Logic

Mccabe on Rationality in Christianity

“If our theology would overcome infidel vandals and survive the twentieth century she must adhere to logic. While clinging heartily to glorious mysteries, she must not advocate absurdities, and then remand them into the realm of the incomprehensible to be explained under the promise of a broader light in eternity. She must not ask superstition to relieve the Christian intellect of its legitimate work of logical processes, analytical discriminations and fearless enunciations. No light of eternity, however broad, can ever illuminate the absurdity that four multiplied by four equals seventeen, or that the sum of the angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles, or that freedom and predestination are terms not incompatible. We are sure to undermine faith whenever we stultify our reason as to the objects of our faith.”

L.D.McCabe, “Divine Nescience of Future Contingencies A Necessity”

Apologetics Thursday – A Logical Refutation of a Logical Refutation of Open Theism

By Christopher Fisher

Adapted from a list of proofs on Carm.org:

1. God is the only eternal, uncaused, and self-existent being who was before all things.
Granted, as long as “things” refers to physical reality. After all, the axioms of logic are not “things” to be created. Neither is “time”.

2. Time is that non-spatial, continuous succession of events from the past, through the present, and into the future.
Assumption by Slick. Time is not a “thing” to be created or manipulated. In the Bible, there is no time travel. This is very telling. Clocks and daylight measure “time”, but that does not mean “time” is something created. Just as words describe the axioms of logic, this does not mean the laws of logic are a thing to be invented like words are.

3. Since God is eternal by nature, God is not restricted by nor contained within time, nor is He restricted by a continuous succession of events from the past, through the present, and into the future, nor is time an attribute of God’s nature.
False assumption. The Bible never describes God as “eternal” but “everlasting”. The precise concept is that God has always existed and will always exist. Slick assumes Platonism onto the text in contrast with what the Biblical authors intended. If an intellectually honest reader were to adhere to the intentions of the Biblical authors, Slick’s argument would be refuted by the very texts he uses as prooftexts.

Logically, if time is not a created thing (instead it would be an axiom such as the laws of logic), then being “contained within time” is a non-concept of the likes of being “contained within logic”.

4. God is the Creator of the universe and is independent of it.
Assumption. Universe needs to be properly defined. Independent has to be properly defined. Then the logical case must be made that a creator is independent of their creation. This is a tenuous statement.

5. The universe exists in relationship to time which is a consecutive series of events that relate to change and sequence.
Another assumption. If time is not a “thing”, this point does not follow.

6. God is not subject to or limited by the constraints of the universe, which includes the constraints or limits of time or any properties of time that may limit us as humans.
Another assumption. When very fragile assumptions are compounded upon one another, the ultimate conclusion becomes weaker and weaker.

7. Since God created the universe, and since God is not subject to time, and since the universe operates in time, God also created time when He created the universe.
“Time” being a “thing” is a major and unsubstantiated assumption. That God “created” time is not a Biblical concept. God is displayed as creating the material universe, in a certain sequence. God functions as if He is everlasting (like the Bible claims again and again) experiencing a before and after.

8. Since God created time, God has always existed and continues to exist outside of time and is not subject to its properties.
This is completely anti-Biblical speculation.

9. God is omnipresent. This means that He exists in all places in the universe as well as outside of it (as far as can be described to exist outside of existence).
The term omnipresent is not a Biblical term. Plus there is major dispute over what the concept means. Assuming any particular understanding of “omnipresense” is antithetical to philosophy and the Bible.

10. God’s omnipresence is not restricted by time because God, by nature, is not restricted by time.
This is the result of several compounding speculative and anti-Biblical claims.

11. Since God is not restricted by time, and since He is omnipresent, then the future is a present reality with God.
Even if the premises were founded, the conclusions do not follow. If time is able to be transversed, that doesn’t mean all time is present with God. That is an unfounded assumption. Maybe God can experience different points of time, randomly moving back and forward as presents. There is no reason to assume some sort of perpetual present of all time.

12. Therefore, because God is in all places at all times, God knows all things, even the future free will choices of free creatures. This means that the open theism view that God does not know all future events of free will creatures is false.
Garbage in, garbage out.

Apologetics Thursday – Omniscience v Free Will Response

By Christopher Fisher

I was asked via a Facebook group: Refute the argument about the barometer.

My response:

The author is confused. He wants to make a video about free will and then compares the prediction to if it will rain or not (something that is not dependent on free will but by physics). That is a point towards fatalism and NOT what he is trying to prove.

He wants to say “look at this object that predicts x, and does not cause the event.” See, God can predict x and not cause it. But what he fails to take into account is free will. God says “You will cook with people poop”, and God’s prophet says “Howabout I cook with cow poop instead.” and God says “Yeah, do that instead.” Ezekiel 4:15

See also: God Yields Instantly

Bowen on Swinburne

From An Atheist Named Swinburne:

More importantly, Swinburne rejects the existence of God, where God is conceived of as being omniscient in the sense that ‘God knows everything that has ever happened and that ever will happen’. Many people, including many Christian believers, believe in such a God. But Swinburne asserts that these many devout Christian believers are mistaken, and that there is no such being.

God is a perfectly free person, according to Swinburne, and a perfectly free person cannot know with certainty what actions he/she will choose to do in the future (COT, p. 177). Perfect knowledge of the future is logically incompatible with perfect freedom; therefore, it is logically impossible for God to both be perfectly free and for God to also have perfect knowledge of the future.

God must either be perfectly free and have imperfect knowledge of the future, or else God has perfect knowledge of the future and does NOT have perfect freedom. Thus, Christians who believe in a God who is both perfectly free and who has perfect knowledge of the future believe in a God who not only does not exist, but they believe in a God who cannot possibly exist, because they believe in the existence of a being with attributes that are logically contradictory.

Answered Questions – Time and Sequence

Dale asks: Are time and sequence related? Are they synonymous? If so, how? If not please explain the differences.

Bob Enyart responds:

Time and sequence are related but need not be viewed or used as synonyms. It is time that enables sequence. For example, God has existed throughout eternity past, and the Incarnation occurred in a point in time in which God the Son took upon Himself a second (human) nature, and became flesh. That is a sequence of events. Human beings, perhaps reflecting God’s perspective, distinguish events from time (as do for various Christian philosophers).

Sanders On Talking Nonsense

From John Sander’s The God Who Risks:

To be consistent, the ideas within a model must “make sense,” since if they do not then they are literally “nonsense” and unintelligible. In order for a model to be intelligible, it must be logically consistent. Statements that are self-contradictory are meaningless. Symbolically, a contradiction is written A and not-A. That is, something that belongs in category A is also not in category not-A. If we say “my red car is not red” or “the apple on my desk is not an apple” we are not making meaningful utterances. Statements such as “God is the creator and is not the creator” and “God is timeless and also experiences time” are self-contradictory. They simply make no sense.