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

What Makes Something ‘Christian’?

In a previous post I argued that it’s not always “lame” (to quote Gregory Thornbury, President of The Kings College) to use ‘Christian’ as an adjective. While I did provide an example of at least one case where it could be helpful (e.g., “Christian philosophy”), I didn’t say much about what makes something Christian. To fix that shortcoming it might be helpful to consider a comment attributed to the President of my own school, Gary Nelson. During a forum this past January, President Nelson spoke about what makes, and what doesn’t make, for a “Christian Seminary.”1 The Tyndale Seminary Student Association relayed part of his talk at the forum in the tweet below.

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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