Philosophical approaches in theology and relationship between philosophy and faith.

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41
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9answers
43k views

Where does the concept of a “God-shaped hole” originate?

There's a concept that I heard used many times throughout my life in regards to idolatry. The idea is that inside each of us is a "God-shaped hole"--a place inside of our hearts that only God can ...
27
votes
10answers
1k views

What reasons does Christianity give for “Why There Must Be A God?”

I realize this question could also be addressed on Philosophy.SE, but I am very interested to get specifically the Christian perspective on this issue. I was raised Catholic, but have left the Church ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Does the Bible make a distinction between Christian and secular love?

John makes this startling claim in his first epistle. 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV) 7  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows ...
10
votes
2answers
18k views

Does everything happen for a reason, and what is the biblical support for the different views? [duplicate]

Sometimes, people say that everything happens for a reason (as in "God has a purpose with everything that happens, good or bad"). It seems to me that the Bible is not clear on the subject. On one ...
10
votes
1answer
161 views

What is the status of “The Will to Believe” among contemporary philosophers?

My own conversion experience agrees with William James' "Will to Believe" philosophy. To put it briefly, here's a snippet from Wikipedia: ""The Will to Believe" is a lecture by William James, ...
8
votes
1answer
566 views

What is a “non-theistic” Christian?

The comments to this response suggest that there is such a thing as a Christian who does not believe in God. To me, that is rather contradictory, sort of like social networking without all of the ...
8
votes
5answers
343 views

What is the name of this theological problem?

I have formulated a theological problem, and I would like to research different answers people have for it. This process would be a lot easier if I had a solid starting point. I am wondering if there ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What is God's shape or form?

How do we describe God? Does He have a shape or form? Is He human-like, a light, or something else? Does He have a shape? What does Christianity say about it?
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the background of the words “notitia,” “fiducia,” and “assensus” and how do they relate to the biblical notion of “faith”?

The book Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (page 18) describes notitia, fiducia, and assensus as the three essential elements that make up the biblical notion of "faith." notitia ...
7
votes
2answers
410 views

St. Thomas Aquinas' contingency proof and LDS cosmology

The argument from contingency summarized by St. Thomas illustrates that in order for existence to be a reality there must be an "Uncaused Cause" that possesses existence in and of Himself. Everything ...
7
votes
1answer
958 views

What is Alvin Plantinga's view on divine sovereignty and free will?

The main Wikipedia page on Molinism lists Plantinga as one of its (Molinism's) best known advocates. However, Plantinga, in a speech given at Azusa Pacific University, describes himself as "a ...
7
votes
4answers
338 views

Did any other philosophical systems have as much influence on the early Church as Platonism and Stoicism?

Many historians agree that the philosophical systems of Platonism and Stoicism had an important role in the efforts of the early Church to communicate the message of the Gospel to unbelievers, and ...
6
votes
2answers
335 views

Is the philosophy of René Girard compatible with mainline Christianity?

Rene Girard is a French historian and philosopher. The premise of his works is summarized by Wikipedia: mimetic desire: all of our desires are borrowed from other people; mimetic rivalry: ...
6
votes
2answers
955 views

Is Set Theory anti-Christian?

I read this article entitled "What do Christian fundamentalists have against set theory" and was shocked since I grew up (Grade 1 - 8) in several (what could be described as) ...
6
votes
1answer
247 views

What did C. S. Lewis base his idea of sehnsucht/joy on?

C. S. Lewis' idea of sehnsucht is that we sense that there is some ineffable object to our desires and that this proves that there is something beyond this world and life (for it makes the enjoyment ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Was Jesus a Cynic (Greek philosophy)?

Cynicism is a school of Greek philosophy. It taught that the purpose of life was to live in virtue, in agreement with nature. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous ...
5
votes
0answers
26 views

What is (or where can I find) a summary of David J Bartholomew's views on God and Chance?

I note that David J. Bartholomew has written extensively on a theological view of chance. What is a brief summary of the views he expresses on this topic in the following works or elsewhere: God of ...
4
votes
4answers
645 views

Any philosphers arguing that the Christian worldview is the most rational?

I have seen life at either extreme, first as a Hindu, with a sort of blind faith in general religiosity, and later as an atheist, with a blind faith in knowledge obtained through the senses alone. I ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a standard Christian ontology?

I have asked earlier how Christians understand God in relation to the scientific concept of energy. Ultimately that line of questioning was stopped by the observation that my ontology was very ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Texts in Eastern services expressing ideas about the role of woman in child development

I have quite a specific question about the view of ancient Christians on the development of a child. I always assumed, that since the Ephesus Fathers considered being born of human woman as a ...
4
votes
1answer
371 views

Lutheranism, Has God ordained all things?

