A number of theologians engaged in the theology and science dialogue—particularly Pentecostal theologian Amos Yong—employ emergence as a framework to discuss special divine action as well as causation initiated by other spiritual realities, such as angels and demons. Mikael and Joanna Leidenhag, however, have issued concerns about its application. They argue that Yong employs supernaturalistic themes with implications that render the concept of emergence obsolete. Further, they claim that Yong's use of emergence theory is inconsistent because he highlights the ontological (...) independence of various spirits in the world concurrently with his advocation of supervenience theory. In view of these concerns, Leidenhag and Leidenhag urge Yong to depart from his application of emergence theory. In what follows, we plan to address each of these criticisms and demonstrate that they are tenuous, if not unwarranted, especially in light of a kenotic-relational pneumatology. (shrink)
In this essay, it is argued that God through the Spirit is both the immanent and eminent principle of creativity, ever wooing and empowering the advancements in complexity within biological evolution. I argue herein also that God, particularly in and through the activity of the Spirit of creativity, was fully present in and with and under what is oft called “creation,” from the very beginning of created time—and will be to the end of time, proleptically present as the expression of (...) the principle of creativity. I maintain that the Spirit, by her kenosis into the natural world, imbibed the nature with an evolving fertility that has continually manifested itself in and through the increases of complexity in the natural environ. This primal imbibing of herself into the world of nature caused the world to become marked by what principally amounts to an activation of the naturally occurring, inherent potentialities within nature, thereby producing a distinctive self‐creativity within the world. Somewhat akin to Peirce, who said that we need a “thorough‐going evolutionism or none,” I contend that we need a thoroughly immanent God or none, all the while noting that both immanent creativity and self‐creativity are marks of this overall poietic process known as biotic evolution. (shrink)
Derrida’s corpus explored the human animal/non-human animal (hereafter HA/NHA) binary. Indeed, in his writings, Western thought regarding the binary is examined, as well as its inherently anthropocentric framework. Derrida successfully, however, deconstructs its systems and highlights why the binary—largely—remains in place. In Derrida’s The Animal That Therefore I Am, he belies the Western tradition that separates NHAs from HAs by excluding them from things thought to be only proper to mankind: that is, thinking, laughing, perceptible suffering, and verbalization. Animals have (...) traditionally been considered the absolute other of human beings, a view of otherness that has served as the rationale for their domination, exploitation and slaughter. This type of “animal thinking” may help us to think of the world—or imagine the possibility of thinking about it—in a non-exclusively human fashion. Looking at a possible theoretical framework that draws on both Whitehead and Derrida, we may posit that it consists of six ideas, some which are more Whiteheadian than others. (shrink)
A prominent analytic philosopher, Alvin Plantinga, here writes on one of our biggest debates—the compatibility of science and religion. I will begin this review by summarizing the contents of the book. I will then comment specifically on certain entailments of the title and give some general constructive criticisms of the text. Finally, I will remark about its potential readership. Notably, this book originated as Gifford Lectures, entitled “Science and Religion: Conflict or Concord?” at the University of St. Andrews in 2005.Plantinga’s (...) overall theme is that there is a superficial conflict but deep concord between science and religion, but superficial concord and deep conflict between science and naturalism. In the preface, Plantinga stipulates that one can be an atheist without rising to the full heights of naturalism, but one cannot be a naturalist without being an atheist . In Part I, composed of four chapters considering Al .. (shrink)
Emergence, a hot topic of discussion for the last several years, has implications not only for the study of science but also for theology. I survey Philip Clayton's book Mind & Emergence , drawing from it and applying some of its philosophical principles to a theological interpretation of emergence. This theological interpretation is supplemented by a brief examination of relevant biblical usages of the term kenosis. From this exploration of kenosis, I assert that the Spirit is kenotically poured into creation, (...) which onsets the long and laborious process of prebiotic evolution, leading to biological evolution toward increasing complexity. The complexification of matter, then, has its ontological origin in and through the agency of the Spirit of God. As such, the concept of creatio continua , continuing creation, is defended. The Spirit enables emergence by endowing creation and creatures with the ability to unfold by apparent natural processes according to their own inherent potentialities and possibilities. This essay contributes to a systematic theology of creation by constructing a theological synthesis between kenosis and emergence. (shrink)
This book is a defence of the philosophy of common sense broadly in the spirit of Thomas Reid and G.E. Moore. It breaks new ground by drawing on the work of Aristotle, contemporary evolutionary biology and psychology, and historical studies on the origins of early modern philosophy. Part One offers new answers to the questions: What counts as a common sense belief? Why should common sense beliefs be considered default positions?, and Why is it that philosophers so frequently end up (...) denying what we all know to be true? Part Two defends common sense beliefs from specific challenges from prominent philosophers on topics from metaphysics to ethics. (shrink)
This article offers a critique of Anders Nygrens influential theory of love, which radically distinguishes among ^ros, agape, and philm. By contrast, a defense is offered of Thomas Jay Oord's view, which I label "kenotically donated love" or "full-Oorded" love. Comparisons are developed of related biological relationships like mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism.