From: "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <email@example.com>
DFS: So you don't like the medieval philosophers.
HVT: That is not what I intended to convey. They obviously said a lot on
interesting and valuable things. What I am saying is that they give us a
good place to begin, but we need not take up permanent residence there. We
should feel compelled to do more than repeat what they said. As I've said re
even the writers of the biblical text, we should _do_ as they did (reflect
on all of our human experience, including our experience of God, and
articulate our own reflection), not simply _say_ as they said (repeat
_their_ reflection on _their_ experience).
DFS: So? They saw rather clearly what I see in the book of Job. After the
comforters had given all the human answers, the question comes, "Who are
these obfuscating fools?" The old boys didn't get everything right, for some
answers contradict others. They are human, something I find inconvenient,
but the best available to me.
HVT: Why not add to what they contributed what has been contributed by
others since that time? That's what we do in the sciences. Why not do the
same in philosophy & theology?
DFS: In contrast, contemporary philosophers suffer from tunnel vision and
the stupid pride of thinking they can fit everything into their
understanding. So God is restricted to the temporal understanding of human
ability, and his being to the level of what can be studied scientifically.
So they "solve" the problem of human responsibility by cutting God down to
size. They never consider that this brings up a need to explain either how
the deity and the universe began simultaneously (neo-Platonic emanationism?
Then what is the nature of the higher deity?) or why did a time-bound god
wait to produce a world, and what was it doing earlier, probably through a
past eternity? I know you rather like process theology. But I ask you to
consider what assumptions it forces on its adherents. I think you will
conclude that it makes less sense than atheism, and is not compatible with
the biblical statements about the knowledge and being of the Trinity.
HVT: To use words used before: So you don't like the contemporary
philosophers? OK, but I think we would miss something by ignoring them.
Howard Van Till
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