Quick Hitters or Ed’s Pensées
Now! New Additions!
(With some trepidation, I have used the title from Blaise Pascal's
do not claim to have a mind equal to his. I only hope to stimulate other
minds perhaps to consider and think through issues that they might
otherwise confront.) Philosophers strain at gnats (minutia or micro-sized
particles) while swallowing camels (concepts the size of planets).
Philosophers try to cast out the mite in the eyes of other philosophers
while not seeing the motes in their own eyes.
miscellaneous notes—on the spur of
the moment and should be taken as such … but perhaps there is
some truth in there somewhere!
Tentative and sometimes speculative.
Some of the following is well-reasoned, other parts may
be speculative (in the philosophical sense).
Be careful; do you own reasoning.
However, as stated, I want to get as much of my thinking
“out there” to give others my ideas for them to develop further
or to refute.
But, if I do not get them “out there,” there are lost to
Well, OK, maybe no great loss. But like everyone else, I
think that my ideas are the more important in the world.
(For those who follow Polanyi, they are my “universal
“Agree to disagree.” There can be only one right answer by the
law of non-contradiction. While
we must show brotherly affection* when we differ, disagreement among
Christians is a most serious issue. Failure to agree is failure to achieve
Christ’s mind on a matter. His mind is unity, and can only have one
answer. On a practical level, we cannot debate every issue endlessly.
However, perhaps the recognition that the failure of unity is the
greater problem than the issue itself.
*Scholars frequently say that each person is
to "love" the other through this conflict. While love does
apply to this situation, kindness, outward affection, parting in
peace, grace (even mercy), and continued fellowship are more
specific. Love has a much more profound and specific
Whether knowledge is true has no necessary correspondence to the
amount and degree of study that preceded. One interesting thing about any specific
knowledge is that whether it is true or not (that is, whether it
conforms to reality, as defined by Scripture) has nothing to do with the degree of study for the
derivation of that knowledge. For example, the recently born-again
Christian can know the truth of Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior
simply from a few Bible verses as John 3:16. The most serious and
studied imam (Muslim priest) still knows and lives a lie. The
American Academy of Pediatrics, members of which, are specialists, have
taken a stand against spanking. The Bible (God) says that they stand on
a lie (Proverbs 22:15). One person may hear a stock pick in a casual
conversation that makes a great profit, while another spends weeks
studying and tracking a stock that eventually is a big loser.
Truth is not related to one's study, number of footnotes, academic rank,
or number of Ph.Ds.
In general, I strongly advocate study to arrive at knowledge. But,
study alone does not guarantee knowledge that is true. (In reality, the
only truth that we will ever know is that of the Bible.)
He who attempts to integrate the Bible and any other knowledge
neither understands the authority of God’s Word nor ever arrive at
truth. By this statement, I do not disparage the difficulty of
understanding Special Revelation and General Revelation. They are two
languages that must be translated from one to the other. But superior
authority must always be given to Scripture on any point or subject to
which both speak with any relevance to each other.
The Bible narrows the field of philosophy to logic alone. Areas
of philosophy which are commonly agreed upon are logic, ethics,
metaphysics, and epistemology. The Bible, accepted as one’s first
principle, gives the philosopher his source of ethics, metaphysics, and
epistemology. Through logic and its derivative disciplines, the fullness
of God’s Word to man will come to be understood. Van Til and John
Faith is action taken, based upon knowledge. Whether that knowledge
is true will be determined by Reality (God’s Providence).
Ideas have consequences--only for those who believe them to be true.
And, belief (faith) does not exist in the absence of failure to act on
Faith and belief (believe, verb form) are not just synonyms, they are
identical in meaning, as they come from the same root word in the Greek
What did Doubting Thomas “believe” when he said, “I believe?” He
did not say, “I believe that You (Jesus) were dead and were
resurrected.” He did not say, “ You are powerful in being able to
overcome death.” He believed that Jesus was “My Lord and my God!” His
statement is several steps removed from a simple conclusion from the
empirical evidence. Thomas was reasoning syllogistically.
Empirical evidence in itself never causes belief. The evidence is
believed only on the basis of the prior assumption that inductive
reasoning and experimentation is valid.
God must “ordain whatsoever comes to pass,” from the smallest thought
to World Wars, because the contingencies for any one thought or event as
so complex that for any one to happen, they would have had to be worked
out in complete detail beforehand. (Quote from Westminster
Confession of Faith, Chapter 3, Section 1.)
God must “ordain whatsoever comes to pass,” from the smallest thought
to World Wars, because He said that He did, does, and will do--Ephesians
Bible students and theologians should learn more philosophy;
philosophers who are Christians should learn more Bible and theology.
Their knowledge in each area will be stronger for understanding
The problem of immediacy. Philosophers may discuss jots and
titles ad nauseum et ad infinitum, but most people need answers
today! Their bills must be paid; the conflict with spouses must be
settled, one way or another; they must vote for or against political
candidates; and, they are ever faced with the specter of death. They
need answers, and they need them immediately. Praise God in his
mercy and grace to give us His Word which is “sufficient” to answer
all of life’s problems and questions. Certainly, there is the
work of philosophers that is legitimate, but they should remember that
major decisions about life have to be made before their work is done!
Truth must exist or nothing else matters. If truth does not
exist, my opinions do not matter; why say them? If truth does not exist,
why listen to another person? If truth does not exist, I may not
complain about “the way things are” (the government, my church, my
spouse, my job or anything else). If truth does not exist, even hedonism
is condemned because I will never know that it is a worthwhile pursuit.
If truth does not exist, the only logical conclusion is suicide. But,
it is rare, rare in the history of mankind that one ever does that, so
the remainder of us must either reason illogically or we believe that
truth does exist.
All speaking is teaching or reminding of what one already knows.
Augustine of Hippo in “Concerning the Teacher”
On presuppositionalism vs. evidentialism: I defy you to start
anywhere without assumptions. I believe that my senses are
trustworthy. “I think; therefore, I am.” I am not dreaming, and
therefore will not wake up to find out a different reality. You are
there, and you are not silent. I believe that words have meaning. I
believe that I can trust my thinking. I believe that everything is a
dream and that I will wake up one day (to what?). I believe in nothing
at all. Assumptions, belief, axioms, starting points, or
If facts are self-interpreting, why do psychologists (and others)
interpret true conversion and repentance as anything but a miracle?
If facts are self-interpreting, why are there so many scientific
explanations about how the universe, and particularly life, came to be?
If facts are self-interpreting, how are the facts about which one is
Judgments of value that cannot be obtained by description. A
theory must precede the choice of facts.
A Christian, by definition, should believe in the infallibility and
inerrancy of the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit will not divorce the
Word of God, as both the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of John 1:1.
If evidentialism were true, all great philosophers would become
“Let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).
Faith is action taken, based upon knowledge. Saving faith in
justification is knowledge that Jesus Christ paid the price for one’s
sins. Saving faith in sanctification is action taken upon the commands
of God, or “trust and obey.”
Every man and woman on planet earth is a “person of faith.” While
I want to applaud the work of Christians in philosophy over the last
several decades, they have overlooked perhaps the most important fact
for modern times: that faith underlies every philosophy, worldview,
religion, cosmology, and -ism. Once this truth is established, the
debate become which faith will we as individuals, society, and
government life by.
