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Why You Continually Need a First Cause for Your Existence

NOTE: Today we continue an occasional series of exchanges between Catholic theologian Dr. Michael Augros, author of Who Designed the Designer?: A Rediscovered Path to God's Existence (Ignatius Press, 2015), and various email interlocutors. Enjoy!     Dr. Augros, Your response to Mark's question of why the First Cause still has to be with us today was much anticipated, but unfortunately, left some of us disappointed (e.g., the will causes the body to act by moving the paint brush).... Read More

Is God Too Complex To Be The Creator?

Richard Dawkins believes that if the universe began to exist—it was caused by nothing. In a debate with Cardinal George Pell in 2012 he asserted: "Of course it's counterintuitive that you can get something from nothing! Of course common sense doesn't allow you get something from nothing! That's why it's interesting. It's got to be interesting in order to give rise to the universe at all!" He was right about at least two things: to get something from nothing is both counterintuitive and... Read More

The Grammar of Existence

In this age of scientific and empirical reductionism, when we hear the word “grammar” we are likely to think of what takes place in an elementary classroom. Education in the modern age is a mere shadow of an authentic education. Its constituent parts have been hollowed out and husks are dangled in front of students followed by an assessment of temporary recall of quickly fading shades. Grammar has been reduced to a mere empty shadow of its former self as well. It used to be the primary... Read More

How TO Talk About God

This is part two of a two-part series, adapted from Stephen Bullivant's new book, The Trinity: How Not to Be a Heretic (Paulist Press, 2015). Read part one here.   "A time to speak" I ended my last post in this short series with the apparent affirmation that silence is the only appropriate mode for Christian thought and prayer. This is what is known as apophatic theology, the “negative way”, or – as I like to call it – the via Alison Krauss-a. Far be it from me to denigrate... Read More

How NOT to Talk About God

This is part one of a two-part series, adapted from Stephen Bullivant's new book, The Trinity: How Not to Be a Heretic (Paulist Press, 2015).   A Parable Here’s a cheerful thought: imagine that the only food you have ever eaten has been bought from a McDonald’s. All your knowledge of eating and drinking, and all your taste experiences have come from Big Macs, McNuggets, McFlurries, and those little carrot sticks you can get with Happy Meals. Every word or concept you have to... Read More

Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

by  
Filed under God's Nature

A reader once wrote to me to ask: "I have a quick question, and I apologize if it’s awfully trite, but I haven’t been able to find a satisfactory answer after (admittedly, not-so-exhaustive) searching.  Here it is:   From the standpoint of the Catholic Church: does everything happen for a reason?   If it does, it smacks a bit of predestination; if it doesn’t, does that mean that God is out of control or doesn’t care? Say a flower grows on a mountaintop and it dies, and... Read More

Divine Hiddenness and Human Disclosure

The agnostic has said in his heart, “If God exists, why doesn’t He make it more obvious, such that it could not be doubted?” Surely, with so much riding on God’s existence (theism, the moral law, salvation, etc.), he could do a little more to make it obvious! Given the stakes, the fact that God fails to make his existence more patent is yet further proof that he doesn’t exist. Travis Dumsday summarizes this objection — often termed the argument from divine hiddenness — as... Read More

The Challenge of Ontological Disproofs

Dr. Peter Kreeft once noted that, “When Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote his great Summa Theologica, he could find only two objections to the existence of God, even though he tried to list at least three objections to every one of the thousands of theses he tried to prove in that great work” (Fundamentals of the Faith, p. 54). The two objections that Aquinas had in mind were the problem of evil and the apparent ability of science to explain everything without God. During my doctoral... Read More

Are Omnipotence and Omniscience Incompatible?

A reader recently asked for my response to this passage from Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion: "Incidentally, it has not escaped the notice of logicians that omniscience and omnipotence are mutually incompatible. If God is omniscient, he must already know how he is going to intervene to change the course of history using his omnipotence. But that means he can’t change his mind about his intervention, which means he is not omnipotent." (pp. 77-78) We have here a clever rhetorical... Read More

Why I Love My Invisible Friend

One of the favorite taunts of the New Atheists is that religious people believe in an “invisible friend.” They are implying, of course, that religion is little more than a pathetic exercise in wishful thinking, a reversion to childish patterns of projection and self-protection. It is well past time, they say, for believers to grow up, leave their cherished fantasies behind, and face the real world. In offering this characterization, the New Atheists are showing themselves to be disciples... Read More

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