Divine Condescension

The word “condescension” often invokes a negative reaction for most people. This is so because it is often used in a derogatory way to indicate that the speaker considers the person or persons to whom he is communicating with to be inferior in some way. However, the word may also be defined as the,”voluntary descent from one’s rank or dignity in relations with an inferior” (Merriam-Webster). For example, a mother will speak to her young child in a manner much different than she would speak to an adult.

We may take this understanding of the word into the world of theology when we speak of how God interacts with human beings. Isaiah informs us that God’s ways differ from ours and that God’s thoughts are “higher” than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). God is so radically other that He cannot be comprehended by man through reasoning power alone. If then God is to commune and communicate with mankind, He must “lower” Himself.
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Introduction to Natural Law

Do human beings possess an innate sense of right and wrong? And, if they do, where does this innate sense come from and what is its nature?

We must begin with Aristotle’s observation that human beings are social animals.  It is in man’s nature to live in societies with other human beings.  It is clear that in order for these societies to endure, they must require that their citizens adhere to certain behaviors and norms with the risk of punishment for those who do not accept these behaviors and norms.  This we may call the law.  It is the purpose of this exposition to show that the written laws of societies are based upon an unwritten law known as Natural Law. It is this law that provides the source of objective morality.

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Disputatio: On Man and Freedom

DisputatioThe late atheist Christopher Hitchens once articulated the view that God is an “unalterable celestial dictator” and this is not an uncommon argument to hear even to this day.   The problem is that this assessment gives rise to two separate errors, which will be set out and then shown why they fail to prove the alleged tyranny.

The first is simply an error in logical reasoning.  To see this error, it helps to understand a definition of atheism.  According to the American Atheists website, atheism is “a lack of belief in gods.”

Accepting this definition, the error committed becomes clear.  As an atheist, Mr. Hitchens asserted that God both does not exist and that He is a dictator. This error is so blatant that one need not be an expert in logic to recognize the problem. Specifically, this argument violates the law of noncontradiction, which states that something cannot both be and not be in the same way at the same time. Here, it must be that God cannot both lack existential import and be a dictator at the same time.

The second part of Mr. Hitchens’ argument is much more subtle and enthymematic. This argument claims that the existence of God is a hindrance to human freedom and dignity. This premise assumes a disjunctive, either/or dilemma. The assumption is predicated upon the belief that the will of God imposes itself upon, and thereby diminishes human freedom.

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