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Vol 1. No. 1
 

 

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Undergradute Essays

Mark Mann  A Pragmatic Wesleyanism: Peirce, Wesley, and a Nonfoundational Religious Epistemology

A central challenge of the postmodern era is the demise of epistemic foundationalism. This paper proposes that a Wesleyanism informed by dialogue with the pragmatic provisionalism of Charles S. Peirce provides the basis for a constructive response to this very challenge. Recently there has been a renewal of interest in Peirce's thought, largely because Peirce offers an epistemology that is nonfoundational, but also avoids the pitfalls of relativism and skepticism. My intention is to show that his thought represents the culmination of trajectories inherent in Wesley's thought, therefore providing an attractive option for those concerned to be distinctly Wesleyan.

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Amos Yong   Possibility and Actuality: The Doctrine of Creation and Its Implications for Divine Omniscience

Yong explores how neo-classical ideas have been brought to bear on the question of God’s foreknowledge of future contingents in ways that can be said to preserve or accentuate authentic relationality between God and the world in general, and with free agents in particular. He focuses on a number of recent philosophical theologians whose metaphysics of possibility have been forged in dialogue with the Whiteheadian-Hartsthornian tradition. One, Gregory Boyd, takes Hartshorne’s relational metaphysic in the direction of open theism. The other two, Richard Creel and Robert Cummings Neville, respectively re-appropriate and reject process philosophical and theological categories in retrieving—again, respectively—kataphatic and apophatic versions of the classical view of God. Now what is striking about Creel’s view of divine omniscience is its similarities to Boyd’s open theist view. However, whereas Creel revises Hartshorne’s doctrine of creation out of chaos in the direction of a creatio ex plenum—the plenum referring to the eternal realm of possibilities that exist as the other “pole” of the divine reality—Boyd’s evangelicalism appears to lead to retention of the classical doctrine of creatio ex nihilo even if (as is argued in the article) such is reconceptualized in the direction of a creatio ex mente Dei—a creation out of the divine mind. In contrast to both Creel and Boyd, Neville’s retrieval of classical apophaticism restores a robust doctrine of creatio ex nihilo to the conversation

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Undergraduate Section

 

Lindi Wells   Shedding a Different Spotlight on the Argument from Design

The teleological argument for the existence of God, the argument from design, is a valid and plausible argument because it allows for enough evidence for the relationship of the Creator and the world to be analogous to that of a director and a musical.  God, in the same way as a director, guides and orchestrates the players, to create a beautiful production.  Arguments that focus on the machine-like characteristics of the world (e.g., William Paley's analogy of God being a watch-maker and the world being a watch) tend to undermine the teleological argument because they focus on the world's efficiency.   However, when approaching the teleological argument with the mind-set of the world as piece of art, this argument gains greater plausibility. (Undergraduate Essay Section)

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Matthew E. Henry   Creatio ex Capacitas and Creatio Continua: When having power just isn't enough

Creatio ex nihilo (creation out of absolutely nothing) dominated the philosophical and theological world for ages, as the answer to what God created the universe out of. One camp that rose up against this view were the panentheists, who purport their realm containing non-divine actualities, which God continual interacted with. In the search for uncovering the material from which God created out of, and in an attempt to bridge the gap between these two views, the argument for creatio ex capacitas (creation out of ability) is born. Creation ex capacitas states that God created all matter by converting His energy into matter, a process which humanity has successfully undertaken. Capacitas does not purport a pantheistic world view, but instead shows how the necessarily possessed energy of God, does not create pantheistic 'pieces' of God when transformed into matter. Capacitas is seen working in concert with creatio continua (continuing creation); God is continuously creating from His converted energy, while also drawing all of creation closer to Himself. (Undergraduate Essay Section)

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Brent J. Temple   Now and Then: A Discourse on Issues of God and Time.

In opposition to the traditional theistic notions of Boethius and Aquinas, and the more modern yet still traditional theistic notions of Alan G. Padgett, God does not know the future, because knowledge of the future, besides being logically impossible, denies creaturely freedom. This theistic notion is inherently flawed, as it assumes that Creation is complete. On the contrary, God is not outside of time, sitting upon the eternal now; God is always ever Creating. Yes, we are in God's time, but this is God's time as he creates each moment.

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