On God’s Hiddenness

The existence of God is not obvious. We often feel that we ought to encounter God himself—or at least tangible, overt evidence—if he truly exists. Many ask why God does not make himself more clearly known. Could he not write a message in the sky, or speak as an answer to prayer, or come like a thunderclap to display his power? In the midst of great trial even a Christian often feels, “a door slammed in your face […] After that, silence” rather than a reassuring presence of God. [1] It is a question I sympathize deeply with. I do … Continue reading “On God’s Hiddenness”

Fear of A Virus

The coronavirus has given us a very grim reflection of humanity’s worst traits. It’s shown us how quickly we are led to believe anything and everything. It’s shown how easily our leaders fall for the allure of power. It’s shown how flippantly we dismiss our neighbors as dumb or dangerous. Most importantly, from my diagnosis, it’s shown how fervently we succumb to fear. Far from keeping distance, far from avoiding cities and crowded spaces, we are afraid to leave the confines of our houses for brief weekly neighborhood walks. The hopeful, ill-intentioned or not, have been demonized more than terrorists. … Continue reading “Fear of A Virus”

Film Review: Onward by Pixar

Onward: Ian and Barley

With everyone cooped up at home, viewership on streaming services has predictably surged. My Mom and I recently finished Season 3 of Fauda (I highly recommend the series!), but today I want to review a kid-friendly film. Onward, Pixar’s latest release, is available on Disney Plus. Onward is worth a watch, as are all of Pixar’s films (except for Cars 2 and Cars 3). Even so, Onward is a bit of a let down, given Pixar’s high standards. Onward has all the necessary ingredients for a good film. There’s an attractive setting: a modernized suburban fantasyland. The story, about two … Continue reading “Film Review: Onward by Pixar”

Augustinian Predestination

At the moment, I am only going to post some objections to the Augustinian/Thomist view of predestination since I am starting to move away from that view due to the difficulties it poses. The Augustinian view of predestination suggests that after the fall all of mankind is destined for hell and that God, to show both aspects of his goodness, must either, by justice, condemn the great majority to their natural dwelling place or, by mercy, save a minority. At first, this view seems like a brilliant resolution of the problem of predestination but, later on, we can see that … Continue reading “Augustinian Predestination”

The Imperative of Work

With the rebirth of the modern plague and the draconian measures taken to stop its spread, jobs have disappeared in the hundreds of thousands. Partially because of this, and partially because of a good sermon I attended a few months ago, I wanted to take a look at modern views on work. Work is often seen as a means to an end. You work, get paid, and get on with life. As a result, people throughout history have been pushing for a shorter amount of work time and more compensation for their work. We have a two-day weekend, and eight … Continue reading “The Imperative of Work”

What Can a Wayfarer Know?

Mankind resembles Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s painting of the blind leading the blind. As the great Pascal tells us (great not because of his often misunderstood Wager but for the extent of his vision): Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it. Without having a clear picture of the relationship of theology to philosophy, and, more broadly, that of the order of grace to the order of nature, mankind is led between the twin evils of rationalism and fideism. On one side we have the order of … Continue reading “What Can a Wayfarer Know?”

A Lesson on Malthusianism from Saxo Grammaticus

Today, I want to share a passage that piqued my attention when I read it last year. It comes from book 8 of Gesta Danorum, a history of the Danish nation written by Saxo Grammaticus (1160-1220). After introducing Snio, King of the Danes, Saxo Grammaticus gives us a passage about a difficult period for the Danish people. I think this story displays well the deeds of a valorous woman, Gambaruk (see bolded section). It also gives an example of what happens when a country buys into Malthusian economics. Malthusianism holds that, because human populations reproduce at an exponential rate, eventually … Continue reading “A Lesson on Malthusianism from Saxo Grammaticus”

Old Law

I had a bit of difficulty deciding what to write this week. In my own personal life, I’ve listened to two different discussions on retirement in light of Christianity. Externally, all metaphorical hell seems to be breaking loose, what with the coronavirus, the oil trade wars, the stock market plunge, and the coordinated backstabbing within the Democratic Party. I don’t believe that I have enough information to comment on those things for the moment. I’ll wait a month, then, and focus on something I’ve been considering for a while. The Hebrews of ancient times were given a set of laws. … Continue reading “Old Law”

Out of the Frying Pan and the Fire

One of the most characteristic aspects of World War I as an experience was the constant rain of artillery shells: these shells, as opposed to rifle fire, were the greatest source of casualties. Nothing could save one from these shells. Although ducking down or hiding in a dugout could add to one’s chances of survival, ultimately none of these measures of self-defense could make one safe beyond doubt. In the memoirs of this era, we read of countless stories of individuals surviving a shell that would have destroyed them had they not decided to leave a certain dugout. We hear … Continue reading “Out of the Frying Pan and the Fire”

Christianity of the Third Millennium: A Response

I very much enjoyed reading Benjamin Bjorkman’s “Christianity of the Third Millennium.” Based on the PC games Ben and I enjoy, one can surmise that we both find it fun to look into the future with an eye toward strategy. At the same time, I do wish to voice a few criticisms of his article, and add a suggestion. Firstly, the article focuses on Christianity within developed countries. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with this; however, one cannot read it as a comprehensive view of Christianity in the Third Millennium. As a matter of fact, huge populations … Continue reading “Christianity of the Third Millennium: A Response”