Philosophy

Book – The Idol of Our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity

"In this short book, Daniel Mahoney brilliantly lays bare the shallow and facile but dictatorial modern religion of optimistic humanitarianism: shallow and facile because it does not acknowledge the depth and persistence of human evil, and dictatorial because it will brook no rival." - National Review

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How the gospel of cyber-utopianism and globalist conformity preached by today’s elites is disfiguring the soul.

"Taking a hint from Hegel, Kojève devoted his life to preparing the way for the universal state he believed would crown the end of history. Yet what is most remarkable about Kojève’s conception of a new world order is the candor with which he acknowledged its dehumanizing qualities." - National Review

300 reads

A Good God in a Wicked World: Considering the Problem of Evil, Part 4

By Jonathan Moreno. From DBSJ 22 (2017): 75-90. Republished with permission. Read the series.

Lingering Concerns

In an effort to present the greatest-glory defense with sharper clarity, this section will seek to address three objections that may be levied against it. Although this defense may encounter countless additional objections, the three selected seem to be the most pertinent to the discussion.

How Is God Good?

One accusation that could arise from the greatest-glory defense is that it strips God of his goodness. If God decrees evil primarily for the sake of his own glory, and not the good of his people, then it is difficult to see how God can retain his benevolence by any meaningful sense of the word. Such a self-centered God as this does not comport with the God of love who promises to work everything together for the good of his children (Rom 8:28).

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A Good God in a Wicked World: Considering the Problem of Evil, Part 3

By Jonathan Moreno. From DBSJ 22 (2017): 75-90. Republished with permission. Read the series.

An Answer

The purpose of this section is to present a viable theodicy.36 However, before embarking upon this endeavor, it will be helpful to temper expectations by briefly considering the parameters and limitations of any conclusions that are drawn.

The Parameters of the Answer

A complete and acceptable answer to the problem need only demonstrate that the presence of evil in the universe creates no internal contradictions within a given theological system. A satisfactory solution is not required to alleviate every tension caused by evil or to provide the specific reasons for every instance of evil. The Christian’s answer need only prove that all his theological beliefs are sufficiently harmonized.

The Limitations of the Answer

An additional consideration preliminary to formulating a theodicy is the recognition of its limitations. The answer to the problem is limited by mankind’s finiteness and inferiority.

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A Good God in a Wicked World: Considering the Problem of Evil, Part 2

By Jonathan Moreno. From DBSJ 22 (2017): 75-90. Republished with permission. Read the series

The Complexity of the Problem

Grappling with the problem of evil is a notoriously dubious endeavor due in part to the complexity of the problem. Therefore, if any viable solutions are to be reached, the specific kind of evil must be recognized and defined, and the theological system in which that evil resides must be identified.

Two Kinds of Evil

The first step toward a profitable discussion of the problem of evil is to identify the kind of evil under consideration. The two categories of evil in the universe are identified as moral and natural. The former is the sin that mankind commits (e.g., murder, rape, neglect, deceit, etc.). The latter is the amoral events and circumstances that come about in nature that cause suffering or pain for God’s creatures (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes, drought, etc.). In Genesis 3:17–19, Moses presents natural evil as the result of moral evil. Due to Adam’s rebellion and disobedience in the garden, all nature bears the weight of the curse (Rom 8:19–22). John Frame writes:

834 reads

Review – Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes

Reposted with permission from Proclaim & Defend.

Finding Truth is a relatively recent book (pub. 2015). Others have taken in hand to review it already. For a survey of the main argument of the book, you can see Challies’ review, here. For numerous reviews by readers, see Good Reads, here. In my review, I’d like to focus on ways this book can be useful to train our thinking, correct our own attitudes, and aid in evangelism. No book is without flaws (save the Bible); two stand out to me which I will note in due course.

1637 reads

A Good God in a Wicked World: Considering the Problem of Evil, Part 1

From DBSJ 22 (2017): 75-90. Republished with permission.

by Jonathan Moreno1

Introduction

Elie Wiesel trusted in God. As a boy, he believed that Yahweh cared deeply for him and his people. All that changed in the grueling death camps of Nazi Germany. Elie was a Jew. Subjected to the horrific atroc­ities of Auschwitz, his faith was shattered as his God seemed to sit idly by while countless victims suffered through the darkest evils imaginable at the hands of wicked men. In the preface to his memoir Wiesel writes:

In the beginning there was faith—which is childish; trust—which is vain; and illusion—which is dangerous. We believed in God, trusted in man, and lived with the illusion that every one of us has been entrusted with a sacred spark from the Shekhinah’s flame; that every one of us car­ries in his eyes and in his soul a reflection of God’s image. That was the source if not the cause of all our ordeals.2

How could a good God exist in a world filled with such mindless cruelty? In the face of crippling evil, many have concluded with Wiesel that God is dead. If there truly was a good and powerful God, he would never permit such suffering and pain. Therefore, since evil exists, God does not.

1035 reads

The Primacy of Revelation, Part 2

Read Part 1.

The Importance of a Prolegomena, and the Importance of Having a Christian Philosophy

There are all kinds of philosophies which the Christian should avoid. The Apostle warns,

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Col. 2:8)

The reference here is probably generic, referring to the various ideas floating around in Asia Minor in the day: eclecticism, syncretism, idolatry, superstition, and neo-platonic moralism. In the midst of it all there was and is a true Christian philosophy. In fact, anyone who is a lover of real sophia (wisdom), is going to love the philosophy of Jesus Christ, the Logos of God, the one who discloses God par excellence. Mature Christians become such, in part, by thinking biblically.

In one of his earlier books Francis Schaeffer made this pertinent remark about the reticence of Christians to think with their theology:

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