Showing posts from February, 2016

Is God Temporal or Timeless?

The rationalists would answer that God is timeless; the empiricists, that God is temporal. So, what is the truth?

I think we must first begin by admitting our limitations. If we are yet having difficulty understanding metaphysics, theology is even a more impossible arena, unless, of course, God intervenes to reveal Himself. However, we also know that He only reveals to us in the limits and the terms that are understandable to us. More importantly, the Bible emphasizes on knowing God personally through a loving and obedient faith. But, it doesn't mean that if a question regarding the nature of God arises, we are not required to give an answer. I wish to present some thoughts here.

For a pure rationalist, ultimately, time itself is illusory, as all experience is (as in monism and non-dualism). For a rationalist who accepts divine revelation and the validity of empirical knowledge, God is atemporal or timeless; He is beyond time; He is transcendent to time: however, at the same tim…

Aristotelian Realism and the Catholic Doctrine of Transubstantiation

Transubstantiation is a Catholic doctrine that states that the whole substances of the bread and the wine, during the Eucharist, convert into the body and the blood of Jesus. The metaphysical explanation of the doctrine borrows from Aristotle's doctrine of substances and accidents. Substance, according to Aristotle, is the defining essence of a thing, what it is in essence. Accidents are properties like color, weight, length, etc that are not essential to the definition of the substance. For instance, skin color, height, weight, size, etc are not essential properties of the definition of "man"; they are only accidental properties. Aristotelian doctrine of substance and accidents was employed by Thomas Aquinas to explain the doctrine of transubstantiation.

According to Aquinas, in the conversion of the bread into the flesh of Jesus, the substance of bread is changed into the flesh of Jesus but the accidents (like the smell, taste, color, quantity) of the bread remain the …

Not I but Grace

I worked...yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1Cor. 15:10)I get tired and weary most times; grace, never.
I feel weak sometimes; grace, never.
I get confused at times; grace, never.
I see darkness at times; grace, never.
I wish to give up sometimes; grace, never.
I fail many times; grace, never.
I have misunderstandings at times; grace, never.
I am afraid at times; grace, never.
I feel broken sometimes; grace comes to heal.
I feel estranged sometimes; grace comes to comfort.
I feel purposeless sometimes; grace comes to guide.
I feel powerless sometimes; grave comes to strengthen.
I feel I am that I am because of what I am; grace departs....
For God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

The Moral Law Vs The Laws of Nature and the Atonement of Christ for the Sins of the World

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis insisted that the Moral Law is different from the Law of Nature and possesses a different kind of reality independent of us because of its cognitive and conative nature.
...what we usually call the laws of nature–the way weather works on a tree for example–may not really be laws in the strict sense, but only in a manner of speaking. When you say that falling stones always obey the law of gravitation, is not this much the same as saying that the law only means ‘what stones always do’? You do not really think that when a stone is let go, it suddenly remembers that it is under orders to fall to the ground. You only mean that, in fact, it does fall. In other words, you cannot be sure that there is anything over and above the facts themselves, any law about what ought to happen, as distinct from what does happen. The laws of nature, as applied to stones or trees, may only mean ‘what Nature, in fact, does’. But if you turn to the Law of Human Nature, the La…

Are Abstract Objects Real? or Did God Create Abstract Objects, If There Are Anything Like That?

Christian philosophers have debated this issue for some time. Some believe that abstract objects exist; others, that they don’t exist; still others, that the question is meaningless. Views such as Platonic realism hold that abstract ideas and objects (such as the laws of logic and mathematical objects) have objective existence independent of minds. Some Christian theologians believe that abstract objects cannot exist independently; for if they did, they would nullify the doctrine of divine aseity, which states that there is nothing that is co-eternal with God. But, what about the view that abstract objects were created and are part of the invisible creation of God? For example, can it be possible that numbers don’t exist (not number of things, but the numbers themselves)? If numbers don’t exist, how can numbers be the object of our knowledge and how can mathematical propositions be called true if they do not correspond to reality? If knowledge a subject-object relationship, how can on…

Living for Self Vs Living for Christ

"Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Act 15:25-26)

Jesus was very straightforward in demanding from His disciples to not follow Him if they loved their lives more than loving Him.
"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." (Luk 14:26-27) Risking life for the sake of Christ added credibility to a minister's authenticity. Barnabas and Paul were not hirelings of men or those who had gone out into ministry because they thought this was a very profitable vocation. They knew the call of God over their lives and set out in obedience.
Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead) (Gal 1:1)
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother…

Kant's Critique of the Cosmological Argument

Excerpted from Epistemics of Divine Reality (2009, 2011), pp.105-107

b. The Cosmological Argument: As stated by Kant himself the cosmological argument runs as follows: If anything exists, an absolutely necessary being must also exist. Now I, at least, exist. Therefore, an absolutely necessary being exists.[1] Since an infinite series of contingent causal relations is impossible an uncaused, unconditioned, necessary cause must be posited as the cause of the universe. However, Kant reasons that this argument too, as the former one, attempts to prove the existence of the transcendent from the empirical, which is impossible. If God were a link or beginning of the series then He could not be separated from it and thus also conditioned by causality. However, on the other hand if it were argued that He is separate from the series, there remains no way reason can find to span the gap between pure and contingent existence.[2] Nothing beyond the world of senses can be definitely known to us. Thi…

Kant's Critique of the Ontological Argument

Excerpted from Epistemics of Divine Reality (2009, 2011), pp.105-107

Kant resolutely argues that the traditional arguments for the existence of God, viz. the ontological, the cosmological, and the physico-theological (teleological) arguments are based on false premises. They proceed from the false assumption that quantity, quality, relation, and modality are inherent in the universe and not merely subjective to the knower alone. The arguments against the arguments for the existence of God are as follows:

a. The Ontological Argument: The ontological argument of St. Anselm (1033-1109) proceeded from the assumption that God was ‘that than which a greater cannot be conceived.’ However, if this God did not exist then everything conceived of would be greater than the conception of God for reality is greater than an idea. Therefore, God as ‘that than which a greater cannot be conceived’ must of necessity exist. Rene Descartes had his own form of the ontological argument in which he argued tha…

Does Reason Mirror Divine Attributes?

In his recent and quite informative book Logic (2013), Vern Sheridan Poythress observed that God's attributes were also attributes of reason. For instance, universality, immutability, truth, transcendence, and infinity are characteristics of reason, so are they of God. In Epistemic of Divine Reality (Doctoral dissertation, 2007), it was argued that rational approaches ultimately can only land one, at the most, on such an understanding of God. Stretched a bit further, this will lead to monism or non-dualism as the rational categories are in conflict with the empirical ones of plurality, change, immanence, and so on. The latter, as we know, are the characteristics of empirical theologies such as polytheism, pantheism, and panentheism.

Poythress admits the uniqueness of Christian theology that sees God as both transcendent and immanent and thinks that this is true of reason as well. He looks at our participation in logic as an imitation of God's nature. For instance, speaking of …

On Philosophers Misunderstood

Sometimes philosophers have been misunderstood. It could be because the philosopher's communication was vague. It could also be because the philosopher didn't use Ockham's razor and multiplied terms unnecessarily forcing reviewers to impose the razor, with the result that what needs to be cut is not cut and what was essential is taken out of the equation. But, it could also be because the reviewer was too much in a hurry and his choice of sample writings and quotes intepreted in light of his hypothesis of what the philosopher might be meaning committed the fallacy of hasty generalization (even if his critique of the philosopher was voluminous). Whatever, it is an unfortunate sight when one observes that a scholar may have misinterpreted another scholar and the other scholar is alarmed that that is not what he meant. Some philosophers give rise to various conflicting schools of interpretation; to quote an example, the left Hegelian and the right Hegelian schools that emerge…

Time Theories and the Limits of Reason

We have earlier noted that the conflict between reason and experience has sometimes led to either reason jettisoning experience or vice versa. Examples of rational cosmologies are non-dualism and monism, if not some form of idealism that denies the reality of empirical perceptions. Examples of empirical theories are anything ranging from pluralistic realism to logical positivism and the like theories that reject the validity of non-empirical postulates.

We also noted that Zeno's paradoxes are epistemic paradoxes of conflict between reason and sense-experience.

Rational Problems:
1. Aristotle's Time Paradox. Regarding Time, he writes in his Physics,
"the following considerations would make one suspect that it either does not exist at all or barely, and in an obscure way. One part of it has been and is not, while the other is going to be and is not yet. Yet time-both infinite time and any time you like to take-is made up of these. One would naturally suppose that what is made …


A lying tongue is one of the seven things God hates. The others are, a proud look, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren (Prov.6:16-19; 12:22)It is not becoming to a prince to have lying lips (Prov.17:7)Those who wish to become rich by speaking lies are on the path of death (Prov.21:6)The one who conceals hatred has lying lips (Prov.10:18)Those who speak lies hate those who are victims of their lies (Prov.26:28)A lying tongue will not last long (Prov.12:19)Those who love and practice lying will by no means enter into the City of God (Rev.21:27; 22:15).Also,The devil is called the father of lie (John 8:44)The anti-Christ will come with lying wonders (2Thess.2:9)In contrast,No lie is of the truth (1John 2:21)God cannot lie (Tit.1:2)Jesus came to bear witness of the Truth (John 18:37). He often used the words, "Truly, truly I say unto you...&q…

Alexander Pruss' Responses to Objections to a Necessary Being

The first objection is that only propositions can be necessary; for instance, "Bachelors are unmarried men" is a proposition having necessary value: it would be self-contradictory to assert that "Bachelors are married men". The proposition is necessary. However, can this be said about beings?

Pruss answers in the affirmative: Yes, because the statement "God is a necessary being" can be claimed to be a necessary proposition (as in the ontological argument).
But, it is often claimed, the notion of a necessary being is absurd. For it is propositions that are necessary, not beings, and hence talk of a necessary being is a category mistake. However, this is an uncharitable argument, since the claim that A is a necessary being can be translated into the claim that the proposition ∃x(x=A) is necessarily true, or perhaps that there is some individual essence E of A that is a property that only A can have and that is such that ∃x(has E) is necessarily true. Talk…

Why Not More Government English Medium Schools in India?

Globalization compels linguistic unity as it competes for the easing of international barriers. It is the reversal of the Babel phenomena that effused nations through confusion of languages. It may portend an age similar to the antediluvian. The positive side of it is that it facilitates faster communication which could mean jet propulsion of information, provided the media of education is more prospective than just cultural. Certainly, one cannot hold new wine in old wineskins. This explains the massive support for private institutions despite the immense costs involved. Sadly, there are those who have exploited this situation to turn their institutions into a mad money-making machinery; a system of monetary discrimination. What if Government schools provided the same education in English medium? Why not? Wouldn't there be more equal opportunity for all? Certainly, it is not acultural to seek the progress of the nation.

There are government English medium schools run by the Cent…

Illustrating Trinity

There are at least three approaches to understanding Trinity.

The Rational Approach.
It seeks to find in the doctrine of Trinity a rational ground for the absolute nature of Truth. Truth implies absoluteness of knowledge in a subject-object relationship, which would be groundless if God were a monad. Therefore, Trinity proves to be a solid ground for the possibility of knowledge. Similarly, personality finds its best explanation in the personal nature of God, whose existence as three persons (I-YOU-HE Sufficiency) in one Godhead is the ground of personhood.

The Moral Approach. It seeks to find in the doctrine of Trinity a rational ground for the absolute nature of moral virtues, such as love, goodness, and joy. If God didn’t eternally exist in a subject-object relationship, then He would be amoral and morality would not be absolute. The doctrine of Trinity provides a rational ground for any discussion of morality with respect to its absolute nature.

The Empirical Approach. Some have sug…

Eternal Destiny

This life, a withering leaf,
Will one day rise to eternity;
So, why weep for fading things
When heaven is our destiny?The withering grass, now fresh now dry;
The fleeting clouds that cover the sky;
These colors do change at the tick of time;
So, why be proud of a blot that'll die? Yet, faders can't dim the hope within
That someday the sky will part for Him
Who'll come with strong celestial hosts
To take us home to be with Him.

Say "I Can"

Don't give up when the road looks tough,
Don't give up when the winds blow rough;
Take your stand,  say "I can".
With God on your side, you've less to fight.
Speak such words that will move the mountain,
Think such thoughts that will calm the sea.
For Christ is your unfailing fountain
Of faith, of joy, of wisdom, and peace. "For with God nothing will be impossible." (Lk. 1:37)

Acrostic of CREATION Week (Gen 1)

GOD C R E A T E S . . .
Sun CCommencement DayFIRST DAYShining LightMon RRift Day (Divide)FIRMAMENT DAYSkyTue EEarth Day FRUITS AND FLOWERS DAYSeedWed AAstronomical DayFIREBALLS DAY (Sun is a Fireball)StarsThur TTake Off DayFISH AND FLIGHT DAY (Birds Take Off)SeaFri EEve's  & Adam's DayFAMILY DAY (Animals and Humans)Society (Adam and Eve)Sat SSabbath Day FREE TIME DAY Sabbath