• Ben Holloway

    2020 In Review

    In May, I obtained a PhD in Philosophy of Religion from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The title of my dissertation was so long, it didn’t fit on the spine of the bound version. I had a sterling supervisor in Dr. Greg Welty. I was also privileged by two brilliant readers, Drs. Little and Poythress. After graduation, I promptly went from being an instructor to assistant professor of Philosophy and History of Ideas at Southeastern. During the year, I taught classes on the history of ideas, logic, Christian philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of language, and world religions. In March, my family grew by one when we adopted Bryson. The adopted went through…

  • Apologetics,  Ben Holloway

    Replying to a Skeptic Without Becoming One

    A skeptic might make the following claims: (A) What we believe is determined by our psychology, sociology, and autobiography. (B) There is no normative, universally applicable method for arriving truth. If (A) is true, then we cannot be objective about what is true or false. If (B) is true, then we are not obliged to believe anything on the basis of someone’s evidence or reasoning. Apologists are supposed to show that claims such as “God exists” or “Jesus rose from the dead” are true and that those who believe such things are rational to do so. Moreover, apologists must assume that it is possible to come to believe these claims…

  • Ben Holloway,  History of Ideas,  Politics

    Government: What’s the Point?

    In an era when people are both fascinated and cynical about politicians and governments, it is worth pausing to ask: what exactly is the purpose of government? What is it supposed to do? In order to answer this question, we ought to first consider the kind of thing that is going to be governed – human beings. If we don’t know anything about human beings, it’s no good suggesting we know how to look after them. The problem is that we can’t merely consider them as they are now, under the authority of governments. Instead, we have to consider human beings as they might be without governments or institutions. Philosophers…

  • Ben Holloway

    Have You Thought About That?

    Someone might say, “I know what I think, but I can’t find the words.” How do you react? Do you imagine the person having a perfectly well-formed thought in their mind, but being unable to find the words to match? If there is a thought that is separate from words, then that thought is either well-formed or not. In order to tell if that thought is well-formed, we need some way to conduct a test. It is difficult to image what this test might be like. Do we gaze at it for a while, observing its well-formedness? And what does a well-formed thought look like? The most obvious test for…

  • Ben Holloway

    Philosophy for Ministry

    Plato thought that philosophers should rule. In contrast, Christian philosophers ought to serve. Throughout the history of the church, God has called Christian philosophers to help missionaries, evangelists, pastors, teachers, and counselors in all sorts of ways including the following: Defending the Christian Faith against objections Refuting false teaching Thinking through issues methodically and rationally Aiding the theological task Building intellectual confidence Integrating beliefs into coherent whole Understanding nonbelievers Christian Philosophers, J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig suggest that there are six ways in which philosophers can help the ministry of the church (Moreland and Craig, 16-19). Apologetics – when an objection is made against Christianity it is almost always…

  • Ben Holloway

    What is Christian Philosophy?

    What is Philosophy?  The word, philosophy, simply means ‘love of wisdom.’ In some sense, anyone who seeks out wisdom for its own sake is a ‘philosopher’. However, philosophy often asks questions for which other disciplines have no immediate answer. As Graham Oppy writes, “philosophy is the discipline that addresses questions for which we do not yet know how to produce…agreed answers using the methods of other established disciplines.”  (Graham Oppy in Four Views on Christianity and Philosophy, 23). Consider an example. Perhaps you hear a sentence and wonder what it means but then go on to wonder how sentences get their meaning. The question, ‘how do sentences get their meanings?’, does not find any…

  • Ben Holloway

    From Spy School to Bible School

    Spy School I was brought up in a home of wealth and security in England. At seven years old I was sent to a prestigious boarding school in the south of England. My father worked in the city of London and might have expected me to follow suit. I had different plans. Ever since my exposure to James Bond I had wanted to be a spy. My Grandfather—who had worked for the British foreign office for much of the cold war—had introduced me to 007 at an early age and spying had become my obsession. When I was nine years old my parents bought me a book called “The Secret…

  • Ben Holloway

    A Recipe for the Fourth

    At least once a year I make a dessert out of Cool Whip, vanilla pudding, Graham Crackers and chocolate frosting. It has never failed to produce in me a “God bless America” moment. And if I can make it, so can you: First, take 1 tub of Cool Whip, 2 packets vanilla pudding and 3 cups milk. Mix them together. Line a 9 by 13 dish with Graham Crackers, pour half the mixture on. Add another layer of crackers and then the other half of the mixture. Add one more layer of crackers and then the chocolate frosting. Couldn’t be easier. Happy fourth of July to you all and, sincerely, may God bless you. For…