• Apologetics,  Beauty,  Love,  Materialism,  Politics,  Truth

    If Materialism is True, Then Everything Stinks

    There is a difference between being materialistic and being a materialist. If you are materialistic, you value material things above non-material things. By materialism I don’t mean the valuing of material things. What I mean is the view that there is nothing that exists that is immaterial. A material thing is some entity which is possible to experience. Some material things are so small you can’t see them, but it would be possible to experience them if one’s senses were adequate or if the thing in question was bigger. Of course, if you are a materialist, then you will very likely be materialistic. That’s all there is, after all. What…

  • Determinism,  Free Will,  Love

    What’s Love Got To Do With Free Will?

    The most common objection to Divine Determinism is that if God determines everything, then human beings are not morally responsible for their actions. In other words, for a human agent to be morally responsible for their actions, they can’t have been determined to carry those actions out. The defender of libertarian free will will often say: “No LFW, no moral responsibility.” This is perhaps the strongest argument against determinism (although there are good responses). However, some argue that there is an additional feature of human life that would not be possible if there is no LFW – love. Love, it is suggested, is only possible if a human being has…

  • Free Will,  Love,  Metaphysics

    Would Determinism Make Love Unreal?

    Compatbilists about free will hold that, although everything is determined by God, human beings are free because they are able to operate, uncoerced, according to their desires. Greg Boyd argues that such a view inhibits the possibility of loving relationships particularly when it comes to human relationships with God. He describes the following scenario in order to make his point: Suppose I were able to invent a computer chip that could interact with a human brain in a deterministic fashion, causing the person who carries the chip to do exactly what the chip dictates without the person knowing this. Suppose further that I programmed this chip to produce the perfect…

  • Epistemology,  Ethics,  Love

    O’Donovan’s Love Dilemma (pt.2)

    Oliver O’Donovan suggests that another way to think about the priority or the inclusiveness of love is to think about the object of love (for the first way, see here). Who or what is it that one should love, given the immigration situation, for example? Should we supremely love those who cannot defend themselves and, having no power, find themselves at the mercy of an impersonal immigration system? Or should our loves be focused on either ideals of law or those for whom our decisions will most affect? What we love or, more precisely, what we are supposed to love entails a presupposed order of loves. Self, nation, future generation, ideals, oppressed…

  • Epistemology,  Ethics,  Love

    O’Donovan’s Love Dilemma

    In The Resurrection and Moral Order Oliver O’Donovan asks us to consider what we mean by love as a rule for life. Do we mean, on the one hand, that love is a summary and includes the rest of moral law? Or, on the other hand, do we mean that love is a priority over all other laws? The latter involves responding to a moral dilemma by doing what is considered the most loving act even while an alternative action might be more justified on other grounds. The former may involve suggesting that a particular course of action is justified by a moral law and, though we might not like the…

  • Love

    Human Love

    God is love, but love is not God. So wrote C.S Lewis in The Four Loves. When we make love a god, Lewis thought, then whatever we love is legitimate: Every human love, at its height, has a tendency to claim for itself a divine authority. Its voice tends to sound as if it were the will of God Himself. It tells us not to count the cost, it demands of us a total commitment, it attempts to over-ride all other claims and insinuates that any action which is sincerely done “for love’s sake” is thereby lawful and even meritorious. (C.S Lewis, The Four Loves p. 216) When love is…

  • Love,  Worship

    Focus and Love

    Our culture has bestowed on us an axiom – focus on one another and love oneself. This is revealed in the rise of the selfie, the self-aggrandizing of our own vanity, the self-love Paul speaks of as a mark of the last days (2 Tim 3). It is also what is behind the focus we have on one another, our tendency to gossip about, judge and categorize one another, to check out each others’ clothes, style, taste and achievements. It was the same problem in the early church. Paul writes to Timothy to encourage him to deal with the problem: I desire then that in every place the men should…