Second Way Clarification

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PaulSacramento
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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby PaulSacramento » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:33 am

Jac3510 wrote:I agree, Paul, and you're right that's fair. Add to that, this is a discussion board and people can talk about whatever they want, and given how highly nuanced some of these things are, I'm not surprised when something with as much gravity as the Big Bang (pardon the pun) takes over a conversation about the relation between God and the universe. Still, with that said, having stated my case I think fairly clearly, if and when the point does come up, I always have something to point people back to. 8)

Unrelated, since the thread is already off track, I am about to jump into one of a few major writing projects (now that the DS book is not only long finished but sort of out of my system). I have a multiyear project I'm already starting on that has to do with a clincal approach to spiritual care, so that's going to get first attention no matter what. But in terms of things I'll finish more quickly, I have a few ideas in mind that I'd enjoy addressing. Which do you think would be helpful/interesting to write about at the popular level (along the same lines as the DS book): 1) an apologetics manual focusing on classical arguments (primarily here each of the five ways, which would all get a chapter, but other arguments as well) so that we could explore the philosophy behind them but also emphasis on how to use them in argument, above all, their application to the Christian's own life; 2) a theological discussion on the Trinity, especially for evangelicals, on the history and development of the Trinity to help them see what it is and isn't, with (again) a major emphasis on the devotional value the doctrine holds; or 3) a broad discussion of the problem of evil (with a special chapter or two on the problem of hell), where the approach here would be as much practical as it would theological, given my day job.

What say you?


I would probably not deal with the problem of evil ( or suffering) since it is an emotional one and not one that can be dealt intellectually.
I guess the real question is which audience do you prefer to address?
The 5 ways is aimed at the skeptic where as the trinity is aimed at the Christian that doesn't follow the Trinity doctrine.
Skeptics don't care about the trinity since they don't believe in God to begin with ( as such His nature is not relevant to them).

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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby Jac3510 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:16 am

PaulSacramento wrote:I would probably not deal with the problem of evil ( or suffering) since it is an emotional one and not one that can be dealt intellectually.

I completely agree the PoE is an emotional and not intellectual problem. Were I to choose this, that's exactly why I would write on it, so that I could expand on that idea. I haven't seen that defended, so that's why I'm considering it so heavily.

The 5 ways is aimed at the skeptic where as the trinity is aimed at the Christian that doesn't follow the Trinity doctrine.
Skeptics don't care about the trinity since they don't believe in God to begin with ( as such His nature is not relevant to them).

That is a good question. I don't really have much of an interest in talking to skeptics generally, because while strictly speaking belief and unbelief are intellectual issues, in practice they're almost always emotional. That's not just true of Christianity, by the way. In my analysis, that's just true generally. It's why advertisers work so heavily on emotional appeals and especially to appeals to our identity and fundamental fears. And if it didn't work, they wouldn't keep doing it. On the other hand, there are very few works that really do deal with these questions on a popular level from our school of thought. There's a pretty good representation of analytical, evidential approaches (given the popularity of WLC, really strated I think by Geisler, and the whole thing he (Craig) is sort of leading right now). There are even some good works on presuppositional approaches. But really good discussions of classical arguments? I don't see much of that (again at the popular level), which I think really is a shame. So that might actually make a worth-while contribution. But having said all that, if I wrote that one, I'd have to decide if my audience was skeptics or Christian. Along the lines of the DS book, my first thought is to have it primarily directed at Christians but accessible to skeptics.

The Trinity discussion would certainly be aimed squarely at Christians, and low-church, philosophically disinclined Christians in particular. I can see pastors and Sunday School teachers getting a lot of out of it. Would definitely be a very different kind of book, something along the lines of Getting to Know the Church Fathers by Litfin. Still y:-?
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby PaulSacramento » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:36 am

I would love to read your argument against the emotional problem of evil.
I agree that the majority of skeptics arguments are emotional and not intellectual.
Your DS work was excellent and your ability to explain the 5 ways is also one of the best I have read, almost on par with Feser's IMO.