Without a canon of Holy Scripture that is infallible, mankind is
hopelessly lost. Corollary: Without a canon of Holy Scripture that
is infallible, mankind’s hope for our woes is dependent only upon a
majority vote or the tyranny of a dictator--that is, no hope.
What happens when a person dies? There are only three
possibilities within all the world‘s religions and philosophies. (1)
He goes to heaven or hell. (2) Nothing. Since man is only a body, it
decays and that is the end. (3) He lives within a monism of the universe
without consciousness of self A variant of the latter is reincarnation,
but there is still no self-consciousness. (My thanks to Bill Jack for
Groups do not think, only individual persons do. But, groups may
prevent each other from thinking--group-think. Therefore, any
doctrine that depends upon a church body, involves a group-vote of
individuals, not the group itself. And, that is why Jesus Christ is the
only Head of the Church.
The word, “Christian,” must be restored to its original meaning,
“Christ ones.” That is, Christian is a person with a doctrinal
commitment to the Christ of the Bible, the 66 books that all of
Christendom agree are the “very word of God written.” As a member of the
Trinity, the Holy Spirit “breathed out” His Word. Therefore, to deny the
Scriptures as infallible and inerrant is to deny the Spirit. A denial of
the work of one of the Trinity is not “Christian.”
The Bible is every honest philosopher’s greatest desire: an objective
source of truth! Yet, in their lost or confused state, they do not
embrace their holy grail.
Reason challenges faith until faith has sufficient answers to rest.
Ideas have consequences. Eve was given an idea by Satan. Cain
had an idea. All the peoples of the earth had only evil ideas. The Tower
of Babel was an idea. Alexander the Great had an idea. Caesar Augustus
had an idea. The Pope Leo III had the idea to crown Charlemagne.
English nobles presented their idea to King John. The Council of Trent
had several ideas. Joseph Stalin had an idea. Adolph Hitler had an
idea. Pol Pot had an idea.
God’s Idea answered Adam and Eve’s Fall. The Great Flood was God’s idea.
He gave Adam the idea of a boat. Abraham had an idea revealed to him.
Moses had an idea revealed to him. David had an idea revealed to him.
Jesus knew that He is The Idea. Paul the Apostle had an The Idea
revealed to him. Augustine of Hippo had an idea revealed to him.
Martin Luther had an idea revealed to him. John Calvin had many ideas
revealed to him. John Knox learned an idea from John Calvin. The
Puritans and others took that idea and founded the United States of
America. God says that Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of
Lords--one day all the living and dead will know that Idea.
Definitions. One of the most important
elements of communication is precise use of definitions. Yet,
almost everyone is bored by definitions. Almost everyone is less
specific about definitions than is necessary for good communication.
Philosophers are particularly guilty about defining
words because they are their "stock in trade." But then, if they
defined their words, more people might understand them. That
result could be good or bad for either the
philosopher, his hearers, or both!
Philosophy for the "common man." If a
philosopher cannot reduce his theories into a language that the "common
man," then he has no claim to a hearing by anyone. One beautiful
dimension of the Bible is that its central message and its primary
instructions can be understood by any creature with a reasonably
Creation ex nihilo. "In the beginning
God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis
Rationality and Irrationality. Whether an
argument is rational or irrational is a matter or personal opinion, the
vote of a committee, or the Great Sez Who (authority or Authority).
The trivium and the tools of philosophy.
Classical education centers on the "trivium" of grammar, dialectic, and
rhetoric. The primary tools of philosophy correspond: definitions
and language, logical reasoning, and argumentation (practice of the
first two). Interesting!
Language is both adequate and inadequate for communication.
Language works great in most communications, especially where
the situation is person enough that questions and clarifications are
possible. However, in complex arguments shades of meaning can
considerably alter meaning. Perhaps this is the problem of
philosophy. Meanings of words are stretched beyond a precision
Everyone wants absolute proof. However, since
the Garden, God has chosen not to give us absolute proofs in this
earthly life. All knowledge exists by one's faith commitment.
"In times of war, poverty, famine, and anarchy, philosophy
does not flourish." Gordon H. Clark, Thales to Dewey,
... but religions do, especially Christianity
If Christians ever learn a Biblical epistemology and apply it
to the same extent as Creation science is now advocated, the world will
again be "turned upside down" for Christ and His Kingdom.
Creation science is still science and can never be true and, thus, is an
argument that has already been conceded to the evolutionists. A
Biblical epistemology forces unbelievers to face the nonsense that
anything of structure could appear in a universe of chance without
"If even one truth is known, skepticism is removed."
Gordon Clark, The Philosophy of Gordon Clark, page 413.
Free will or predestination? Martin Luther
wrote a book on free will entitled Bondage of the Will.
Jonathan Edwards wrote a book on free will entitled Freedom of the
Will. They both argued basically the same
position while choosing titles that are apparently antithetical!
The best philosophers are those who are
professionals in some other area, for example, Spinoza who ground
eyeglasses or Michael Polanyi who was a scientist?
Impersonal, chance universe is insanity.
If any particular man (and some have) were to arrive at the
unquestioned conclusion of an impersonal, chance universe, then
he would instantly commit suicide because he could not truly
exist in that environment.
Truth is reality. One of the few,
almost universal definitions in philosophy is that truth is
reality. There is almost no agreement on what is reality.
Indeed, perhaps, there can be no agreement since all minds are,
to varying degrees, different.
beginning November 3, 2013
This file was one that is original to this site. It has
existed essentially as it was originally posted until now.
But I have accumulated thoughts over the years that I want to
post now. There are qualifications, however, that need to
be considered by the reader.
The renewed posting of this file was November 4, 2013.
However, it is the accumulation of more than five years
studying the subject of philosophy, and obviously continuing.
Previously, I had spent more than 30 years studying
ethics—medical ethics in particular.
I have been studying theology for more than 40 years.
I am 69 years old.
At this stage of life, one does not know how much longer
he will live.
I have learned much about philosophy and want to write
about much that I have learned in the time that I have left on
this earth. Perhaps, my thoughts have matured a little
more since the above "beginnings." The dates that follow
are the days upon which they are posted, not rarely are they the
dates of the ideas that entered my mind.
philosophy by the early Church Fathers.
It was the early
church fathers who were philosophically adventuresome. The
Arians and others (who would now be considered heretics) took
the traditional "Hellenistic" path. These orthodox church
fathers infused philosophically thinking with Biblical ideas of
which the Greeks never dreamed.
The “greatness” of
philosophers is not determined by their inherent
greatness (whatever that its—erudition, complexity of
understanding, eloquence of speech, true innovation of ideas,
etc.), but the “status” given them, first by their own culture,
and secondarily by subsequent cultures.
For example, Descartes’ idea of “clear and distinct” is a
woefully inadequate criterion of certainty.
Many ideas are “clear and distinct” after a wonderful cup
of coffee in the early AM in contrast to the muddled ideas of a
tired mind the night before.
“Clear and distinct,” then become dependent upon a good
night’s rest and the awakening effect of coffee.
