Historical “knowledge” was not the only casualty of the Enlightenment. Knowledge of moral and philosophical truth fared no better. I’ll outline how this led to our modern assumptions concerning what we can or cannot know about what is good, true, and beautiful.
Last week I shared that recently two ministry leaders asked me for input (one on a book he is writing and another on a speaker he is hosting). I had bad news for them. This week I’ll share the email I sent to my friend writing the book on doing business as a Christian (removing any identifying features). I hope that you will more easily spot this unChristian assumption, bequeathed to us by the Enlightenment, and now so deeply entrenched in our culture that it is often hard to resist.
Recently two Christian leaders asked for my advice, and I had to give them some bad news. This week and next I’ve decided to share with you my advice (removing names and other identifying information). I do so to surface again how insidious and pervasive non-Christian thought patterns are in our culture, and how easy it is for us, if we are not vigilant, to begin thinking “unChristianly” about important issues, rather than thinking Christianly about everything.
We all desire to become better people. And so we work toward this goal. This includes choosing the beliefs and desires we will embrace and act upon. These choices in turn form our character. This common experience must fit our view of freedom. Yet, this reality doesn’t fit well with the soft determinist’s understanding of freedom. This is another external conceptual problem for soft determinism, and therefore, for Calvinism, which depends on soft determinism’s definition of freedom being true.
We are exploring external conceptual problems that make Calvinism less plausible than its alternative–Arminianism. Last week, I outlined one external conceptual problem based on our default understanding of freedom. This week, I’ll look at a second external conceptual problem for Calvinism from philosophy: the fact that we have souls.
Additional knowledge from other fields, such as philosophy, psychology, and sociology, seem to further count against Calvinism’s understanding of our salvation. These are external conceptual problems for the Calvinist hypothesis, and therefore, further reasons to embrace the alternative hypothesis–Arminianism.
One of the best ways to learn something is listening to others with different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. We often gain insights in our quest for truth only after their “outside” input. This is because we need one another to fill out our understanding and correct our errors. This is certainly the case as we wrestle with the question of predestination or free will.
The question of predestination or free will is a very hard one – which is why there has been so much debate about it. It involves an understanding of how God works, which is always tricky. His ways are above our ways, and “for now we only see in a mirror dimly” (I Cor. 13:12).
In my final post in this series I’ll discuss the last three objections that are often raised against Essentialism. If successful, they give us reason to think Libertarianism is correct, and therefore, the LGBTQ+ conversation is on track. If these objections are unsuccessful, we have good reason to believe the LGBTQ+ conversation has gotten off track, and true progress is made only by retracing our steps to see where we went wrong.