There are things thing we rather easily accept as true even though we find them confusing or irrational. The Trinity, proponents argue, is the greatest example of such paradoxical truths. This really resonates with believers for whom the creator is by definition beyond the creature’s comprehension. Even if you are not a Christian, you have to admit it is a reasonable argument to say you are simply describing reality even if it seems counterintuitive. When presented in this sort of manner, I think the Trinity is far more rationally formidable. With that said, there are still serious problems with logical arguments for the Trinity. Continue reading “The Trinity, Truth and Logic (Part II)”
To put it mildly the Trinity is a difficult concept to grasp. To say there is one God and that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are equally God, and equal to one another, yet are different from one another clearly stretches logic. This is something that even Trinitarians implicitly admit when they call the Trinity a “mystery”, that is, a theological truth beyond human logical comprehension. Even though they will heartily affirm it, the overwhelming majority of Trinitarian Christians cannot make sense of it. Most believers tend to avoid it altogether often out of fear of flirting with heresy if they press the matter just a little further. It is therefore unsurprising that both Christian and non-Christian critics tend to primarily attack the rationality of it.
I am a Christian who does not believe in the Trinity but I do not find the logical argument against the Trinity that convincing. I do still think it is a serious problem with the doctrine, especially combined with other problems, but I personally do not think it is the most potent standalone argument against the Trinity. In my view, there are better theological arguments, which I am going to address in two parts. In the first part I want to explore the weaknesses of the logical attack and in the second part how to strengthen it. Continue reading “The Trinity, Truth and Logic (Part I)”
In Christian thought, the concept of a worldview has proved very useful, especially in broadly comparing and contrasting other religious and philosophical schemes. One thing that is generally assumed about worldviews or implied when the concept itself is being discussed is that they are rigid, rather inflexible constructs. If they do undergo change, it is drastic change where the worldview is undermined and then an entirely new worldview is adopted. Given the purpose of a worldview as an overarching, ready to use heuristic for making sense of the world, it is perfectly understandable why they should be stable and resistant to change. However, I think worldviews are more flexible and dynamic than we realise. Continue reading “An Elastic Worldview”
On Christmas day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. For much of the world it is time for people enjoy themselves and rest even if they have no particular allegiance to the Christian faith. Yet we must remember that the person who this holiday is about was was persecuted as an infant by the political establishment (Matthew 2:1-18.) The first Christmas was not spent in comfort and the same is true today for many of our brothers and sisters today who believe in the child that was born. Continue reading “Something to Remember this Christmas”
Recently, I finally read Seven Types of Atheism by English philosopher John Gray and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am not going to provide a proper review of the book but rather some of my thoughts and impressions about it. For a proper review, I suggest one by Andrew Wilson who first brought the book on my radar which you can read here.
What Gray incisively does is by exploring the history of ideas he demonstrates how modern atheism is not a monolith and in many popular forms still remains heavily indebted to Judaeo-Christian monotheism. As a Christian I must admit there was a certain pleasure in reading Gray, who is himself a committed atheist, absolutely take to task popular atheism for thinking itself intellectually and morally superior to monotheistic faith. For example his critique of new atheism is is quick and delightfully devastating. Continue reading “On 7 Types of Atheism”
The Problem with a “Personal Relationship with God” Part III
A covenant is basically an ancient contract. It brought two parties into a formal relationship with one another. They were very common in the ancient Near East (ANE) so unsurprisingly there are many examples of covenants in the Bible as well. Most importantly, covenants defined the terms of the relationship between God and his people and how that relationship unfolded through the course of the biblical narrative. They are therefore sometimes described as the backbone of the Bible since the narrative framework of the Bible depends on them. So instead of talking about something as ambiguous as a “personal relationship with God” we should use the definite biblical language of covenant. Continue reading “Covenant Relationship”
As humans we can only conceive of God using human metaphors and analogies, which is why God communicates with us in human terms, but like any good symbol or metaphor, such language is a pointer to something other than itself. The human relational language Scripture employs provides useful and effective metaphors that point to the reality of our relationship with a being who is categorically beyond us. So God in the Bible is portrayed human terms but it also emphasises how God is unlike us. For example, a powerful metaphor for God the Bible often uses is that he is our Father but he is not characterised as a father in a physical sense. So because God is both like and unlike us, a relationship with him is also like and unlike a relationship with other humans. Continue reading “The Problem with a “Personal Relationship with God” Part II”