Descartes’ own thinking was perhaps muddled by his “warm
room,” “stove,” or whatever is the best translation of the cell
in which he meditated.
Kant stands as one of the “greats” of philosophers almost
Georg Hamann was a peer and fellow-town-person of Kant whose
acumen in philology is almost indecipherable in its broad and
deep scholarship, but Hamann fought against the Enlightenment
which dominated the next several centuries. Since he was
not riding the tsunami of the Enlightenment, he has remained
obscure until the present day.
November 5, 2013
(positive?) effects on traditional, evangelical theology.
1. Knowledge does not exist apart from a person.
In a real sense, Barth was correct.
Truth exists at the intersection of the person and the
Word—an encounter of subject and object. Truth cannot exist
apart from a person or Person. “I am the way,
the truth, and the
2. This universe is a
A. This universe is personal, even possibly to have some sort of
will cry out,” “Valley
of dry bones become living,” “the creation groans for
B. Every individual
thing and person is thus significant.
C. The universe is
personal—created by God who is a person.
It is not a cold, sterile, hostile place.
It is a warm, friendly milieu disordered by sin.
It was created for man in which to live.
3. Language is
Communication requires a background, living and active,
(George Steiner in
4. The nature of power
structures; that government is force, sinfully and frequently
5. The dangers of
empiricism (induction, scientific method, individual, and group
6. The influence of
tradition, culture, language, etc. on
7. The need for theology
at a personal level. My
definitions of love, faith, etc.
8. Synonymy—language is
a whole, infinitely interrelated.
This connection is my own contribution to this wholeness
9. Hermeneutics and its
Each person comes with a unique individual and group
worldview to interpretation of the Bible and every other text.
B. Encounter with any other thoughts (person, speech,
books, etc.) alters our hermeneutic—the butterfly effect of
chaos theory in language and communication.
10. The above are “off
the cuff” … much more could be added. Perhaps, the reader wants
to make some suggestions.
Facts on Facts: Complexity Masquerading as Simplicity.
This article is one of my more profound treatises. You can
Geocentrism? Myth? Surely, there is not one
today who seriously believes in geocentrism. Actually, I
have not come to conclusion of the matter myself, but I find it
fascinating that there are reasonable arguments for
geocentrism. One of the best is a
Rebuttal of North and Nieto.
November 7, 2013
"Reason is the faculty of finding excuses for doing what we want
to do." Ed: sounds like
just read this book late in life (age 67).
As I read it, I wondered how truly Biblical churches*
might have addressed the problems that Sinclair narrates.
The reader can also make observations about cultural and
political changes since that time—both for good and for evil.
(This post originally dated April 22, 2011.)
Unions: now do more harm than good.
Group bargaining cannot be justified Biblically.
Each person works differently for a variety of reasons:
motivation, religious beliefs, skill, perseverance, attention to
detail, etc., so each person should negotiate his own wage with
his employer. This
particular strategy cannot work with unions—it is a move towards
the poorest worker, destroying the value of the good worker, as
well as the profit of the owner.
Churches: direct aid, education, each family take one family.
Swindles of the poor: loss of houses and equity, resale as new.
Lawyers willing to step in and assist the poor against
the swindles to which they are subject, as “poor.”
Laws that necessitate lawyers:
Just a new, complex situation that takes time to work out all
the difficulties… the rapid development of industrialization.
There were more refugees than jobs.
Thus, the Chicago labor market was flooded, allowing
owners to pay the very minimum of wage.
Sometimes, circumstances can only be addressed over time
because of a confluence of events.
Availability of jobs in the country…
activism: A Christian who tackles employment of these
people… finds jobs and transportation for them…
** Civil justice:
how to make justice available to the poor: the wife who
was raped, dangerous street conditions, workers grievances…Christian
legal services… foreclosure on houses with exorbitant
interest rates and other costs… transportation: public or
private? Laws of usury…
excessive or no interests…
“superiors”: Christians who were “bosses” and
employers, “superiors”, lawyers, bankers, etc.
problems correspond in being a heinous as those of meat-packing
Chicago…trafficking in girls for sex trade, illegal
immigration by groups of thugs, government inflation, DCFS—Child
and Family Services abduction of children,
November 11, 2012
(only the law of Scripture). There is no
fulfilled the law. There is no
soli de Gloria
without the law.
Scriptura is the law.
Fides is ground in
the law. In ignoring the place of the law, the Reformers set up
the later extreme emphasis on “We are under grace, not under
law!” This extreme further galvanized into “I am saved no matter
what I do or do not do.” Or, more accurately, my justification
does not require sanctification. These people have not read and
understood James, “Faith (justification) without works is
dead”—that is, saving faith does not exist.
Reformation not self-initiated.
The Reformation did not cause itself. There had to have been
many with similar ideas. Thus, the soil of the Reformation could
not have been entirely bad. One could say that the seeds of
Protestantism were not protestant, but Roman!
Science is about
prophecy… predicting the future, i.e., future events.
Thus, it conflicts with God who only is able to fully
accurately predict the future. The penalty for false prophecy in
the Old Testament was capital punishment. Thus, those false
prophets of science should be under a pile of stones today.
science… random events.
Just as history is determined by random, sometimes
trivial events, science is just as likely to be determined in
the same way. While we
look at macro events of causation, who is to say that the
“butterfly” effect is not more universal.
All we see are the macro events.
“For want of a nail, a shoe was lost, for want of a shoe
a horse… kingdom was lost.”
nature and forgetting God:
One purpose of tornados (so many this year… and deadly!)
might be to let us know that we are NOT in control.
For all man’s mastery of “science” and technology, he is
helpless against the destructive forces of the world and the
universe. Neither can he
prevent the heinous crimes of nations, groups, and individuals.
But, oh what a price to pay!
and election. Any sound orthodoxy agrees that God does
not change—He is immutable. Thus,
election must be or else God’s attitude towards a
person changes at the point at which he professes Christ, or
more accurately, is regenerated. God, from eternity has and does
always see His elect as
elect! He does not change; His predestination does
not change; His election of particular persons does not change;
His attitude towards any person does not change. There is “no
shadow of turning.” God sees all events as
now—there is no “before” regeneration and
“after” regeneration. There are no events that are “past,
present, or future” for Him.
Absolutes of life.
"Phenomena such as love, aging, disease, fear of one's
own death and sorrow for the death of others, the brevity and
frailty of human existence, the contrast between the weakness of
humanity and the apparent infinite of the cosmos: these are
recurrent features of human cultures, however variously they may
be represented. However left-historicism may suspect that
universals are governing-class conspiracies, the fact is we die
anyway. It is, to be sure, a consoling thought for pluralists
that we meet our end in such a richly diverse series of ways,
that our modes of exiting from existence are so splendidly
heterogeneous, that there is no drearily essentialist 'death'
but a diffuse range of cultural styles of expiring. Indeed,
perhaps we should speak of death as a way of being 'challenged,'
a mode of being which is neither inferior nor superior to
breathing or love-making, simply different. Perhaps the dead are
not really dead, just differently capacitated. But we die
anyway." Terry Eagleton,
November 15, 2013
Life and death in
words? When one uses the word, “life,” the image of
biological life comes to mind: an amoeba is alive; a rose bush
is alive; a pet dog is alive; and my child is alive. But what
about the “life of words?” Are not spoken or written words
within the rules of grammar, syntax, etc. “alive?” Are they not
really more alive than organic matter? What is life? What
animates the body? The Biblical and Greek answer would be the
soul in which the mind is located and language and communication
Consider the phrase, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”
Consider that phrase in the context of “Ideas have
consequences.” The ideas (although we call them by other
appellations) of Jesus Christ have had great consequences,
mostly good, but some not so good in their misinterpretation.
