The Importance of Imagination, Part 3


Read Part 1, Part 2.

What I shall here call “modernity” antedates the Enlightenment. It represents a trajectory that was launched by the full development and acceptance of Nominalism during the late medieval period. Much of Western civilization followed this trajectory through the mid-to-late Twentieth Century, when it finally became untenable.

Where premoderns began with primacy of faith, moderns began with the primacy of doubt. Nothing was to be affirmed that could not be established upon clear and objective foundations. The nature of the foundation differed among different schools of moderns, but the yearning for an abstract, neutral, detached starting point is the most distinguishing feature of modernity.

Therefore, moderns had to begin with what was given, and for them that always meant the particulars of immanent reality. Moderns believed that the best way of understanding the world was to look at the world itself. They attempted to observe the world and to amass observations about it. Their core assumption was that, if they could collect enough facts and look at them long enough, then the truth was sure to emerge.

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Philosophers and Children

My doctoral studies during the past several years have been quite a challenge, since I have been forced to study (with good comprehension) many ideas and disciplines that were somewhat new to me. The thinking and writing of lots of theologians and philosophers is anything but simple. Take, for example, this explanation of man’s existence by Paul Tillich:

Man experiences himself as having a world to which he belongs. The basic ontological structure is derived from an analysis of this complex dialectical relationship. Self-relatedness is implied in every experience. There is something that ‘has’ and something that is ‘had,’ and the two are one. (Systematic Theology, I, 168)

Students of theology and philosophy often forget that the terminology they deal with is just as complex as the integrals and algorithms of higher math. Philosophical and theological thinking itself is often highly nuanced. Thoughts are long and complicated. If you try to begin reading the work ten pages in, you will often be completely lost.

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Book Review - The Kingdom Triangle

Image of Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit's Power

Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit’s Power

J. P. Moreland

ISBN: 031027432X

In Kingdom Triangle, J. P. Moreland shows that, instead of retreating from the dual onslaught of naturalism and postmodernism, Christianity offers the only solid basis for a life with richness and meaning. Many “evangelicals” advocate blending Christianity with one of these impoverished worldviews as the only way for the Church to survive. Moreland’s critique of these views is extremely well done.

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