rss_2.0Perichoresis FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Perichoresis Feed Paradox as a Solution to Divine Hiddenness<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>I offer a new, limited solution to divine hiddenness based on a particular epistemic paradox: sometimes, agents knowing about a desired outcome or relevant features of that desired outcome would prevent the outcome in question from occurring. I call these cases <italic>epistemically self-defeating situations.</italic> This solution, in essence, says that divine hiddenness or silence is a <italic>necessary feature</italic> of at least some morally excellent or desirable states of affairs. Given the nature of the paradox, an omniscient being cannot completely eliminate hiddenness, just as an omnipotent being cannot create a rock so heavy that they cannot lift it. Epistemically self-defeating situations provide an undercutting defeater for the assumption that any nonresistant nonbeliever could <italic>always</italic>, at any time, be in conscious relationship with a perfectly loving God. Thankfully, silence is a temporary feature of epistemically self-defeating situations: once the outcome is achieved, agents can know in full.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Love and the Hiddenness Argument<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>J.L. Schellenberg and likeminded philosophers have offered a compelling argument against the existence of God known as the hiddenness argument. The idea that a loving God would not permit nonresistant nonbelief seems intuitive at first. Many theists have provided strong rebuttals to the hiddenness argument, attacking one or more of its controversial premises. I attempt to provide a new way forward in rebutting the hiddenness argument by challenging the assumed understanding of love that motivates many of the intuitions behind the hiddenness argument. I offer objections to the account of love that Schellenberg uncritically assumes and applies to divine-human relationships, and then go on to reconstruct the hiddenness argument with other accounts of love that are offered in contemporary philosophical literature discussion. In each case, the hiddenness argument is rendered unsuccessful. Throughout the essay, I comment on the theological merits of these various accounts of love as they are applied to divine-human relationships in order to show that, while not all of them are equally viable, Christian theists have several plausible ways of avoiding the conclusion of the hiddenness argument by adopting a different account of divine love.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue as Über-King of Moral Leading: Veiled and Unveiled<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>How can the Biblical God be the Lord and King who, being typically unseen and even self-veiled at times, authoritatively leads people for divine purposes? This article’s main thesis is that the answer is in divine moral leading via human moral experience of God (of a kind to be clarified). The Hebrew Bible speaks of God as ‘king,’ including for a time prior to the Jewish human monarchy. Ancient Judaism, as Martin Buber has observed, acknowledged direct and indirect forms of divine rule and thus of theocracy. This article explores the importance of divine rule as divine direct <italic>leading</italic>, particularly in moral matters, without reliance on indirect theocracy supervised by humans. It thus considers a role for God as Über-King superior to any human king, maintaining a direct moral theocracy without a need for indirect theocracy. The divine goal, in this perspective, is a universal commonwealth in righteousness, while allowing for variation in political structure. The article identifies the importance in the Hebrew Bible of letting God be God as an Über-King who, although self-veiled at times, leads willing people directly and thereby rules over them uncoercively. It also clarifies a purpose for divine self-veiling neglected by Buber and many others, and it offers a morally sensitive test for unveiled authenticity in divine moral leading.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Divine Word and Hostile Divine Presence in the Book of Jeremiah<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article makes the case that the Jeremianic tradition construes the divine word as a mode of divine presence—indeed, a locus of <italic>hostile</italic> divine presence. This oft-neglected biblical conceptualisation of divine presence has the potential to call into question our submerged assumptions about the nature of divine presence, absence, and hiddenness. The investigation traces the echoes of the <italic>mīs pî pīt pî</italic> rituals in Jeremiah 1 as well as the relationship between the word of Yhwh and the written word. The book of Jeremiah <italic>itself</italic> emerges as an embodiment of hostile divine presence. Jeremiah’s <italic>Deus Inimicus</italic> mysteriously abides in the Jeremianic scroll.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’t Write Off the Absentee Author:<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Kevin Vanhoozer’s authorial analogy for the God-World relation is a strong explanatory analogy which can aid Christians in thinking deeply, fruitfully, and systematically about the God they worship and His relationship to His creation. According to this analogy, God relates to His world in an analogous fashion to that of an author to his or her novel. However, the absolute sovereignty at play in the authorial analogy might serve to exacerbate the problems of divine hiddenness and divine neglect. Taken together and applied to the authorial analogy, I will call this the Absentee Author problem. The Author is absent from those characters who are open to relationship with Him and is likewise absent in situations wherein we would expect Him to lovingly intervene in His story, and furthermore, there doesn’t seem to be any good reason for His absence. If Vanhoozer’s authorial analogy does in fact produce the Absentee Author problem and can offer no defense against it, then perhaps we ought to countermand its use, or at least severally limit its proposed explanatory scope. In this paper, I will argue that while Vanhoozer’s authorial analogy might appear to exacerbate the problems of hiddenness and neglect at first glance, ultimately Vanhoozer’s particular model can provide unique and orthodox answers to these problems which not only exculpate the analogy but commends its further use in theology and philosophy of religion.