Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The virtual world of Scripturalism

Sean Gerety is waxing gleeful over Jason Stellman’s exit from the Protestant faith, just as he was equally gleeful over Michael Sudduth’s switch to Hinduism. In Gerety’s furry mind, this sort of thing somehow vindicates Clarkian epistemology and metaphysics.

I’d just point out that Gerety is no paragon of orthodoxy. To begin with, he’s not a strict subscriber to the Westminster Confession–any more than Peter Leithart.

But beyond that, if the world is ultimately a set of propositions in the timeless mind of God, then there’s no actual creation, fall, flood, calling of Abraham, exodus, wilderness wandering, conquest, Babylonian exile, Incarnation, crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, or Parousia–to name a few. The world is just a timeless simulation in the mind of God.

That’s no more Christian than the Buddhism or Hinduism. Gerety is a heretical heresy-hunter. 


  1. I'm not saying Clarkian metaphysics is true, but is it necessarily false? Didn't even Jonathan Edwards at times speak in idealistic terms like Clark did? Though, admittedly, at other times Edwards wrote as if something like continuous creation or occasionalism were true too. The former seems to suggest the B-theory of time (for God and "creation"), while the latter the A-theory of time for (at least) creation.

    Either you or Paul once said that the Clarkian view would make the incarnation meaningless. By implication it would do the same with the distinction between the material world and the spiritual world of angels.

    But, if I can use an analogy with video games or computer simulations, characters can have an "avatar" within a simulation that's within THAT simulation. Each level having its own internal laws/rules of "nature". Think of the movie The 13th Floor; or better yet, Star Trek TNG episode Ship In A Bottle

    Wikipedia's synopsis of Ship In A Bottle

    Full episode on YouTube

    Why can't Scripture's teaching on Christ's incarnation be an accommodation to our phenomenological experience of reality, rather than a rock bottom metaphysical explanation of the nature of created reality? Just as Scripture's descriptions of God's emotional life are also anthropomorphic accommodations.

    Again, I'm not defending Christian theistic idealism. I'm just not sure we can rule it out.

  2. The most relevant parts of the Star Trek episode are the last 3 minutes which can be watched by clicking HERE

    SPOILER ALERT: For those who haven't see the episode, I don't recommend you click on this above link.