Since this blog’s inception, I have wanted to do a podcast. I’m not sure what took so long, but I’m happy to announce that Christ, My Redeemer now has a podcast available on iTunes. The podcast is an outflow of this blog and will continue to be devoted to sincere theological and philosophical reflection. In the first episode I briefly discuss my pilgrimage into Christianity and philosophy, as well as what to look forward to from this blog. So if you would like to download this Continue reading →
As developed out of Sigmund Freud’s early dichotomous categories of conscious and unconscious, Freud invents the concepts of the Id, Ego, and Superego. The Id’s master is pleasure, the Ego’s is reality, and the Superego’s are the social norms and values fed to us by our culture. The nature of the Id is central to why Freud thinks the Enlightenment philosophers are wrong about the role of reason in action, and why we are not masters of our own house. To better grasp this inability for transparency, focus on the Id is necessary.
According to Freud, human behavior is driven by the Unconscious (Id). That is, much of what human beings do is determined by motives that they are wholly unaware of. Human behavior is motivated to an end, namely, the satisfaction of biological needs. Thus, while an agent A may think she does X for rational reason Y this is not the case. Instead, she performs action X for P, where P is a hidden motive in the Id, inaccessible to the agent. The Id can be known indirectly, though, through dream analysis and the study of neurotic behavior. Fundamentally, according to Freud, we exist for pleasure and the appeasement of the Id.
This Freudian idea that human decisions are non-rational seems to go directly against the Enlightenment Continue reading →
Natural theology is the project of offering positive arguments for the existence of God. When it comes to ancient, medieval, and contemporary philosophy there are many advocates of this project (e.g., Aquinas, Paley, Plantinga, Swinburne, etc.) In spite of the glamorous figures that have offered theistic arguments, Paul Moser thinks that such a project promotes cognitive idolatry. So what is cognitive idolatry? According to Moser, cognitive idolatry involves an “attempt to control the terms for knowing God’s reality in a way that devalues God’s preeminent authority” (Moser 102).
In The Elusive God, Moser offers several arguments for why natural theology promotes this type of cognitive idolatry. One of these arguments states that it promotes a sort of cognitive idolatry Continue reading →
Inspired by some of William Lane Craig’s Facebook notes that discuss how Craig experiences philosophy in everyday life, I decided that I would also post on some funny experiences that have occurred in my life, that in a way relate to the discipline of philosophy.
Here’s one for today:
I was at the Evangelical Philosophical Society’s annual meeting with two of my New Zealand friends, Matthew Flannagan and Rodney Lake, when arguably the world’s most prolific philosopher of religion, Alvin Plantinga, was within our reach. To understand the ensuing moments, you must understand that to us three, Plantinga is in many ways a hero. This is because Plantinga helped fuel the resurgence that brought discussion of God back to life in the discipline of philosophy after the dark-days of logical positivism.
So there was Plantinga– standing nonchalantly, with his coat held by his hand over his back. We looked at him in admiration (or, at least, I did) as if he was about to perform some fantastic feat in front our eyes. I then made the comment that perhaps, if I merely brush against Plantinga, I would find a significant raise in my IQ level. Matt, in a moment of brillaince that was followed by an explosion of laughter said, “If only I could touch the hem of Plantinga’s garment.”
“Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”—Heb. 8:12.
It is unequivocal that in the Old and New Testament scriptures there is an idea of a God that, after one sincerely asks for forgiveness concerning the wrongdoings one has committed, not only forgives one’s wrongdoings, but also forgets them. One question that spurred this blog post is what exactly does it mean to say that God forgets our sins?
In order to understand one approach, I’ll appeal to a sermon from Rob Bell. In one of Bell’s sermons, he discusses a woman that claimed to have visions of Jesus. A skeptical religious authority questioned the veracity of these experiences and desired to put this woman’s visions to the test. In order to do this, the skeptic requested one thing to the woman claiming these experiences: The next time she has a vision, he wanted her to ask Jesus what was the last sin he committed. The woman (supposedly) visually encountered Christ, proceeded to ask what was the last sin the priest committed, and Christ apparently responded with, “I don’t remember”.
Here’s what can be implied by the aforementioned response: In God’s noetic structure there are many beliefs about a certain individual. Among this set of beliefs would be a proper subset of beliefs concerning the various actions Continue reading →