The ideas of Marx, Lenin, and Mao Tse-Tung resulted in the
deaths of untold millions. Ideas of freedom within structure
allow the fullest development of plant, animal, and human life.
Totalitarianism (strangling form and structure that is unnatural
and unbiblical) destroys development and even the existence of
plant, animal, and human life. “Words have a life of their
own.” Or, words restrict the life of everything that they
affect. “My words are spirit and they are life,” said Jesus. As
Creator, He said, “Let there be… light, plants, animals, and
Adam and Eve.”
Further, words have a certain force to direct animals and
others. “Gee” and “haw” give explicit directions to mules. “Sit”
and “stay” are directives to an “understanding” dog. “Children,
behave or else” from a parent may direct children’s behavior in
certain ways. J. L. Austin called these “locutionary acts.”
Words carry the power of the person who speaks them. In
Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, the attendees are required to
state, “I am an alcoholic,” which has powerful denotation to
assist in their overcoming of their addiction. “Off with their
heads” from a king or queen has caused just that event by the
thousands. At one time, and probably even now, the words of a
president of the United States could launch a nuclear holocaust.
And, the words of a Person of the Trinity is even more powerful.
No, life and words are not independent realities, but life is
dependent upon words directly and indirectly. Georg Hamann
stated that “Language is the hypostatic union of the sensible
and the intelligible.” We would do well in the experience of our
lives and in our worship to ponder and apply this “hypostatic
union.” The empirical world of the senses is
"hypostasized" on the spiritual, as "God is Spirit" and He was
before His own Creation (Hebrews 11:3).
appeal to ethical absolutes. In his great paper that
has become a classic, “Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law,” this
former Yale law professor screams to the nations that the
following are universal ethical absolutes…
Napalming babies is bad.
Starving the poor is wicked.
Buying and selling each other is depraved.
Those who stood up to and resisted Hitler, Stalin, Amin, and Pol
Pot—and General Custer too—have earned salvation.
Those who acquiesced deserve to be damned.
There is in the world such a thing as evil.
… but as an unbeliever, he is screaming to a godless universe,
or at least a universe in which God does not speak. For all of
the intellectuals' cry of “There are no absolutes,” they deeply
hope for one, not realizing that they have just stated their own
absolute which could be a springboard to find the absolutes of
the God of the Bible.
November 18, 2013
The one and the
many. Every brain/mind is different (see John Horgan,
The Undiscovered Mind,
an easy-to-read book on the brain, mind, and neuroscience), yet
there is a collective consciousness within groups.
So, Polanyi’s “personal knowledge” is unique in every
person, but there is also an agreeing (consensus) community in
which general rules and acceptance of science resides.
No two people agree on
any subject completely—think about that—no two
minds on planet earth have identical knowledge or beliefs.
One’s mind is more unique than one’s fingerprints.
“Knowledge” is different for different people.
No one has the same knowledge as another.
and man’s free will:
one and the many… God’s one will and man’s many, many
wills…sometimes corresponding to God’s prescribed will, but more
often his own selfish will.
God deliver us!
Love and belief.
Love (good works) is obedience to God’s commandments;
belief is the predisposition (motivating force) to obedience;
belief is the
precondition to love;
love is belief in action. Love is the exercise of good works.
Good works and love are identical—synonyms, if you will.
Love is the
Creation Mandate, the Great Commission, biblical ethics, etc.
“If you love me, keep my commandments—all those from
Genesis to Revelation.
as one must believe that God’s commandments are love and
therefore necessary for good works.
November 20, 2013
thoughts; analogy of God’s words and mans:
is language a “translation” of thoughts.
As one language cannot entirely be translated into
another, so thoughts cannot be entirely put in words.
What would this concept say about the analogy of God’s
thoughts and His Special Revelation?
must assume God's presence. "Any coherent understanding
of what language is and how language performs, that any coherent
account of the capacity of human speech to communicate meaning
and feeling is, in the final analysis, underwritten by the
assumption of God's presence.... the experience of aesthetic
meaning, that of literature, of the arts, of musical form,
infers the necessary possibility of this 'real presence' ....
The wager on the meaning of meaning, on the potential of insight
and response when one human voice addresses another, when we
come face to face with the text and work of art or music, which
is to say when we encounter the other in its condition
of freedom, is a wager on transcendence."
– it is that of Descartes, of Kant and of
every poet, artist, composer of whom we have explicit record –
predicates the presence of a realness, of a 'substantiation'
(the theological reach of this word is obvious) within language
and form. It supposes a passage, beyond the fictive or the
purely pragmatic, from meaning to meaningfulness. The
conjecture is that 'God' is, not because our grammar is
outworn; but that grammar lives and generates worlds because
there is a wager on God." (George Steiner, Real
Presences, pages 3-4)
For more on
November 22, 2013
Might, power, ethics, right… How are states established—by
the coalescence of smaller groups or tribes… from which customs
are inherent… Biblical
ethics comes from outside culture… Rule over others is
inherent in man… The question is not whether or not there should
be any civil government,
but government by which laws.
Laws are always established by force—power of arms or power of
persuasion. The former requires an army, and the latter
requires a population who will willingly accept those laws. No
such group will ever agree entirely, so one could say that force
of arms (or the threats thereof) is always necessary to enforce
And, law is always necessary to "order," as in
"law and order."
makes right, or might is necessary to make right.
and love. If love is the fulfillment of the commandments,
hate is the neglect, shirking, or railing against them. “If you
hate me, do not keep my commandments.” Those who divorce their
spouses for unbiblical reasons “hate” them. God hates those who
hate His commandments. Hate is lawlessness… chaos, antinomy,
anarchy. Hate is random, purposelessness.
attitude is that of anti-Christ (I John 2: 18, 22; 4:3; II John
Kierkegaard: Sin is the opposite of faith and vice-versa.
Sin is despair. Faith, hope, and love… the greatest of these is
love. Love is eternal; faith and hope are not.
Inerrancy is not orthodoxy!! But should be. What is the importance of inerrancy
to the individual, Church, and society? If particular doctrines
do not save in the eternal sense, is inerrancy necessary to
salvation? How much of Scripture must be considered inerrant to
be saved? Inerrancy is not required for membership in almost all
churches, including the RPCUS!!! Thus, inerrancy is not
“orthodoxy!!! Orthodoxy is what is required for church
membership. This is the greatest of errors that churches should
November 25, 2013
idea of created things has always existed … in the mind of
God, but created things have not
always existed! (Gordon Clark,
Trinity, page 129)
reality thus has always been, but their
existence has not.
therefore are mental (exist in the mind of God), not physically
(same reference, 128).
