> >Do you really want to classify Paul's appeal to an alter to an unknown god as
> >Natural theology? If so. why so?
> No, I used it as an example of how theistic belief might serve as a stage
> on the path to Christian belief.
I'm tacking this on here rather than on the parallel thread
where it really belongs because I got too hasty with the delete button!
The problem with natural theology arguments as an apologetic
device is not simply that they may be ineffective. They can be a
positive hindrance to the genuine Christian message. The argument for
the Unmoved Mover, e.g., claims explicitly that God cannot be affected
by the world. This immediately makes any idea that God was born of Mary
or died on the cross problematic. Arguments for God as a supreme moral
authority are likely to result in giving Law priority over Gospel - God
is the one who enforces the Commandments, but gives people a loophole in
These arguments do not have to result in those unfortunate
conclusions, & there are more or less adequate ways in which the
resulting ambiguities can be dealt with. But why not from the beginning
argue for God as he is revealed in Christ?
George L. Murphy