Monday, January 09, 2012

Progress in Trinitarian Apologetics and Theology

A while back I had posted this, having arrived at my final conclusions independently of various works of other individuals: “The Trinity, Marriage, and Relative Identity.” As proof of how distracted and out of touch I’ve become in recent times, the following just came to my attention; the first link below is just a hat tip:

Analytic Theology, et cetera. | The Prima Facie Problem of the Trinity --> Section 3 of Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology: “The Trinity.

Michael Rea is someone else who has borrowed from the Paradox of Constitution and also mentions attempts of other people at using the concept of relative identity to tie up loose ends in Christian theology or apologetics. So, it may well be that Christians are increasingly unwilling or unable to deceive themselves and others by proffering irrelevant, convoluted, circular or nonsensical “explanations” of how Trinitarian doctrine is coherent--at least not the “explanations” that we hear all the time about three forms of water, or the “is of predication,” etc.

Then again, perhaps speak too soon: who else but people involved in analytic Christian philosophy really understand and appreciate the need to at least be thinking about matters of metonymy, relative identity, laws of identity, etc. regarding the Trinity? Answer: virtually no one. For this I blame our very imperfect society which disallows and discourages one’s acquiring the means to understand the world around him.*

* Consider the waste of both taxpayers’ money and students’ time in public high schools in America. For example, if you went to one of these schools you probably took English classes all four years you were stuck in high school. And what exactly did you do, read, or learn during those four years of English classes? You already knew how English grammar worked. You already knew how to spell words. So, what did you study during all those four years of English? The grammar of Old English? The relationship between English and other Germanic languages (e.g. German, Frisian, Dutch)? Middle English grammar? Rhetoric? Public speaking? Etymology or word origins (useful for those going into technical fields like medicine)? Linguistics? Logic? No, you read stories, had discussions, were forced into monologues before your classmates without being taught rhetorical methods, and you read up on Greek mythology.

Two years of your life were wasted, because during that time you could have been getting the equivalent of a minor concentration BA degree in Philosophy, Linguistics, or other fields of study. Instead, you sat and read White Fang and learned to love the idea of revenge, or you read Beowulf and learned about creatures that did not even exist. And what good do these things do if you now have neither the time, money, or excuse to study that which helps you to help yourself and others fully appreciate what is going on in the sixty-six books of the Holy Bible, to name just one important thing?

1 comment:

Kwame E. said...

Sorry, but I had to throw in the endnote. It’s tangential, but worth mentioning.