The Apologetics of C.S. Lewis

Next Fall (2018) for the first time, Tyndale Philosophy will be offering a course devoted entirely to the apologetic system of C.S. Lewis. This is one of the required courses for the new BA Philosophy with a Concentration in Christian Apologetics. Topics to be explored include: Lewis’ career as an apologist, the Moral Argument, the Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism, The Grand Miracle, and the famous Trilemma: Lord, Liar, or Lunatic?

Here are the course objectives:

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The Clarke Files

Once described by Voltaire as a man “solely concerned with calculations and demonstrations—a veritable thinking machine,” Samuel Clarke (1675-1729) was widely regarded in the first half of the 18th century as the greatest English philosopher after the death of John Locke. Dr. Davis’ 4th year seminar “Clarke and His Critics” (Fall 2017) is an in-depth investigation of Clarke’s Christian-Newtonian-Rationalism and its outspoken critics.

You can read his first 9 discussion handouts online here. 1 more to come!

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A Recent Calvinist Strawman

In his post “Why All Arminians are Calvinists,” Dr. Mark Jones represents the Arminian position on divine election (and foreknowledge) as follows:

In the Arminian scheme, God “sees” what would happen based on a conditional future and then chooses based on what he “sees” take place in a purely conditional world. In this scheme, God knows conditionals conditionally.

In sum, Arminianism introduces a separate category, in which the human decision becomes the causal factor that determines the event. It is a form of semi-pelagianism.

This view, he says, “bows to the god of human freedom and makes God the servant of humans.” Well, that certainly doesn’t sound like a good thing, and if true it would certainly be a strike against Arminianism. But is Mark correct? I don’t think so. Continue reading

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

“Discrediting Christ” Through Inerrancy?

Some bible critics have claimed that defenders of inerrancy “discredit Christ” by taking qualities that properly belong to Christ, and then attributing them to Scripture. For example, any true Christian will affirm that Christ is sinless and perfect. Inerrantists go one step further; they “take” this property of sinless perfection and “give” it of the Bible. And this, we’re told, is a problem. Well, how so? Continue reading

Does the “Letter of Scripture” Kill?

In the past few posts (see here, here, and here), we’ve looked at this idea that the Bible isn’t authoritative; only Jesus is. The Bible isn’t perfect and error-free; only our Saviour is. At first glance, these assertions have the ring of piety. Unfortunately, the least bit of probing exposes the painful fact that they are supported by demonstrably invalid arguments. That is, they aren’t supported at all. As far as being logically mistaken goes, this is almost as bad as it gets—a bit like adding 7 and 5, not getting 12, and then pressing ahead blissfully unaware of one’s mathematical gaffe. If we’re going to claim that the bible is non-authoritative and non-inerrant Bible—call this the ‘Errant Scripture View’ (ESV, for short)—it should be on the basis of proper reasoning. Continue reading