Reality exists in the mind of God absolutely, but in man only
partially. But, whether in man or God,
spiritual, not physical (Hebrews 11:3). The mind knows the
(attributes, relations), but there can never be a
ding an sich! Wow,
wow, and more wows! The only
substance, therefore in
the traditional sense, is God Himself… as it has always been and
always will be.
November 27, 2013
The ethics of self
We are radically and ultimately vulnerable only because we might
die—an immortal would be in the most crucial aspects
invulnerable. Hence it is the fact of death alone that lends
serious gravity to the ethical demand which vulnerability
imposes upon us. 2) At the limit, the ethical agent might die
for the vulnerable other person. This readiness to die alone
guarantees the ultimate disinterest of his ethical gesture,
since it would seem that a good (for which) one is prepared to
die) … cannot be the secret vehicle of one's own power or
(presently enjoyed) glory. In this sense, readiness to die
precludes the will to power." John Milbank,
Absolutes of life
(Eagleton) or “the permanent things” or “the things that cannot
be changed”: 1.
one’s own death and the fear of it, sorrow for the death of
others 2. disease 3) tragedy 4) sexual pleasure 5) economic
cycles 6) aging 7) war 8) taxes 10) tyrannical governments 11)
human greed, 12) so much in the universe that cannot be
understood, 12) a great number of other things.
November 29, 2013
is an unrecognized ‘linguistic turn.” “Descartes wrote the
Meditations, and found that he was writing. What Descartes
failed to put into doubt when he put everything in doubt was
language. His title aimed, mystic-like, at a denuded self, a
pre-linguistic and naked self, but ‘everything he said, every
last word of it, was deeply embedded in the words he used that
he had inherited from the Jesuits, and from the scholastic
philosophers before them, and from his mother and father, and
from the books he read in school, and so on.’ Our words ‘come
equipped with ingrained grooves that will carry you down
pre-established routes like a canoe.’ Wittgenstein argues there
are no private languages, so that as soon as Descartes begins
writing, he is ‘in the middle of a public language. There is no
such thing as a pure, private, pre-linguistic sphere.”
“Descartes sitting in his German room in
front of his fire trying to escape every thought he has ever
received from outside his own head—that
is modernity's founding act of ingratitude.” (Ed’s emphasis)
rule out foundationalism yet because of performative
contradictions in our common behavior and beliefs… The
“majority” of people believe the following. 1. That
communication is possible… 2. That life has meaning… 3. That
what I believe is true (at least in part)… 4. That illusions
exist… 5. That being overweight is bad. 6. That I will never
die… at least not yet. 7. That I will die. 8. That my ideas
should have universal intent (Polanyi). 9. That God (very
powerful, helpful, controls the universe, has existed for a very
long time, etc.) 10. That hunger is bad. 11.
That there is an ought… a
morality… an ethic: property ownership, promises should be kept,
injury should have retribution, that there are absolutes to
which to appeal.
Etc. There is a commonality of beliefs that is
“foundational” to communication and commerce.
December 2, 2013
Drawing lines—freedom is only possible in form (law): Was
Adam a real person or only a type to contrast with Christ? Is
the Bible inerrant or not? What is the canon of Scripture? It
seems to me that the major problem with these with loose ends is
just that—many Christians are not willing to tie up loose
ends—to draw lines which they will not cross. Where does Peter
Enns stop moving his line towards the authority of natural
science? Where does N.T. Wright draw the line at the
authority-inerrancy of Scripture? Compromise on women in
ministry? On homosexuals? Where does one draw the line? And,
the particular line is not as important as
the fact of a line! That one is willing to limit
encroachment—Hegel’s dialectic, if you will. Is Zeno’s Paradox
applicable here? Form and freedom? Freedom within form? The
individual and the group. Where are homosexual Christians
willing to draw their line? Perhaps, the reconstructionists have
drawn too many lines?
The Ten Commandments (form) and freedom (no commandments)? Some of
the commandments seem absolute (“you shall not commit
adultery”), some are not (“you shall not bear false witness
against your neighbor”—allowance made for enemies; “You shall
not murder (killing in self-defense is allowed); honor your
father and your mother (vague, rather non-specific); Sabbath
(“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”);
Grace and law; sin and forgiveness, “full of grace and truth”:
Luther, “sin boldly.” We could not live under the full details
of the law. First, we could never make a casuistry of it.
Second, that is all that we would ever do—all our energies would
go into minute details of our daily lives.
December 4, 2013
and predestination: (1) Inescapable choice: the universe is
personal or impersonal. No meaning can come from the
latter—random forces of “nature” with no logical direction.
strictly personal. There can be no meaning apart from a person.
(2) But, the universe exhibits extreme order: from the atom to
the solar system to the orderly-chaos of the sun—even the
proposal of an anthropic universe.
Orderliness is always attributed to a person in every
culture in history.
One sees organization—crude dwelling, drawings in the sand,
garden, totem or directing symbol, etc.—one thinks “a person did
Faith is logic. Logic excludes any explanation of the universe other
than the Biblical God. Or, one could say that logic is one side
of faith. The other side is willingness to embrace this
logic—this God—this logos!
Irrationality rules among human persons! Basic beliefs are
personally held, ontologically axiomatic and manipulated by life
Romans 1:18ff… man knows!
Because of this logic…
Evangelism based upon emotion produces its “natural” (not
supernatural or regenerative) fruit.
December 6, 2013
Feelings (emotions) and being (ontology): feelings are
ontological because they enhance (good feelings) or threaten
(negative feelings) the “being”—one’s very existence. The mind
understands the threat and reacts appropriately (or
sense) and ontology:
Faith is understanding what is one’s personal and universal
cosmology—ontology, worldview, or beliefs that govern how one
perceives reality). Thus, whatever threatens one’s ontology is
positively uplifting or negatively depressing—what one feels.
Ontology first, but dependent on epistemology and ethics. Ontology
is the hypostasis for language, but ontology cannot be realized
or known without language (epistemology) and does not know
whether “to be” or “not to be” is right or wrong without ethics.
Language is the “translator” of ontology, epistemology, and
Belief as hypostasis: thinking
comes out of the substrate of being (ontology). "Faith is
the hypostasis of things (outcomes) hoped fort; the
nature (phusis) of things unseen" (Hebrews 11:3).
articulation. The “beauty of holiness,” the sublimity of
music, the rapture of wonder, the awe of greatness, and a
thousand other expressions of the “Other”—of God? What is this
“beyond words—beyond expression?” Is it truly “beyond”? What is
this event horizon? Is it looking into the infinite—not the
infinite void, but the infinity of God—His mind? His what?
George Steiner’s wager on
the transcendent (see his
The beatific vision? Not the precipice, but the upward
manifestation of never-ending ascension. A fullness that the
soul cannot contain. Science is the ugliness of measurement and
(more or less) precise prediction. Ah! But a necessity is
measurement in this earthly existence.
The Glory of God Triune.
All that man is and could ever want to be! The ultimate human
desire. The bursting of bounds—of form.
