Continuing with the final subject in my series on the most influential of America’s founders (see Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Madison), consider some quotes from John Adams either from our founding period (1776-1789) or referring back to it. Here is a letter from Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 28 June, 1813: The general principles on which the fathers … Continue reading USA’s Founders Had Christianity in Mind (Part V: Adams)
James Madison, like several other founding fathers, wrote some things that didn’t sound very Christian later in his life, but during the founding was solidly Christian. As any good judge will tell you, the meaning of civil agreements like constitutions depends on what the writers intended at the time they wrote it; not on what … Continue reading USA’s Founders Had Christianity in Mind (Part IV: Madison)
Question Dear Tim, In your article The Omnibenevolence of God you pointed out that on the Islamic view, Allah is quite similar to some Calvinistic views of God. Regarding this view, you said: “God is not all-loving, and whatever Allah does is simply called “good,” even if it is really hateful.” I agree with you, but … Continue reading God’s Love & the Euthyphro Dilemma
Welcome to another installment of Stuff Atheists Say, a series dedicated to combatting slogans and sayings that skeptics raise to stop conversations in their tracks. You can catch up on the previous articles here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4. Today’s slogan is a common skeptic phrase, made famous by the late Christopher Hitchens. … Continue reading Stuff Atheists Say: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
Question Dear Tim, I recently ran across a blog post by an atheist who is a physics major with a philosophy minor. In response to the Kalam Cosmological Argument, he contends that God could not have created the universe. His argument proceeds as follows: 1. The word “choice” must imply a progression from a state of multiple … Continue reading A Choice Apart From Time
Dear Dr. Welty, Tim Stratton recently wrote an article critiquing your essay in Calvinism and the Problem of Evil. Since that time, you wrote a response to Stratton on your website and Stratton responded with a well-written counter-rebuttal to your response entitled “Gunslingers & Guilty Minds.” As a lawyer who deals with “guilty minds” on a … Continue reading Dear Dr. Welty,
Thursday the 27th of April, I published an article responding to Greg Welty’s chapter in the book Calvinism and the problem of Evil. I specifically argued against a view of Calvinism that is wedded to exhaustive divine determinism (a view that God causally determines all things: actions, behaviors, beliefs, and thoughts). I was shocked — and … Continue reading Gunslingers & Guilty Minds: A Response to Greg Welty
It seems commonplace today for entire groups of people to be painted with a broad brushstroke and labeled as being afraid or fearful. The word “phobia” or “phobic” is often attached to the end of another word which is supposed to represent a group who is scared of other people. So, what does it mean to … Continue reading Phobiaphobic
Abstract: In my essay “Does 1 Peter 1:3 Refute Libertarian Free Will?” I defend the thesis that the relevant verse is underdeterminative with respect to whether it teaches Libertarian Free Will (LFW) or Divine Causal Determinism (DCD). One attempt that has been made to resolve this epistemic standoff has been through the employment of Ockham’s … Continue reading Does Ockham’s Razor Preclude Libertarian Interpretations of 1 Peter 1:3?
In my last article I tackled what I referred to as Thomistic Compatibilism. This article can be considered a clarification of some of the earlier material while adding more argumentation against the doctrine of divine simplicity (DDS). Thomas Aquinas modeled his understanding of human free will after his take on the divine free will. Thomas … Continue reading A Few Arguments Against Divine Simplicity
Question Tim, First, I want to thank you for your message today, Marci and I both thought it was awesome. In particular, Marci wanted me to let you know that she has struggled for years with why did God give man free will, and your explanation about arranged marriages and your example of how you … Continue reading Free Will in Heaven?
Calvinism has been one of the most popular theological traditions within the church for half a millennia. This reformed view is the tradition in which I was raised. In fact, I believed it, bought it, and taught it as a minister for over a decade. I was not alone in my pursuit to spread the teachings of … Continue reading Death of a Gunslinger
Should data gained apart from the Bible influence our interpretation of it? Before answering that question, consider what could be implied based on a face-value interpretation of the following passages of scripture: Genesis 1:16 – The sun and moon seem to be the largest heavenly bodies. Genesis 1:16-18 – The moon is literally a light, rather than … Continue reading Extra-Biblical Data & Hermeneutics
There are so many great scientists out there. The things they get to discover and explain to the rest of us lay people are always very cool. Every so often, however, a well-known scientist will get a bit of publicity over a controversial comment they make. When theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking’s book, The Grand Design … Continue reading Brian Cox, Souls, & the Large Hadron Collider
Question Tim, have you seen that CERN has provided scientific proof that the soul (or the “ghost in the machine”) does not exist! Too bad for your Freethinking Argument! This scientific data does fatal damage to the Interactionist Substance Dualism you argue for because the only way for an immaterial substance to move a material object … Continue reading Ghosts, Zombies, & Substance Dualism
Is your brain true or false? How much does a belief weigh? If you gain new beliefs do you gain weight? Do these questions even make sense? These are more examples of incoherent questions! Why are these questions incoherent? Because based on the logical law of identity we know that brains and beliefs are two different kinds … Continue reading How Heavy Are Your Beliefs?