The Coherence of Theism

Author: Richard Swinburne
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198779690
Format: PDF
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The Coherence of Theism investigates what it means, and whether it is coherent, to say that there is a God. Richard Swinburne concludes that despite philosophical objections, most traditional claims about God are coherent (that is, do not involve contradictions); and although some of the most important claims are coherent only if the words by which they are expressed are being used in analogical senses, this is the way in which theologians have usually claimed that they are being used. When the first edition of this book was published in 1977, it was the first book in the new 'analytic' tradition of philosophy of religion to discuss these issues. Since that time there have been very many books and discussions devoted to them, and this new, substantially rewritten, second edition takes account of these discussions and of new developments in philosophy generally over the past 40 years. These discussions have concerned how to analyse the claim that God is 'omnipotent', whether God can foreknow human free actions, whether God is everlasting or timeless, and what it is for God to be a 'necessary being'. On all these issues this new edition has new things to say.

The Nature of Necessity

Author: Alvin Plantinga
Publisher: Clarendon Press
ISBN: 0191037176
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This is a reissue of a book which is an exploration and defence of the notion of modality 'de re', the idea that objects have both essential and accidental properties. It is one of the first full-length studies of the modalities to emerge from the debate to which Saul Kripke, David Lewis, Ruth Marcus and others have contributed. The argument is developed by means of the notion of possible worlds, and ranges over key problems including the nature of essence, trans-world identity, negative existential propositions, and the existence of unactual objects in other possible worlds. In the final chapters Professor Plantinga applies his logical theories to the clarification of two problems in the philosophy of religion - the Problem of Evil and the Ontological Argument.

Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom

Author: William Lane Craig
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004092501
Format: PDF
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The ancient problem of fatalism, more particularly theological fatalism, has resurfaced with surprising vigour in the second half of the twentieth century. Two questions predominate in the debate: (1) Is divine foreknowledge compatible with human freedom and (2) How can God foreknow future free acts? Having surveyed the historical background of this debate in "The Problem of Divine Foreknowledge" and "Future Contingents from Aristotle to Suarez" (Brill: 1988), William Lane Craig now attempts to address these issues critically. His wide-ranging discussion brings together a thought- provoking array of related topics such as logical fatalism, multivalent logic, backward causation, precognition, time travel, counterfactual logic, temporal necessity, Newcomb's Problem, middle knowledge, and relativity theory. The present work serves both as a useful survey of the extensive literature on theological fatalism and related fields and as a stimulating assessment of the possibility of divine foreknowledge of future free acts.

Theism and Explanation

Author: Gregory W. Dawes
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135841349
Format: PDF
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In this timely study, Dawes defends the methodological naturalism of the sciences. Though religions offer what appear to be explanations of various facts about the world, the scientist, as scientist, will not take such proposed explanations seriously. Even if no natural explanation were available, she will assume that one exists. Is this merely a sign of atheistic prejudice, as some critics suggest? Or are there good reasons to exclude from science explanations that invoke a supernatural agent? On the one hand, Dawes concedes the bare possibility that talk of divine action could constitute a potential explanation of some state of affairs, while noting that the conditions under which this would be true are unlikely ever to be fulfilled. On the other hand, he argues that a proposed explanation of this kind would rate poorly, when measured against our usual standards of explanatory virtue.

Mind Brain and Free Will

Author: Richard Swinburne
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199662576
Format: PDF, ePub
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Richard Swinburne presents a powerful new case for substance dualism and for libertarian free will. He argues that pure mental events (including conscious events) are distinct from physical events and interact with them, and claims that no result from neuroscience or any other science could show that interaction does not take place. Swinburne goes on to argue for agent causation, and claims that it is we, and not our intentions, that cause our brain events. It ismetaphysically possible that each of us could acquire a new brain or continue to exist without a brain; and so we are essentially souls. Brain events and conscious events are so different from each other that it would not be possible to establish a scientific theory which would predict what each ofus would do in situations of moral conflict. Hence, we should believe that things are as they seem to be: that we make choices independently of the causes which influence us. It follows that we are morally responsible for our actions.

