Reading the Holy Scripture

I refer to the Bible as The Holy Scripture. This means that the biblical writings have a divine origin, and were given to the Christian community of faith. The triune God has revealed himself to his people. Thus, the text of the Holy Scripture is revealed, sanctified, and inspired by the triune God, and it must be preserved and approached as part of God’s redemptive, self-revelation received by his people; God’s saving revelation leads to God’s covenantal communion with his people. The Holy Scripture must be always understood, on the one hand, in the light of origin, function and goal of God’s self-communication, and, on the other hand, in the light of its reception by the people of God. Thus, the Holy Scripture is a word of supreme dignity, legitimacy and effectiveness. Read more...
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Essential Questions in Hermeneutics

(1) In interpretation should we look primarily for another's mind, maybe the original creative act? Should we seek to know the surrounding socio-historical circumstances of the author? Perhaps we should seek a dialogue with something that the author could not have foreseen, and something that his or her circumstances cannot control, namely an experience in which we ask the text questions and it asks of us.
(2) Does misunderstanding and radical difference come first in every experience? Or does a common accord, however slight, pre-exist, thereby enabling understanding?
(3) To what degree should we rely on methods, principles, or laws of understanding?
(4) What does it mean to cultivate a critical and reflective attitude? Is that mutually exclusive from methods? What is the proper role, if any, of practical wisdom and personal responsibility in hermeneutics?
(5) Is interpretation an objective or subjective act? Perhaps it is neither. Perhaps it is a play, an intersubjective accord, or maybe even something so fluid that we cannot really call it anything specific at all.
(6) Is there then a correct interpretation? Maybe we should concern ourselves with the best interpretation possible at that moment. Further still, perhaps we should reject the idea of a correct or best interpretation and seek instead merely to enjoy reading for its pleasure value alone, recognizing that there is no real transhistorical or transcultural truth involved.
(7) What is the proper role of hermeneutics in theological and biblical interpretation?

Stanley E. Porter; Jason C. Robinson (2011). Hermeneutics: An Introduction to Interpretive Theory. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. Kindle Edition.
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U. Schnelle on North American Jesus Research

In some streams of North American Jesus research there was and is a clear tendency to promote real or postulated extra canonical tradition to a rank prior or parallel to the Jesus tradition of the Synoptics and the Johannine writings (H. Koester; J. M. Robinson; J. D. Crossan; B. L. Mack). The goal of such constructions is clearly to break the hold of the canonical gospels and to establish an alternative picture of Jesus based on other interpretations of the tradition. To do this, frequent use is made of the lust for sensationalism (Jesus and women; homosexual love; Jesus as prototype of alternative lifestyles; non theological, undogmatic beginnings of Christianity). Mere supposition and unproven postulates are asserted as stimulants for a debate intended to have public effects. Such constructions do not stand up to historical criticism, for neither the existence of a Secret Gospel of Mark nor a Signs Source can be made probable, and the Gospel of Thomas belongs to the second century.

Schnelle, U. (2007) Theology of the New Testament. Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, p. 65.

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Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory

- Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory
- Augustus had brought peace to the whole wider Roman world; Augustus gave peace, as long as it was consistent with the interests of the Empire and the myth of his own glory
- the ambiguous structure of human empire, a kingdom of absolute power, bringing glory to the man at the top, and peace to those on whom his favor rested
- Augustus and Messiah; it is at his birth that the angels sing of glory and peace; which is the reality, and which the parody?
- Micah 5.2-4; and he shall be the man of peace Read more...
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Deliver Us from Evil

- let us not be let into the testing - but deliver us from Evil
- firmly grounded in the life and work of Jesus himself; hopes and fears of first-century Israel, the people of true God
- the night would get darker, when hope had died and fear had conquered, the morning star would dawn at last
- the whole world, with Israel at its heart, would enter a period of tribulation, like that of a woman in labour; from this the new world would be born Read more...
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Forgive Us Our Trespasses

- in Jesus’ world, the more senior you were in a community, the less likely you were even to walk fast; it shows a lack of dignity, a gravitas
- a man running to greet someone: someone who has put a curse on him, who has brought disgrace on the whole family; the Parable of the Prodigal Son
- to understand why this man is running
- once you replace morality with the philosophy that says ‘if it feels good, do it’, there isn’t anything to forgive; instead of genuine forgiveness, our generation has been taught the vague notion of ‘tolerance’
- how can we turn that story, and the reality to which it points, into a prayer, as we pray the prayer Jesus taught us? Read more...
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Silence is a woman's glory