Cease to be human? But would we cease to be human in that ineffable
state? Humans are concrete—earthly. Form and substance. Bones
with flesh. Thinking in terms, words, concepts, and
propositions. Is wanting to “be” in that
ineffable state a negation of “being human?” Should not
we be content just to gaze—that heaven is the “seeing face to
face,” but still “seeing,” not “being?”
God creating to give form to His essence? The fullness of the
manifestation of all His attributes—all that “He is.”
December 9, 2013
is for earthly life. It is clear from John 3 that
“salvation” is by regeneration—not belief—an ontological change
(relationship with God and
properties—characteristics of the person). It is clear that
Christians are divided on what they believe—thousands of sects.
(They seem less divided on ethics.) Thus, “correct” (even
detailed and developed) knowledge cannot save. If salvation is
not dependent upon belief, then what use is belief? It is for
us, our time on earth, and for eternity.
Belief then becomes
important for the “abundance” of one’s life and the life of the
world in which we live.
Heaven is secured. We
are to work out our salvation in “fear and trembling” while on
Personal cosmos. What is the personal dimension of the
“stuff” of the universe? (1) We, as natural scientists, develop
descriptions (analogies?) of the universe. (2) Analogies.
Everything is linked by analogy. Light is like a sound wave
(not!). (3) The universe has a great deal to do with our
perception of it—wearing lenses that distort and invert what we
see, e.g., wearing colored glasses or what the color blind
person sees. Defective
hearing. Experiments have shown that human subjects can adapt to
wearing glasses that turn everything upside-down when worn in
only 2-3 weeks. (3) To a person with a hammer, everything is a
nail. To atheists, everything and every event is a purposeless,
random act. (That is
their conclusion in theory, but they live as though there is
purpose.) To a believer in God’s Providence, everything is His
creation and all events are His personal actions in history. (4)
Prime Mover vs. random chance (which does not exist). (5) Why do
we keep distorted drawings that our young children paint?
Because they are persons beginning to bloom, and they are ours!
(6) Horrendous accidents and storms and the broken, distorted
limbs of the elderly are a personal result of the Fall. (7)
Helen Keller at the moment of her understanding that she and the
universe are not one: “water” comes to be know by a symbol—a
word. (8) God’s creative genius in the lightning and the
thunder. (9) The Observer Effect in quantum mechanics; that
sub-atomic particles only exist when they are “looked for.” (10)
Chaos theory demonstrates that the most minute change in one
location (the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Japan “causing” a
hurricane in the Atlantic). (11) In Romans 8, the created
universe “groans” with the anticipation of its renewal in the
regeneration (Matthew 19:28).
December 11, 2013
said, “Let there be…” Being… ontology… cosmology… cosmogony…
the ultimate “being” of something exists in the mind of God, and
then spoken by God becoming reality as the creation of God… not
just as God sees His kosmos, but as He designs it to His purposes.
“Outside” the mind
of God?” How can matter exist…”be”… ? How can “space”
be? If God is omnipresent, and He “is,” then nothing can be
“outside” His mind. He is imminent in His Creation. How to
avoid panentheism? Of course, there is no “in” or “outside”
God’s mind, as He is not spatial
Tolerance: who gets the front page headlines? In the
ultimate practice of tolerance, who gets to make the headlines?
In true Polanyian fashion (universal intent), I want
my ideas to be
front page on every newspaper of the world. Why not, if you are
tolerant of all views? Why should yours, and not mine, be there?
Why should the Editors choose the headlines? Are they tolerant
of all views? This practical application shows the ridiculous
notion of tolerance. Every person has both
tolerance and intolerance. The question is, “Whose ideas are
better?” Or, more heuristically,
who has the power of press, of position, of money, or of a state
institution to implement what they tolerate and what they do
not. The opportunity to universalize one’s ideas only comes with
power—perhaps, not exactly Nietzsche’s “will to power,” but
December 13, 2013
Ed’s names for God:
The Great Shakespeare, The Great Non-fiction Writer, The Grand
Demonstrator (Adams), The Great White Swan (opposed to black
swan), The Original Lord Whimsey, The Great Interrupter of
Ongoing Design, The Great Orchestral Composer, and more,
On Basic Beliefs and Presuppositions
How many premises does a person have? Basic vs. experiential?
E.g., I “believe” that my car is basically trustworthy. I have
beliefs about every person, object, theory, politics, etc. that
exist in my mind. Thousands of beliefs.
Perhaps, most of all, I
believe in my beliefs!! Polanyi: “Belief for the believer
Only one belief? Is there then in reality only
one belief…that I believe in my own beliefs. Is this God-like?
Pragmatically, it seems necessary.
I “believe” that I can type the next letter here, and the
next, and all these in sequence… and so I continue.
I “believe” that I can achieve everything in life that I
set out to accomplish.
Origin of beliefs? Personality, nature, all
kinds of nurture, serious study, life experience, etc.
Just where do all these beliefs come from?
Are all equally valid?
Certainly not, but how does one
Community of beliefs: One “certifier” of my beliefs
is a community of believers, not the Church, but a community
based upon commonality of beliefs. I.e., Michael Polanyi.
Certain beliefs are necessary to living:
belief in communication through conversation (all forms:
speaking, writing, etc.), virtually reliable world (sun will
rise tomorrow), certitude in my own judgment, in both nominalism
(things, objects, etc.) and universals (categories, Ideas,
etc.). Belief in experience and empiricism (induction).
Most basic belief is… I believe in my own judgment,
but…even that is
undetermined by me…
The most basic belief should be…
determinism…predestination… Providence. The is a Personal
universe with an omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-wise God who
plans, controls, and purposes.
The Black Swan… God’s
Providential interruption, chaos theory?
Death is the biggie, serious accidents (cars, falls, impacts or
encounters with others), sudden illness…the
great interrupters of life…the
unexpected…when did I last have an interruption? Am I due?
When, what? Have I had one my entire life? Many almost
interruptions… threats averted … “The Lord gives and the Lord
takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Can there be a "properly basic belief before Scripture? Gordon
Clark would say no. Trust in language? But where does trust in
language come from… only from Special Revelation. Empirical and
experiential evidence is tentative at best.
cember 18, 2013
many of the world’s and Christian’s dilemmas could be solved by
the application of logic and coherence..
For example, there can be no universal religion because
unless each religion draws lines (logical or propositional
positions) they have no meaning.
Anything that means everything means nothing. “All
religions lead to salvation” is nonsense. If one can choose any
path to God, then that God is everything which means he is
nothing. A word that means whatever one wants it to mean cannot
be used in a grammatical sentence because the person
hearing/reading it will not know among the entire vocabulary of
that language to what the word refers. All inclusivists have
certain exclusions. Perhaps, the greatest example of an
inclusivist exclusion is that rarely does the former include
All inclusivists have
their exclusions. If they did not, there would be
no discernible difference. On a background scene (for example, a
polar bear in a snowstorm) with no discernible colors, nothing
can be seen. The same is true of so-called
universalism. (See next entry for more.)
December 20, 2013
The Glory of God over man’s opinion...
Regeneration and Armianism.
The Bible divides the world's people into the regenerate and the
unregenerate—the greatest comment on anthropology anywhere.
Based upon John 3, this division is the work of the Holy
Spirit—the “Spirit spirits” where He will. For Arminianism, this
division is a work of man (as is all of Arminianism).