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Hiddenness and the Afterlife: A Response to Aaron Rizzieri<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Aaron Rizzieri has recently argued that the problem of hell is a complicating factor for the issue of divine hiddenness. In particular, the problem of divine hiddenness is made much worse if anyone is threatened by negative afterlife consequences. While Rizzieri’s argument suffers from lack of theological nuance, there is a serious objection to Christian theism lurking in the vicinity of his argument. I offer what I take to be the best response to that objection.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Papacy: A Philosophical Case<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article aims to provide a philosophical case for the veracity of the doctrine of the papacy. This specific case will be presented as an <italic>a priori </italic>argument that will be formulated in light of the work of Richard Swinburne and Linda Zagzebski—which, in combination, will provide us with grounds for believing in the veracity of the papacy from a philosophical perspective, and thus help to further bolster up the historical arguments that are usually brought in support of the veracity of the doctrine.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Number and Authority of the Ecumenical Councils in the Second Helvetic Confession<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Whilst Bullinger’s CHP accepts the decisions of the first four ecumenical councils, no description has been produced concerning their criteria. Based on the common features of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedon, the Apostles’ Council of Jerusalem would fit the pattern, with one exception: it had neither been convened nor supervised by secular rulers. Why did the strongly Bible-oriented Reformers fail to ‘renumber’ the ecumenical councils starting with the one in Jerusalem, as they did e.g. with the Decalogue or the sacraments? Apparently, they acquiesced in the already established state of affairs to appease the contemporary secular powers, whilst preserving Chalcedon’s Christological and soteriological heritage.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Was Never there God and the Shoah in the Netflix Series Jaguar<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>On September 22, 2021, the Spanish series <italic>Jaguar</italic> was released on Netflix. Its six episodes of season one (a second season is yet to be confirmed) focus on a fictional band of Nazi-hunters in Spain, somewhere in the 1960s, calling themselves “Jaguars” (hence the series’ title). All but one Jaguar member are survivors of several German concentration camps, and dedicate their lives to bring Nazi war criminals, who are spending their days in luxury under the protection of the Franco regime in Spain, to justice. One of the Jaguars is Marsé (Francesc Garrido), a bearded man in his forties, and the team’s dedicated driver. Step by step, the viewer of <italic>Jaguar</italic> learns his background story: ordained a Roman Catholic priest, he renounced his faith after having witnessed and experienced the horrors of the Nazi regime in Dachau concentration camp. Marsé still struggles with his former faith and occasionally shares his theological insights with his teammates, especially with the series’ protagonist Isabel Garrido.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Monument that is Epistemology a Proposition for Atheists and Theists as Elucidations of Epistemology in Religion and Theology<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>For scholars that are working with epistemology and the importance thereof within the context of the ongoing bickering (fighting/mudslinging) between theist and atheists, or rather between rationality and irrationality of epistemology in theology and religion, may come to view epistemology of religion and theology as a monument from where a better belief system (as an incentive) can have a better effect on the current faith systems. Therefore, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic language games should be able to form this massive, sovereign metaphysical game. This affirmation should follow the historical fact of any metaphysical promise so that such a religious custom, should suggest that not only the Judo-Christian-Islamic language games, yet, all relevant creative queries should also be evaluated as components of the single game, with a solitary position of a decree and therefore all seven headings used in this article are relevant. The author is in a short discussion with Peter Forrest regarding his article Epistemology of Religion (2021) in establishing a positive outlook on how different views on the epistemology of religion and theology may surpass scholars which can expand and then better the current integrity-base epistemology of theology and religions.</p> <sec><title style='display:none'>Intra/interdisciplinary methodology</title><p/> <p>This affirmation, therefore, focuses on queries such as, ‘is it epistemologically sustainable for <italic>sapiens </italic>to believe in a God’? Is it epistemologically sustainable for <italic>sapiens </italic>to believe in the Trinity? Or ‘is it epistemologically sustainable that <italic>sapiens </italic>can be an embodiment of a Deity’? It overlooks such queries as if this belief estimates a consciousness that is empirical and therefore scientific.