Divine Temporality, Craig, Kant, and Epistemics - Thoughts

Ratio-reductionist theology culminates in counter-intuitive discourses. Ratio-reductionist theology is theology that attempts to map divine being and attributes in terms of extra-empirical/counter-empirical, i.e. purely rational conceptualization that is aversive of spatio-temporality, motion, change, plurality, and contingency - well conceptualized in the philosophies of monism and non-dualism.

Empirical theologies, on the other hand, do otherwise. Polytheistic theologies are a good example of these. The divine is spatio-temporal, and other things that come with it.

It is not surprising, therefore, when the logical consequence of something like the Kalam Cosmological Argument would be the attempt to temporalize God as seen in William Craig's position that the timeless God entered time at the time of creation. But, "creating" is a temporal concept, isn't it? If so, it would require God to be temporal before becoming temporal! 

But, why should it be necessary to say that God was or is "timeless"; then, why does it become necessary to attribute temporality to God? 

From the attempt to reconcile the rational categories of uniformity, immutability, abstraction/transcendence, universality, and necessity with the empirical categories of plurality, change, concreteness, particularity, and contingency have spun out various proposals such as platonism, panentheism, process theologies, particular non-dualism, and so on.

Kant was, perhaps, meekest enough to acknowledge that our concepts are limited by our faculties and experiences. He found theology a place not in reason or experience but in action that springs from the moral will. For Kant the pronouncement "The fool has said in his heart there is no God" would mean different from what Anselm understood. Anselm thought that the fool was a rational fool, whose pronouncement was logically-contradictory. For Kant, the fool was a moral fool, whose actions denied God in terms of radical evil. The moral fool might be well-versed in all the arguments for the existence of God while failing to practically know God in his life.




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Nathan Zacharias and Margie Zacharias defend Ravi Zacharias

Check out the blog post at Defending Ravi


" My Mom recently sent an email to some friends and family that is being circulated. She’s since asked me to post it here to ensure it’s ongoing accuracy. Good am, Family. I love you all.  I wanted you all to know that I have spent the last week going through every paper and article in […]

Email From My Mom

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Buttress of Belief

The Bible does not encourage blind belief. It provides buttresses of belief varying according to context, some of which include:

  1. A miraculous sign (e.g. Moses in Egypt; Isaiah..)
  2. A covenant sign and oath (e.g. Abraham, Lord's Supper)
  3. A surety or guarantee (e.g. Passover..)
  4. A particular requested sign (e.g Gideon's fleece)
  5. A particular factual sign (e.g. Elizabeth to Mary)
  6. A prophetic word - dream (e.g. Joseph to the prisoners)
  7. A prophetic word - knowledge (e.g. Jesus to Samaritan woman)
  8. A prophetic word - foretelling (e.g. Jesus to Peter...)
  9. A healing, providential, protective, deliverance miracle (e.g. Gospels)
  10. An angelic sign (e.g. Resurrection)
  11. A divine stroke (e.g. Uzziah's leprosy, Zachariah's muteness, Miriam's leprosy)
  12. Prophetic fulfillment (Jewish and Gentile, including the Star of Magi)
  13. etcc....
Since the nature of the belief is supernatural, the buttress usually is also supernatural. 
  1. A written legal surety - The Bible (Word of God) 
  2. A living personal surety - The Holy Spirit 
  3. An authoritative signature - The Name of Jesus Christ (to make orders and requests in prayer and word of deliverance)
  4. A testifying community - The Church
Items that must not be considered as buttresses of belief:
  1. Personal feelings (which are fluctuating)
  2. Zeitgeist or spirit of the age (which are more of a fad)
  3. Probabilistic naturalist reasoning (whose final resort is chance and whose counterfactuals are not really factual)
  4. Speculative philosophy (which is mere speculation that attempts to act as an hypothetical gap-filler)
  5. etcc
Any of the non-buttresses will be able to try to explain away the true buttresses (A.1-13). The non-buttresses actually constitute unbelief. They are also explicitly skeptical if not absolutely irrational and are unreliable for any reasonable venture. 

PHOTO: (from dreamstime.com, google images) 

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Dialectics of Vaccination

(google images, reuters.com)

The African variant is said to have beaten Pfizer's vaccine according to an Israeli study.

Humans invent vaccine to beat the virus
The virus develops immunity to beat the vaccine... ad infinitum

Dialectical vaccinationism
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Zoom classes and alienation

(cartoon circulating on social media nowadays)

Zoom, webex, meet, ...... Pros and cons

Pros:
1. Safe inside
2. Time saver
3. Less paper
4. Less expensive than classroom
5. Travel money saver
6. Video recording, sharing...
7. Polls, annotations, etc

Cons:
1. Connection issues
2. More distractions (unless in quiet room and phones off)
3. Screen stress
4. Social alienation
5. Depersonalization (cams off, no response, lack of personal touch)
6. No non-verbal feedback for teacher (when cams off) - highly demotivating
7. Less engagement
8. More burden on teacher to engage class
9. Breakout rooms, not very successful unlike class group discussions
10. Virtualization of life and habit

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Resurrection poem

HAPPY RESURRECTION SUNDAY!

One act of justice
Cancelled our woes
One act of surrender
Defeated all foes
One act of power
Broke the grave
When Christ arose
On Resurrection Day!


It was no fiction,
The crucifixion.
No hallucination,
The resurrection.
They all saw Him die
So does history testify,
And timid apostles did the world defy
After they saw their Lord alive!

He died, He rose, He lives!
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On the Internal Witness of Scriptures

I think it is very erroneous to assume that the internal witness of Scripture is unreliable unless supported by external (or extra biblical) testimony. 
1. When witnesses to an account are two or more, the testimony already carries a level of reliability. The Pentateuch, Kings, Chronicles, Prophets, Gospels contain accounts by varying sources that can be cross-referenced to gain a fair historical picture.
2. Cases of sole testimony cannot be disregarded as totally unreliable as per the rule of truth-expression. To stipulate that one must not testify or witness unless his/her experience is shared by others is to impose a gag on truth-expression or the possibility of hearing truth. In fact, it is a sealing of self from the possible sole source of information. Sole testimony, however, is also open to challenge if there can be enough reasons for raising such a challenge. But, in the most central narratives in Scripture, the witness party includes several persons. Thus, as per #1, the combined testimony of all these witnesses demands a hearing.
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Why did Jesus' birth and resurrection happen so secretly or were revealed only to a few?

The scriptural evidence argues otherwise.
1. The birth of Jesus was announced by angels to the shepherds who not only visited Him but also talked about their experiences.
2. Before His birth there was the pre-evidence of Zacharias, Elizabeth, and Mary herself from her experience and visit to Elizabeth.
3. The Magi declared their finding to Herod who cross-referenced it with the Jewish scriptures, but tried to eliminate Jesus.
4. His birth was not a secret. Yet it was a mystery of Godliness against the mystery of ungodliness that is also at work in the world.

Resurrection
This was also no secret.
1. The guards knew about the supernatural visitation, the great angel who rolled the stone....
2. The priests also knew about it and tried to protect the guards by fabricating a tale of disciples stealing Jesus' body, which they were not able to prove and neither their persecuting the disciples could force them to change their testimony of what they saw. 
3. Obviously, given #2, the transformation of the disciples from timid to courageous witnesses was not the result of a mere visionary or subjective experience. 
4. There was claim of a larger body of over 500 people who saw Jesus post-resurrection. It wasn't hallucination. It was also not spiritism. Jesus ate with the disciples and Thomas touched His side.
5. Both Jews and non-Jews were aware of this and it was a stumbling block to both.
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Does Evolution have a mind of its own? Does it decide?

Ever since Darwin, there is a tendency to ground human behavior (regardless of the ethical question) on some numinous mind or intent of evolution itself. One of the most popular is the gene or species survival argument that tries to explain several acts like adultery/promiscuity and even murder and suicide as grounded in evolution's intent to make more gene copies or ensure species survival, thus attempting to deterministically ground human behaviors in some underlying, unconscious (collective) force, principle or "archetype". Thus, the responsibility is shifted from the individual to the species and from the species to the "one" that created or made possible this species. This "one" is the new scientific reality, life, elan vital, God. The evolutionary psychologist Carl Jung went to the extent of believing Satan (or the archetype of evil) as the fourth in the "divine quaternity", for he thought the Trinity was insufficient. Genesis 3 gets repeated. What elaborate enterprise to self-deception!!!!! 
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Light of the World

"You are the light of the world,"
He unhesitatingly said.
Your task is to speak the word
Reversing darkness and death.
Words are lamps, words are light
They bring healing, they give sight.

In a world of ideas, dark and dead
The breath of the Spirit is the light of life.
In a life so wrecked by sin's evil web
The word of the Spirit is the Healer's knife.
The word is in your mouth, so let it out
In speaking and writing, say it loud!

Words are lamps, words are light
They bring healing, they give sight.

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The 4 Pillars of Faith

Rev 2:4-5 NHEB 4 But I have this against you, that you left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you, and will move your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent. 
_______________________________________________
Evidence and intellectual assent alone is not faith.
Passion and zeal alone is not faith.
Faithfulness alone is not faith.
Diligent labor alone is not faith.

Faith requires all. 

TRUTH.(1Tim.2:7; Jn.8:32) - Cognition
LOVE (Gal.5:6; I Pet.1:8) - Affection
PATIENCE (Heb.6:12; James 1:4) - Duration
WORKS (James 2:17) - Action

Faith without truth is blind
Faith without love is heartless
Faith without patience is weak
Faith without works is dead

Believing is knowing
Believing is loving
Believing is staying
Believing is doing

Faith is consistent both logically and temporally (in thought and through time). 

Doubt is fearful, fluctuating, failing, faithless.

Blessed are those who believe, love, labour, enduring the fiery trials, with joy inexpressible full of glory!!

When love seems lost, recall that first love, repent from and renounce the things that created this love-distancing, do those first works of love, and by doing love will relive and thrive....

*The lampstand, menorah, is the Spirit of Christ in us. Do not quench. Do not grieve. Live and walk in the Spirit.

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The centrality of faith: resurrection

And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
I Corinthians 15:17 NKJV

The Bible records the testimonies of those who saw Christ alive and proclaimed alive not only by angels but by Himself along with what they perceived as "irrefutable proofs" which included not only His consuming broiled fish and honeycomb (Lk 24.42,43) but also His unveiling of the OT prophecies regarding His death and resurrection.

The resurrection of Christ is proof of the annulment of curse and the defeat of death serving as the guarantee of the blessed hope. The evidences were and are extremely extraordinary since the miracle was extraordinary. These included the rolled stone and pronouncements by dazzling angels, the several appearances of t Christ with physical contact and traces (fish eaten = physical data), His group teaching, ascension and further announcements by angels. In addition, the pouring of the Spirit on Pentecost todayand confirming signs and miracles attest to the power of the living Christ. All of which were and testifiesrecorded.

Now, to rule out those evidences would only be possible through a discrediting of the Gospels and NT writings. But, that would hard to accomplish without first discrediting every other ancient work (e.g Platao) which are far weaker in credibility than the NT manuscripts. 

And in addition, the proofs weren't just given 2000 years ago. The proof lives today through the Spirit in us who works and testifies if the Son...

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