Two more good pieces in the NYT. One by Stanley Fish on Bart Ehrman’s new book on the problem of evil. Another by Oppenheimer on Anthony Flew’s newest book. The Oppenheimer piece makes it sound like Flew had nothing to do with the writing of the book that now bears his name. If the facts are correct, then this is troubling indeed. But, with the Times, facts must be taken with a grain of salt.
“We confess together that all persons depend completely on the saving grace of God for their salvation. The freedom they possess in relation to persons and the things of this world is no freedom in relation to salvation, for as sinners they stand under God’s judgment and are incapable of turning by themselves to God to seek deliverance, of meriting their justification before God, or of attaining salvation by their own abilities. Justification takes place solely by God’s grace.“
(from the Joint Lutheran/Catholic Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification [Emphasis mine])
David Kirkpatrick has just written the sanest thing I’ve read about the influence of Evangelicals on American politics in a long time. And it was published in . . . wait for it . . . The New York Times.
My favorite quote comes from:
“Frank Page of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C. [who had been elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention], campaigned on a promise to loosen up the conservatives’ tight control. He told convention delegates that Southern Baptists had become known too much for what they were against (abortion, evolution, homosexuality) instead of what they stand for (the Gospel). “I believe in the word of God,” he said after his election, “I am just not mad about it.”
Amen, Pastor Page.
One cannot undertake to revitalize the past without running the risk of anachronism. And the danger of anachronistic history of philosophy is not solely the danger of inaccurate history, for philosophy’s interest in its history is not solely historical. In the attempt to understand an alien past by overcoming the present, we can discover not only new answers to familiar questions, but also new possibilities for philosophical questioning. Anachronism precludes such discoveries.
Paul Franks, “The Origins of Post-Kantianism” in Transcendental Arguments: Problems and Prospects, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 111-112.