Categories
Providence Theology Proper

Considering a self-determinist’s analysis of the error of all forms of determinism

In a previous post, I began to interact with Robert Picirilli’s stimulating book, Free Will Revisited. That post was longer than the first chapter of Picirilli’s book, because I took the time to locate Picirilli’s understanding of free will in the big picture of alternative understandings of the extent to which God controls the details […]

Categories
Divine Knowledge Providence Theology Proper

Revisiting free will, in conversation with Robert Picirilli (1)

A four-way conversation Among the theological decisions we must make if we are to have a theology and practice which both have an inner coherence, one of the most far reaching is our choice of model regarding God’s work in the world. How we understand the nature of the freedom God has given to his […]

Categories
Divine Knowledge Providence Theology Proper

Why is God’s knowledge of counterfactuals valuable to a compatibilist doctrine of providence?

Yesterday, I was asked: “how important is it to your theology to add the hypothetical knowledge into the mix, since, in omniscience, isn’t knowledge of all possible things presupposed? That is an excellent question, so I want to post my response here as well. For me, God’s knowledge of counterfactuals, that is, of what free […]

Categories
Divine revelation Evangelism Soteriology

William Lane Craig now affirms universal revelation accessibilism

When I wrote Who Can Be Saved?, everything I had read by William Lane Craig regarding his Molinist understanding of the situation of the unevangelized fell within the gospel exclusivist position. (See my “Typology of Positions Concerning the Salvation of the Unevangelized.”) At that time, he posited that “God in his providence so arranged the […]

Categories
Providence Theology Proper

When you make a decision, what do you actually change?

A former student’s question Recently, a former student of mine raised a question. Here it is: You asked a question in Sys Theo once that was something like “when you make a decision what do you actually change?” I have pondered this question for years now. Was your point that the decision of the will […]

Categories
Eschatology Roman Catholicism

Pope Francis on the nature of Hell

Pope Francis has a friend, Eugenio Scalfari, who is founder of the liberal newspaper Repubblica, and who professes to be an atheist. Periodically, the two of them meet for conversation and, later, Scalfari, without having taken notes at the meeting, publishes what he understood Francis to have said. Reading about the report on what Francis […]

Categories
Anthropology (theological)

Is it possible to give a biblically faithful account of human being which is substance monist?

Currently, I identify myself as a substance dualist who believes that humans are constituted of a material substance (body) and an immaterial substance (spirit), but I attempt to hold this view in a manner which does not diminish the great importance of the human body, and which emphasizes the wholeness of human being. I hold […]

Categories
Blog

My blog posts most visited in 2017

I pay very little attention to analyzing traffic to my blog during the year but, at the end of the year, I find it interesting to check on what posts on my site have brought the most visitors that year. My life got busy in unexpected ways in 2017, so I got very few new […]

Categories
Eschatology

First and second death: similarities and differences

The significance of death as God’s punishment of humans for sin We don’t read far in the Bible before we encounter the reality of human death. It comes in Genesis 2:16, when God commands Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because, if he does, he will die […]

Categories
Ecclesiology Mission

Should we be concerned about the shrinking church in western Christianity?

I hear a lot of hand-wringing about the decline in church attendance in western nations, and I have often shared that concern. But Brett McCracken has redirected our concern considerably by looking at the situation from a different perspective than the one I often hear. He is speaking specifically of Christianity in the US, but […]