Fides et Ratio

Faith Seeking Understanding

Name:
Location: Texas

I am a 21 year old student at Dallas Baptist University majoring in Philosophy.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Great Stuff

She Must and Shall Go Free(words by william gadsby, music by derek webb & sandra mccracken)

mercy speaks by Jesus’ blood
hear and sing, ye sons of God
justice satisfied indeed
Christ has full atonement made

Jesus’ blood speaks loud and sweet
here all Deity can meet
and, without a jarring voice
welcome Zion to rejoice

(chorus)
“all her debts were cast on me,
and she must and shall go free”

peace of conscience, peace with God
we obtain through Jesus’ blood
Jesus’ blood speaks solid rest
we believe, and we are blest

(chorus)

(bridge)
should the law against her roar
Jesus’ blood still speaks with power
“all her debts were cast on me,
and she must and shall go free”

(chorus)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I'M BACK!

After a much needed hiatus (and a trip to xanga), I am back and going to be using my blogspot address again! I am going to be posting the same thing on both blogs, so if you read my xanga, then you don't have to worry about this one. My first posts are going to be old xanga posts anyway. I know no one probably reads this thing anymore, but I did miss my blogger account. May the Lord bless and keep you!

P.S. I can't deny that part of the reason that I decided to come back is that today is my birthday, and I am now 22 years old.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Ergazomai!

I have been working an incredible amount of hours recently, attributing to the fact that I haven't posted much lately (thanks to Adam Naranjo's encouraging comments for me to keep up posting). I worked 57 hours last week. I work the niught shift at a gas station, and yesterday was my first day off in two weeks. I also noticed that Adam linked two of one of my mentors and heroes' papers, Dr. David Naugle. I have so much to attribute for my growth as a Christian thniker. His introduction to Philosophy class my Freshman year of college rocked my world, as did his Philosophy of Religion class. DBU needs him, and he does a terrific job of shaping the school's view on education.

I am thankful that I can call him a mentor of mine (as was my other Philosohpy professor, Todd Kappelman). It is pretty funny that both Philosophy professors at a Baptist school were both Calvinists. I am thankful to God that I can call Dr. Naugle a friend and a fellow co-laborer for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We still communicate often, and will probably get back together often when I return to the Dallas Metroplex in the Fall (though, just not at DBU. I will be going to the University of Texas at Arlington and majoring in English and Philosophy; which will mean that I will graduate a yr and a half late or so.). Thanks once again to Adam for the encouragement, because I certainly need it. I am going to find some essays by Professor Kappelmann for him to post, because they are high quality just like Dr. Naugle's are. Kyrie Eleison en hymin. Amen.

Monday, February 28, 2005

De Trinitate

The doctrine of the Trinity is the essential doctrine of the Christian faith which we confess. The Trinity is what all other doctrines are built off of. Unfortunately, Evangelicals have not been so good at centering their theology around the doctrine of the Trinity. In the 20th century the doctrine was "recovered" by the likes of Karl Barth, Karl Rahner, Jurgen Moltmann and T.F. Torrance, none of which lay claim to the title "Evangelical".

It is important when considering the Trinity to put "equal ultimacy" on the, to use Cappodocian language, one ousia (being) and the three hypostases (persons). The West, following Augustine, has placed the one being of God at the center of thought. This has led to many problems with Modalistic tendencies. We must confess,with Calvin (though he never said the Holy Spirit was autotheos, I think we can glean this from his insistance on calling the Son such), that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all three autotheos.

We also have to center our theology on the Patristic idea of Perichoresis (although John of Damascus was the first to use the term; T.F. Torrance is one of the best modern theologians to shape his doctrine around Perichoresis). Perichoresis is the doctrine that says that the three persons mutually indwell one another in the one being of God, which is why that Gregory of Nanzianzus can say that (and Calvin later):

"..the infinite conjuction of three infinite ones, each God when considered in Himself; as the Father, so the Son; as the Son, so the Holy Spirit; the three one God when contemplated together; each God because consubstantiall one God because of the monarchia. No sooner do I conceive of the one than I am illumined by the splendor of the three; no sooner do I distinguish them than I am carried back to the one. When I think of any one of the three I think of him as the whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of the one so as to attribute a greater greatness to the rest. When I contemplate the three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divine or measure out the undivided light (Gregory Nanzianzen "Orations 40.41)."

This is one thing that I absolutely love about the Eastern Orthodox Church. They place the doctrine of the Trinity at the forefront of their theology (see John Zizioulas' Being As Communion for an example). Of course, I do have questions for Eastern Trinitarianism. I am not an adherent to absolute simplicity as Aquinas was. I, like the East, would aknowledge that there is more to God's essence than his existence. The energeiai, I would have no problem affirming. However, I wonder whether or not the emphasis on the energies (in the language of Karl Rahner the "Economic Trinity") and not also on the essence (in the language of Rahner the "Immanent Trinity") of God causes confusion.

I would agree with the so-called Rahner's rule (though not how he probably meant it), that the "The 'economic' Trinity is the 'immanent' Trinity and the 'immanent' Trinity is the 'economic' Trinity. Though, Rahner collapses the economic Trinity into the immanent Trinity and, thus, has panentheistic tendencies. However, I would see this as meaning that the Economic Trinity is a sufficient revelation for being Epistemically Justified knowledge for the Immanent Trinity, or God as He is in Himself.

