8Apr

Being As Transcendental

Being is a transcendental and any actual/potential thing must share that attribute in some form. For example, the genus “cats” may have various species within its genus but each one analogically share in common that same genus (or type) even if they’re not univocally the same as the other species within that genus. Being is similar to a “genus” but unlike “cats” which can be subsumed under another genus (e.g, it’s a mammal), Being cannot be subsumed under any other genus. Hence, why it must be considered a “transcendental” under scholastic metaphysics. Following this line of reasoning, we can apply this to God, who is understood as “Pure Act”. That which is purely actual cannot have potential in its being, either in its composition or in its essence (refer to the essence/existence, act/potency, and matter/form distinctions) by definition. Thus its being (essence) would simply be its act of being (existence) and its form would simply be its form.

If being had any divisible parts in its being then its parts could not equal the sum: cats + dogs =/= being in a univocal sense. To suggest this to be the case would require us to think that all beings are equivalent to cats + dogs, which would also require us to think that cats and dogs are univocally the same being. This is self-evidently absurd. Such things are sets of “a” genus, not the sets of “the” genus. Now, the perfection of being is pure actuality, which no other thing can possibly posses. And anything other than Pure Act cannot exist apart from it giving an act of being to such potential beings. Furthermore, in accord to the law of proportionate causality, a cause cannot give what it does not have. In which case, every effect that God produces must be analogically present in Himself. Thus, if God is Being, then He cannot be composed of any parts or He could not be God.

2Apr
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St Francis of Assisi & His Prophecy

St Francis of Assisi is a highly regarded servant of God who lived from 1181 – 1226. Like any rich kid, he lived a prosperous lifestyle of sin at the beginning of his years thanks to his rich father who made a living from selling silk. While going to war in 1204 for glory, he had a vision from God that said he got everything wrong so he went back to Assisi on the second day. Because of his withdrawal, he was mocked, shamed, and called a coward. His dad was not any happier with him because the “golden armor” that was bought for Francis went to waste.

Around 25 years later he received another message from the Lord who said “Francis, repair my church.” He took this to mean the crumbling local church he was in and without thought sold his garment to cover the costs for repairing it. His father was enraged and treated this as an act of theft. So he dragged his son to the bishop and demanded that all the money be returned while renouncing all rights as his heir. With the belief that the Lord would provide, Francis stripped himself of everything except his hair shirt. He went out in the freezing woods and robbers beat him up and stole his clothes while throwing him in a ditch. 

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31Mar
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Historical Jesus 5: In Defense of Easter (Happy Easter Ya’ll)

(Guest post by PX Chirho)

From today until Easter, as is tradition for the blog, we will be re-publishing a series of essays I wrote from an apologist’s perspective defending the trustfulness of certain claims about the life of Jesus. This is the conclusion: In Defense of Easter. (Put on your big kid pants and deal with it, this is a long one!)

In this post I will be using the five minimal facts argument from Gary Habermas, with the the inference to the best explanation from William Lane Craig, and supported with some references toThe Resurrection of the Son of God by N. T. Wright. I will give and defend the historicity of the facts of Jesus’ death by crucifixion, His burial, the discovery of empty tomb, and the sightings of Jesus alive from the dead. Then I will give an outline of the hypothesis are give as “the best explanation of the facts” and show how I believe that every naturalistic hypothesis fails when compared to that of the resurrection. Lastly, I will close with the argument from miracles and the philosophical implication of the resurrection.

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30Mar
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Historical Jesus 4: Who Is Jesus?

(Guest post by PX Chirho)

From today until Easter, as is tradition for the blog, we will be re-publishing a series of essays I wrote from an apologist’s perspective defending the trustfulness of certain claims about the life of Jesus. This is part 1: A Introduction to Historical Jesus studies. 

The above quotation asks a very important question that is crucial to all of Christianity — that of the identity of Jesus of Nazareth. There is much to be said on this issue, but in this entry I’m going to approach question from a different perspective. What did Jesus of Nazareth think of himself? I’ll examine the authenticity of several passages in order to give a good picture of Jesus’s self-understanding as the promised messiah and unique Son of God.

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29Mar
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Historical Jesus 3: Miracles of Jesus

(Guest post by PX Chirho)

From today until Easter, as is tradition for the blog, we will be re-publishing a series of essays I wrote from an apologist’s perspective defending the trustfulness of certain claims about the life of Jesus. This is part 3: Miracles of Jesus.

A former friend once said to me concerning the miracles of Jesus, “I believe in Jesus as a real person, but I don’t believe in his magic and healing people”. I wish I had known then what I now know about the evidence for the miracles. The general view is that Jesus miracles were made up and added to the story in the decades following Christ. But as we look deeper than what is on the surface of the Gospels and other ancient writings we discover a firm set of facts on which the miracle traditions are placed. Now, slowly but surly historians are coming to a consensus that Jesus, his friends, and his enemies, thought that he could preform miraculous deeds. Let me now give a short overview of what the evidence is.

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