gcp 1: an introduction
8/08/2006 11:48:00 PM
This post marks the beginning of a new series of post I am going to writing. I am going to deviate for some time from practical theology into more philosophy, but I hope to bring this back around to the practical side as the series begins to conclude.

The series I am writing is going to be on the Great Christian Paradoxes. As I see it, there are 5 paradoxes that have perplexed theologians and philosophers for millennia:
  • The origin of God
  • the problem of evil
  • the Trinity
  • the hypostatic union
  • the existence of free will and God's sovereignty.
Some of these paradoxes are unique to the Christian faith and others are universal paradoxes that all faiths struggle with. Some of these topics may take more than one post, particularly the problem of evil, which I plan to spend a lot of time on.

To clarify, I define a paradox as a situation that seems to be contradictory, but may yet still be true. One such is this: A Cretan says "All Cretans are liars". If the statement is true, then the Cretan who said it is not a liar, and not all Cretans are liars, and if the statement is false, then all Cretans would not be liars, except him, thus making the whole thing contradictory again. There are many types of paradoxes, but generally speaking paradoxes cannot be worked out using classical logic.

The purpose for writing this series is multi-faceted. First, I want to gain a better understanding about how logic applies to the realm of theology. Second, I want to have a consistent, synoptic understanding for all the paradoxes in question. Third and perhaps the practical aspect of all this will be that I want know what kind of statements I can and cannot make about God. I am not looking for solutions to these paradoxes, and after doing some initial thinking a reading, I'm not sure that I will be able to make any definitive conclusions about them, but hopefully, I will be able to make some general observations about the nature of God and how all these things work together.

This is probably the boldest ambition I've ever taken concerning theology, and I hope I see it through to completion. I'm already overwhelmed by the magnitude of the undertaking, and it keeps getting bigger the more I read, because the mountain of questions keeps growing larger and larger.

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