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John Hare’s God’s Command, 6.1.1, Intrinsic Value, “‘Abd al-Jabbar,”
 summary by David Baggett Hare begins by roughly translating al-Jabbar’s language of “hasan” and “qabih” as “right” and “wrong,” respectively, but this will introduce a strain in certain contexts. Hare then makes two qualifications: al-Jabbar doesn’t distinguish between two normative families of terms (value and obligation) the way Hare does. But he does hav...

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Chapter 5 of God and Cosmos, “Moral Obligations.” Part 2
 Summary by Frederick Choo Baggett and Walls next evaluate the Cornell realist account, advanced by those like David Brink, Nicholas Sturgeon, and Richard Boyd. Cornell realists view moral facts as natural facts (constituted by some complex collection of natural properties), but not reducible to non-moral natural facts. Some natural properties, for example, ...

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The Love of God in the Life of St. Patrick
by Marybeth Davis Baggett  Most religious celebrations and feast days for saints of the church garner little attention outside ecclesiastical circles. St. Patrick’s Day is a notable exception, especially throughout America. Across the country parades and festivities are held to commemorate all things Irish. It’s a delightful holiday in many ways, with ubiqui...

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Chapter 5 of God and Cosmos, “Moral Obligations.”
Summary by Frederick Choo Part 1 In this chapter, Baggett and Walls focus on deontic moral concepts, which include moral permissibility, moral obligation, and moral forbiddenness. Such are also expressed as moral duties (right/wrong). First, they point out that moral obligations are not identical to feelings of obligation. The feelings of obligation are neit...

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John Hare’s God’s Command, 5.3, “Barth and Our Access to the Commands”
Summary by Jonathan Pruitt In the last section of chapter 5, Hare explores Barth’s view of our access to divine commands. In order to get a clear picture of how Barth thought about access, Hare thinks it will be helpful to use Kant’s view of conscience as a foil. To this end, Hare first discusses Barth’s view of Kant, then Kant’s view of conscience, and fin...

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Twilight Musings: “What’s a Body to Do?” -Part 2
Part 1 Part 2 By Elton Higgs  Theological Principles Based on Jesus’ Example and Teaching on Submission   All submission to others must be a direct outgrowth of, and subordinate to, our submission to the Lord. (Rom. 13:1-7; I Cor. 10:28-33; I Pet. 2:13-16, 18-19). When we submit to civil authorities, it is not only out of fear of punishment, but “a...

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Seven Reasons Why Moral Apologetics Points to Christianity
  By David Baggett Various moral arguments for God’s existence are usually deployed for the purpose of arguing for the truth of God’s existence per se, but they strongly hint at a more specific conclusion. Namely, they are plausibly taken to be evidence that Christianity in particular is true. The claim isn’t that by moral apologetics alone one can some...

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John Hare’s God’s Command, 5.2, “Three Pictures of Freedom”
 Summary by Jonathan Pruitt  Having discussed the theme of particularity and universality in God’s commands in the previous section, Hare now sets his sights on Barth’s account of human freedom. Barth emphasizes the sovereignty of God throughout his work and, in the case of human freedom, Barth does not make an exception. For Barth, God elects man and this m...

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Twilight Musings: “What’s a Body to Do?” – Part 1
Part 1 Part 2 By Elton Higgs              (The following is the first part of an article I wrote several years ago that I think goes along with my recent thoughts on preserving and cultivating harmony between Christian brothers and sisters.  The remaining three parts of the article will be posted in succeeding weeks.) “What’s a Body to Do?” – Part 1 The Exam...

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Ash Wednesday and Existential Longing in The Moviegoer
By Marybeth Davis Baggett  Binx Bolling, the protagonist of Walker Percy’s 1961 novel The Moviegoer, has settled for an ordinary life. Foregoing his previous intent to study law or medicine or engage in scientific research, he no longer desires to do “something great.” Instead, Binx prides himself on having given up “grand ambitions” and “the old longings” a...

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Quote of the Month

“The book that truly got to me was Romans. It spoke to me about human evil, the way our deepest selves struggle against our best intentions, and I felt a shock of recognition: This is it! This is me! Nobody else gets this right! Some liberal theologians seem to think that talk of sin drives people away from Christianity (‘so negative, after all’). To me, the traditional Christian view of sin was attractive because it was obviously true.”

Brian Leftow