FREE BECAUSE OF GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY

In this paper I will begin by developing a robust definition of freedom, for many of the conflicting theories of freedom and determinism differ on this first premise. The definition of freedom developed will be significantly drawn from Aristotle’s work Nicomachean Ethics, and his dialogue concerning voluntary and involuntary actions therein. The argument will continue by showing how this definition of freedom is consistent with and actually sustained by the presence of a supremely sovereign God, like that of classical Christian theism. This will be done through the arguments and explanations of Thomas Aquinas. Finally the argument will try to interact with and answer other competing theories, such as determinism, simple indeterminism, compatibilism (like that of Jonathan Edwards), and to a lesser extent Libertarian freewill. The next section will develop the theory of freedom.

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FOUNDATIONS OF APOLOGETIC SYSTEMS: DON’T BUILD YOUR SYSTEM ON THE SANDY LAND

This paper will follow this basic structure. Taking the four apologetic systems: Fideistic Apologetics, Presupposition Apologetics, Evidential Apologetics, and Classical apologetics, the paper will identify and critique the foundational starting point upon which practitioners of these methods build their apologies. The systems will be dealt with in the aforementioned order. Each system’s apologetic method will be briefly described followed by an analysis of the starting point from which each system originates. After that, the starting point will be critiqued for its efficacy or legitimacy as a foundation for apologetics. Ultimately this paper will conclude that the foundations of Classical Apologetics are the strongest leading to the most effective and comprehensive apologetic method.

THE DOCUMENTARY HYPOTHESIS: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ITS ARGUMENTS AND PRESUPOSITIONS

This paper will seek to logically critic and evaluate the Documentary Hypothesis, expose its errors, and defend the traditional position of Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. To do this, first a brief overview of the history of the Documentary hypothesis will be presented. This will include some of its main developers and supporters. How was it developed, and what were the influences and contexts from which it emerged? Next, the main arguments and claims of the documentary hypothesis will be outlined and explained. Finally, those arguments will be refuted, and an apologetic defense of Mosaic authorship will be presented.

THE POSSIBILITY OF MIRACLES: A PRECONDITION TO CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

True biblical theology is built on the supernatural. Christ’s virgin birth, His ministry filled with miraculous healings, His physical resurrection from the dead, and His bodily ascension into heaven are simply a few of the numerous miracles essential to orthodox Christian doctrine. This is to say nothing of the miracles in the Old Testament or those preformed by the apostles. Such is the magnitude of the possibility of miracle as a precondition to Christian theology, that without it orthodox Christianity would collapse. The apostle Paul put it succinctly in 1 Cor. 15:14, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”

FINDING OUT WHY GOD IS HIDING: THE HIDDENNESS OF GOD EXPLAINED AND ANSWERED

Have you ever been in a particularly spirited theological or apologetic discussion with an atheist or agnostic where he brings up the “hiddenness of God” objection? It may not have surface with that title when your interlocutor breaks into a thought experiment where he posits that, “If God would just open the heavens and send a lightning bolt near my feet right now I would believe…” Then there is a brief pause in the discussion where nothing happens, and the particularly impious opponent stands there looking very snarky and feeling particularly clever. Every time an argument arises in that vein, where an atheist or agnostic suggest God simply need do this or that and they would believe, that is a popular level presentation of the more robust objection to theism called the hiddenness or silence of God.

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