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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby Jac3510 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:05 am

That's incredibly high praise and I thank you for it. Truth be told I'll probably write all of them, as I see a theme of sorts in them all. Make them part of a series. Just have to decide which is the priority and which would make the most sense following DS.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby PaulSacramento » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:09 am

Jac3510 wrote:That's incredibly high praise and I thank you for it. Truth be told I'll probably write all of them, as I see a theme of sorts in them all. Make them part of a series. Just have to decide which is the priority and which would make the most sense following DS.

I think that the Trinity would be the most natural follow-up to the Divine Simplicity book.

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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby Kurieuo » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:35 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Jac3510 wrote:That's incredibly high praise and I thank you for it. Truth be told I'll probably write all of them, as I see a theme of sorts in them all. Make them part of a series. Just have to decide which is the priority and which would make the most sense following DS.

I think that the Trinity would be the most natural follow-up to the Divine Simplicity book.

In addition to the nature of the Trinity, I think it is important to examine the question belief in the Trinity as it pertains to properly understanding Christ's nature (Christology) and being saved (Soteriologically).

So for example, rejecting Trinitarian doctrine often leads to a lesser view of Christ, and as such, who is one really believe in when they say they trust in Christ? Does it matter, since Christ knows who He is, and evidently Trinitarian doctrine isn't simple to understand. If it does matter, then I expect many children then, who seem to implicitly trust in Christ after the example set by their parents, would then not be saved.

More than understanding the logic of the Trinity, I think those two questions in particular are often neglected in discussion and really they're the most important to us.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby RickD » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:57 pm

Fwiw,

There are some on this board who reject the Trinity, but don't reject the deity of Christ. They seem to have an objection to the deity of the Holy Spirit.

I like hearing how rejecting the deity of the HS, throws the whole belief system off.

I'd never really taken that to its conclusion, as Jac has explained. Really interesting stuff.
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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby Kurieuo » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:26 pm

Many non-Trinitarians reject the divinity of Christ logically (even if they don't see such), but Christian theological positions should always be thought first in terms of firstly what it is, and with a proper understanding its Christological and Soteriological impact-- such are questions of extreme, ultimate, importance to us.
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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:32 am

I agree, with JW's, for example, the divinity of Christ is not in question as they view Him as "a god", but the HS is simply viewed as an impersonal force.
It seems to me that the personality of the HS is far more of an issue than the divinity of Christ.

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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby jenna » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:13 am

RickD wrote:Fwiw,

There are some on this board who reject the Trinity, but don't reject the deity of Christ. They seem to have an objection to the deity of the Holy Spirit.

8)
some things are better left unsaid, which i generally realize after i have said them

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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:19 am

RickD wrote:Fwiw,

There are some on this board who reject the Trinity, but don't reject the deity of Christ. They seem to have an objection to the deity of the Holy Spirit.

I like hearing how rejecting the deity of the HS, throws the whole belief system off.

I'd never really taken that to its conclusion, as Jac has explained. Really interesting stuff.



I think it becomes a question of what God, the term, is.
If one things of God as a proper name, which it isn't, then I can see some conflict BUT God as a title or even a description, no.

If the HS is of God then it must, of course, be God.

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Re: Second Way Clarification

Postby RickD » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:44 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
RickD wrote:Fwiw,

There are some on this board who reject the Trinity, but don't reject the deity of Christ. They seem to have an objection to the deity of the Holy Spirit.

I like hearing how rejecting the deity of the HS, throws the whole belief system off.

I'd never really taken that to its conclusion, as Jac has explained. Really interesting stuff.



I think it becomes a question of what God, the term, is.
If one things of God as a proper name, which it isn't, then I can see some conflict BUT God as a title or even a description, no.

If the HS is of God then it must, of course, be God.


Absolutely. But apparently, some people are a little slow to understand.
8)
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony


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