In the debates on realism in hermeneutics and in theology, the issue of
foundationalism is a major plank in the evangelical position (Carnell, 1957; Collins,
1967; MacGregor, 1973; Rahner, 1978; Fiorenza, 1987; Clinton, 1988). In biblical or
conceptual hermeneutics such foundational realism is usually assumed. Similarly, in the
theological debates on Christology, the issue of ascending or descending methodology based
on a two-story (noumenal and phenomenal, real and appearance) view of the world, has often
been critical for modern apologetic and theological debates. Both of these positions
assume a realism which includes a foundationalist position, i.e. that there is an external
reality which is accessible from the human perspective. The paper shall be concerned with
realistic theism and the starting point for metaphysical reflection: ascending foundationalism.
a Reformed World View
Enjoy living in God's world, because He made it
and put you there. Jesus did, and they thought he was having too much fun.
Such joy was serious to the death, but until then his life was all
grace and all truth. No one will fail in their calling to this
Postmodern/Modern world if mercy and truth meet together in his or her
Elements of a Christian
There is a logical relationship between the disciplines of apologetics,
philosophy of religion and a Christian world view. From the perspective of formal
philosophy, that is metaphysics and epistemology, there are common commitments among these
three disciplines as to God, reality, values, etc. These philosophical commitments are
similar for all who are Trinitarian theists: Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant. There are
also common elements in the development of each discipline as a system of thought, in
terms of having a starting point, proceeding rationally, relating consistently to its own
parts, etc. This paper will briefly explore the elements of a Christian world view, and
examine the parallels between these elements and the elements of apologetics and
philosophy of religion. The goal of this investigation is to be able better to define and defend the system of truth as we know it.
A number of writers have proposed spirituality as a means
of knowledge and I present the possibility of taking spirituality as a means
of knowledge parallel to other methods of epistemology. The starting point,
methodology, and limits of spirituality are examined.
The issue of obligation to future generations raises interesting
questions. One question which has not been given thorough treatment concerns the identity
of those future generations. The discussion usually centers on the identity of future
persons based on specific genetic criteria, i.e. they are persons linked to us genetically
and so form specific links between us and future people. However, in reading the
literature I did not find one proposed definition of identity dealing with the problem in
light of the problem of identity over time. . What then would constitute a link between
ourselves and those to whom we supposedly have an obligation? Another question
concerns the possibility of seeing future obligations as obligations to all future
generations taken as a group, without regard to the specific identity of the individuals
in that group. But moral obligations are usually undertaken in reference to one's
own promises or commitments to specific individuals. It is unclear what type of obligation
exists with reference to a group of people to whom no promises have been made. This
relates to the question of the biblical understanding that each generation has a God-given
responsibility to each succeeding generation, at least (both spiritual teaching and father-son relationship). We will investigate
some proposed solutions given to some of these problems.
This paper argues that
modern versions of Confucianism, which draw on Kant, can be even better
related the post-Kantian tradition using intuition found in Broad, Ross and
Audi. This argument includes a dialog about modern versions of
The U.S., Europe, and China have a common foundation in
various philosophers who hold a version of realism and a belief in an
natural good. These foundations are explored and related.
This paper argues that realism, understood in a very modern sense, is
the proper foundation for a biblically oriented systematic theology. Historically, naive
realism was replaced with Scottish (critical common-sense) realism. In the 20th century
the primary form of realism is known in secular philosophy as scientific realism. The
particular version of realism presented here is called theistic realism. In previous
papers I have examined the contributions to a contemporary theistic realism from E. J.
Carnell, James Collins, Karl Rahner, Geddys MacGregor, and Bernard Lonergan. Here I want
to examine the view of realism articulated by Hilary Putnam. His position has been
characterized as "internal realism," although he prefers the term
"pragmatic realism." This paper presents his position briefly and examine it for
its fruitfulness in the development of theistic realism. Then we examine some related
implications of Hauerwas' work on community and I suggest direction for the road ahead.
Like Gregory of Nyssa, the desire is for philosophy to be a handmaiden to
theology, not the director of the system.
This investigation leads to the deeper level question of the
epistemological status of claims to knowledge of any kind and of the ontological status
concerning that which a person is claiming to know, i.e. the object of our knowledge
claims. Philosophers have continued, since Kant, to deepen the investigation of the status
of knowledge claims and of the claims to ontological existence of a self, other beings,
the world, absolutes, and God.
also would offer us a much greater use of personal and corporate experience
in a much more controlled way than the usual sweeping generalizations which
occur in most theology books.
Since Roger Bacon, western philosophy has been attempting to balance
reason and experience in careful ways.
Today, the use of controlled experiments and empirical
generalizations based on multiple studies informs all research in the social
sciences and professional fields, as well as in science and technology.
Such use of modern social investigation is almost completely absent
from the construction of theology.
Presentation of a system of understanding God and the world demands
our best reasoning, our best empirical investigation, out best biblical
study to evaluate the Bible, world history, and personal experience, in
order to build true systematic theology.
The debates on realism always include the
element of time in order to preserve the dynamic element of action and
of the experiential and ontological elements of this search are defined
today in terms of existential presence, perceptual factors, modalities of
probability and choice, and contrary to fact conditions.
The phenomena of time, when included in these discussions, is treated
in terms of our perspective on experience, i.e., learning from the past,
etc., rarely in terms of the effect of time on identity.
Yet our sense of identity is strongly modified during the passage of
time and the events of history. On
the topic of time, Bill Craig, David Ford,
There are four dynamic world views in competition today: Christianity,
Marxism, Islam, Materialistic Humanism. The past ten years has seen the greatest change in
the role of Marxism, both in Russia and in China. We need to understand the three main
deficiencies and what has happened in order to make sense of
history and to prepare for service in the future.
This article discusses three questions which arise in connection with
the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant:
1. Why is it wrong to lie?
2. How is not lying derived from the categorical
3. Is it always wrong to lie?
paper studies six major competing ethical
systems and suggests the criteria for building or evaluating any ethical