Sunday, January 14, 2018

God, the Undercover Agent?

I will be honest: I find the problem of evil and suffering deeply intellectually and emotionally troubling as someone who is committed to Christian theism. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Believe the Right Things for the Right Reasons

One of my favorite passages in Plato's Republic is in Book II immediately after Thrasymachus' argument with Socrates concerning justice. Thrasymachus argues that justice is only the advantage of the stronger, and Socrates breaks down Thrasymachus' argument. However, Glaucon, one of Socrates' friends is unsatisfied with Socrates' response and he says to him "Socrates, do you want to seem to have persuaded us that it is better in every way to be just than unjust or do you want to truly convince us of this?"  Socrates says, "I want truly to convince you if I can." Glaucon then renews the argument of Thrasmymachus, not because he thinks it is true, (in fact he thinks it is untrue) but rather he
wants the argument to receive the strongest response. Glaucon says, "It isn't Socrates that I believe any of this myself. I'm perplexed, indeed, and my ears are deafened listening to Thrasymachus and countless others. But I've yet to hear anyone defend justice in the way I want, proving that it is better than injustice. I want to hear it praised by itself, and I think that I'm mostly likely to hear this from you." He wants to put forward the strongest possible version of the argument so he can hear how Socrates might take it down.

Friday, September 1, 2017

"Post-Evangelical" Evangelicals

For a long time there has been a trend among North American evangelicals who grow up in conservative evangelical culture, and then at some point leave "traditional" evangelicalism for some flavor of progressive Christianity. On the popular level,  I'm thinking here of people like Rachel Held Evans or Rob Bell. Usually, these "post-evangelicals/ex-evangelicals" claim to have cut ties with evangelicalism and they no longer identify as evangelical; they disavow evangelicalism.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

In Defense of Beauty and the Beast: A reply to John Mark Reynolds

John Mark Reynolds wrote a critique of Disney's Beauty and the Beast here, and here. Dr. Reynolds has been tremendously influential in my own intellectual formation, and I am nearly always in agreement with him. So I was somewhat surprised by his critique of Disney's Beauty and Beast.