Whitman on Contributing a Verse

One of my favorites from Whitman, I remember coming across it vividly by way of Robin Williams in the film Dead Poets Society. I continue to come across this poem, more and and more moved each time I read/hear it, a renewal and prayer that I may, in the example of Christ, “contribute a verse”: Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring, Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish, Of myself forever… Read more

Book Review: God and Philosophy

A masterpiece and must-read for those with an interest in the philosophical concept of God through the Ages. Etienne Gilson shines in this timeless classic and highlights his contribution as a historian of philosophy and prominence among the Thomistic elite. The intellectual depth and clarity embedded in this slim text of 144 pages is profound. It’s divided into four sections: God and Greek Philosophy, God and Christian Philosophy, God and Modern Philosophy, God and Contemporary Thought. The Greek Philosophy section… Read more

Etienne Gilson on Metaphysics, Being, and Faith

A gem from Etienne Gilson, an amazing historian of philosophy with an existential Thomistic flair. For Gilson, knowledge of God is not an a priori conception such as the ontological argument, but revealed a posteriori in existence (concealed, yet revealed). In his words, “a most deeply hidden God, ‘He who is’ is also a most obvious God. By revealing to metaphysicians that they cannot account for their own existence, all things point to the fact that there is such a… Read more

Popper on Ontology, Epistemology, and Ethical Truth

Another great one from one of my favorite philosophers, Karl Popper, a self-proclaimed “critical rationalist”: “It is important to realize that science does not make assertions about ultimate questions – about the riddles of existence, or about man’s task in the world. This has often been well understood. But some great scientists, and many lesser ones, have misunderstood the situation. The fact that science cannot make any pronouncement about ethical principles has been misinterpreted as indicating that there are no… Read more

On Aristotle, classical theism, and the God of the Philosophers

To Aristotle and classical theists (a club which I am a proud member), God is the ultimate cause and necessity of which all contingent things depend. In the Aristotelian view, Wisdom relies on understanding causation which include material, efficient, formal, and final causes. God is pure Act, the final cause toward which all things move. The final cause, which Aristotle also labels the first cause, is often confused for the efficient cause, positing god as “a being” who simply set the world… Read more

David Bentley Hart on the Concept of God

A gem from author and philosopher David Bentley Hart on the concept of God and the shallowness of today’s typical discussions: “While there has been a great deal of public debate about belief in God in recent years (much of it a little petulant, much of it positively ferocious), the concept of God around which the arguments have run their seemingly interminable courses has remained strangely obscure the whole time. The more scrutiny one accords these debates, moreover, the more… Read more

Descartes on Doubt

Descartes, one of the most celebrated mathematicians and philosophers of all time. A believer (Catholic), on the necessity of doubt (also the opening quote of my book Proof of Divine): “That in order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life, to doubt, as far as possible, of all things. As we were at one time children, and as we formed various judgments regarding the objects presented to our senses, when as yet we had… Read more

Karl Popper on Faith, Transcendence, and a Third World

One of my favorite philosophers, Karl Popper, on his belief in a “Third World”. “I do think that all men, including myself, are religious. We do all believe in something more–and it is difficult to find the right words–than ourselves. While I do not want to set up a new kind of faith, what we really believe in is what we call a Third World, something which is beyond us and with which we do interact, in the literal sense… Read more

Kierkegaard on Knowledge, Objective Truth, and Passion

One of my favorite quotes from the “Father of Existentialism”; not an argument against objective moral truth, but on the emptiness of such knowledge without a passionate embrace. “What I really need to get clear about what I am to do, not what I must know, except insofar as knowledge must precede every act. What matters is to find purpose, to see what it really is that God wills that I should do; the crucial thing is to find a… Read more

Book Review: Quantum Physics and Theology

A masterpiece on the parallels of doctrinal development in physics and Christianity. And who better to guide the journey than John Polkinghorne? If the name rings a bell, it’s because he was big time in quantum mechanics (pardon the pun). He shocked many people when he decided (after 25 years as a quantum physicist) to become an Anglican priest. As someone with an interest in science, philosophy, and theology, I was very much looking forward to reading this book and… Read more

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