Four Views of Evil: An Interview with W. Paul Franks

 

On April 6, 2019, Dr. Paul Franks, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Tyndale, was interviewed by our good friends Andy Steiger and Terry Crosby at Apologetics Canada–a ministry and podcast we highly recommend to all. The topic of the podcast was Dr. Franks’ new book Explaining Evil: Four Views (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019). Continue reading

Is There an Error in Mark 1:2?

Frederick Duquette is a Sessional Lecturer in Philosophy at Tyndale University College. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from McMaster University, a B.Ed. from the University of Ottawa, and a Th.M. in Theology from Talbot School of Theology/Tyndale Seminary. Prof. Duquette is a great friend of the Tyndale Philosophy Department. He has taught courses in both Bioethics and Normative Ethical Theories.

This is an invited guest post on Bart Ehrman’s oft-repeated claim that Mark 1:2 contains a “mistake.” We are delighted that Prof. Duquette was willing to lend his expertise to this question.

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Philosophy Alumnus Wins British Academy Fellowship

 

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Toronto Ontario: For Immediate Release

Tyndale Philosophy is delighted to announce that PHIL alumnus, Dr. Spencer Johnston (BA ’08), has been awarded a prestigious British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. The term of the fellowship is 3 years, and it will support Dr. Johnston’s current research project “Meaning, Modality, and Medieval Logic.” The University of Cambridge (Department of Philosophy) is the host institution.

According to Department Chair, Prof. Paul Franks, “Being awarded a British Academy Fellowship is no mean feat. It is a huge achievement and a tremendous honour for Spencer. It is a testimony to the high regard his colleagues have for his philosophical abilities and research.” Prof. Davis adds, “Spencer was the first of our graduates to be accepted to a PhD program in Philosophy. I think that opened up the real possibility in our students’ minds that it could be done. Since then, we’ve seen a steady stream of BA Philosophy majors pursue graduate work in Philosophy, Political Science, Theology, Law, and Business.”

Dr. Johnston graduated from Tyndale in 2008 (BA [Hons.], Philosophy). Afterwards, he pursued graduate studies at the University of Amsterdam (MSc ’11, Logic) and the University of St. Andrews (PhD ’15, Philosophy). Previously, he was an Associate Lecturer at the University of York (UK).

For information on the Tyndale B.A. in Philosophy, please contact Tyndale Admissions. To view a complete listing of our student placements in M.A., Ph.D., and Law programs, click here.

Panel on ‘Integrating Faith & Intellect’

Thinking Conference Toronto 2017

On May 7, 2017, Drs. Franks and Davis participated in a panel discussion on ‘Integrating Faith and Intellect’ at the 3rd Annual Thinking? Conference Toronto 2017. Some of the things they talked about include: What is a Christian academic? Loving God with your mind, tips on building a biblical worldview, challenges Christians face at secular universities, and combating doubt.

If you’re interested in receiving specific training in apologetics or worldview thinking, you need to check out our new BA Philosophy (Christian Apologetics). Click on the YouTube link below to view Dr. Davis and Dr. Franks in action on the panel. Continue reading

Tyndale Philosophy Major to Attend UNC Workshop

 

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Toronto Ontario: For Immediate Release

Tyndale Philosophy is pleased to announce that 3rd year PHIL major, Carlos Parra, has been invited to participate in the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Compass Workshop for Underrespresented Undergraduates in Philosophy (February 11-12, 2017). This all-expense paid workshop is “for students who are underrepresented in philosophy (with respect to race, gender, sexuality, or ability).” Carlos was chosen from among applicants across North America and beyond. He will also have the distinct honour of co-facilitating a seminar session on the topic “Self-Respect and Protest.”

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According to Department Chair, Prof. Paul Franks, “This invitation is particularly exciting as it comes on the heels of Gillian Lee’s recent participation in the UC San Diego Summer Workshop for Women in Philosophy. Along with our track record of successful graduate placements, it is one more indication of the growing recognition of the quality of our program and its students.”

For information on the Tyndale B.A. in Philosophy, please contact Tyndale Admissions. To view a complete listing of our student placements in M.A., Ph.D., and Law programs, click here.

New Concentration in Apologetics

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Toronto Ontario: For Immediate Release

According to C.S. Lewis, “To be ignorant and simple now—not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground—would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren.” Lewis wrote those words during World War II. The need for sophisticated training in Christian apologetics is even more urgent today.

