On Augustine’s Hostile Audience

Reflections from Peter Brown on Augustine’s Dolbeau sermons: For instance, the Dolbeau sermons make abundantly plain that, when Augustine preached, his statements were by no means the ex cathedra statements of the representative of a securely established Catholic hierarchy. Brilliant, urgent and, at times, intransigent, his sermons are better described as ‘dialogues with the crowd’.’ […]

On Augustine’s Recently Discovered Sermons

Peter Brown details circumstances behind the series of Augustine’s works found in 1975 (the Divjak Letters) and the series of Augustine’s sermons found in 1990 (the Dolbeau Sermons): In 1975, Johannes Divjak of Vienna (on mission from the Austrian Academy, to catalogue all manuscripts of Augustine in European libraries) found a mid-fifteenth century manuscript in […]

Fiorenza on Augustine’s Platonistic Hermeneutic

From Systematic Theology: Task and Methods In On Christian Doctrine, Augustine developed principles and rules for the interpretation of the Scriptures. In so doing, Augustine provided important and influential contributions to rhetoric, education, theology, and hermeneutics. Augustine’s hermeneutical theory should be understood in relation to his Neo-Platonic background and his attempt to come to grips […]

Nebridius Praises Augustine for Teaching Platonism

In a letter to Augustine, Nebridius praises Augustine for teaching Platonism: To Augustine Nebridius Sends Greeting. 1. Your letters I have great pleasure in keeping as carefully as my own eyes. For they are great, not indeed in length, but in the greatness of the subjects discussed in them, and in the great ability with […]

Fisher Describes Augustine’s Conversion

From Craig Fisher of Will the Real God Step Forward: If one is to take Augustine’s words seriously, one must recognize this conversion was not in terms of a Protestant born again experience, but this conversion was a purification resembling the Neoplatonic purification: “The effect of your converting me to yourself was that I did […]

Augustine and His Platonism

Excerpted from Christopher Fisher: Simplicianus and Ambrose convinced Augustine that the Bible was to be taken figuratively. Notice how Augustine read the Bible on face value. Augustine called it “absurd”, he said “the letter kills”, he called it “perverse doctrines”, and he called it “offensive”. It was only through Simplicanus and Amborse spiritualizing the text […]

Great Book Challenge

Trinity Radio presents the Great Book Challenge: Homer. The Iliad, The Odyssey. Aeschylus. The Orestreia Sophocles. Three Theban Plays. Euripides. The Tragedies. Aristophanes. Lysistrata and Other Plays Herodotus The Histories. Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. Plato. Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo, Symposium, Phaedrus, Republic, Timaeus, Critias, and Gorgias Aristotle, Metaphysics, Ethics, Rhetoric, De Anima Cicero. On […]

Modern Theological Quotes

Quotes By Category Appeal to Mystery Anthropomorphism Creation Determinism Foreknowledge Free Will Immutability Impassibility Ineffibility Hypostatic Union Negative Theology Omnipresence Omniscience Omniscience, Active Omniscience, EDF Omniscience, EDF? Platonic Change Platonism Pure Being Repentance Self Sufficient Simplicity Timelessness … Appeal to Mystery Bavinck, Herman To say that God is the infinite One and can and does […]

Church Father Quotes

Quotes By Category Biblical Interpretation Determinism Free Will Immutability Impassibility Ineffibility Hypostatic Union Omnipresence Omniscience, Passive Omniscience, Active Omniscience, EDF Omniscience, EDF? Platonism Repentance Self Sufficient Simplicity Timelessness … Biblical Interpretation Augustine 6. I rejoiced also that the old Scriptures of the law and the prophets were laid before me, to be perused, not now […]

Jewish Scholar Laments Bad Scholarship on Ancient Israelite Theology

Dov Weiss writes on Jewish scholarly containment of ancient embarrassing depictions of God: The scholarly neglect of the protest material in the rabbinic period is due in part to the unsystematic and fragmentary nature of its earliest expressions in the foundational texts of Judaism—the works of Midrash and Talmud—which were produced by rabbis in Hebrew […]

Apologetics Thursday – Much Ado About Judaism

In the criticism of Open Theism, Beyond the Bounds, Russell Fuller writes: “The idea of God in Judaism is developed from the Scriptures. The influence of contemporary philosophy which is seen in some Hellenistic Jewish writings—the Wisdom of Solomon, 4 Maccabees, and above all in Philo—is not recognizable in normative Judaism, nor is the influence […]

Understanding the Hypostatic Union

From the book Neoplatonism: Plotinus’s model includes three “hypostases,” or fundamental levels of reality. The first and highest is the unknowable “One,” which emanates the next level, called Nous, translated as Divine Mind or Intelligence. This second level contains the Platonic Forms or Ideas, which we can know intellectually, and so this level is also […]

