Monday, August 8, 2016

Some Positions I Hold on Issues

The following is a list, in no particular order, of various positions I hold within philosophy and theology. I don’t really explain these positions as follows. I also hold these positions to varying degrees ranging from “fairly certain” all the way down to “leaning this way,” and I don’t provide any way to distinguish these degrees in this list. I encourage you to comment on some of my positions, whether you want clarifying questions (I’m happy to explain both the question and the answer) or want to know the degree to which I hold these things. I am also willing to answer questions about positions I forgot to include!

Theism: Theistic personalism
Worldview: Christianity
Human constitution: Cartesian dualism, dichotomy
Modal actualism/modal realism: Modal actualism
Omniscience: Yes, full omniscience
Providence: Molinism (middle knowledge)
Soteriology: Corporate election and individual election
Eschatology: Premillennial, pre-tribulational
Dispensational/Covenant: Progressive dispensationalism
Sign gifts: Moderate cessationalist
Science, realism/anti-realism: Realism
A priori knowledge: Yes, intuitionism
Justification: Basic foundationalism
Epistemology: Reformed epistemology, proper functionalism
Perception: Direct realism (adverbial theory)
Abstract objects: Nominalism-Divine conceptualism (tie)
Internalism/Externalism: Externalism
Natural Theology: Yes
Ontological argument: Yes, including original and modal formulations
Apologetic method: Cumulative case
Free will: Soft libertarianism
Ethics: Objective morality, deontological, divine command theory
Coherence of moral law: non-conflicting absolutism
Truth: Correspondence theory
Knowledge: warranted true belief
Time: A-theory
Bible: Inspired, inerrant
Trinity: Trinity Monotheism model of Social Trinitarianism
Impeccability/Peccability of Christ: Impeccability
Original sin/Original guilt: Original sin
Atonement: Kaleidoscope theory
Eternal security: Yes
Creation/Evolution: Creation
Genesis 6, fallen angels or godly/ungodly lines: Lines
Rahab: sin/innocence: Innocence
Logical Problem of Evil: Free will defense
Probabilistic Problem of Evil: Skeptical theism

Theodicy: Kaleidoscope theodicy approach


  1. Hi Randy, what do you mean by the Kaleidoscope theory/theodicy? Do you mean that no single proposed answer is fully correct, but rather that many of the proposed theories have some truth to them?

    1. Jeremy, that's about right! What I mean is that no one theodicy seems to encapsulate every instance of evil (or at least, it doesn't seem to), but that, taken together, many, if not most or even all, theodicies have something valuable to add. So I don't think the soul-making theodicy is the whole story of suffering and evil, but I do think there is something quite right about it--namely, the idea that suffering in one's own life (or even in the lives of others) can and often does contribute to the soul-making of persons (I just look at my own life to see growth from the evil!). So I feel that, much like a cumulative case in apologetics, I can string together various theodicies to form a more powerful picture of what's going on in the world with evil.

      This was prompted by one of my professors, Jeremy Evans, who explored this idea in the realm of the atonement. The other theories of the atonement are often not mutually exclusive, and where they are not, they often contribute something valuable to the discussion. For instance, I think Christ was a moral example (though that's not the only thing I would want to say about the atonement), recapitulation does seem correct in some sense, penal substitution does seem to be happening, and so on. Does that explain it all right?

    2. Thank you, that makes a lot of sense! I actually believe the same thing, I've just never heard of it being called the Kaleidoscope theory.

    3. You're welcome! It's definitely a lot of fun to think about! :)

  2. "Trinity Monotheism model of Social Trinitarianism" I'm no expert, but, I really thought those were almost mutually exclusive...

    1. Hey man, thanks for commenting! Trinity Monotheism is a subset of social Trinitarianism, one of three "strands" of ST. It is ST, since it locates three sets of cognitive faculties. But TM differs from other models in that it postulates that the Trinity is not some fourth thing, and that the Trinity alone is divine. This is cashed out in that the Trinity exemplifies the divine nature (since, say, the property of *being triune* belongs to the divine nature and the Trinity, but is not true of the Son--the Son is one person, not three), while the persons exemplify divinity. This helps preserve one God (Trinity--divine nature substance), participated in by three persons (of necessity). There's a lot more that can be said, but whether or not the model succeeds, it does fit into the ST family more broadly construed. :)

  3. This is really a great list and a challenge to all of us to think through the first principles of our worldview. I would be very interested in a bit more expansion on each of these positions: perhaps a brief rationale on each in a few paragraphs or less. I say this because I think it wold present a valuable means for many of us to consider our own position with more clarity, or even to open some new areas that we have not thought through adequately. Everyone should have come to a position on all of these issues, but that requires asking the right questions and some focused effort.


    --William Brown MD
    Forest, VA

    1. Thanks so much for commenting! I will definitely take that suggestion into consideration; it will undoubtedly take a bit of work, but it would be worth it!

  4. Hey Randy,

    Unless I'm mistaken, I don't see your view on Christology listed! What do you lean towards there?



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