ontology, metaphysics, logic

Branches of Christianity

Christians accept the four gospels as four different perspectives on the gospel. In fact, each is properly titled, “The Gospel According to …” That is, there is one gospel but four perspectives on it. While it is an interesting exercise to compare the gospels with each other, they are best thought of as parallel accounts […]

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Christianization of the world

In Mt 13:33 reports of Jesus: He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” Christianity is the leaven of the world. Put it into the world and gradually the whole world is leavened. This is the

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Repentance and faith

Acts 20:21 speaks of “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” This first step of the Christian life is God’s doing. God grants repentance and faith. So while people say, “I repented” and “I believed,” it is only by God’s grace that they did. This can be compared with an alarm clock going

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Evangelical varieties

The word evangelical means simply “of or according to the teaching of the gospel (the good news)”. Evangelical was used by Martin Luther to characterize the Reformation so that in Europe it is often a synonym for Protestant. In America the term (often capitalized) has come to have a particular meaning, characterized by historian David

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Philosophical realism

Philosophical realism, or simply realism, is a philosophy that begins where we all begin: with our common sense, our common everyday experience. When Samuel Johnson famously dismissed Berkeley’s idealist philosophy with his “I refute Berkeley thus” and then kicked a rock, he was asserting realism in contrast with idealism. There are basically two kinds of anti-realist

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What before how

One way to express realism is that it insists on knowing what before knowing how. Why is that? Because for a realist metaphysics precedes epistemology, which means being precedes knowing. Something is, whether we know it or not. A question students are asked is, If a tree fell in the forest and no one knew

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Being and becoming

Naturalism is a philosophy that looks to science to fill in the details.  It is based on putting becoming before being, contrary to the classical and Christian assertion that being precedes becoming.  We have to know what or who something is before we can understand how it got that way, or what we’re even talking

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Means and Extremes

Means and extremes in classical mathematics have to do with proportions. If A is to B as C is to D, we write A : B :: C : D.  This is ordered so that A is greater than or equal to B and C is greater than or equal to D.  A and D are

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