In order to meet this need, Tyndale Philosophy is pleased to announce the launch of a new BA in Philosophy with a special Concentration in Christian Apologetics. This program has been specifically designed to prepare students interested in developing the intellectual skills to love God with their mind, while being equipped to engage in apologetics ministries in the workplace, on the web, in the local church, and on college / university campuses.

The program includes 36 hours of philosophy (culminating in the B.A. Philosophy), 6 hours of apologetics courses, and 9 elective hours selected from a variety of courses taught by faculty members from the departments of Philosophy, English, History, and Biblical Studies and Theology.

According to Dr. Paul Franks, Chair of Tyndale Philosophy, “This new concentration is truly unique; there is nothing like it in Canada. We have blended together the academic rigour of a first-rate philosophy program with the practical skills necessary for defending the Christian faith in a post-Christian world.”

For further information, please contact Tyndale Admissions. You can also follow the links below to download a brochure or listen to a podcast interview with our Chair.

Webpage | PDF Brochure | Podcast

In Support of Tom Oord and Academic Freedom

informal_colorThe Philosophy Department at Tyndale University College wants to officially lend its voice in support of Northwest Nazarene University professor, Dr. Tom Oord, who was recently informed that he was being laid-off. This is truly shocking given that he is not only a tenured faculty member at NNU, but he’s also widely respected by his students and has made significant contributions to the academic community.

A fuller account of what has happened at NNU can be found on the Support NNU website; here we want to simply present our reasons for feeling compelled to speak out in support of Dr. Oord. The reason given for this layoff was declining enrollment (Fact Sheet, no. 2), but given that the 2013-2014 academic year was described as their “best financial year ever” (Fact Sheet, no. 11) and within the previous 18 months “other attempts have been made to discipline or terminate Dr. Oord’s service to NNU” (Fact Sheet, no. 6), it seems unlikely the stated reason was the actual one.

Instead, it seems far more likely that the decision to layoff Dr. Oord stems from the discomfort some have with his belief in evolution. This connection has been made by the Idaho Press-Tribune, Insider Higher Ed, the Daily Beast, and even Christianity Today. What this boils down to, then, is an attack on the very thing that tenure is supposed to protect: academic freedom.

Although we have our doubts about evolution,1 we do affirm the principle of academic freedom and denounce NNU’s infringement upon it.

Any university that does not fully embrace academic freedom, even if the views in question are unpopular, has effectively given up on one of the central aims of the university. Academic freedom is vital to any university because it allows faculty the ability to pursue truth without fear of reprisal. Unfortunately, in this case, that is exactly what Dr. Oord appears to have received.

We encourage you to show your support for Dr. Oord by emailing Dennis Venema (Dennis.Venema@twu.ca) and requesting that your name be added to the petition he has started, or by joining the Support Tom Oord & NNU Facebook group.

Dr. Richard B. Davis, Professor of Philosophy
Dr. W. Paul Franks, Associate Professor of Philosophy

If you would like to ask a question or make a comment about this post, please consult our Comment Policy here.

  1. See, for example, Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False (Oxford, 2012).

A Response to James K. A. Smith, by Eduardo Echeverria

DSC_0091Note: In the latest issue of Calvin Theological Journal (vol. 49: 258–282) Eduardo Echeverria published an extended review of James K. A. Smith’s recent book, Who’s Afraid of Relativism? Community, Contingency, and Creaturehood (Baker Academic, 2014). Smith’s reply to Echeverria is now available on Smith’s blog (“Responding to a Common Critique of Who’s Afraid of Relativism?“). Because Echeverria is a friend of the department we have invited him to post a follow-up reply to Smith here on the Tyndale Philosophy blog. At his request, we’ve also embedded a copy of the original review below.

Dr. Eduardo Echeverria is a prominent and well-respected Catholic philosopher who, like Smith, has recently lectured at Tyndale University College. He is Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. He has authored multiple books and over twenty articles. Continue reading

Welcome to our World!

fcbdc7a85401770667d80d2c4204606aRich Davis and Paul Franks have spent countless hours at Tyndale UC over the past few years, discussing philosophy, apologetics, worldviews, natural theology, the Bible, Christian doctrine, Christ-shaped philosophy, logic, naturalism, postmodernism, the emergent church, and more. Now they’ll be blogging these ideas and conversations ‘out loud’ here.