Sunday, May 19, 2013

Theodicy and Determinism: Leibniz's Folly of the "Best Possible World"

The theodicy conundrum is typically set up as a "best possible worlds" dilemma: of all possible worlds that could have been created, why would an all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful God create a world in which evil and suffering exist? Why did God create the circumstances that would allow Adam to sin? These questions, the stuff of anti-theist rejoinders, have been the perennial bane of Christ theology for time immemorial.

Read the Article here.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Rehabilitating Nestorius (Part Two)

It should come as no surprise then that the near-immediate result of Chalcedon was major schism, on both sides of the divide: those who could not assent to the condemnation of Nestorius as well as those who judged that Dioscorus of Alexandria had been unfairly deposed. In the latter case, nearly the entire ancient Church of Alexandria, Cyril's former see, would break away from the rest of the Orthodox world. (The Coptic Orthodox Church descends from this break.)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Rehabilitating Nestorius (Part One): Historical Background

Like the his compatriots of the Antiochene school, Nestorius was a dyophysite, ironically, the position that would ultimately win the day at the Council of Chalcedon (451). Had it been as simple as the question of one or two natures, history might have been kinder to Nestorius, perhaps even vindicating him as the champion of orthodoxy rather than Cyril. But Nestorius's misstep was in the way he went about articulating the dyophysite position. For Nestorius, the two-natures Christology necessitated the reality of two corresponding hypostases or subsistences, each the proper and unique subject of its own nature. But if this were the case then how could a true union of the divine and human in Christ be posited?

Monday, April 01, 2013

Natural (s)Election, Part Two

No longer can the theologian afford to regard anthropos as the sole object of God's redemptive love, the exclusive image-bearer, or the center of the created order. If natural selection means anything in theology it means that the phenomenological emergence of anthropos in our small corner of the universe is the creative response of a cosmos imbued by the loving call of its Creator towards greater and greater complexity in the exercise of its freedom-to-become. Thus, the entirety of the cosmos, not just one minuscule part of it, must be considered in terms of the imago Dei (or rather as potentia imaginem Dei).

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rehabilitating Pelagius: The Making of the West's Most Notorious "Heretic"

Rehabilitating Pelagius: The Making of the West's Most Notorious "Heretic"

That Augustine did indeed retain something of his former Manichee views of human nature seems a fair assessment on Pelagius's part. But rather than base his pessimistic views of human nature in the Manichee mythos that the physical universe was not created by God at all, but rather by evil forces, Augustine found in his new Christian faith an explanation that seemed to uphold the doctrine of God as Creator of all things while at the same time exonerating God from being the author of sin. This was, of course, the story of the Fall of Adam in the Book of Genesis, especially as interpreted by Paul in his letter to the Romans (chapter 5).

Read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

A Theological Narrative of Theistic Evolution

...Given the unfathomable gulf of being, divine grace from a distance can only hope to persuade through imperfect witness, hoping to woo a self-aware cosmos into receiving the divine "in the fullness of time." The biblical record is filled with stories of divine call and human receptivity. Even paganism has its myths of divine union with humankind. Yet each account fails by degrees to be that perfect moment of receptivity until the incarnation of Christ -- a holy mother's fiat -- the mythos of Annunciation -- the cosmos ready to receive the divine seed of its own theosis.

Read the entire post here.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Natural (s)Election: Incarnation & Evolution

From a theistic-evolutionary perspective, not only can we "hardly afford to reify the Edenic myth of the earth as a place in the universe specially prepared to await the arrival of our species," but we can hardly claim, as a theological necessity, that there is anything exceptional about our peculiar species of terrestrially-bound hominid that would preclude the possibility of multiple instances of divine incarnation elsewhere in the "world of the universe that is."

Read the entire article over at project.