What to Give Up for Lent

Hate. (more…) Read more

Comment of the Day

We’ve got a nice thread going on free will and determinism around these parts.  Albert the Abstainer chimes in:Real free will: An ability to choose alternatives such that the possibility of an alternative action is real and not the product of a particular history of preceding events. Free will: A state wherein a person experiences the sense of choosing to act. The state itself is real, (i.e. existent/emergent), but the action is the product of a particular history of preceding… Read more

RSS Feed

Here it is:http://blog.beliefnet.com/tonyjones/rss.xml Read more

Comment of the Day

Yay!  Albert the Abstainer is back!Real free will is illusionary. Don’t believe me, try controlling your thoughts or dreams. The state we occupy is continuously changing in response to being a physical part of a physical universe. Our complexity not withstanding, emergent states are not within our ability to anticipate and control. We are not independent or even partially independent of the universe in which we reside. Hence, no free will. We do, however, a strong subjective sense of being… Read more

Mondays with Mark

Here’s the next in my occasional series with Mark Patrick, my spiritual director.Tony: Mark, one of the things that you’ve said to me that caused me a great deal of introspection came in the late summer.  I was describing to you how angry I was getting over a particular situation, and then I made some comment about how my weakness seems to be anger over depression.  Then you said, “Tony, anger is depression.”That surprised me because I tend to think… Read more

Who Was/Is Jesus?

LeRon Shults announces a new book and a discussion on his blog about the book.  The book, Seeking the Identity of Jesus, gathered scholars to write about, well, Jesus’ identity.  Among other things, they agreed on the following nine points:1. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew.2. The identity of Jesus is reliably attested and known in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.3. The entirety of the canonical witness is indispensable to a faithful rendering of the figure of… Read more

Comment of the Weekend

I’m glad to see that my weekend quote of Dante stirred up some commentary.  Here’s one, from Ben, followed by a response from me. (My apologies for Ben’s masculine language.)I’m not sure how to understand Dante’s use of “free will” here but I’m sure I don’t like Pinnock’s use of the term. I think there is some confusion here and I think it would be helpful to define what we mean by “will.” Clearly no man has the “free will”… Read more

Original Sin: Augustine's Addendum

The Original Sin SeriesIntro-Intuition-Definition-Genesis-Jesus-Paul-Augustine-Calvin-ConclusionThe shadow of Augustine of Hippo looms large over the entire subsequent development of the doctrine of Original Sin.  We’ll get into his authorship of the doctrine qua doctrine in a minute, but first let’s remember the importance of his biography.  If Paul was a Jew’s Jew, Augustine was a Neoplatonist’s Neoplatonist.  Schooled in the philosophy of Plotinus, Augustine even converted to a Neoplatonic religion, Manicheaism, in his 20s.  As you might guess, Neoplatonism took strands of… Read more

Quote of the Week

The greatest gift that God in His bounty made in creation, and the most conformable to His goodness, and that which He prizes the most, was the freedom of will, with which the creatures with intelligence, they all and they alone, were and are endowed.Dante AlighieriDivine Comedy, ParadisoCanto V, lines 19-24 Read more

The Official Band of Emergent

Rick is honing in on his finalists.  Hilarious:David Wilcox- white guy folk singer. Cannot do it. Of course, he deals with spirituality in a way that is emerging and is one of the only white earnest folkies I can stand. Still. He is the “official” band of the older white element of Emergent, luckily it is tiny.Coldplay- seriously. stop. never. they are the “official” band of bad youth ministry… along with the Fray and Snow Patrol.But does Zach feel left… Read more

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