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41. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Gregory E. Ganssle Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions
42. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Michael S. Jones God’s Rivals: Why Has God Allowed Different Religions? Insights from the Bible and the Early Church
43. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Craig J. Hazen Editor’s Introduction
44. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Paul Gould The Problem of God and Abstract Objects: A Prolegomenon
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How does God relate to abstract objects, if there be any? Any adequate solution to this question quickly leads to deep waters philosophical and theological. In this essay, I attempt to bring clarity to the debate related to the problem of God and abstract objects by first explicating as precisely as possible the problem and then by imposing some order into the debate by classifying various contemporary answers to the problem.
45. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Richard Davis God and the Platonic Horde: A Defense of Limited Conceptualism
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In this paper I shall argue two things. First, it is plausible to think that Conceptualism holds with respect to propositions; in any event, it does a much better job than its closest competitors (Platonism and Nominalism) in accounting for the truthbearing nature of propositions. Secondly, it is wholly implausible (so I say) to take the added step and equate properties and relations with divine concepts. Here I offer additional reasons, beyond “divine bootstrapping,” for theists to resist this tempting reduction. Thus, a limited Conceptualism emerges as the most natural and defensible way for a theist to think about God’s relation to abstract objects.
46. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Keith Yandell God and Propositions
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If there are abstract objects, they necessarily exist. The majority view among contemporary philosophers of religion who are theists is that God also necessarily exists. Nonetheless, that God has necessary existence has not been shown to be true, or even (informally) consistent. It seems consistent—at least is does not seem (informally) inconsistent—but neither does its denial. Arguments that necessary existence is a perfection, and God has all perfections, assume that Necessitarian Theism is true, and hence consistent. Thus they do not provide reason to believe that Necessitarian Theism is true. Nonnecessitarian (“plain”) theism is on a philosophical par with Necessitarian Theism and can accommodate abstract objects all the while avoiding theological and philosophical refutation.
47. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig A Nominalist Perspective on God and Abstract Objects
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A metaphysically robust, as opposed to lightweight, Platonism with respect to uncreatable abstract objects is theologically unacceptable because it fatally compromises creatio ex nihilo and divine aseity. The principal argument for Platonism is the so-called Indispensability Argument based on the ontological commitments required by singular terms and existential quantifiers in true sentences. Different varieties of Nominalism challenge each of the argument’s premises. Fictionalism accepts the assumed criterion of ontological commitment but rejects the truth of the relevant sentences. Neutralism accepts the truth of the relevant sentences but denies the assumed criterion of ontological commitment. Both of these perspectives, but especially the last, are plausible routes available for the Christian theist.
48. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
James N. Anderson, Greg Welty The Lord of Noncontradiction: An Argument for God from Logic
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In this paper we offer a new argument for the existence of God. We contend that the laws of logic are metaphysically dependent on the existence of God, understood as a necessarily existent, personal, spiritual being; thus anyone who grants that there are laws of logic should also accept that there is a God. We argue that if our most natural intuitions about them are correct, and if they are to play the role in our intellectual activities that we take them to play, then the laws of logic are best construed as necessarily existent thoughts—more specifically, as divine thoughts about divine thoughts. We conclude by highlighting some implications for both theistic arguments and antitheistic arguments.
49. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Hugh G. Gauch, Jr. Natural Theology’s Case for Jesus’s Resurrection: Methodological and Statistical Considerations
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An important 2003 book by Richard Swinburne and 2009 chapter by Timothy and Lydia McGrew develop the case for the bodily resurrection of Jesus as a project in ramified natural theology featuring public evidence. This paper imports a model for full disclosure of arguments from natural science to specify natural theology’s methodological and statistical requirements. Four matters need further clarification in this project’s ongoing development: the strength of the evidence, hypotheses being tested, dependence on generic natural theology, and range of evidence considered relative to apostolic precedents. The related historiographical method of Michael Licona is also discussed.
50. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Kent Dunnington The Sacrament of Punishment: A Response to David Boonin’s Abolitionism
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David Boonin’s 2008 book, The Problem of Punishment, argues that punishment by the state is immoral and should be abolished. This article contends that Boonin’s position is dependent upon questionable presuppositions about the authority of the state. The article uses Boonin’s work to show that any defense of state punishment must move beyond “theories of punishment” to address questions of political philosophy. It argues that the view of state authority envisioned by St. Paul undercuts Boonin’s argument. At the same time, this Pauline view of the state’s role may undercut specific aspects of the contemporary exercise of criminal justice in America.
51. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Matthew Flannagan Tooley, Plantinga, and the Deontological Argument from Evil
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This article criticizes the deontological argument from evil proposed by Michael Tooley in The Knowledge of God. I sketch Tooley’s distinction between deontological and axiological arguments from evil. Tooley rejects the axiological version because it rests on “controversial ethical claims,” claims that are “likely to be rejected by many theists” and formulates a deontological version in its place. I argue that Alvin Plantinga’s criticism of the moral premises of this argument can be reformulated by appealing to a divine command theory of ethics. So reformulated, I argue that Tooley’s argument relies on controversial moral assumptions that many theists reject.
52. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Glenn Peoples The Epistemological Objection to Divine Command Ethics: Morriston on Reasonable Unbelievers and Moral Obligations
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According to the epistemological objection to divine command ethics, if morality is grounded in God’s commands, then those who do not believe in God cannot have moral knowledge. This objection has been raised—and answered before. However, the objection persists, and I argue here that it has not been substantially improved upon and does not deserve a second hearing. Whether or not God’s commands provide the basis of moral facts does not imply that unbelievers cannot have moral knowledge, since the ability to know that something is true does not depend on our ability to know what makes it true.
53. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
James S. Spiegel On Free Will and Soul Making: Complementary Approaches to the Problem of Evil
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I argue that the free-will defense and soul-making theodicy have more in common than traditionally has been thought and that their differences have more to do with their divergent aims than their relative merits as responses to the problem of evil. Moreover, I show how the two approaches are logically interdependent. The free-will defense depends for its success on some soul-making concepts, and the soul-making theodicy relies upon a prior concept of human freedom in order to succeed. These facts seem to recommend that we see these two approaches as complementary rather than as competitors when addressing the problem of evil.
54. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Stephen Parrish Against a Naturalistic Causal Account of Reality: A Response to Graham Oppy
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Timothy O’Connor published an essay in Philosophia Christi recently that defends the notion of a necessary God as the explanation for a contingent universe. Graham Oppy and others wrote replies to the O’Connor’s paper. In this essay, I defend O’Connor’s position from Oppy’s criticism, and also argue that Oppy’s own naturalistic alternative is seriously flawed. Among other things, I argue that a contingent naturalist beginning to the universe is an inferior explanation than a necessarily existing God, and that naturalism cannot be coherently thought of as providing a necessary beginning to the universe.
55. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Paul Reasoner, Charles Taliaferro Revelation Today: A Review Essay on Divine Teaching and the Way of the World
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There is much to appreciate in Samuel Fleischacker’s Divine Teaching and the Way of the World: A Defense of Revealed Religion. In the tradition of Tolstoy, Fleischacker argues that secular philosophy does not have the resources to provide for a meaningful life; a life of meaning is to be found principally through revealed religion. In the end, however, his concept of revelation seems very thin, ruling out even the intelligibility of experiencing God. We critically assess his atrophied concept of revelation and his views on historical truth, science, and theism.
56. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
John Jefferson Davis How Personal Agents Are Located in Space: Implications for Worship, Eucharist, and Union with Christ
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This article argues that the clarification and modification of some of our common-sense notions of “place” and “object” can shed light on controverted issues in the history of theology: how God is present in corporate worship; how the risen Christ is “really present” during the Lord’s Supper; and how the believer is really, and not merely metaphorically in union with Christ. Key distinctions discussed include the local, circumscriptive, and repletive modes of presence of an object or person; and the distinction between an empirical (or, “molecular”) self and an extended self.
57. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Mark S. McLeod-Harrison Irrealism, Ontological Pluralism, and the Trinity: A Reply to Efird on Make/Believing the World(s)
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In response to my Make/Believing the World(s), Efird argues that theistic irrealism provides the grounds for solving the problem of the Trinity. I argue that Efird is wrong so long as theistic irrealism is to remain consistent with traditional, orthodox Christianity. On his reading of theistic irrealism, the best he can provide is a modalist version of the Trinity.
58. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
John Warwick Montgomery How Much Evidence to Justify Religious Conversion?: Some Thoughts on Burden and Standard of Proof vis-à-vis Christian Commitment
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When a religious believer presents to an unbeliever evidence on behalf of his or her claims, there may be a response in somewhat the following terms: “Fine. However, I simply do not find the evidence sufficient to make a commitment.” This paper deals with the question of the sufficiency of evidence, that is, what evidence should be regarded as adequate to change one’s religious perspective. Reliance is placed on the legal categories of burden and standard of proof, and a construct is offered to assist in establishing reasonable expectations in the presentation and marshaling of apologetics evidence.
59. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Joseph Gottlieb The Waning of Materialism
60. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Samuel J. Youngs Realism in Religion: A Pragmatist’s Perspective