Christianity and philosophy is more rewarding than a divorce of them. Devoid of revelation, Western philosophy has reached a position in post-modernity where it considers itself devoid of even truth. Truth no longer exists. It has become relative. As a result, humanity, and all creation, is divided. Christian philosophers have shown that there is only one way by which the world can find unity in diversity; and that is by returning to the basics of the Bible.
References
Audi, Robert (Gen.ed.). The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Bosley, Harold A. The Philosophical Heritage of the Christian Faith, Chicago: Willett, Clark & Company, 1944.
Brown, Colin. Christianity and Western Thought, vol. 1, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1990.
Brown, Colin. Philosophy & The Christian Faith, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1968.
Chapman, Colin. The Case for Christianity, Grand Rapids: Wm B. Eerdmans, 1981.
Geisler, Norman L. False Gods of Our Time, Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 1985.
Geisler, Norman L. Christian Apologetics, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1976.
The loss of spirituality and the increase of the cults and occults point to the failure of philosophy when divided from divine revelation

Migliore, Daniel L. Faith Seeking Understanding, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1991.
Schaeffer, Francis A. Escape From Reason Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, 1968.
Schaeffer, Francis A. The God Who is There, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1968.
Sproul, R. C. Reason to Believe, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1978.
Zacharias, Ravi. Deliver Us From Evil, USA: Wpublishing Group, 1997.


[1] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1985), p. 40
[2] Sunand Sumithra, Christian Theologies from an Indian Perspective (Bangalore: TBT, 1990), pp. 35-38
[3] Alvin Plantinga, “Religious Belief Without Evidence”, Introduction to Philosophy (ed. Louis P. Pojman; Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1991), p. 264
[4] Ibid, p. 264
[5] James Anderson, If Knowledge Then God: The Epistemological Theistic Arguments of Platinga and Van Til, Calvin Theological Journal, April 2005, PDF format, p. 2
[6] Ibid, pp. 4,5.
[7] Francis A. Schaeffer, Escape from Reason (Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, 1968), p. 9
[8] Ibid, p. 11
[9] It may be noted here that this bifurcation was never successfully made in the Indian sub-continent where religion and philosophy are knit together.
[10] Ibid, pp. 80-82
[11] Norman L. Geisler and Paul D. Feinberg, Introduction to Philosophy (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980).
[12] Norman L. Geisler, Christian Ethics (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989), p. 296
[13] Ravi Zacharias, “Living an Apologetic Life,” Just Thinking, Fall 2003, p. 3
[14] Julia Duin, “Christian Worldview – An Interview with Ravi Zacharias,” The Washington Times, New World Communications Inc, 2003, www.washingtontimes.com
[15] Ravi Zacharias, “Why I Am Not An Atheist.” Audio Tape.
[16] Ravi Zacharias, Deliver Us From Evil (US: W Publishing Group, 1997), pp. 211-225

Published in Basileia (Itarsi: CITS, Oct, 08). Copyright © 2008 by Domenic Marbaniang
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