The title of this post is an exact quote from Aristotle's Politics 1.1260a. Aristotle himself quotes a poet. Here are his exact words: 'All classes must be deemed to have their special attributes; as the poet says of women, 'Silence is a woman's glory,' (γυναικὶ κόσμον ἡ σιγὴ φέρει) but this is not equally the glory of man.'
These ideas are part of the Athenian stock and used by Aristotle in his argument on the virtues in the state. He explores the differences and common ground between men, women, slaves in the larger context of the virtues of the ruler.
It can be seen that these affirmations are echoed and shared in what Paul writes several centuries later in 1 Corinthians 11:7 and 14:34. Phrases like 'the woman is the glory of man,' and 'they are not permitted to speak' are part of the similar stock of ideas peculiar to the hellenistic vision, about the life in the city/state, as we have it in Aristotle.

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John Locke and the Moral Value of Toleration

SABOU, Sorin. ‘John Locke and the Moral Value of Toleration.’ Jurnal teologic Vol. 14, No. 1 (2015): 5-13.

Abstract: The concept of freedom of conscience is in the religious affairs and political affairs at the core of Locke's understanding of tolerance. He redefined the church and the state accordingly. Even the effects of the church's discipline, and the way the state's laws have to be conceived and implemented, are seen from the perspective of tolerance. I argue that tolerance is the main lens through which Locke understands the identity and the relationship of the two. He builds a society with tolerance in view. Tolerance is the attitude that offers the context for freedom and peace.
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Snippets of Modern Wisdom

SABOU, Sorin. ‘Snippets of Modern Wisdom.’ Jurnal teologic Vol 13, Nr 2 (2014): 5-27.

Abstract: These succinct snippets cover essential themes in the modern philosophy. The method is represented by Descartes, Bacon and to a certain extent Husserl. The existence of God as argued for by Descartes and the question of Being explored by Heidegger. The intention is to sketch them based on readings of primary texts. Even if the texts are short they are rich in content.
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Snippets of Ancient Wisdom - from the Milesian School to Augustine

SABOU, Sorin. "Snippets of Ancient Wisdom - from the Milesian School to Augustine." Jurnal teologic Vol 12, Nr 2 (2013): 24-36.

Abstract: These snippets of ancient wisdom are intended to offer an overview of major themes, methods, and contributions to knowledge in the areas of metaphysics, piety, ethics, knowledge and time. The masters like Thales, Anaximenes, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Augustine taught about these issues and here is a snapshot of their views.
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The Son from Above

SABOU, Sorin. “The Son from Above.” Jurnal teologic Vol 12, Nr 1 (2013): 43-58.

Abstract: This paper is a theological comparative study of the two New Testament texts: Philippians 2 and John 1. These portrayals of the Son of God show the common ground of communion, divinity, and of coming down to us, but also show the particularities of revelation, life, humility, and honor. These glimpses of the Son from above are the starting point for a New Testament understanding of God, history of salvation, and life in the family of God and in the city.
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The Law, the Flesh, and the Spirit

SABOU, Sorin. "The Law, the Flesh, and the Spirit - Romans 8:1-13." Jurnal teologic Vol 11, Nr 2 (2012): 33-46.

Abstract: The dominion of the Spirit in the new realm of salvation is a vital element for having part in the eschatological life. The dominion of sin and death with its results in a mindset determined by the flesh is broken by the power of the Spirit of life which gives the covenant blessings to those who have a mindset determined by the Spirit.
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The Christian Proclamation as Gospel

SABOU, Sorin. “The Christian Proclamation as Gospel, The Polemics, Politics and Praxis of euangelion in the Graeco-Roman World of the First Century.” Jurnal teologic 11.1 (2012): 72-81.

Abstract: The lexical choice made by the first Christians to present the Christian message as euangelion is a stark one. This is so because euangelion is used in Ancient Greek literature almost always as a technical term for the news of victory, a term used by those in power. This choice made by the first Christians leads to polemics with those in power. The politics and praxis of victory are affected too in this incursion of early Christianity in the area of power language. Thus, euangelion is captured and restructured as being the 'euangelion of the kingdom' and 'of Christ.' This leads to a different understanding of the way a citizen should live in the world.
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Jurnal teologic, Vol 14, No 1 (2015)

This is to let you know that Jurnal teologic, Vol 14, No 1 (2015) was published at www.jurnalteologic.ro. This is the bibliographical information.

SABOU, Sorin. ‘John Locke and the Moral Value of Toleration.’ Jurnal teologic Vol. 14, No. 1 (2015): 5-13.

Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest. Liberty University

Abstract

The concept of freedom of conscience is in the religious affairs and political affairs at the core of Locke's understanding of tolerance. He redefined the church and the state accordingly. Even the effects of the church's discipline, and the way the state's laws have to be conceived and implemented, are seen from the perspective of tolerance. I argue that tolerance is the main lens through which Locke understands the identity and the relationship of the two. He builds a society with tolerance in view. Tolerance is the attitude that offers the context for freedom and peace.

Keywords: tolerance, religious freedom, Church and State Read more...
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Thy Kingdom Come

- what are we praying for when we pray for God’s Kingdom to come?
- heaven and earth are the two interlocking arenas of God’s good world: heaven is God’s space, where God’s word rules and his future purposes are waiting in the wings; earth is our world
- at the end the new Jerusalem is coming down from heaven to earth; in the new heaven and earth they will intertwine
- what will it mean, when Israel’s God returns as King?
a new Exodus: the evil empire will be defeated, and God’s people will be free; Isaiah 52:7-10 Read more...
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Berkeley, God and Instrumentalism

The role of Malebranche in understanding Berkeley. Malebranche, a follower of Descartes, very influential in France, is important in understanding Berkeley. Malebranche understands ‘what is it for one thing to cause another’ in terms of necessity; it must be, when A happens, B necessary follows. Why is this? Because the only real cause in universe is God, and God sustains the world by recreating it every instant (see Malebranche 1688, 1.10; 2.4; 3.5; 3.16).

Revised Occasionalism

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Look who we killed (!?)

This slogan is popular this week in Chicagoland. I attended the Good Friday service in one of the mega churches in my area, and I was surprised by the theme of the message: ‘Look who we killed.’ The point was that ‘we killed Jesus.’ Is that accurate? No! We never find in the New Testament apostolic preaching of the cross of Christ such an affirmation. The apostles never say that ‘we killed Jesus.’ Apostle Peter says that ‘you killed him’ (as he address the people of Jerusalem, Acts 2.23, 3.15), but he never says that ‘I killed Jesus,’ even if he betrayed him three times. Read more...
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Leibniz on God

The main outlook on God, by Leibniz, in his Discourse on Metaphysics, is given towards the end of his argument when he says that ‘we must think of God not only as the root cause of all substances and of all beings, but also as the leader of all persons or thinking substances, or as the absolute monarch of the most perfect city or republic - which is what the universe composed of the assembled totality of mind is’ (Leibniz 1686, 35). To this I have to add what he says at the beginning of his argument that ‘God is absolutely perfect being’ (Leibniz 1686, 1). The perfection of God applies to his power, knowledge, wisdom, and actions; they are of highest degree, he has them in ‘unlimited form’ (Leibniz 1686, 1). These three metaphors of ‘root cause’, ‘leader,’ and ‘absolute monarch’ give me the structure of the answer to the question ‘What is God?’ and the related terms of ‘all substances,’ ‘thinking substances,’ and ‘the most perfect city’ give me the elements of the answer to the second question of this assignment 'What philosophical problems is Leibniz working through his contemplation of God?'

What is God?

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Hume on Justice

Hume says that ‘public utility is the sole origin of justice’ (Hume 1777, III.1), and that ‘the rules of equity and justice depend entirely on the particular state and condition in which men are placed’ (Hume 1777, III.1).

Justice and Well-Being

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Berkeley on God

The role of God in Berkeley philosophy is that of the foundation of existence. Everything that exists, exists because exists in the mind of the Eternal Spirit/God. In Berkeley’s words this is expressed as follows: ‘All the bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world, have not any subsistence without a mind, that their being is to be perceived or known; that consequently so long as they are not actually perceived by me, or do not exist in my mind or that of any other created spirit, they must either have no existence at all, or else subsist in the mind of some Eternal Spirit’ (Berkeley 1710, I.6).

