Bible

General and special knowledge

General knowledge is based on common experience and is available to everyone. No special training or vocabulary are necessary for general knowledge. It is also called ‘general revelation’ and ‘common knowledge’. This is the knowledge that realist philosophy builds on. General sciences are the areas of general knowledge. In philosophy these are metaphysics, epistemology, and …

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Biblical theism vs. classical theism

Biblical theism and classical theism have much in common, particularly the position that God is different in kind from all of creation. But there is an implicit principle of classical theism that I would put this way: “God only does what only God can do.” For example, because only God is transcendent, it is consistent …

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Essentials of Christian Thought, part 2

This post continues from part 1, here. One characteristic of the book is that the “essentials” or “metaphysics” that Roger E. Olson elucidates are somewhat buried among the text dealing with the competing alternatives. What follows are excerpts that focus on the essentials of Christian/biblical thought itself. A basic presupposition of this book is that …

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Textual realism and anti-realism

Anti-realists always begin with reality – and reject it. Because, they argue, it is obscure, misleading, and subject to different interpretations. So anti-realists begin again, this time with an idea of theirs. Even materialists begin with an idea, the idea of materiality. Thus anti-realists substitute their ideas for reality. In contrast, realists begin with reality …

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Creation of ubiquitous light

The first chapter of the first book of the Bible, Genesis 1, has attracted many commentators over the centuries. Recent scholarly work attempts to place it in the context of ancient Near East writings. (Near East is the European moniker for what Americans call the Middle East.) That however undervalues the unique, nuanced text of …

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3D time in ancient culture

I’m returning to a topic I wrote about here: time in ancient culture and thought. Look at Genesis 1, verse 3: And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. Now a modern person is thinking spatially …

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Time in the Bible

Time in the Bible is duration, not what is called thermodynamic time or the arrow of time. There is no inevitability about time in the Bible, unlike the increasing entropy of thermodynamic time. In the Bible time has a beginning and an ending. Time is an era, an age, a period of time. It is …

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Temporal and spatial references

I have written several times about differences between ancient and modern ways of thinking, for example, this post on Biblical geocentrism. Another way to look at this is whether time or space are primary. What does this mean? We are most familiar with the primacy of space. Things exist within space as mere objects, and …

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Joshua’s long day and miracles

Joshua’s long day has a long history of debate but is often forgotten today. The book of Joshua 10:13 says: So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. It is often said that this contradicts heliocentric astronomy. Actually, it contradicts geocentric astronomy, too: the sun and moon …

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Distinctions of Genesis 1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The merism “the heavens and and the earth” indicates the totality of what God created. It also indicates the first distinction, which is between the heavens and the earth. The subsequent focus on the earth indicates that the earth is the marked state (cf. post …

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