BRILLIANT AND BEAUTIFUL BLOG

Month Six as a Henry Fellow: Human Uniqueness, Origin, and Destiny

I’m having a fantastic time as a Henry Fellow at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School this academic year. To date, I’ve written four chapters in my popular level book tentatively called Eleven Stones: Discovering the True Story of the World, the majority of a chapter on “Teleological Arguments” for a textbook, a chapter on “Neo-Aristotelian Accounts of Divine Creation” to be included in a forthcoming book on divine causation, and the first part of a book on Theism and the Nature of Nature.

My Favorite Books of 2019

Each year around this time I list my top books read over the past year in philosophy, theology, apologetics, fiction, and non-fiction. As much as it pains me, I’ll restrict myself to the top three in each of these categories. As is custom, I will list them with my one sentence description of the book, as written in my book log. As a bonus, this year I also include the favorite reads of Ethel and the kids! Here we go:

Month Three as a Henry Fellow: Life, Participation, and the Wingfeather Saga

This month, I have two main study and writing goals. First, I plan to read as much of the literature as I can on the origin of life to get a sense of the current state of play in science. The goal is to write one chapter for my popular level book, Eleven Stones, on the origin of life and then one section of a technical article examining how one’s philosophy of nature influences how the scientific evidence for origins is assessed. I’ve written the first section to the technical paper, setting out the two dominant ways of looking at the universe—the neo-Humean view and the neo-Aristotelian view. Now the real work begins…

Month Two as a Henry Fellow

I’m enjoying my time at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School working on the doctrine of creation. My primary focus this past month has been a paper on neo-Aristotelian accounts of divine creative activity. I hope to defend a particular version at some point, but for now, I’m interested in what neo-Aristotelian models of divine creation, if any, are viable (that is, consistent with contemporary science, pre-philosophical intuition, and traditional theology). I’ve been reading on the nature of substance, causal powers, teleology, substantial forms, and the like.

Month One as a Henry Fellow

I’m just about to begin a year of research as a Henry Fellow at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. I’ll be commuting Monday through Thursday from Texas to Illinois. That will be a lot of fun (not!). What will be a lot of fun (and interesting too) is exploring the philosophical underpinnings of the doctrine of divine activity with a group of scholars. My specific project is to explore neo-Aristotelian accounts of divine creative activity.

Top Twelve Books Read in 2018

There is this widespread idea—I’m not sure where it started or how we got here—that dinosaurs roamed among humans in the pre-Internet age. Ok, well not really. Let me try again. There is this widespread idea today that anything before the smartphone age is ancient. Novelty is king and queen today. Being “progressive” or “a forward-thinker” are the new monickers of the contemporary intelligentsia.

Favorite Books of 2017

Stories awaken. Research informs. Drama shapes. Arguments challenge. Heroic escapes. These are some of the reasons why I read books. 2017 was a record year: 58 books read, for a total of 361, since I started keeping a book log on June 1, 2009. For each book read I record the date completed, title, author, and a one sentence summary. As is now tradition, in this blog post I list my favorites of the year in philosophy, apologetics, fiction, non-fiction, and devotional reading:

The Home I Haven’t Found

[Guest Post by Lucas Shipman:]

I recently co-wrote a spoken word poem with Paul Gould. There is a line in this poem that says,

I feel like there’s a home I haven’t found. My heart aches for something deeper, more profound.

My Favorite Books from 2016

Stories awaken. They draw me into another world. They help me see reality through another’s eyes. As C. S. Lewis aptly put it, “in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see.”[1] So, stories rattle me out of my slumber. They also teach me. I learn about space and time, hope and aspiration, human longing and evil, goodness and beauty, truth and hope. I learn—especially when reading philosophy or theology—how to think better as I pull the curtain back and peer into the depth of God or the world he has made. I am challenged to live a heroic life and to push away the temptation toward sloth. All of this, and more, from reading!

 Should We Love God and Nothing Else?

unknown-3Some Christians think we should love God and God alone. The idea is this. God is supreme. God is the ultimate object of all human longing. He is the only Being in all of reality that won’t let us down. We should therefore love God and shun all else. This line of thinking is deeply mistaken. It is also unbiblical. Nor can it be done; we cannot love God alone.