Perception, Reality and God

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Berkeley and Locke on Human Knowledge

Experience and Knowledge


Locke argued that all our ideas have their origin in our experience. When we are born our mind is a blank slate (tabula rasa). Any experience is leaving an imprint on this slate (mind). When we experience anything through our senses our minds receive their perceptions. There is content in our mind because of our senses. Locke is famous for the following phrase: nihil in intellect quod prius non fuerit in sensu (there is nothing in the intellect that was not first in the senses) (cf. Moore 2011, 114).
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Nussbaum's Two Levels of Human Nature

Nussbaum’s Level 1 of the Thick Vague Conception is presented as a story of what seems to be part of any life that we count as human life. The shape of the human form of life has the following aspects: mortality, the human body (hunger, thirst, need for shelter, sexual desire, mobility), capacity for pleasure and pain, cognitive capability (perceiving, imagining, thinking), early infant development, practical reason, affiliation with other human beings, relatedness to other species and to nature, humor and play, separateness. As this list is based on observation of human life across cultures and is able to integrate both the aspects of individuality and community of human life I agree with it. Read more...
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Miracles

The Scriptures present miracles as special signs of God’s presence, not as interruptions of the laws of nature. We do not have the question if such a thing took place, but what is the meaning of it.
In ancient times miracles were not accepted without question. In the case of Jesus the question was not ‘Did he perform miracles?’ but ‘On whose authority and with whose power he performed them?’ Are they the result of the presence of God’s kingdom or the result of his collusion with Beelzebul?
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The Authorship of Torah

Even if there is no direct statement in Pentateuch about its authorship, the Torah is associated with Moses by the earliest witnesses. There are statements that tell us that Moses was commanded by God to record events (Exod. 17.14; Num. 33.2), laws (Exod. 24.4, 34.27), and a song (Deut 31.23). Joshua 1.7ff informs us about a book of the law of Moses. Also there are later references about the Book of Moses (2 Chr. 25.4, Ezra 6.18, Neh. 13.1). In New Testament Torah is associated with Moses (Matt. 19.7, 22.4; Mark 7.10, 12.26; John 1.17, 5.46, 7.23).Read more...
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Kant on Genius

Kant understands the genius under four main labels: a) a talent for art that takes the lead and determine the procedure, b) someone who has a definite concept of the product (understanding, representation, a relation of the imagination to the understanding), c) it display itself in the expression of aesthetic ideas containing a wealth of material for effecting that intention, and d) harmony of imagination and understanding of the law that points to an unsought and undesigned subjective finality.Read more...
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Authorship of Isaiah

The book of Isaiah in the Scripture is a single book. It is known that beginning with the 12th century there are scholars who split the book in three (Proto/Deutero/Trito). The reasons for this is that the name of the prophet does not appear after chapter 39, the section 40-55 deals with the time of exile, and the section 56-66 deals with the post-exilic times. Read more...
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Historicity of Adam

The text in Genesis 1 describes the first week of history. The creation of man in God’s image is the climax of God’s creative activity. Adam and Eve are the first humans on the face of the earth. Their life in the Garden of Eden is brought to an abrupt end by their disobedience; this inaugurates the dominion of death. All humans are born in this type of environment, and, in the end, all sin. Read more...
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Descartes's Method

The overall method of Descartes is a method of doubt. He dismisses knowledge derived from authority, senses, and reason (Watson, 2014). His demonstration is one of clarity and absolute certainty (Skirry). He is determined to bring any belief based on sensation into doubt because they might be a dream; mathematics included, because of the existence of an evil demon with supreme power of cunning about everything.Read more...
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What is Philosophy?

I will put together my answer following two major sources: Plato and Aristotle. The summary of these positions is as follows: Read more...
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Existentialism

Existentialism is a philosophical theory characterized by a search for the meaning of existence/being. The norm of authenticity (Crowell, 2010) is the governing norm in this search. The considered aspects of existence are several: the problematic character of the human situation, the phenomena of this situation, the intersubjectivity that is inherent in existence, the general meaning of Being, and the therapeutic value of existential analysis (Abbagnano, 2014).Read more...
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Ross on Duties

This is a summary on W. D. Ross' theory of prima facie duties.
When we try to determine what we ought to do there are several prima facie duties. A prima facie duty is a duty that is binding; you have to do it. The prima facie duties are fidelity (keeping promises and contracts), reparation (making up for injuries done to others), gratitude (being grateful for benefactions), non-injury (not to harm others), harm-prevention (to prevent harm to others), beneficence (doing good to others), self-improvement (to promote one's own good), and justice (distributing benefits and burdens fairly). Read more...
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Functionalism and Behaviorism

Functionalism in philosophy of mind can be understood as a sophisticated form of philosophical behaviorism. In Functionalism a thought is defined by a function it plays, whereas in Behaviorism a thought is defined by a set of behaviors and/or dispositions to behave. Read more...
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Intentionality

Intentionality is a term used to describe the way of being directed upon an object. There are certain ways in which an individual may be said to have something as his object. Read more...
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Phenomenalism

