The Jacob Aitken Reading List: “the ePistemologian’s Progress”

A portion of it, anyway. I found this list on Facebook – it appears to be a list of “things to read” before the year 2020. He says: This list was taken from Craig and Moreland (2003): 627-639 [Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview]. It’s a specialized list of technical works in philosophy and theology. …

Metaphysics (Review of Hasker)

Hasker, William.  Metaphysics: Constructing a World View.  Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsityPress, 1983. This review will only cover certain sections of Hasker’s work. He defines freedom as “Freedom of choice” or “freedom of the will” (30). He defines determinism as “For every event which happens, there are previous events and circumstances which are its sufficient conditions …

Review: 101 Philosophy Terms for theology

Clark, Kelly James., Smith, James K. , and Lints.  101 Philosophy Terms for Theology (Westminster/John Knox Press). This is one of the better “key terms intro” books out there.   It is quite selective, of course, and one’s favorite term/theologian/philosopher probably won’t be covered.   The three editors represent three different fields (analytic philosophy, continental …

Oliver O’Donovan Outline Part Two

Mediators of Yahweh’s Rule Yahweh’s authority is image-less, like Yahweh himself.   However, Yahweh is immediately present in conquest, judgment, and law.  Israel still had a problem in its history:  it could never consolidate.  It had land, judgment, and victories (though never absolutely), but it had no stable means of passing it down.  Even acknowledging the …

An intro to Oliver O’Donovan’s Political Theology, part 1

I don’t like terms like “political theology” because they are academic buzzwords and hence doomed to future irrelevancy.  “Public theology” is much better, but either will work in this case.  When I was in seminary I was at an impasse between theonomy and its alternatives.   I wasn’t entirely convinced that Bahnsen’s exegesis was superior. …

Whose Community? Which Interpretation?

In the past few posts I have attempted to offer a critical engagement with postmodernism, yet one that also seeks to appreciate legitimate moves within the system.  In this post I will review Merold Westphal’s Whose Community? Which Interpretation? (Baker Academic). Thesis:  Westphal, following James K. A. Smith’s The Fall of Interpretation, argues that we should not seek …

Truth Stranger than it used to be (review)

(3 out of 5 stars) This book was one of the earliest salvos into the postmodern situation, at least from a semi-“conservative” Christian position.   The authors (hereafter MW) highlight the collapse of the “modern” project, examine the postmodern response, and then offer their own Christian response.   In terms of structure and outline, the …

A postmodern continuum

One of the most useless terms in lay apologetics is “postmodern.”  It usually means “someone different from me but I am not sure how.”  Or it means Brian McLaren.  Postmodernism as a critical literary and philosophical position is rarely distinguished from applications of postmodernism by hippie, angry, post-evangelicals.  Imagine a charted continuum.  I can’t do …

A clarification on absolute-claims

My recent posts on finitude was misread in thinking I held that “absolute knowledge” was impossible for humans.  That is not what I meant.  I was simply following traditional Reformed theology (see Muller) on the theologia unionis: The Christological problem follows the [epistemological issue]:  if the human nature of Jesus, as finite, is in capable …

Hyper-certainty as overcoming creaturely being

That’s as good a continental philosophy title as one could find.  There is a valid point, though. This morning I was listening to James K. A. Smith’s lecture on contingency and relativism (given at the Horton Wiley talks, available on ItunesU).   He raises a good point that we often forget when facing claims by …