Apologetics Thursday – Greek Thinking vs Jewish Thinking

Brad Jersak takes exception to the popular claims that Greek thinking is in contrast to Jewish thinking. He lists several “problems” with this type of reasoning. He starts with wondering “What Greek thinking” because Greek thinking incorporates a lot of various beliefs: Which ‘Greek thinking’? Not all Greek thinking is even close to the same. […]

Apologetics Thursday – Hellenistic or Hebrew

In a paper entitled “Hellenistic Or Hebrew”, Michael Horton attempts to discuss the contrasting interpretations between Open Theism and Calvinism. In contrast to the paper’s title, throughout the paper the one thing that Horton forgets to address is the Hebrew method of interpretation. Horton seems to be under the impression that the Jewish method of […]

A detailed response to Closing the Door on Open Theism – Part 1

A response to Closing the Door on Open Theism Martyn McGeown wrote a high profile article against Open Theism. The goal of this series is to examine his claims and give a response. McGeown breaks his article into five parts. He begins with an introduction: I. Introduction Christians have traditionally understood God in terms of […]

Apologetics Thursday – Responding to Eight Criticisms

By Christopher Fisher Quoted from The Dangers of Open Theism: Richard L. Mayhue wrote an excellent critique of Greg Boyd’s God of the Possible. Since Boyd is at the forefront of open theism, Mayhue’s essay summarizes the theological errors of the entire movement. In “The Impossibility of God of the Possible” Mayhue lists eight reasons […]

Answered Questions – Open Theism Nearing Process Thought

From a Reddit Question and Answer with Greg Boyd: Hey Greg! As a theology student, I’ve been very influenced by you in my own journey, and you helped me deal with many important theological issues during formative and important times of my life. So thanks! :) So, here’s my question (which I hope will be […]

Apologetics Thursday – Greek Influences in the Church

By Christopher Fisher Arbour and Blount argue that Open Theists just assume that the church fathers rejected face value readings of the Bible in favor of Platonism. From The Camel’s Nose: Open Theism and Biblical Interpretation – Benjamin H. Arbour and Douglas K. Bloun: Now Adolf Harnack and Wolfhart Pannenberg not withstanding, we doubt that […]

Brown on the Origins of Double Predestination

From The Cruciform View: The overall thrust of this chapter in Cary’s monograph is that Augustine’s idiosyncratic formulation of election and predestination (which would later influence Calvin and Luther’s own idiosyncratic neo-Augustinian versions of the doctrine) was influenced by Platonic and Neo-Platonic thought patterns of grace that differed significantly from the Pauline and Hebraic concept […]

McCabe on God being Infinite

From Divine Nescience of Future Contingencies a Necessity: But to call such an abstract infinity, such a contradictory conception by the name of Deity, leads inevitably into incertitude and inextricable confusion. And it was conceiving of God as an infinity in the abstract that led the great Augustine into such erroneous and dangerous conceptions of […]

Apologetics Thursday – Fisher Refutes White

Reposted from realityisnotoptional.com: The purpose of this post is to examine the context of James White’s arguments in his debate against Bob Enyart. It will be shown that White relies on emotional arguments, and where White references the Bible, his position can be shown wrong by utilizing basic reading comprehension skills. A few formatting notes: […]

Apologetics Thursday – A Defense of Open Theism

By Rachel Troyer: I, like Michael Hansen, am not a professional theologian, but merely a layman who loves God and is grateful to Him for His salvation through Jesus Christ alone. I would like to respond to Michael’s critique of Open Theism in hopes that this will be a door to discussing God’s Word, gaining […]

Calvin Never Loved His Father – Hosea 11

Guest post by Craig Fisher God’s Continuing Love for Israel: Hos 11:1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. Hos 11:2 As they called them, So they went from them; They sacrificed to the Baals, And burned incense to carved images. Here is a summary of […]

Not All Open Theists Embrace Omniscience

Nailing it to the Door has an excellent post explaining that not all Open Theists belive that God “knows all possible futures”. Dan Martin explains: Belt and Boyd both use the analogy of the Infinitely Intelligent Chess Player to describe how an omniscient God must know not just a single, settled compendium of future events, […]

Augustinian Christians Are Platonists

“Augustinian” is synonymous with “Reformed”, “Calvinist”, and “Classical Theists”. They are closely related to the philosophy of Plato. From Augustine: If, then, Plato defined the wise man as one who imitates, knows, loves this God, and who is rendered blessed through fellowship with Him in His own blessedness, why discuss with the other philosophers? It […]