This is a topic that is much neglected in much Evangelical Dogmatic Theology, and it needs to be corrected. May we see the Triune God in all of His slendor and glory. Amen.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Christian Being-in-the-World

Only the Christian account of Being-in-the-world (using Heidegger's in der Welt Sein) can take seriously claims of embodiment and materiality. All other forms of Being-in-the-World may leave one temporally gratified, but in the end leave one with little more than Nihislistic Materialism. While seemingly concerned with "this-worldly" immanent desires, they are in all reality seeking "other-worldly" transcendant matters, namely the meaning of life.

The Christian Being-in-the-world, on the other hand, can account for both immanence and transcendance, unlike the other non-Christian systems. In the Christian account, the two are in balance and are not mutually exclusive (granted that many Christians, and unfortunately many Evangelicals, have succumbed to a form of Gnosticism by seeking to be purely "other-wordly", but that is not my concern or part of my argument here). In the Christian account, the Triune God is the Wholly Other Trascendant One, but He has also acted in history, therefore giving immanence. He became flesh and put on matter. Therefore, any downplay of matter and embodiment is not a Christian view of things. If matter were inherently evil, then the eternal, life-giving Son of God could not have put on flesh. This is the death blow to all forms of other systems.

With the advent of Postmodernism, in our apologetical confrontations we must show that our system is inherently the best one (because of these previous reasons), and not trying to confront the "secular" realm with their own autunomous reason, for such a thing does not exist. We can only do this through our love. This only comes about through the Grace of God. Kyrie Eleison en hymin. Amen.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Hermeneutics

I have been silent on here for over a month on purpose (which some of you know; others may not). I do not intend to stay that way anymore, though :). I hope to post every other day as I had been doing. Here is soemthing I wrote on a forum that were some thoughts I was having:

I think we should steer clear of saying taht anything is "clear". This is a fairly naive Epistemology (I say this, b/c my primary field of study is in Philosophical Theology). This is more of a Modernist (read Foundationalist or Correspondance/Coherentist theory of truth), and has been thoroughly Deconstructed by Postmodernism. We all come to the text with Presuppositions, so just because the text is "clear" to you doesn't mean it is to me. This is because there is no neutrality (I am following the trajectories of particular Dutch Reformed thinkers, i.e. Abraham Kuyper, Herman Dooyeweerd and Cornelius van Til). This is why that I am confessional and argue vehemently against "private judgment". Only in side the context of the koinwnia are we able to interpret scripture (this is not exactly but similar to Stanley Hauweras' argument in Unleashing Scripture, although Hauerwas uses Stanley Fish to say that the text means NOTHING until interpreted by the community of faith, with which I vehemently disagree with).

There is no such thing as a presuppositionless "interpretation". As Derrida put it, "there is nothing outside the text" This has been interpreted in many ways, but I take it to mean that there is nothing outside of our particular perview. We cannot escape our presuppositions, and this is what Derrida is saying. All of life is a "text" and all of life is "interpretation". We personally cannot come to the meaning of the text without the particular community of faith. This is a twist on a Wittgensteinian view of language.

Thus, the community of faith can only come to meaning in so far as it participates in God (building off of the chief theme of Radical Orthodoxy, where my name comes from, that something only *is* insofar as it participates in the God, which guards against any sort of autonomy). How do we participate in God? I would argue for three ways in which we participate in God: through divine liturgy and the aesthetics thereof, through the eucharist, and through baptism. Hence, all of our knowledge and interpretation is predicated through the community of faith by participating in the divine.

These were just some thoughts that I was having.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Conference

The conference in Monroe was a blast! I got to meet some wonderful people from the internet among others. I met Barb Harvey, Daniel Harper, Andrew Fulford, Pastor Doug Wilson (I find it incredibly interesting about his charges of heresy; I wouldn't be a paedobaptist if not for the Federal Vision), Pastor Tim Gallant, Rev. Norman Shepard (who is one of the most wonderful men of God I have ever met, especially considering the things that are said about him), Dr. Doug Green, Dr. Peter Enns, Dr. Dan McCartney, Dr. Steve Taylor, Dr. Peter Wallace, Pastor Rich Lusk, Pastor Steve Wilkins, Pastor Steve Schlissel, Pastor Randy Booth, Pastor Roger Wagner, Dr. Richard Gaffin, and Bishop N.T. Wright. That is all that I can remember right now off hand. I also have pictures with Norman Shepard, Richard Gaffin and N.T. Wright :).

I already pretty much knew where Dr. Gaffin would be going (if you have read Geerhardus Vos and Herman Ridderbos at all, then you will know). Bishop Wright really didn't say anything new, either. However, the dialogue during the Q & A was quite helpful. Wright showed that he really is very similar to the Redemptive-Historical school of thought in Reformed Theology. Of course, they have different emphases, but I thought they were saying some very similar things. Their Eschatology is incredibly similar. It is funny that Ligon Duncan critisizes Wright for having an over "Realized Eschatology" when Gaffin's emphasis is quite similar, especially concerning Christ's resurrection and that ushering in the "new age".

During the dinner with Bishop Wright, I discussed some Philosophy with him (since that my chief area). I have seen him mention Martin Heidegger a few times, and those if you who know me know that I eat him up (this is attributable to Professor Todd Kappleman from DBU). I told him that I liekd the area in which Radical Orthodoxy was going, and he said that the one area that he didn't like about them was that they didn't know what to do with the Bible (he especially cited Catherine Pickstock here).

I purchased four new books while there. I got The Federal Vision, The Second Adam and the New Birth, Paradox and Truth and Rediscovering the Triune God. Dr. Naugle has asked me to present a paper for the Paideia College Society at DBU. Os Guiness is going to be coming and I am going to write on the Trinitarian basis for all of theology (I really need to get a hold of Pastor Jeff Myers for this). Well, this is all for now. I must go do some reserach on recent Trinitarian theology. I might post some more later.