December 21, 2004

Christian Naturalism

I've been talking about miracles a lot lately, and the subject has also come up in an otherwise excellent essay I was reading, "On Being a Christian Academic" by William Lane Craig. Dr. Craig unfortunately makes the mistake of assuming that several philosophical doctrines (e.g. platonism in philosophy of mathematics) are clearly repugnant to Christianity, when, in fact, they may have Christian interprettations. To this end, I am writing today about miracles and, in particular, my own view; a sort of Christian naturalism. By naturalism I do not mean materialism (my metaphysics, at present, is neo-Berkleyan in nature, and as such I believe not only that minds exist non-physically, but that the physical exists only insofar as these minds perceive it). Nor do I mean the denial of a "first philosophy" ontically prior to natural science (this sort of move is patently ridiculous, despite its current popularity. A sound metaphysics and philosophy of science are needed in order to interpret scientific evidence, and so natural science is clearly dependent on them). What I do mean, is the belief that every occurence in the physical world is governed by a set of fundamental laws to which there are no exceptions. This has been argued from a purely secular philosophical perspective countless times, so I will not repeat these arguments. Rather, I will argue from Scripture in favor of this view, and then provide a theory of miracles based upon it.
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December 16, 2004

More on Christianity and Homosexuality

For those of you who don't know, there was a major controversy recently over a United Church of Christ ad which the major networks rejected, advertising the church as "open and affirming" (i.e. pro-homosexual - one of my goals in life is to discuss highly sensitive political issues without resorting to the fallacy of emotional language). A post at Wesley Blog quotes the following statement from a UCC pastor, which was published in the Charlotte Observer (reg. required): "What concerns me about the commercial is the implication that gays and lesbians attending UCC congregations can expect that their sexual desires...
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Topic(s): The Church
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December 15, 2004

Ever Wondered What Things are Like Where I Come From?

You can read about it in the Times today. This is an excellent and accurate description of what things are like in Eastern Washington (in the context of a discussion of the Washington gubernatorial election, in which, according to the Secretary of State's office, Republican Dino Rossi won the machine recount by a mere 42 votes, the closest election in Washington's history, and a manual recount is now underway). Enjoy!...
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Topic(s): My Life , Politics
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December 9, 2004

Politics, Sex, and Indoctrination in the American Education System

Today's arts section of the New York Times contains an article (more of an opinion piece, really) entitled "The Plot Against Sex in America" (how's that for a provocative title?). The article discusses the decision by New York City's public broadcast television station not to run "Kinsey," a movie about zoologist Alfred Kinsey, who famously published on human sexuality in the 1940s and '50s. I'm not going to talk too much about the film, other than to say that candor about sexual practice is better than hypocrisy, even if the sexual practice we're talking about is blatantly immoral. Instead, I would like to focus on another point brought out in the article: The politics of education in general, and sexual education in particular.
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Topic(s): Politics
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December 7, 2004

An Internal Critique of the Beth Stroud Case

You may have seen in the media a recent tumult in the United Methodist Church over the disordination (the New York Times article refers to it as a "defrocking" - is that even a word? Do Methodists really call it that?) of a Lesbian pastor at a church in Germantown, here in Philadelphia. Rumor has it a Daily Pennsylvanian editorial on the subject, authored by an uber-liberal friend of mine will be published on Wednesday (shh! I didn't tell you). So here I am responding with an internal critique of the matter. Internal, that is, to Christianity. Before I start, allow me to point you to a critique internal to the United Methodist Church over at a site I just found called Wesley Blog. Ok, so here goes: The United Methodist Church did the right thing ... Sort of.
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Topic(s): The Church
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