Phenomenalism is a philosophical theory of perception and the external world. Propositions about material objects are reducible to propositions about actual and possible sensations, or sense data, or appearances (EB, 2013). There is no distinction between independently existing physical objects and mind-dependent sense-data. To talk about any existing object is to talk about a collection of perceivable features localized in a particular portion of space-time (Stroll, 2013). The material things are permanent possibilities of sensation, of sense-data (BonJour, 2013).Read more...
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Kant's Theory of Person

Kant's theory of person has two dimensions, one, on the side of metaphysics, and the other, on the side of rationality and human responsibility; reason is the core for both.Read more...
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The Qualities of Perception

Locke and Berkeley on the qualities of perception
Because the mind we are born with is a blank slate (Locke), the knowledge we have come from the outside as perceptions. Locke tries to avoid the split between the mind and the world around us by introducing the distinction between primary and secondary qualities of perception. The primary qualities are the qualities of objective, extra-mental reality; the qualities of the object independent of who, or whether anyone is perceiving the object (shape, size, weight). These qualities are independent of perception. The secondary qualities are not properties of the object at all. They occur in the mind of the perceiver at the moment of perception and they endure only as long as the perception endures. They depend primarily on our senses (color, taste, smell). Read more...
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Materialism in Philosophy of Mind

In philosophy of mind materialism is pointing to the fact that our minds are entirely material. Even our sensations, images, perceptions, and emotions are only complicated forms of matter in motion (Shaffer, 2013).Read more...
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Neutral Monism

Neutral monism are theories that hold that mind and body are not separate, distinct substances but are composed of the same sort of neutral 'stuff' (EB, 2013).
The neutral substance Spinoza refers to is God. Because of the limitations of human beings we can perceive the neutral substance only in terms of its material or mental attributes, but the neutral substance has an infinity of attributes, and that is why, he identifies it with God. It is this one infinite divine substance in which everything else has its finite being as a mode or affect.
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Free Will and Determinism

Most of the time the issues of free will and determinism are seen as opposites. The free will is understood in terms that are incompatible with determinism. If the will is free it can do whatever it wants even against the natural laws of the universe. For example the law of gravitation will make sure that when I jump up, I always come down, or if I travel in a circle I will arrive, after a while, in the same place. Even so, the free will is a valid concept/fact. There are layers of my life in which I can 'freely' move and think and act according to my will. This is not taking place in a perfect way, but still I have the real possibility of choice. The situation of life, the nature of my body and health, the laws of nature are facts that have a saying in the way I exercise my will.Read more...
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Descartes - the 'evil demon' hypotheses

The hypothesis of the evil demon is imagined by Descartes. He imagines that there might be an evil deceiver who is constantly putting false ideas in his mind. Whatever he takes to be true is really false. This is so no matter how sure he is of it (Meditations I and II).Read more...
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About Love in New Testament

Love is a fact of life. People are able to love. When people are in love they are captivated and they are totally for something or someone. That attitude is seen by others. Love is something that is recognized as such by other people. The New Testament writings speak about love. The main familes of words for love are phileō and agapaō. They are used almost interchangeably, but there are some differences.Read more...
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Lessons From the History of Ideas

The structure of this reflective précis is necessary historical; from the Milesian School to Francis Bacon it is a vast distance and a variety of interests and approaches. In a nutshell these are the main things I move forward with.
Test your hypotheses by observing natural forces and processes. After your research is done engage in an open search for knowledge that is intended to identify any possible confusion and errors. Read more...
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Francis Bacon and the Idols of the Mind

This aspect of Bacon’s thinking is about the way we use our minds. According to Bacon there are ‘four classes of idols that beset men’s minds’ (New Organon, 1.39; Russell 2009, 439). Bacon uses the term ‘idol’ not in a religious sense (an image that represents a god), but simply as an ‘image’ (from the Greek eidolon). The way he organizes them helps the reader to understand the way they hinder human’s mind. Bacon sees them in ‘classes’ and in this way points towards their complexity and particularities.
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Engaging with Wright, N. T. 2013. Paul and the Faithfulness of God. - Overview

This volume on Paul (Wright, 2013) is an event in the New Testament scholarship. N. T. Wright is a very respected scholar, and his writings were an inspiration to me over the years. I plan to write an analysis of his latest volume. Because of the structure of the volume I will split it accordingly (four posts) plus this introductory one. I will discuss his method and his outlook on the whole project and, from time to time, I will pronounce some evaluations. Read more...
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Jurnal teologic Vol 12, Nr 2 (2013)