</p> <p>Moreover, this affirmation also tries to understand the bickering amongst rational idealists and mystics from the context of post-foundationalism who want to explain that faith or belief is not intended and thus it is not a planned commodity, rather it is an epistemological evolutionary process. Notwithstanding that this has a connection to the epistemology of theology and religion they are also the predominant subject matters in natural epistemology. This brings me to the introduction of this article where the purpose is elucidated.</p> </sec> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Satisfaction<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This past decade has seen an increased interest in the nature of Jesus’ atonement. How does a Jewish man’s death from 2000 years ago atone for sin? In this paper, I attempt to provide a model that integrates the best insights from some of the major models put forth and philosophical reflections on the nature of justice. First, I employ Jonathan Edwards to argue that creation’s purpose is to communicate God’s beauty. To live justly is to live along the grain of God’s purposes—to make one’s life a communication (or display) of the beauty of God. I then defend this theory of justice and put forth my model. As I see it, Jesus offers up his life, death, and resurrection as aesthetic <italic>icons </italic>that uphold and restore the display of God’s beauty in creation. I proceed to show how this model captures the best of several other models. Key Terms: Beauty, Trinity, Atonement, Aesthetics, Justice</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Projection: A Response to Kilby’s Trinitarian Minimalism<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The use of <italic>perichoresis</italic> by Miroslav Volf (1998) and others spring from significant themes within the Scriptures, most notably from Christ’s prayer that reveals the entire divine-human relationship as filial in nature based on a mutuality of <italic>how </italic>they relate: ‘I pray . . . that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; in order that they may be one in us’ (John 17:21). This predicates mutuality, not in the divine ‘transcendence into the substance of being,’ but on the shared character of relationality, <italic>perichoresis</italic>, experienced within the immanent Trinity and progressively reflected within human social relations. Karen Kilby concludes otherwise that any consideration of <italic>perichoresis</italic> outside of expressing the mystery of relations within the immanent Trinity is problematic, ultimately only mirroring human social relations. This essay argues that accurate reflections of <italic>perichoresis</italic> are increasingly observable within social relations and emerging within various disciplines of thought that then bring greater coherence and meaning to the Scriptures, theology, and the faith community. Using a perichoretic ontology, this essay will provide significant meaning to Matthew 12:32 (otherwise considered meaningless) and other passages. If a perichoretic ontology subsequently transforms our understanding of Christ’s redemptive action in the world and promises to resolve many historically persistent theological anomalies, the notion of <italic>perichoresis</italic> must rise within the theological project.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Hiddenness and Christian Theism: A Biblical Theodicy<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article offers a Christian response to J.L. Schellenberg’s argument for atheism from divine hiddenness. Utilizing the unique theological features of the Christian tradition, I aim to show that Schellenberg’s argument does not undermine belief in Christian theism. The first half of the article focuses on differences between the theological presuppositions of classical theism and those assumed in Schellenberg’s use of perfect being theology. In the remainder of the article, I present a biblical theodicy that pulls from the Old Testament and current trends in religious belief to argue that the experience of divine hiddenness should not be unexpected if Christianity it true.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue by the Translation, But United in the Concept? The Word Study of מִכְתָּם<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Hebrew word מִכְתָּם creates a problem because the meaning is controversy. The Hebrew lexicon, BDB (1906) and TWOT lexicon (2003), confirm this difficulty, saying, “the meaning of this word is unknown.” PONS Kompaktwörterbuch Althebräisch (2015) records that this word is untranslated, while the other sources translate as song, prayer, or epigram. Allen P. Ross (2012:48), a Hebrew scholar, indicates that its meaning is disputed. Ibn Ezra (Strickman 2009:112) interprets that this word refers to a very precious Psalm. He compares with <italic>ketem paz</italic> or the finest gold in Song of Songs 5:11 because both words are derived from the same root. This perplexity also occurs in ancient texts as they differ in their translations. This article, therefore, attempts to study and solve this dilemmatic word in ancient texts with textual criticism of its methodology. This study argues that the word מִכְתָּם is not only different in translation, but also the concept in ancient texts.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue‘Peace, Peace When there is No Peace’: The Impact of Prosperity Gospel on Suicide Rate among Nigerian Youth<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study examines how the prosperity gospel has led to an increase in suicide cases in Nigeria. Existing literature has established links between the prosperity gospel and exploitation of the poor, but finding literature that establishes links between the prosperity gospel and suicide is difficult to find. The prosperity gospel preys upon the poor and leads people into suicidal desires for lack of wealth. In Nigeria, the church has consistently continued to base its preaching on prosperity. When congregants see that the promise of provision that the church has been laying emphasis upon is not materializing, they resolve to find any means of ending the controversy. Findings reveal that some of the aphorisms of the Nigerian clergymen include “By next week, month, or year, you shall receive a miracle”, “poverty is a curse”, “I can never be poor”, and “givers never lack.” These aphorisms have made the church members expectant of God’s blessing, and when their poor condition continues, they decide to take their life. In Nigeria, the majority of those who commit suicide have experienced a number of stressful life events in the three months prior to their suicide. This study adopted content and documentary analysis as its research methodology.