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On the one hand, the Roman Catholic Church teaches in Dei Verbum that the living teaching office of the Church is “not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed” (DV 10).

On the other hand, consider the following argument. If knowledge is to be infallible, there cannot be a distance…


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When we think and discourse, we are always thinking and discoursing about something or other. The truth of our thought and speech is a matter of their conformity to their objects. As Aristotle said, to speak truly is to say of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not. For this reason, we cannot simply take for granted that our preconceptions and prior judgments about things are true, but rather seek to confirm them, testing them critically against the standard of the objects themselves which we wish to know. …


One of the most important controversies of the first generation of the Church was that of the relation between Gentile converts and Judaism. Did the Gentiles who believed in Christ have to be circumcised and take up the Law of Moses, or not? The apostles and the majority of the early Church came to the conclusion that such a thing was not necessary. Among the arguments they gave for this conclusion, one stands out.

The argument goes like this. Christ is the one who gives the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33). The Gentiles received the Holy Spirit while they were still…


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One of the most important texts in the debates between Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox about the papacy is found in the Gospel according to Matthew:

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him…


I teach philosophy at the university level to undergrads, mostly freshmen. Many of my students are not well trained in thinking. How do I know this? Because they do not know how to take notes. If I am lecturing and developing a thought and do not have a sentence or two projected on the screen, they don’t write anything down. This tells me that they do not know how to follow an argument and appreciate the point being made unless it is given to them ready-made, “on a platter,” so to speak.

Many people on the internet who have an…


Michel Henry teaches that there are two domains of appearance: the world and life. The world is that “Outside” in which things show themselves as external to oneself. Life is the experiencing of oneself without distance or difference, “inside.” Life is more fundamental than the world, since the world is an appearing, and nothing can appear unless there is a life which can feel itself being appeared to.

Everything experienced in the “Outside” of the world has a body. There are the more familiar bodies of sensible things: this cat, that dog, one’s brother or sister or wife or parents…


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The evidential argument from evil

At least one way of formulating the evidential argument from evil is as follows:

(1) If God exists, then there are no gratuitous evils.
(2) Probably, there are gratuitous evils.
(3) Therefore, probably, God does not exist.

An evil can be defined as “gratuitous” if (a) nothing at all justifies it, or else (b) it is excessive for the purpose it serves.

Premise (2) can be defended as follows:

(i) Some evils persistently appear to be gratuitous.
(ii) Therefore, probably, they are gratuitous.

Skeptical theism can be understood as the attempt to undermine the inference from (i) to (ii).

Although…


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I would like to venture some speculative reflections on the matter of whether or not the world can be thought of as the “body” of God from a Christian and Biblical point of view.

An objection

At first glance, one might think that the answer is obviously: No. God is said to be the creator of the world and cannot be identified with anything within it. Likewise, Christ taught that God is Spirit (John 4:24). Spirit is not body! Moreover, the Church has always rejected the notion that God is a material or bodily being. …


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The classical theistic position understands the relation between God and the finite existent in something like the following way:

[God]creation[(proper act of being)(mere possible existent)]

This should be interpreted as follows. God creates a finite existent by conferring a proper act of being upon something which, apart from this act of creation, would have remained a mere possibility of existence, i.e. something that could exist or not.

The classical theist generally talks about the relation between God and the finite existent in terms of causality. God is the cause of the finite existent, whereas the finite…


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Lately, I have been thinking about naturalism as a philosophy and about the position it occupies relative to other philosophical perspectives. As a phenomenologist, I think that naturalism is objectionable on multiple grounds. In this post, I would like to consider the possibility of a genuinely anthropocentric ontology as an alternative to naturalism.

Anthropocentric ontology and naturalism

What is an “anthropocentric ontology”? Let me start by saying what it is not. It is not the idea things only exist if there are human beings around. Neither is it the idea that things can mean whatever a person wants them to mean. In other words…

Steven Nemes

I have a PhD in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.

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