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articles
1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Lucy Sheaf Leibniz on Divine Love
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This paper considers two objections which can be levelled against Leibniz’s account of divine love. The first is that he cannot allow that divine love is gracious because he is committed to the view that love is properly proportioned to the perfection perceived in the beloved; the second is that God is cruel to those who are damned and so cannot be said to love all. I argue that Leibniz has the resources to rebut—or at least blunt—each of these objections.
2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Kenneth L. Pearce God’s Impossible Options
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According to Michael Almeida, reflections on free will and possibility can be used to show that the existence of an Anselmian God is compatible with the existence of evil. These arguments depend on the assumption that an agent can be free with respect to an action only if it is possible that that agent performs that action. Although this principle enjoys some intuitive support, I argue that Anselmianism undermines these intuitions by introducing impossible options. If Anselmianism is true, I argue, then both God and creatures may be free to do the impossible.
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Brian Scott Ballard Christianity and the Life Story
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Should we understand our lives as stories? Narrativism answers Yes, a view that has recently been the subject of vigorous debate. But what should Christian philosophers make of narrativism? In this essay, I argue that, in fact, narrativism is a commitment of Christian teaching. I argue that there are practices which Christians have decisive reasons to engage in, which require us to see our lives as narratives, practices such as confession and thanksgiving.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Bruce Langtry Evaluating a New Logical Argument From Evil
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J. L. Schellenberg, in “A New Logical Problem of Evil,” argues that (if God exists) God has, of necessity, a disappreciation of evil, operating at a metalevel in such a way as to give God a non-defeasible reason to rule out actualizing a world containing evil. He also argues that since God’s motive in creating the world is to share with finite beings the good that God experiences prior to creation, which is good without evil, it follows that God will create a world that contains no evil. I investigate in detail the foregoing lines of argument and provide grounds for rejecting them.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Mark Boespflug Thomistic Faith Naturalized? The Epistemic Significance of Aquinas’s Appeal to Doxastic Instinct
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Aquinas’s conception of faith has been taken to involve believing in a way that is expressly out of keeping with the evidence. Rather than being produced by evidence, the confidence involved in faith is a product of the will’s decision. This causes Aquinas’s conception of faith to look flagrantly irrational. Herein, I offer an interpretation of Aquinas’s position on faith that has not been previously proposed. I point out that Aquinas responds to the threat of faith’s irrationality by explicitly maintaining that one may reasonably believe by faith because of an instinct to believe. I go on to point out other instances in which instincts amount to legitimate epistemic grounds for Aquinas. Given that this dimension of Aquinas’s thought is not well developed, I close by introducing some extensions of it in the work of John Henry Newman as well as points of contrast.
book reviews
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Brian Leftow Perfect Being Attacked! Jeff Speaks’s The Greatest Possible Being
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Jeff Speaks’s The Greatest Possible Being criticizes several sorts of perfect being theology. I show that his main discussions target what are really idealizations of actual perfect-being projects. I then focus on whether Speaks’s idealizations match up with the real historical article. I argue that, in one key respect, they do not and that it would be uncharitable to think that one of them does. If the idealizations do not represent what perfect being thinkers have actually been doing, a question arises about how much Speaks’s critique should worry those pursuing projects modelled on real historical perfect being theology.
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
J.L.A. Donohue Barbara H. Fried: Facing Up to Scarcity: The Logic and Limits of Nonconsequentialist Thought
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8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Johannes Grössl Wm. Curtis Holtzen: The God Who Trusts: A Relational Theology of Divine Faith, Hope, and Love
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9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Alexander Hyun Oliver D. Crisp: Approaching the Atonement: The Reconciling Work of Christ
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10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
James T. Turner, Jr. Mark S. McLeod-Harrison: Saving the Neanderthals: Sin, Salvation, and Hard Evolution
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11. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Greg Welty Richard Rice: The Future of Open Theism: From Antecedents to Opportunities
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articles
12. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Thomas D. Senor From the Editor
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13. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Mark B. Anderson On Responsibility and Original Sin: A Molinist Suggestion
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A crucial objection to the doctrine of original sin is that it conflicts with a common intuition that agents are morally responsible only for factors under their control. Here, I present an account of moral responsibility by Michael Zimmerman that accommodates that intuition, and I consider it as a model of original sin, noting both attractions and difficulties with the view.
14. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Laura Frances Callahan Could God Love Cruelty?: A Partial Defense of Unrestricted Theological Voluntarism
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One of the foremost objections to theological voluntarism is the contingency objection. If God’s will fixes moral facts, then what if God willed that agents engage in cruelty? I argue that even unrestricted theological voluntarists should accept some logical constraints on possible moral systems—hence, some limits on ways that God could have willed morality to be—and these logical constraints are sufficient to blunt the force of the contingency objec­tion. One constraint I defend is a very weak accessibility requirement, related to (but less problematic than) existence internalism in metaethics. The theo­logical voluntarist can maintain: Godcouldn’t have loved cruelty, and even though he could have willed behaviors we find abhorrent, he could only have done so in a world of deeply alien moral agents. We cannot confidently declare such a world unacceptable.
15. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Robert J. Hartman Heavenly Freedom and Two Models of Character Perfection
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Human persons can act with libertarian freedom in heaven according to one prominent view, because they have freely acquired perfect virtue in their pre-heavenly lives such that acting rightly in heaven is volitionally necessary. But since the character of human persons is not perfect at death, how is their character perfected? On the unilateral model, God alone completes the perfec­tion of their character, and, on the cooperative model, God continues to work with them in purgatory to perfect their own character. I argue that although both models can make sense of all human persons enjoying free will in heaven on var­ious assumptions, the cooperative model allows all human persons in heaven to enjoy a greater degree of freedom. This consideration about the degree of heav­enly freedom provides a reason for God to implement the cooperative model.
16. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
John Pittard Worship and the Problem of Divine Achievement
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Gwen Bradford has plausibly argued that one attains achievement only if one does something one finds difficult. It is also plausible that one must attain achievement to be worthy of “agential” praise, praise that is appropriately directed to someone on the basis of things that redound to their credit. These claims pose a challenge to classical theists who direct agential praise to God, since classical theism arguably entails that none of God’s actions are difficult for God. I consider responses to this challenge and commend a view according to which God’s loving character is not necessitated by God’s nature but is a contingent and difficult achievement. I argue that this view can still satisfy the explanatory ambitions of natural theology.
17. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
James Dominic Rooney, OP Banez’s Big Problem: The Ground of Freedom
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While many philosophers of religion are familiar with the reconciliation of grace and freedom known as Molinism, fewer by far are familiar with that position initially developed by Molina’s erstwhile rival, Domingo Banez (i.e., Banezianism). My aim is to clarify a serious problem for the Banezian: how the Banezian can avoid the apparent conflict between a strong notion of freedom and apparently compatibilist conclusions. The most prominent attempt to defend Banezianism against compatibilism was (in)famously endorsed by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange. Even if it were true that freedom does not require alternative possibilities, Banezians have a grounding problem.
18. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Jordan Wessling On St. Isaac the Syrian’s Argument Against Divine Retribution
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Many theists maintain that God punishes humans retributively, whereby God intentionally harms those punished as their sins deserve, without also aiming qua punishment to contribute to the immediate or ultimate flourishing of those punished, or to the flourishing of some third (human) party. By contrast, St. Isaac the Syrian in effect contends that such an understanding of divine retribution is incompatible with a plausible understanding of God’s initial creative purposes of love and is thus untrue. In this paper, I present and sub­stantially build upon Isaac’s contention, and I defend the resulting developed argument as a good argument worthy of further consideration.
book reviews
19. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
J. L. Aijian Andrew P. Chignell, ed.: Evil: A History
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20. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Brendan Sweetman Peter Forrest: Intellectual, Humanist and Religious Commitment: Acts Of Assent
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