Jurnal teologic a fost publicat online la adresa www.jurnalteologic.ro. Aveți mai jos informația bibliografică a acestui număr. Jurnalul teologic este publicația academică a Institutului Teologic Baptist din București și a Facultății de Teologie Baptistă din Universitatea București. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Ockham's razor

Even if it is attributed to him, the affirmation ‘don’t multiply entities beyond necessity’ is not found in the surviving writings of William Ockham. He made use of it, even if he is not the first to do this (Durand de Saint-Pourcain used it before him). This concern for ‘ontological parsimony’ was characteristic for his work in the area metaphysics (Spade, Panaccio, 2011). This principle ‘gives precedence to simplicity’ (EB, 2013). Ockham used this ‘razor’ to dispense with relations, with efficient causality, with motion, with psychological powers, and with the presence of ideas in the mind of the Creator (cf. EB, 2013). For Ockham the ‘only true necessary entity is God’ (Spade, Panaccio, 2011). Read more...
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Aquinas and the Existence of God

According to Aquinas, God’s existence ‘can be proved in five ways’ (Summa 1.2.3).
From the way in which he presents the first, it seems that he prefers it (‘the first and the most manifest way is…’ Summa 1.2.3). This first way is an ‘argument from motion.’ ‘Whatever is in motion is put in motion by another’ (Summa 1.2.3). This necessity of ‘another,’ and so on, cannot go on to infinity. ‘There would be no first mover, and no other mover’ (Summa 1.2.3). That is why, the first mover is a necessity. This first mover is ‘put in motion by no other’ (Summa 1.2.3). And this is God.Read more...
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Augustine's Theory of Time

For Augustine the time itself is created by God: ‘there was no time before heaven and earth’ (Conf 11.13.15); there is no ‘then’ where there is no time. God is understood to exist in an ‘ever-present eternity’ (Conf 11.13.16; Russell, 2009) beyond time where his ‘today’ is eternity. To underlay the beginning of time and the distinction from eternity Augustine says that ’there was never a time when there was no time’ (Conf 11.13.16). In other words God is not coeternal with time (Conf 11.13.17).Read more...
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Epicurus' Metaphysics

This is a reconstruct mainly from a poem (De rerum natura) by the disciple Lucretius in the last days of Roman republic (Clark, 1994).
The reality is seen in terms of ‘atoms and the void’ (Clark 1994). At this point Epicurus follows Democritus. These atoms are moving in the void (O’Keefe 2005). This movement, because of the weight of atoms, is mainly downward but randomly, also, sideways (O’Keefe 2005). These aspects of ‘weight’ and ‘swerve’ are modifications of Democritus understanding of atoms. Movement is possible because of the ‘void’ (the empty space). Read more...
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Aristotle's Golden Mean Theory

The 'Golden Mean' theory is about intermediacy. Someone ought to choose 'not the excess nor the defect' (NE VI.1). Choosing what is equally removed from the two opposite is a 'just action' (NE V.5). Someones' activity has to be marked by this standard found 'between excess and defect' (NE VI.1) A virtue is 'a mean state,' (NE, 1106.3) 'a settled disposition of the mind' (NE, 1106.15) between two vices; it avoids to 'fall short of or exceed what is right' (NE, 1106.15).Read more...
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Aristotle's Argument for God

The main observation made by Aristotle concerning God is related to the 'final cause'. He says that 'a final cause may exist among unchangeable entities.' (Metaphysics, XII.7) This final cause 'produces motion as being loved.' 'There is something which moves while itself unmoved, existing actually,' and this cannot be otherwise than it is. This first mover 'exists of necessity.' It is a first principle because 'its mode of being is good.' Its life is the best, 'thinking in itself' (see also Russell: 'God is pure thought'). The act of contemplation is what is most pleasant and best. God is 'a living being, eternal, most good.' Read more...
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Plato's Allegory of the Cave

The Allegory of the Cave is a figure conceived by Plato to illustrate the way ‘how our nature is enlightened or unenlightened.’ Humanity is seen to be in an underground den having the legs and the necks chained; they cannot move and only see what is before them. Above and behind them there is a fire blazing at a distance. They see only their shadows, the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave. In a situation like this the truth for humanity is ‘nothing but the shadows of the images.’ Read more...
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Plato's theory of forms

A General Overview
Plato’s theory of forms has several fundamental points of view: the difference between reality and appearance, and between knowledge and opinion. These points of view are related in that knowledge is at the level of reality, and opinion at the level of appearance. 
Reality and knowledge are about Ideas or Forms. These are made by God, they are eternal and do not change. And appearance and opinion is about the world of the senses that is temporary and does change.Read more...
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The Nature of Piety in Euthyphro