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue‘One Baptism for the Remission of Sins’: Exploring the Harmony Between Christian Platonism, Reformed Soteriology, and Credobaptism<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In recent years, Protestant theology—particularly of the Reformed and evangelical variety—has shown an increased interest in historical retrieval. Various theologians have engaged in the work of mining the Great Tradition of Christianity in order to resource contemporary theology with wisdom from the past. Presupposed in this work of retrieval is a claim that is by no means a foregone conclusion for Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theologians: the notion that Protestants <italic>also</italic> lay claim to the Great Tradition of the ‘one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.’ Protestant theologians working on retrieval believe they are drawing from their own heritage, not the heritage of another. While it may appear counterintuitive to do so, this paper seeks to defend this notion by drawing together three terms commonly considered disparate: Christian Platonism, Reformed soteriology, and Baptist sacramentalism. It disputes two popular insistences: first, that Reformed soteriology depends on a nominalism that contradicts the realism of the Christian-Platonic metaphysical tradition; and second, that the Baptist view of baptism amounts to mere symbolism (and thus depends on nominalism in another sense). This paper therefore argues not only that Reformed evangelicals, broadly speaking, lay rightful claim to the Great Tradition (and specifically, its metaphysics), but also that Baptists in particular share this heritage.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue With the Head, One with the Body: Ecclesial Implications of Union with Christ for Membership, Baptism, and Communion<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>John Murray once wrote of the doctrine of union with Christ that ‘It is not simply a step in the application of redemption…it underlies every step of the application of redemption.’ Union with Christ is a doctrine with significant soteriological import. However, it is not only in the realm of soteriology that union with Christ bears significance. This article seeks to explore the ecclesial implications of union with Christ. After working towards a definition of union with Christ, the ecclesial implications will be considered for baptism, membership, and communion.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue‘Some Agreeable Conversation’: Jonathan Edwards Among Early American Baptists<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Jonathan Edwards has long been recognized for his theology, philosophy, biblical studies, and pastoral ministry. The influence of Edwards’s life and ministry has stretched both far and wide. While his effect among English Baptists has been examined in a variety of ways, less attention has been given to his influence among early Baptists in North America. This article provides a survey of the research concerning Edwards’s influence upon early Baptists in North America. It argues that early Baptists in North America have been more influenced by Edwards than previously recognized. These Baptists looked to Edwards for instruction on Scripture, theology, piety, conversion and revival, preaching and pastoral ministry, and missions. Yet, more work needs to be done to understand the full scope of the reception of Edwards by early Baptists in North America.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Church as a Physical and Singular Assembly of Covenanted Believers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The study of the church is a prominent issue among New Testament writers. Though the church has progressed and may look different in the twenty-first century than it did in the first century, its purpose and function described in the New Testament ought to remain the same. One such progression that many modern churches have promoted is the use of multiple locations. The multi-campus phenomenon of the church is a recent development in the history of Christianity. Even more popular and perhaps even more acceptable is the multiple gatherings of the church that occur in one place but at different times. In many ways, the multi-site and multiple-service church are an application of the hierarchical structure of the church which developed in the third century. Such practices compromise the principle of congregationalism, foundational to Baptist churches, for the benefit of pragmatic purposes. Therefore, this article will argue a necessary connection between congregationalism and the assembly to show that the local church is to be a physical and singular gathering of covenanted believers at one time and in one location.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Reductionist: Andrew Fuller’s Response to Robert Robinson in Six Letters<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Apologetic engagement was part and parcel of the ministry of Andrew Fuller. His most common opponents embraced extreme forms of rationalism that could not be reconciled with orthodox Calvinistic theology. Socinianism, with its denial of the deity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity, posed a threat to Particular Baptist churches. Fellow Baptist pastor Robert Robinson was a Socinian sympathizer, influenced by a rationalism that stripped his theology of mystery, tension, and nuance. In six letters to Robinson, Andrew Fuller addresses various topics drawn from Robinson’s writings and ministry that pertain to human nature, ethics, and hermeneutics from a confessional perspective in an Enlightenment context.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue