Saturday, February 01, 2014
One selling point is that the Roman Catholic position is not the default position – it must be argued for – and he has said he’d like to try to do that. I’ve already outlined some of the core of my disagreement with him. And he seems interested in hanging in and having an honest discussion. I’m not going to make any promises, but he seems to have found “some common ground”, and so I’m willing to go with it.
So please, if you’re inclined, feel free to take a look and offer any questions you might have as things go forward.
Friday, January 31, 2014
Candy Gunther Brown. Testing Prayer: Science and Healing. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012).
Brown’s research is organized around five questions: (1) why are biomedical tests of prayer controversial; (2) are healing claims documented; (3) how do sufferers perceive healing prayer; (4) can health outcomes of prayer be measured; and (5) do healing experiences produce lasting effects?
Chapter two introduces the history of testing prayer including a discussion of recent major studies of distant intercessory prayer. Brown discusses the fact that a major difference between studies yielding positive versus negative outcomes was the difference in the characteristics of the intercessors. Of the studies she discusses, studies with positive outcomes used intercessors who were “born again” (88) or who were believers “in a personal God who hears and answers prayer” (88), while studies with negative outcomes used many intercessors who would not meet either criterion.
Chapter three discusses the use of medical records in documenting healing claims, their strengths and weaknesses as evidence…Brown concludes that while medical records cannot give evidence as to the cause of a given medical recovery, they do provide a “scientifically informed perspective” (154) regarding whether an individual actually exhibited improved health.
The sixth chapter explores whether prayer produces lasting effects through a series of narratives constructed using ethnographic and textual analysis.
Luke's Use Of Sources
Should A Work Of History Refer To People's Thoughts And Emotions, Advocate Theology, Etc.?
Acts And The Criterion Of Embarrassment
Christian Miracles Through The Centuries
|If you look pained, and close your eyes more |
tightly, are you any closer to knowing what the
early church was like?
First off, I appreciate the opportunity to comment on your blog. Thank you
If you are truly grateful, I would appreciate it if you would make some attempt to honestly respond to my questions below.
Regarding arguments from silence, I think that we might be talking past one another. You are referring to times when the extant record is silent on points which you believe would have been explicitly mentioned in those records at those times, if the papacy were something willed by Christ. Responding to such arguments from silence, as Catholics have often done, does not constitute arguing from silence.
Of course we are talking past each other. I am not just referring to something that “may have been willed by Christ”. Or let me ask you, how can you know what is “willed by Christ”?
Thursday, January 30, 2014
J. P. Moreland once told me, when I asked him why God does not heal amputees, a story that is continually in my mind when these kind of things are on the table. He said he once witnessed a guy who was missing an ear (there was just skin where the ear should be) and saw it grow back as people (including Moreland) prayed for him. He said they watched as there was a break in his skin, blood came out, and a slight “ear” formed. What is interesting about this story is that the ear did not grow completely back. When the miracle was over, he just had a hole there, a bit of an ear, and could hear out of it.
- Joshua Elsom @JoshElsom Jan 22
- @jpmoreland ’s Story About God Healing an Amputee — @CMichaelPatton
- http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2013/11/j-p-morelands-story-about-god-healing-an-amputee/ … @Fred_Butler @DrMichaelLBrown #MalchusEar
- Fred Butler @Fred_Butler Jan 22
- @JoshElsom Who was this person? Why wasn't he completely restored? Just a hole? We can do better than that, right?
- Fred Butler @Fred_Butler Jan 22
- @JoshElsom @jpmoreland @CMichaelPatton Honestly. I don't believe it because God really heals, not partially heals.
Answers to our prayers usually come by means of providence, through acts of providence, not by miracles. There are two kinds of miracles noted in Scripture. Some are remarkable works of God apart from any human agency. The other kind of miracle involves a human agent, who from the human perspective is the instrument through which the miracle comes.
Mr. Milnes said he could not pinpoint when the problems started. But a 1980 concert performance of "Hamlet," conducted by Robert Lawrence at Carnegie Hall, may have done serious damage."The role of Hamlet is a huge sing," he said, "a tour de force. I had specified that the dress rehearsal must be other than the day of the concert. But at the last minute, due to union rules, scheduling difficulties, Bob called and said that the dress rehearsal would have to be the same day as the evening performance. Even marking my part during an over-three-hour piece was terribly demanding. By the end of the performance that night I was vocally distraught."
Mr. Milnes found a specialist who offered a plausible diagnosis: basically, that he had developed leaks in the capillaries of his vocal cords."
Vocal cords have to have equal mass," Mr. Milnes explained. "If you have tiny amounts of fluid leaking, one is thicker." The doctor described exactly a set of associated symptoms that Mr. Milnes had in fact been experiencing.
Milnes had developed a rupture at the base of one of his vocal cords that went unnoticed by his doctors for months. As he continued to sing, without giving the injured tissue a chance to heal, the inflammation and hoarseness grew worse, until he could hardly talk, let alone sing.After several months of blood tests and physical exams, his condition was diagnosed as a burst capillary caused by an allergic reaction to aspirin.
MONICA ATTARD:So does your voice age, I mean, is that the way it works?
DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND:You don't only just use your voice, you use support form the lungs and diaphragm and everything gets old, whether you like it or not. You don't only have heart problems or any sort of digestive problems or anything like that. I mean the body gradually disintegrates whether you like it or not and I was not having the response with my organs, liver, lungs, heart etc. I had a slight heart problem anyway but it was time to stop, I'd been there for over forty years.
