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Theology Central Blog Down For Maintenance

November 2, 2017

For two weeks, the Theology Central blog will be down for maintenance as we prepare for our new website. Thank you for your patience.



1st Cent. Communal Reading and Textual Transmission

November 1, 2017

An interesting forthcoming look at public reading and textual reliability in the early church. This will be on my list.


I ultimately argue that communal reading events were already a prevailing practice over a wide geographic range in the first century CE, and that these events acted as a conserving force over the transmission of literary traditions.

Bertrand Russell on Math and Epistemology

October 25, 2017

Now suppose that I am looking at a bright red patch. I may say ‘this is my present percept’; I may also say my present percept exists’; but I must also say ‘this exists,’ because the word ‘exists’ is only significant when applied to a description as opposed to a name. This disposes of existence as one of the things that the mind is aware in objects.

I come now to understanding of numbers. Here there are two very different things to be considered: on the one hand, the propositions or arithmetic, and on the other hand, empirical propositions of enumeration. ‘2+2=4’ is of the former kind; ‘I have ten fingers’ is of the latter.

I should agree with Plato that arithmetic, and pure mathematics generally, is not derived from perception. Pure mathematics consists of tautologies, analogous to ‘men are men,’ but usually more complicated. To know that a mathematical proposition is correct, we do not have to study the world, but only the meanings of symbols; and the symbols, when we dispense with definitions) of which the purpose is merely abbreviation) are found to be such words as ‘or’ and ‘not,’ and ‘all’ and ‘some,’ which do not, like ‘Socrates,’ denote anything in the actual world. A mathematical equation asserts that two groups of symbols have the same meaning; and so long as we confine ourselves to pure mathematics, this meaning must be one that can be understood without knowing anything about what can be perceived. Mathematical truth, therefore, is, as Plato contends, independent of perception; but it is truth of a very peculiar sort, and is concerned with only symbols.

The History of Western Philosophy (1972 ed.), 155.

I may have to pay more taxes! Yikes!

October 8, 2017

Again a WI judge has struck down the Clergyman’s Residency deduction. It was reversed on appeal before. If it takes affect, it only impacts Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois. But who knows . . . it might change things for all clergymen in time. We’ll see what the Seventh Court of Appeals say this time. Stay tuned.

Bernard Williams on Descartes

September 25, 2017

Watch this interview from 1987. A wonderful explanation of Modernity’s moorings.



Only in Minnesota

September 18, 2017

The Art Deco Foshay Tower is to Minneapolis what the Wrigley Building is to Chicago or the Chrysler Building is to New York.

Image result for foshay tower

In case you were wondering if you have to tithe

September 15, 2017

A new article in CT suggests that many church leaders say you don’t have to tithe to your local church. You can split it between them and other good work. Ok, so maybe I will just give a tithe of my tithe to my local church. Ok, so because I don’t believe in “storehouse” tithing, or tithing for that matter, doesn’t mean I accept this silliness. The first and primary place a Christian should give to is the local church. Then give extra to other ministries if you like. But do not sacrifice the church for something else.