According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals
and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Common Questions and Misunderstandings about Classical Arminianism, Part 3




Arminianism FAQ 3 (Everything You Always Wanted to Know…)
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2014/07/arminianism-faq-3-everything-you-always-wanted-to-know/

by Roger Olson
July 9, 2014

FAQ: Doesn’t Arminianism lead to open theism?

Answer (A): Open theists and Calvinists both think so, but classical Arminianism don’t think so.

 According to classical Arminianism, God knows the future exhaustively–as already settled in his own mind although not already determined.

How God can know future free decisions and actions (ones not already determined by anything) is a mystery classical Arminians are willing to live with because they believe it (divine simple foreknowledge without comprehensive divine determinism) is taught in Scripture and because it is the only alternative to other views of God’s foreknowledge they (classical Arminians) cannot embrace.

There is no logical contradiction in this mystery. Every theology includes mysteries at some points. So do the natural sciences.

FAQ: Can an Arminian resolve the mystery of divine foreknowledge with Molinism?

Molinism - "Molinism, named after 16th Century Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina, is a religious doctrine which attempts to reconcile the providence of God with human free will. William Lane Craig andAlvin Plantinga are some of its best known advocates today, though other important Molinists include Alfred Freddoso and Thomas Flint. In basic terms, Molinists hold that in addition to knowing everything that does or will happen, God also knows what His creatures would freely choose if placed in any circumstance." - Wikipedia

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A: Some classical Arminians think so. Others do not. Two unsettled questions bedevil this intra-Arminian debate:

First, is a philosophical one: Is “counterfactual of libertarian freedom a viable concept?”

Second, is a theological one: “Can God make use of middle knowledge (assuming he has such knowledge) in arranging human affairs without determining them?”

Classical Arminians are divided about these questions and their answers.

FAQ: Doesn’t Arminianism imply that the “decisive element in salvation” is the sinner’s free decision to accept Christ, thereby giving saved persons permission to boast of partially meriting their salvation?

A: No. Under no circumstances would a person freely receiving a free gift be thought to have merited it simply because he/she accepted it. A gift received is still a gift. Everyone knows this.

The only exception is Calvinists who accuse Arminianism of importing merit into the free acceptance of salvation. But those same Calvinists would never allow someone to whom they gave a gift to claim they merited it.

FAQ: Doesn’t Arminianism lead to liberalism in theology?

A: No more than Calvinism does.

Friedrich Schleiermacher, the “father of liberal theology,” was a Calvinist who became liberal without ever embracing Arminianism.

Many, perhaps most, 19th century liberals (in theology) were raised Calvinist and, seeing the damage it does to God’s character, jumped into liberal theology without ever even considering Arminianism.

Evangelical Arminianism is conservative theologically. Some evangelical Arminians are fundamentalists. Most have never been tempted by liberal theology.

There is no logical or historical connection between classical Arminianism and liberal theology.

FAQ: Is the first principle of Arminianism free will?

A: It is not.

The first principle is God revealed in Jesus Christ or, put another way, Jesus Christ as the full and perfect revelation of the character of God.

Arminians only believe in libertarian free will (power of contrary choice) because:

1) It is implied throughout Scripture,
2) It alone preserves God from being monstrous (Calvinism's divine election to hell, etc), and,
3) It is an experienced reality necessary for responsibility.

One might add that it (libertarian free will) was assumed by all the church fathers before Augustine.




Business & Ethics: Google New Anti-Porn Policy Hits the Bottom Line




The corporate giant's stance against explicit content could have Internet-wide ramifications.


Why Google’s New Anti-Porn Policy Is Such a Big Deal
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/why-google%E2%80%99s-new-anti-porn-policy-such-big-deal

July 9, 2014

Last week, Google sent out a letter to many of their advertisers, informing them of their new policy to no longer accept AdWords advertisements containing explicit language or that link to porn sites.

This is a huge deal, and not just because of its implications for users who will no longer see search ads for porn sites. This is a move that could significantly affect Google’s bottom line.

Essentially, Google is getting out of the porn business.

So What Does This Mean?

To clarify, Google isn’t further limiting its search engine’s ability to find and link to adult websites. Instead, with this policy, Google will no longer be profiting from them as their customers. The new rules are directly aimed at excluding porn-peddling from its AdWords campaigns.

As a technology company, Google does a lot of things: They make cool maps; have created the world’s most popular mobile operating system; help you organize emails. They also maintain the Internet’s biggest search engine. But ultimately, Google does one thing very well: They help you find things.

Their entire brand is predicated on people coming to them to help them find things—driving directions, email contacts, funny videos—more easily. It’s also their business model.

How Do Google's Ads Work?

BY ALLOWING ADS TO PORN SITES, GOOGLE WAS ESSENTIALLY
MAKING MONEY DIRECTLY OFF OF PEOPLE GOING TO LOOK AT PORN.
THAT IS, UNTIL NOW.

If you’re not familiar with how AdWords work, it’s a simple concept: Customers can create small, text-based ads linking to their website that will appear along with the organic results when a user searches for designated terms. (They are the links that appear on the side and top of the page when you Google something.) The more specific and in-demand the terms themselves are (and, depending on how much custom demographic targeting you want to include) the more expensive they are. Advertisers pay Google a small amount every time someone clicks on the ad. Ideally, everyone wins: The advertisers get a customer looking for their website, and customers find what they are looking for.

AdsWords are also extremely profitable for Google. A 2012 study estimated that the company made $100 million a day just from AdWords campaigns.

But, by allowing ads to porn sites, Google was essentially making money directly off of people going to look at porn. That is, until now.

What Is Google Giving Up?

It’s hard to know how much money this new policy will cost Google. But, considering some stats estimate that 12 percent of all websites contain pornography, and 25 percent of all search engine requests are porn-related, the number could be massive.

How Is This Different?

GOOGLE IS SHOWING THAT IT IS WILLING TO SACRIFICE A LARGE CHUNK
OF CONSTANT REVENUE IN ORDER TO NO LONGER PROFIT FROM THE PROLIFERATION OF PORNOGRAPHY.

It should be noted that this isn’t Google’s first action against porn. They recently banned the sale of apps that contain pornographic material from being sold for Glass, and have invested substantially in fighting child porn.

The AdWords policy though—which actually first changed in March—is different.

Their efforts in partnering with law enforcement to find Internet users who exploit children is admirable, but it isn’t a threat to its business model. With this new stand, Google is showing that it is willing to sacrifice a large chunk of constant revenue in order to no longer profit from the proliferation of pornography on the Internet.