Incoherently, how can Arminians believe in the omnipotence of
God (thoroughly and demandingly stated throughout the Bible) and
their version of free will. Logic: perhaps the most important
hermeneutic, yet rarely mentioned by theologians who write about
the subject (?).
Why this concern about being saved?
Should not our concern be the glory of God?? If it is to God’s
glory that I be sent to Hell, should not I choose that eternal
damnation? Moses and Paul were willing to be banished to Hell in
order to save the Jews. Should we not be willing to be condemned
for His glory? Certainly, I do not want my own condemnation, but
is not this attitude the correct one? Is it not the most certain
way of one’s own personal salvation?
Is it not one of
the paradoxes of right epistemology?
December 23, 2013
Ed's 46th wedding anniversary... an
anthropological, theological, and philosophical statement in
itself (about God's Sovereignty). 'Nuff said for this day.
December 25, 2103 - Christmas Day
Traditionally, the birth of Christ. Got that, you
liberals and the ACLU? Our (your) calendar says so in
spite of silly attempts at "C.E.—Common
Era" to replace it. Everyone knows your lie, including
yourself. Dwell on that, you haters of Christ!
December 30, 2013
“Messiah” of the Greeks. The Old Testament is the foundation
of the New Testament. Messiah is predicted, but the Jews
misunderstood, thinking that he was to form an earthly kingdom.
They did not understand that He was to establish a spiritual
kingdom that would eventually become a worldly “kingdom.”
But the Greeks had a “Messiah,” as well, and got it wrong. With
Heraclitus came the logos—the
glue that stabilizes the universe of flux. With the Stoics,
logos was seminally in everything created—a “spark of divinity”
within its very nature—a sort of “world soul” (pantheism). The
logos was lurking,
omnipresent, and immanent. But, it was not a person; neither was
it god or a god. Jesus Christ was the true
logos for which the
Greeks had “groped” (Acts 17:27) Who “was God” (John 1:1) and
became incarnate (John 1:14).
January 1, 2014
Words and “knowing” God… death! No man can see God and live!
Could “seeing” God mean knowing him without analogical
representation, that is, words?
God is the only essence,
substance, and hypostasis.
God dwells in "inaccessible light" (I Timothy 6:16).
He is the "light that enlightens every man" (John 1:9).
(See Augustine's De Magistro.) When we say, "I see"
or that "I am enlightened," we say that we understand. To
understand God fully is to be God—and, that
is impossible—thus, death!
January 3, 2014
Matter, physical stuff: what is it?
Epiphenomenalism, consciousness, emergence, supervenience,
“mind,” etc. If physical matter has no “real substance,” how can
these phenomena exist? How can sub-atomic particles give rise to
consciousness? Talk about a leap? How can the sub-atomic
(quantum world of quarks and quirks) become solid matter? How
can matter be matter when it is on the aggregate of force
fields? All is energy, not matter.
Indeed, that which is seen is made out of which that is
Organizing principle of the universe:
how could almost infinite diversity and complexity result
from anything other than omniscience? From sub-atomic
structure to the brain of
From where does inherent organization of the universe
from the physical planets, stars, etc. of the universe to
the quarks and Bosons of the sub-atomic world?
January 6, 2014
Light and energy—the “stuff” of the universe is
finally only mind. It seems that the scientific
consensus today is that matter does not really exist, but is
formed by the energy fields of atoms. God spoke, and the
universe came into being. Reading John’s Gospel Prologue, light
and life have an inseparable union. “In Him was life, and the
life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and
the darkness did not comprehend it.” ((John 1:4-5) We see this
union in common speech when we understand with “I see” (I
understand, I comprehend). “I have been enlightened.” Then,
there is “-ology,” the study of ____________ (a subject, such as
bi-ology, the-ology, microbi-ology, soci-ology, etc. ). “In the
beginning was the logos”
(“word” or “speech,” Calvin). Thus, every “study of” or field of
study involves The Word—The Logos—the One who “enlightens every
man” (John 1:9). (See Augustine’s
De Magistro where he
discusses this subject at length.) Thus, the building blocks of
“matter” of the universe is simply the creation of the mind of
God. If you think that conclusion is too facile, then consider:
which is more “real?” A concept, thing, or entity that exists in
the mind of God, or as understood by human senses (touch, taste,
smell, etc.)? The answer is obvious.
Knowing “is” or the union of
epistemology and ontology. Gurus have said that to know
anything fully and completely, then one must become that
thing. There is an Indian saying, “Do not criticize until
you have walked in the moccasins of that person.”
say that we must “empathize,” or put ourselves into the
thinking and experience of the other person. Thus, to know
univocally and without equivocation, is to become that thing
or person. Thus, “knowing” is “is” or “becoming.”
ontology. Fascinating! (Even Spock displayed emotion,
although Gene Rodenberry tried to convince us otherwise.)
Creation. How then are persons and the universe distinct
from God? Somehow, God is able to project His creation apart
from Himself. It is a tenet of orthodox Christianity that
panentheism (that God is both transcendent to His Creation,
as well also being its substance) is false. He has created a
“reality” for persons that is somehow separate from Himself.
He is immanent in His Creation, but still
transcendent to it.
January 8, 2014
contingency—the same? If God predestines all things, is
there really a difference between necessity and contingency?
January 13, 2014
Those who believe in evolution have no reason to
trust reason. Man’s mind and consciousness,
by the theory of evolution, is an accidental, random occurrence
in the universe. Therefore, to trust one’s reasons is to trust
in random, accidental processes.
Thus, man’s reason is less than the predictability of a
roulette wheel which has only 38 or 39 possibilities. The
possibilities of in a random universe are infinite. By reason,
man’s must choose among an infinite number of possibilities, and
since his choices are random, he has no means by which to
The possibility of choice
denies evolution. Again, evolution is
supposedly random with no directing intelligence. If so,
nothing can happen. All effects have causes. If the effect
is unknown, there can be no cause.
January 15, 2014
he theory of creation and the theory of evolution are
attempts to explain the origin of the universe and of
its inhabitants. There were no human observers to the origin of
the universe, the origin of life, or, as a matter of fact, to
the origin of a single type of living organism. These events
were unique historical events which have occurred only once.
Thus, no one has ever seen anything created, nor has anyone ever
seen a fish evolve into an amphibian nor an ape evolve into man.
The changes we see occurring today are mere fluctuations in
populations which result neither in an increase in complexity
nor significant change. Therefore,
neither creation nor evolution is a scientific
theory. Creation and evolution are inferences based on
for Creation Research
Ed: Let us then be careful with statements about science,
especially about origins. If they become our ground for
truth, that ground is shifting sand because it will almost
surely change tomorrow.
January 17, 2014
Modern physics, philosophy, person, and revelation
(interpretation). Personal universe: “the
observer effect” of photons, differing whether an observer is
there, or single-fired photons that ‘know” where those prior
went and where those that follow will go—timelessness,
infinity, unity of past and future.
A new meaning to general and
special (personal) “revelation.” Modern physics underscores
the personal nature of the universe; its order in chaos or
out of chaos; a background of consciousness; philosophy
merging with physics; special and general revelation both
needing “interpretation”: an interpretation that is personal
and subjective on both accounts.
Key to understanding: special
revelation. Not necessarily “inerrancy,”
but interpretation by God’s regenerate persons who honor,
cherish, protect, study, defend, believe, embrace,
Consciousness is always consciousness about something. There
is always an “I-thou” or an “I-it.” Consciousness is
particularly and exclusively
fingerprints. Is/can there be such a thing as
“group-consciousness?” Perhaps, but only in a limited way.
There is mass hysteria, in which a
state of mind is “infectious.” There is the
group-consciousness of Polanyi.
January 27, 2014
Enlightenment or Endarkenment?
The supposed focus of the Enlightenment on “reason” seems like a
lot of hokum to me. It was really an attempt to escape the idea
of revelation and its attendant authority in the preached word
and in the Church.
Faith is an ontologically-grounded attitude
that inevitably leads to action according to the explicit and
practical specifics of that epistemology that includes an
expected hope (result) from that knowledge. Whether that hope is
achieved is dependent upon the truth of that epistemology and
its agreement with Biblical revelation and God’s Providence.
Thus, faith as prophecy (as is
An expectation is a prophecy; belief or faith is thus
Belief or faith is a function of how the world is.
Faith is personal.
When one considers all the kinds of generic beliefs that one
person holds at any given time, no two belief systems on
earth are ever the same.
The degree to which a proposition is believed; the degree to
which I am willing to commit a little, a lot, or my entire
February 10, 2014
Throwing out logic: inclusivism and exclusivism. Many, many
of the world’s and Christian’s dilemmas could be solved by the
application of logic. For example, there can be no universal
religion because unless religions draw lines (logical or
propositional positions) they have no meaning. Anything that
means everything means nothing. “All religions lead to
salvation” is nonsense. If one can choose any path to God, then
that God is everything which means he is nothing. A word that
means whatever one wants it to mean cannot be used in a
grammatical sentence because the person hearing/reading it will
not know among the entire vocabulary of that language to what
the word refers. All inclusivists have certain exclusions.
Perhaps, the greatest example of inclusivist excluding is that
rarely does the former include Biblical Christianity.
All inclusivists have their
exclusions. If they did not, there would be no
discernible difference. On a background scene (for example, a
polar bear in a snowstorm) with no discernible colors, nothing
can be seen.
May 28, 2014
The dialectic as
emerging predication. “Let there be … light,” “In the
beginning was the
logos—the Speech, Adam “named” the animals (Steiner), “I
AM” God to Moses and Jesus to Pharisees, etc. But,
is the merging or emerging of differences into something new.
is predication of a new ontology, a new being. Hegel’s
results in continual
emergence until its final state of being.
The Logos made the
cosmos and John 3:16 “All things were made by Him…
nothing exists that was not made by Him.” For God so loved what
His Son created that He gave the Creator, as begotten (“created
by God”) that by the
hypostasis of faith
àeverlasting life. Not the life within the
Creation, but a higher Creation… the Heavenly Jerusalem.”
Since Christ created the cosmos, there is a certain logic
what He created and what man had distorted, demeaned, smeared,
disrupted, demeaned, and destroyed its efficiency and fullness.
a similarity to, but is less than, analytical philosophy.
Is not deconstruction the same as the process of analytical
philosophy? Actually, it is worse. Analytical
philosophy aims at purpose and meaning; deconstruction aims at
no meaning at all.
Deconstruction as Analytic Philosophy
Objectivity or subjectivity in science?
objectivity in science cannot is not possible because the
universe (the subject matter of science) was created by a
Further, all observations
are made by persons.
all observations and conclusions about the universe have a
doubly personal dimension—that of the Creator and that of human
September 8, 2014
Objectivity or subjectivity in science? For
Christians, objectivity in science cannot is not possible
because the universe (the subject matter of science) was
created by a Person. Further, all
observations are made by persons. Thus,
all observations and conclusions about the universe have a
doubly personal dimension—that of the Creator and that of
Truth is, and can only be, held by a person.
The human person will know truth or ‘the truth” only to the
extent that his understanding conforms to the mind of Christ
(I Cor. 2:16). Truth is never objective.
A computer cannot “believe.” Thus,
artificial intelligence is just that, “artificial.”
Sets -- wholes and parts. A set can be
any number of objects selected by a
person. Proofs only exist within sets (Gödel), and
all sets are chosen by persons. So, all proofs reside within
the person. A person determines his own truth.
Imago Dei. As God determines truth and
reality, so He has given the power of personal truth in His
design of imago Dei. The degree to
which that “personal” truth corresponds to His truth is the
degree to which the imago Dei is present, and the
degree to which that person has happiness and peace.
October 20, 2014
“average” Christian and reading books. I am doubtful,
extremely doubtful, that any Christian can achieve maturity
without reading books. Yes, books, not just articles, and
certainly not just light devotional matter. There is a fullness
to books that articles do not have. The Christian must first
achieve a theological “skeleton, and a considerable
knowledge of the Bible, perhaps achieved by reading through the
Bible once a year or every two years..
The person is a mini-cosmos; the cosmos is
personal, created by a Person. Being made in
the image of God, I am a mini-universe. What I know, I
know as a part of my whole. I live in my universe. I am
omnipotent and omniscient in my own thinking and
behavior—no one can force me to do anything against my
will (except perhaps by drugging me—hypnosis will not).
No one knows my thoughts except me. I can be omnipresent
in my mind—I just visited Betelgeuse and came back—in my
mind. Of course, God can enter and control this
universe at His will and choosing.
am also parts of wholes. Every person or persons with
whom I partner in some endeavor is a whole that is
different from all other wholes. Community—communion.
The greatest obstacle to human happiness:
acceptance that “Father knows best.” That “what is” is
“what ought to be.” We “kick against the goad.”
February 7, 2016
Mercy: God’s greatest attribute because God,
Who is righteous and in Whom is no sin, and Who cannot sin, Who
is also perfectly holy and just; yet, He is willing to grant to
His elect, the greatest blessings that He has to
offer—inheritance and perfect holiness—over and above this a
se righteousness. Of course, this offering required the
greatest possible offering—that of His Begotten Son, as the Son
of Man and God Himself. Mercy granted at infinite cost is
“higher” than righteousness. Thus, God predestined the Fall
(not “allowed it”) in order to demonstrate this mercy to
“vessels of wrath” (Romans 9:22).
Miracle: Either everything is a miracle or
there are no miracles! In common parlance, miracles occur
when usual events or “natural laws” are violated. However, few
reason that even miracles require pre-conditions. Water
changed to wine is not possible without water, jars, people with
taste buds, an occasion to drink wine, etc. Then, there are
pre-conditions to these objects: atomic and molecular structure
that is water; DNA coding and all else that pre-conditions one
person, much less several; then, there are the pre-conditions
for the situation in which wine is being drunk—all preparations
and materials to make that possible. So, what is the probability
of all those pre-conditions being present at the moment of the
“miracle?” At least as great as the miracle itself for the
universe and people in it have to exist, and that great
pre-condition is one that we all recognize as the 2nd
greatest miracle in the history of mankind. (The 1st
being Christ’s resurrection.)