The Scientific Image

Author: Bas C. Van Fraassen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198244271
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The aim of The Scientific Image is to develop an empiricist alternative to both logical positivism and scientific realism. Against positivism, the author insists on a literal interpretation of the language of science, and on an irreducibly pragmatic dimension of theory acceptance. Against realism he argues that the central aim of science is empirical adequacy, and that the only belief involved in the acceptance of a scientific theory is belief that the theory fits the observable phenomena. To substatiate this, the book presents three mutually supporting theories concerning science. The first is an account of the relation between a scientific theory and the empirical world. The second is a new theory of explanation and why-questions, according to which the explanatory power of a theory is a pragmatic aspect which goes beyond its empirical import, but which provides no additional reasons for believing it. And the third is an interpretation of probability in physical theory, with reference to both classical and quantum physics. The presentation of these three central theses is preceded by two chapters which provide an informal introduction to current debates in the philosophy of science, particularly concerning scientific realism.

God Time and the Incarnation

Author: Richard A. Holland
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1610977297
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The dominant view among Christian theologians and philosophers is that God is timeless--that he exists outside of time in an "atemporal" eternity. In God, Time, and the Incarnation, Richard Holland offers a critical evaluation of this traditional view in light of the most central doctrine of Christianity: the Incarnation of Christ. Holland reviews the history of this controversy, highlighting the various theological problems for which atemporal models have been offered as a solution. He asserts the central importance of the Incarnation for Christian theology and evaluates several atemporal models in light of this doctrine. Finally, he suggests that the traditional atemporal view is not compatible with a robust and orthodox view of the Incarnation. This book rejects the traditional atemporal view of God's relationship to time and argues, based on the Incarnation, that God experiences temporal sequence in his existence.

Faith Has Its Reasons

Author: Kenneth Boa
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN: 0830858911
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Ever since the apostle Paul addressed the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers in Athens, relating the Christian worldview to a non-Christian world has been a challenge. And despite Peter's charge to be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15), most Christian laypeople have left apologetics—the defense of the faith—to the ecclesiastical pros. Faith Has Its Reasons is a study of four different models of how apologetics should be done, an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, and a proposal for integrating the best insights of each. Kenneth Boa and Robert Bowman have assembled a wealth of information about what Christians believe and how to present that faith to an unbelieving world. Remarkable both in its depth of content and ease of accessibility, Faith Has Its Reasons gives Christian laypeople the tools to address such critical questions as: Why is belief in God rational despite the prevalence of evil in the world? What facts support the church's testimony that Jesus rose from the dead? Can we be certain Christianity is true? How can our faith in Christ be based on something more secure than our own understanding without descending into an irrational emotionalism?

The Wonder of the Cross

Author: Richard A. Shenk
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1498276768
Format: PDF
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When considering and confronting the problem of evil, we may be asking the wrong question: Why is there evil in the world if God is good and powerful? It may be wrong because it smuggles in an unbiblical premise: God can and should use his coercive power to relieve suffering since he is both good and able. But what if coercive power does not work to accomplish God's goals? This book is an investigation into the possibility that the noncoercive power of the Cross must be at the center of this issue, and that the Cross could reform this question. We could ask, instead, How is God destroying evil and suffering--and why is he taking so long? The answer to this reframed question might be: He is using evil and suffering to destroy evil and suffering for His People; this is how long it takes. While not a "solution" to the problem of evil, could this help us learn to delight in God in a world in which evil and suffering seem at times so relentless?

Was Jesus God

Author: Richard Swinburne
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191623458
Format: PDF, Docs
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The orderliness of the universe and the existence of human beings already provides some reason for believing that there is a God - as argued in Richard Swinburne's earlier book Is There a God ? Swinburne now claims that it is probable that the main Christian doctrines about the nature of God and his actions in the world are true. In virtue of his omnipotence and perfect goodness, God must be a Trinity, live a human life in order to share our suffering, and found a church which would enable him to tell all humans about this. It is also quite probable that he would provide his human life as an atonement for our wrongdoing, teach us how we should live and tell us his plans for our future after death. Among founders of religions, Jesus satisfies uniquely well the requirement of living the sort of human life which God would need to have lived. But to give us adequate reason to believe that Jesus was God, God would need to put his 'signature' on the life of Jesus by an act which he alone could do, for example raise him from the dead. There is adequate historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. The church which he founded gave plausible interpretations of his basic message. Therefore Christian doctrines are probably true.