Socrates is willing to know about piety because of his court case with Meletus. It appears that Euthyphro has some knowledge on the subject and is willing to talk to Socrates. But soon, it is seen that Euthyphro is not able to offer the answer Socrates is looking for.Read more...
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The Socratic method

The Socratic method is an inquiry in which, by engaging in a dialogue, a teacher and an interlocutor are pushing the discussion further by question and answer. It is a open ended search for knowledge which is intended to identify any possible confusion and errors. The method presupposes knowledge on the part of the participants and the role of the teacher is described, according to Socrates, by the metaphor of a 'midwife.' He is there to help when the ideas are born; he evokes knowledge.Read more...
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The Milesian School

The positions of the philosophers from the Milesian school can be misinterpreted; here they are as they survived to us: 'the chief substance is water' (Thales), 'the Non-Limited is the original material of existing things' and its 'essential nature is everlasting and ageless' (Anaximander), and 'air is near to the incorporeal; and since we come into being by an efflux from this air, it is bound to be both non-limited and rich so that it never fails' (Anaximenes). (Freeman, 1948). Read more...
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Identity

Who am I? To answer this question I have to understand myself in historical, physical, gender, psychological, social and religious perspective.[1] The identity of someone is a complex issue. The innate and relational character of a person make the answer kaleidoscopic in nature. The layers of bodily and psychological [2] are part of the package, but not whole thing. Read more...
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Jurnal teologic Vol 12, Nr 1 (2013)

The last issue of Jurnal teologic was published online at www.jurnalteologic.ro.
Please see below the bibliographic information and the direct links. Read more...
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Jurnal teologic Vol 11, Nr 2 (2012)

Jurnal teologic Vol 11, Nr 2 (2012) [ISSN 1 844 7252] este publicat online la adresa www.jurnalteologic.ro.
Informația bibliografică, abstracte (în limba engleză), și termenii cheie pentru fiecare articol le aveți mai jos.
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Descartes - proving God's existence

These steps in Descartes’ argument are from the Meditation nr 3. Here they are:
I have an idea of an infinitely perfect substance.
Such an idea must have a cause.
From nothing, nothing comes (Ex nihilo nihil fit).
So the cause of an idea must have at least as much formal reality as there is subjective reality in the idea.
Though I am a substance, I am not infinitely perfect.
So I could not be the cause of this idea.
So there must be a formal reality that is an infinitely perfect substance.
So God exists.
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Simona Sabou - Trading Silence for Words of Praise

sds coperta
This work offers an analysis of Russian theologian Paul Evdokimov's view in regard to the position of woman in Orthodox theology. He starts from the doctrine of imago Dei, which requires a discussion of Evdokimov's view of God, emphasizing the importance given to personhood within Orthodox theology, and arguing that the concept of the monarchy of the Father on the one hand undermines our understanding of personhood itself, and on the other hand leaves room for hierarchical and subordinationist structures. On marriage, he distinguishes between monasticism and marriage, and while he presupposes monasticism to be a threat to the status of marriage and that a low status of marriage, in turn, is a threat to the status of woman, he fails to address either of these. Ultimately, it is argued that Evdokimov's particular attempts to both praise woman and deny any inferiority when compared with man are undermined by his wider Orthodox tradition, where personhood is not fully established, where monasticism has a higher status than marriage, where woman is to be mother without any parallel requirement for man, and where woman is not allowed an equal ministerial status with man.Read more...
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Mornings with Brunner - The Mystery of Man

As this is the most important question, the life of man depends on it. You are what you believe you are. The man is not God, but created by God. In his nature is a sinner. He represents the creation of God; he is what he is because God created him that way. Read more...
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Jurnal teologic 11.1 (2012)

This is to inform you that the current issue of Jurnal teologic is published online at www.jurnalteologic. ro. The Content, Abstract and Keywords are as follows: Read more...
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Tertullian - The Beginning of Creation

The very ‘beginning’ when God made the heaven and the earth, [some] will construe as if it meant something substantial and embodied, to be regarded as Matter. We, however, insist on the proper signification of every word, [and say] that principium means beginning, - being a term which is suitable to represent things which begin to exist. For nothing which has to come into being is without a beginning, nor can this its commencement be at any other moment than when it begins to have existence. Thus principium, or beginning, is simply a term of inception, not the name of a substance.
Against Hermogenes, ch. 19.
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Mornings with Brunner - Being Chosen from Eternity