According to the Westminster Confession of Faith God has, in some way, ordained everything that comes to pass. I. God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the existence of God self-evident? [closed]

Is the existence of God self-evident? Please support any answer primarily with biblical support and also, if you wish, the writing of a reputed theologian or philosopher.
3
votes
3answers
399 views

Are there any accidents (philosophical term) in God?

Accident being defined as an attribute or property contingent upon the existence of something else, from the Latin word accidēns, or the Greek word συμβεβηκός (symbebēkos). Do accidents exist in God?
3
votes
2answers
158 views

Have any Christian thinkers expressed the idea that the trinity can be proven independently from Scripture?

It is widely understood among trinitarians that the doctrine of the trinity is best seen through special revelation, particularly the scriptural accounts of the incarnation of Christ. But have there ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

According to Roman Catholicism, what is the soul and its purpose?

In the Catholic Tradition does there exist a teaching on the purpose or role of the human soul in the makeup of a human being? I could also settle for a theologian's thoughts and writings on the ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

How widely accepted is platonism in Christianity? [closed]

How widely is it thought everything in 'this World' reflects a greater reality where those things are perfect (in God)? That we might reach this perfection via beatification? And how widely might we ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Aquinas' understanding of love - is it desire?

St. Thomas Aquinas' definition of love is "to will the good of another" - is it same as defining love as "to desire the good of another"? According to Aquinas, does "loving" always require "desire ...
3
votes
2answers
248 views

What questions raised by ancient Greek philosophy were answered by Christianity? [closed]

I have heard several Christian philosophers (Robert Koons, Dallas Willard, for example) say that Christianity emphatically answered a lot of questions posed by ancient Greek philosophy. For example, ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

How has the ontological argument been used to explain the Trinity?

The basis of an ontological argument is the existence of an idea of a great God, of whom none greater can be imagined. However, we've heard many times that the human mind cannot comprehend the ...
2
votes
2answers
323 views

Are all things possible with God?

Every Christian knows the saying that "With God all things are possible." But is this actually a fact? I listened recently to a speaker, who said, that God cannot come in contact with anything ...
2
votes
5answers
660 views

Is it okay for Christians to study philosophy? [closed]

With this question I regard the general makeup of philosophy. Many claim that both philosophy and Christianity contradict and therefore cannot coexist. I do not mention this to ask, 'can a Christian ...
2
votes
3answers
366 views

What place do ontological arguments for God have in Christianity?

As I understand it, the ontological argument that is sometimes applied to the existence of God goes something like this: God by definition is perfect. Non-existence would be an imperfection, ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

Transcendence and Revelation

Since God transcends all humans and all their artefacts; and almost all revelation occurs within human languages, which are in a definite sense human artefacts; isn't it the case that Divine ...
2
votes
5answers
4k views

Why does a clever Satan fight with God even though he knows he will lose? [duplicate]

There was war in heaven (oh yes there was) and Satan lost his place in heaven when he was defeated. What biblical reason is there to show Satan's reasoning behind fighting with God (despite the fact ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between the Eastern and Western views of the one essence/substance of the Godhead?

The philosophical metaphysics used by the Eastern and Western church's seem to be heavily influenced by Plato and Aristotle, respectively. How does this affect each's theology of the substance/essence ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Will executioners of capital punishments be saved?

'(...)Look, today you drive me from the surface of the earth. I must hide from you, and be a restless wanderer on earth. Why, whoever comes across me will kill me!' 'Very well, then,' Yahweh ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

What prominent Christian thinkers (if any) held to polygenism and if so how did these thinkers view original sin? [duplicate]

Have any influential or well known (be it in scholastics or in media) Christian thinkers express views that the first 'couple' was 'couples' (polygenism) and if so, how did they reconcile this ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

Harshness and nihilism [closed]

I hope you will allow me to ask another question. We all know that there are many harsh statements in the Bible (Matthew 12:31-32, Hebrews 10). Sometimes, these harsh statements are along the lines ...
1
vote
3answers
82 views

Is there a scriptural support for “man are ‘half animal, half angel’”? [closed]

The Philosopher and Critic of Christianity Ludwig Feuerbach wrote: “My only wish…is to transform friends of God into friends of man, believers into thinkers, devotees of prayer into devotees of ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

What does the Catholic Church think about God being defined as “that than which nothing greater can be conceived”?

I think most modern Catholic theologians disagree with the claim that existing is greater than not existing, but what about the definition given by Anselm? Is that accepted? Why or why not?
0
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do religious people find it hard to accept that you don't need religion to have a good moral code? [closed]

Just curious why some religious people think that without god there is only evil. Why can't a person without a religion be a good person, sometimes even better than some religious people?
-1
votes
1answer
69 views

What defence can be made for Christian anthropocentrism?

In the light of the ecological crisis, the Western appeal to Buddhist interrelatedness and Confucianism seems to be gaining favour. My question is, has Christian anthropocentrism become outdated? I ...
-1
votes
1answer
182 views

Is SIN a sin just because God says it is sin? [duplicate]

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ...