Category: Theology

The Structure of Apologetics

I’m currently reading an introduction to Charles Taylor – it’s part of an obscene stack of Christmas books. There was an interesting comment about why apologetics is stupid, and I want to investigate it further. Basically the argument is that letting secular society determine the terms of conversation is going to pre-emptively neuter any apologetic effort. Let’s talk about it.  (more…)

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The Problem of Goodness

There’s a couple of times I’ve heard people say that even though they aren’t Christian (or religious more broadly), they imagine that if God does exist, they’ll be acknowledged on Judgement Day (or whatever) for just generally trying to be a good person. It’s a fair idea – assuming God’s not an asshole, if you’re generally an alright person and you strive to make the world a better place because you think that’s the right thing to do, presumably God (again, presuming He’s not an asshole) would recognise that and give you a bit of credit. Let’s talk about it. (more…)

On Las Vegas

So I haven’t been posting in two or three months – as I mentioned in my last post, I’m taking time off to focus on my thesis. There’s just not much room in my life at the moment for sustained regular posting. However, every now and again I come across an article that demands a response. Today that article is on the shooting in Las Vegas. (more…)

The Shackrifice

So a few weeks back I wrote a piece about this article on The Shack which I thought was dumb, and I spent like 4,000 words bagging it. I’d like to spend a bit more time talking about The Shack today – but not attacking this person or that person. Instead, I’d like to look at a particular part of the book and distinguish between a few different levels of meaning. Depending on which level you’re looking at, the scene is going to make more or less sense from a theological perspective.  (more…)

Aquinas: Does God Will Evil?

We’re still working towards the idea of predestination, having previously covered God’s freedom to act, God’s knowledge of sin, and the necessity of the things willed by God. Today, we’re looking at 1a.19.9, where Aquinas just straight-up asks the question: does God will evil? I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this previously, but it’s worth going to read these sections in your own time. I use this website as a reference point, but it’s not the version I’m reading – my university has the Summa spread across a shelf and a half, uh, and I’m gonna read it all, because fuck you I guess.  (more…)

Aquinas: Do We Get a Choice?

And it’s time for another Aquinas trap. Do we have free will? God’s will is supreme, and His will is done – so where’s our choice in all this? Aquinas phrases it slightly differently: “Does God’s will impose necessity on things?” Remember that Aquinas distinguishes between wishing and willing – so God wishes that everybody would be saved, but maybe He leaves it up to them as to whether they find salvation? (Spoilers: lol no.) This is 1a.19.8. (more…)

Ugh, We Have to Talk About The Shack

Note: For the regular viewers, this week’s post is fucking huge.

So The Shack is a Christian book that got read by heaps of people and then got heaps of blowback for doing theological things that were interpreted in a particular way. I don’t like talking about The Shack, because most of the arguments that people put forward against it are boring. However, I accidentally read this post on a theology blog that I follow, and now my blood’s up, so, ugh, I guess we have to talk about The Shack. You don’t have to actually read the initial post – I’m going to go through it point by point, so you can read it if you want to check I’m not taking things out of context or whatever.  (more…)