From the IEP:
Another difficulty for the karma/rebirth solution has to do with free will. An initial advantage of this solution to the problem of evil is that real moral agency is preserved. In fact, moral agency is central to the karma/rebirth solution: our moral decisions self-determine our future experiences, making us responsible for our own destiny. Upon further reflection, the view seems to run contrary to free moral agency. Consider the example of a man contemplating the rape and murder of a woman. Suppose he has done so before, and has thus far not been caught. He is considering redirecting his life by turning himself in to the authorities and receiving the consequences of his actions. But just as he is pondering this option, a woman strolls by and his mad passions for rape and murder begin to burn within him. He now has the choice to continue down the path of destruction or put a stop to it. If he decides to attack the woman and does so, then on the karmic account the woman was not completely innocent after all; she is paying the price for her former evil actions. In that case, the rapist is not truly free to act as he does, for he is simply following mechanistically the effects of karmic justice. He is merely the instrumental means for meting out the justice requisite for this woman’s previous moral failings. If, however, the woman does not deserve such moral recompense, then karmic justice will ensure that she does not receive it. In that case, the rapist will be unable to engage in the attack.
The problem that arises has to do with locating the moral freedom in this system. If the rapist is deterministically carrying out justice on his victim, then it seems that he is not truly a free moral agent after all. He is simply a cog in the karmic justice machine. It is disconcerting to affirm a moral system in which we understand raped and murdered victims to be themselves morally culpable for such acts of brutality against them. On the other hand, suppose the rapist really is free to attack the woman. If she was not deserving of such an act, this would be a serious violation of the law of karma whereby suffering occurs only because of one’s previous evil actions. If in attempting to justify such actions, the defender of the karmic system replied that the woman would in a future life receive a reward for such a morally gratuitous act, this does not appear to be consistent with karma, for this would run counter to the central principle of karma in which evil and suffering are the effects of one's previous deeds.
The circumstances lack predictive value," but only in the sense that knowledge of circumstances by itself doesn't give God knowledge of what the agent would do. Middle-knowledge is knowledge of conditionals, where the antecedent specifies the circumstances and the consequent specifies the choice. God knows the whole conditional, and gets 'predictive value' from that. God's lacking control over the truth-value of these conditionals doesn't deprive God of the ability to know the conditionals, and that's all he needs to exercise meticulous Molinist providence.
You raise a new claim here, [that with respect to the early papacy and indeed with respect to the founding of the church], Catholics are the ones arguing from silence. I have no idea what this means, especially since the non-silence, in fact the explicit claims, of Ignatius and Irenaeus regarding bishops in the early church, and bishops of Rome in particular, factor so largely in Catholic (as well as Orthodox and some Anglican) arguments about early Roman Christianity.
|WSCal Grad Brandon Addison|
If you are considering Rome, I think you are asking the most important questions [asking for works about the early papacy]. Speaking biographically, I was initially intrigued by the notion that Jesus founded the RCC. I was reading some of the theological/philosophical problems posed at various conservative Catholic blogs where they pressed that Sola Scriptura only allowed us to have an opinion with no principled means to distinguish my opinion from someone else’s. The principle means proposed was to follow the Church that Jesus founded--and he founded a visible church after all. As a disciple of Christ it made perfect sense to join the institution that Jesus founded, and it would make it much easier to know that the Church could not err (emphasis added).
But then I started digging into the major premise of these claims.
Karma and reincarnation are central to religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. At least in some of their incarnations.
Let's say karma and reincarnation are true. As I understand it, one can be reincarnated higher up or lower down the karmic chain primarily depending on one's moral actions in this life, or failure thereof. Karma is largely based on conduct.
However, for religions that accept reincarnation into inorganic objects and suchlike, what happens if one ends up reincarnated as a rock or mineral or some other object that can't think or feel or experience? An object which can't act let alone act morally or immorally? Is this a karmic dead end? Karmic hell? Is Hitler a rock?
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.
[T]here is a reason people don't jump ethnic lines to go some other ethnic church. They feel comfortable with what they know, there [sic] family and friends are still in their home church.
I often tell white pastors that black folks in this country were forced to create a unique cultural kind of worship service since they were shut out of white churches.
Without going into a commentary on ethnomusicality let me just say that most black folks who come from the traditional or even contemporary black church find most white churches to be utterly boring. Most black folks don't like stilted or even Celtic music styles, they don't get into lectures that pose as sermons, they don't appreciate a worship that seems to stifle emotions and is almost martial in approach.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
When I was in Ethiopia last November, I was told of an Ethiopian missionary who went to Pakistan. He entered a town with a view to evangelizing and planting a church, even though Pakistan is not open to this kind of missionary work.
But when he went before the town leaders and they found out that he was from Ethiopia they said something to the effect: “You may do your work here. We owe you the gift of openness and hospitality, because your people gave asylum to Mohammed’s family 1,400 years ago.”…
Since then I have tried to track down the history behind this amazing statement….
Our acts are like pebbles dropped in the pond of history. No matter how small our pebble, God rules the ripples. And he causes the design on the face of the waters to be exactly what he wills.
Your pebbles count. Drop them with daily faithfulness, and leave the ripples to God.
31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living (Mt 22:31-32).
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you” (Gen 12:1).
for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever (Gen 13:15).
And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess” (Gen 15:7).
“8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God” (Gen 17:8).