Thanks to our lazy David, this gallery was delayed but thankfully, I can finally post these up! Alfredo, David, and me both attended a conference at Biola University entitled “Christian Scholarship“. I had a blast listening to speakers like Alvin Plantinga, Paul Moser, and Nicholas Wolterstorff. Though to be honest, there were a number of presentations that just bored me. I’m not interested in art, for example, and the nudity in there was not particularly appropriate. Because of that, some brothers left while others put their head down. They should’ve at least provided a warning. The worst lecture of all time was the one on Karl Barth. I swear, that lecture could’ve just said “Christianity says we’re made for God, therefore naturalism is false” but instead, it went into a long verbose speech about the theistic criteria of human nature and how it refuted naturalism, idealism, and other positions. Frankly, it just so blatantly begged the question that I am just dumbfounded that the speaker could even dare suggest that this thinker was comparable to Thomas Aquinas.
Paul Moser’s speech was more like a sermon, but I do admit that it was one of the most interesting lectures. He has this way of speaking about Christ that just draws you into the glory and majesty of His work in us, with us, and through us. There are a couple problems that I had with his explanation of God, however. He holds to a more anthropomorphic conception that seems to treat God as some volitional force that sways with the tides or something, rather than some unmovable force as typically conceived in a more scholastic tradition. From a more general perspective, I do think the conference was worthwhile but it just seemed like everyone had their own ideas of how to do christian scholarship. Nicholas, for example, seemed to have conflicted with Moser. Each person had particular insights to offer from their field but I wanted a more unified approach that appealed to more general principles for how we are to do scholarship from a christian perspective. Unfortunately, it ended up feeling like these incompatible puzzle pieces only served to be more confusing. It’s perfectly fine for each person in their field to target the specific needs and methods of that field but it still needed some kind of guiding principle.
Another aspect that I did not particularly appreciate was the unsettling “presuppostionalist-like” approach that was primarily evident with Alvin Plantinga. Now, I know that the work of the Holy Spirit can indeed provide inner witness but to then bring in your assumptions about Christianity into the public square is just questionable to me. Then again, I guess what other way should there be? He did raise a good point in saying that even naturalists have to assume their own view as an interpretation of the data. I suppose it’s just Plantinga’s disconnect with natural theology that bothers me. Afterwards, I had the most fun when I hung out with the David, Alfredo, Marco, my dad, and Sean. Multiple discussions on catholicism, justification, baptism, neo-theism, thomistic salvation, etc was perhaps even more engaging than the event itself. Unfortunately throughout all of this, I had not slept well for over 2-4 days and it was killing me. Some of the effects were seen by David, who complained that I did not say much. Other times, I just felt like falling asleep in the lecture. Overall though, I had a FREAKIN BLAST. Thanks guys!