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A Bad Case Against Classical Theism

NOTE: This is the second of a three part series on classical theism by theologian Thomas M. Cothran. Read part one here.   Stephen Webb not only misstates what classical theists believe, he misstates why they believe it. Consider, by way of example, Webb’s review of David Bentley Hart’s The Experience of God. Webb claims that Hart infers “the main tenets of classical theism … from the deceptively simple premise of God’s immateriality.” Webb attributes a similar line of... 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

In Defense of Classical Theism

When I first began to study the philosophy of religion, I became acquainted with a certain style of reasoning about God. This style seems to model arguments for and against God after arguments in the natural sciences, and is very much in vogue today. Herman Philipse is representative when he says that "the methodological dilemma for natural theologians in contemporary Western culture is that they either have to opt for methods of factual research that are intellectually respectable in... Read More

10 Atheists Who Engage Religion Charitably

David Bentley Hart is one of our foremost theologian-philosophers, an American intellectual treasure who has ransacked the thesaurus while writing books such as The Beauty of the Infinite, The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?, and the recent The Experience of God. One of the things I enjoy about his writing is how he rightfully gives credit to Nietzsche for recovering the scandalous nature of Christianity. In The Beauty of the Infinite he goes as far as saying: "Nietzsche... Read More

What God Is and Isn’t

The most signal contribution of David Bentley Hart's new book, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, and Bliss (Yale University Press, 2013), is to clarify that serious theists and atheists, though they debate frequently concerning the reality of God, are hardly ever using the word "God" in the same way. This fundamental equivocation contributes massively to the pointlessness and meanness of many of these discussions. It is not so much that Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins... Read More