December 29, 2017

It’s a fascinating topic, one touching on both ontology and epistemology. What is the nature of mathematical, philosophical, scientific, and theological truth? And what are their specific epistemologies or methods of truth seeking? Growing up Catholic, natural theology was part of the picture, even if a subtle theme in the background. For both believers and non-believers, the intersection of faith and reason can occupy two specific themes: intimate connection or total disconnection. Fideism is the view that reason and faith are disconnected (at least… Read more

December 27, 2017

I was urged to read this book by my wife’s friend. The title was somewhat vaguely familiar, but in all honesty I was somewhat resistant to read it. Just a few pages in, however, I began to understand why this book is hailed as one of the most influential books of all time. In no uncertain terms,Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. Dating back to 1946, this short text is an incredibly gripping… Read more

December 21, 2017

We’re all scientists and philosophers, to some degree. We’re also all naturalists, at least in methodology, to some degree, though these statements demand some important epistemological and metaphysical distinctions. By way of example, to return to a previous post on MLK Jr on science and religion, in his words: “This had also led to a widespread belief that there is a conflict between science and religion. But this is not true. There may be a conflict between soft-minded religionists and tough-minded scientists,… Read more

December 17, 2017

I am proud to announce the release of my second book Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City (An Uncommon Exchange), written by myself and Adam Lee, published by Cascade Books, an imprint of the Oregon publishing house Wipf & Stock, devoted to “books that combine academic rigor with broad appeal and readability”. Included are the links to the publisher and Amazon pages. The foreword was written by William Jaworski, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University and author… Read more

December 12, 2017

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Strength to Love, a collection of Martin Luther King Junior’s sermons. One topic MLK Jr very eloquently spoke on was the relationship between science and religion. For some, both believers and skeptics, there is a direct conflict. Strict materialists hold matter and motion as the ultimate reality (and metaphysical truth is highly suspect). At the other end, the “scientific holdouts” of the religious persuasion find the supernatural as the ultimate reality (and scientific truth is highly suspect)…. Read more

December 8, 2017

A modern Psalm revealed in one of my favorites scenes: The quietness of God, the problem of evil and suffering. It’s a timeless theme. We believe in a benevolent, all-knowing, all-powerful God, yet life often throws us harsh, cold, and cruel circumstances. Enter the free will response – God allows evil to allow free will. For good could not be good and love could not be love, if forced. But on the quietness of God, the supposed needless suffering of… Read more

December 2, 2017

Jordan Peterson is deep. I came across a fascinating dialogue between him and Sam Harris on Harris’ podcast. It was a very interesting and respectful exchange of ideas. Harris’ background is in neuroscience and he’s a very prominent New Atheist author. Peterson is a particularly progressive Christian, and has an interesting perspective as a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology – he’s specifically interested in underlying archetypes of behavior and belief. Both Harris and Peterson are realists and feel there are mind independent truths,… Read more

November 28, 2017

Change is hard. Inertia has its own unrelenting staying power, perhaps no more apparent in the great civil rights struggles. With Ghandi as a major influence, and Christ as his ultimate measure, Martin Luther King Junior’s insistence on love and nonviolence was the epoch needed for change. It’s more than counterintuitive to not trade violence for violence. At the exact opposite end of the Civil Rights movement was Malcolm X, embracing an eye for an eye mentality and racial separation. But MLK Jr’s… Read more

November 24, 2017

Lincoln is no doubt my favorite US President. One of my favorite quotes from him is “if slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong”. It’s actually taken from a letter to Albert G. Hodges in 1864, for which there are some other important sentiments made: “I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel. And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an… Read more

November 17, 2017

Blood Diamond is a powerful and moving film. One scene in particular, I vividly remember. The backdrop is that an innocent young child, the apple of his father’s eye, was taken captive by warlords, and forced into labor to harvest diamonds. Like all forms of slavery and human trafficking, the goal is to break the captive’s identity and self-worth, and turn them (via drugs, forced labor, prostitution, etc.) into an entirely new person. The theological parallels are striking. The film depicts the shattering of innocence… Read more

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