We are coming from eternity, from the eternal will of God, from his eternal thinking. We have been in his thoughts in the same way a work of art is in the mind of the artist. The foundation of our lives has its origin in the eternal decrees of God. Our origin is in eternity and our destiny is from eternity too.Read more...
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Mornings with Brunner - God and the evil

Our world is a world of suffering. How can we still say that this world is God's creation, a creation governed by God who is love? Somebody can tell you: What is wrong with you to sustain such a view? How should we answer to this? Yes, something is wrong with us all. This is what the Bible says about us all.Read more...
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Mornings with Brunner - God's Plan for the World

We live in a vast universe and we are very small in it. We do not see the whole in its entirety. We manage to understand a little of all its complexity. When we ask about the purpose of all that is around us the answer is not clear. We do not know where the world is headed. We do not know where we are going. This is a deep mystery. Read more...
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Mornings with Brunner - the Creation and the Creator

The first word of the Bible is about the Creator and the creation. This is the fundamental affirmation on which all the other affirmations are based. The world is the house of the Great King and Great Artist. Read more...
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Mornings with Brunner - The Mysterious God

If somebody speaks about God as he speaks about his cousin he knows nothing about God. We do not know anything about God unless he reveals it to us. When he reveals himself to us we understand, again, how inaccessible is he for our thinking. He is above our world. He is a mystery. We are not able to unlock the mystery about him. Never.Read more...
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Mornings with Brunner - Is the Bible the Word of God?

The Christian Church believes that the Bible represents the Word of God. The Christians are the product of the Bible. There are Christians because there is the Bible. The Bible is the soil in which the Christian faith grows. The Christian faith is the faith in Christ, and we can find Christ in the Bible, and from there he speaks to us.Read more...
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Mornings with Brunner - The Existence of God

‘Mornings with Burnner’


I share with you my thoughts on some of my daily readings. These days I read Emil Brunner (Unse Glaube, 1935). I make available these notes because I believe that we have many things to learn from this theologian, even if we disagree at certain points (i.e. the character of revelation, infallibility of Scripture). Enjoy reading!

The existence of God


If somebody asks about God's existence the polite answer is silence, and the proper answer is 'You fool!'
God is not an object of knowledge; we cannot investigate God as we do with people, objects or natural phenomena. God is not from this world, he is not of this world, he is not an object among other objects. That is why, he can not be the object of our knowledge. Read more...
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Mercy and Rest

These two ways of relating to reality are essential for every human being in his/her routine. The complexities and challenges of life tend to have all kinds of influences on us. Because life is tough we tend to retreat in ourselves, to over protect ourselves till we become distant toward others, or we tend to become over competitive. In this way we are the product of our reactions. Nobody has to build his identity and way of being by reaction to circumstances, but by proactive fulfillment of what is revealed to us by true Creator God in the teachings and life of his Son, Jesus Christ.Read more...
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Luther's Theology Shown in His Seal

"Grace and peace from the Lord. As you desire to know whether my painted seal, which you sent to me, has hit the mark, I shall answer most amiably and tell you my original thoughts and reason about why my seal is a symbol of my theology.Read more...
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Frumusețea creației

Acest montaj filmat în insulele Galapagos arată fără cuvinte cât de frumos și complex este ceea ce a creat Dumnezeu. Un veritabil curs de teologie naturală.

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One Another

It is not easy to be among people. It is complex and unexpected things happen at times. That is why, we have to grasp the essential things about this daily challenge. Let us read what Jesus had to say about this. The results, in the beginning, are not very encouraging, but, in the end, they put us on the right track.Read more...
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Christ about the future in John

Christ's mind about the future, as this is seen in the Gospel of John, is found in three main types of texts: chapters 14, 6, and 3. In these texts we find the majors affirmations on this subject.
The future is about the place which Christ prepares for those who belong to him. When that place is ready he will come to take us to be with him. The way toward that place is Christ himself.Read more...
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As a Weaned Child

The message of Psalm 131 is part of the Songs of Ascents. These songs were used to prepare the pilgrim for arrival at Jerusalem to worship at the Tabernacle, or Temple. When somebody travels to worship he has to do the right things with his heart, eyes and deeds. For being ready to worship your heart has to be humble, not lifted up. You need to have a right understanding of himself. The heart has to be broken and contrite.Read more...
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Life of the Mind

There are three fundamental attitudes which the life of the mind assumes with regard to reality: judgment, action and enjoyment (play and delight). In these attitudes man confronts in freedom the reality of which he himself forms part, and he thereby shows that he is man. (D. Bonhoeffer, Ethics, 184)
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