Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Summary and Expansion of Michael Molloy's Final Chapter for "Experiencing the World's Religions" (Notes)

I used to teach a world religion class and used a book written by Michael Molloy: these notes summarize and expand on the last chapter in that work. This is a skeleton version/outline of the lecture I would give for that section of the book.

Religion and the Advent of Contemporary Technology:

1) Advent of current technology that includes the Internet
2) Advent of telephones
3) Scientific Revolution with Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton
4) Advent of Multiculturalism
5) Women's Rights Movement
6) The Reassessment of Human Sexuality
7) Einstein developed special and general relativity in 1
905 and

8) The proliferation of secularism/globalism
9) Environmental Challenges
10) Religion and War
11) The cosmos evidently is finite in age but enormous. It could be approximately 13.7 billion years old, and there are some 100-400 billion stars in the Milky Way alone.
12) Speed of light is 300,000 km/sec or 9.5 trillion km/year
13) Milky Way-100,000 years to cross its 600 quadrillion miles in diameter
Why so enormous? We could ask the same about other celestial phenomena.
14) Billions and billions of galaxies
15) Clusters and Superclusters
16) Evolution and the Diversity of Life?
17) Four Basic Forces, proteins and amino acids
18) Quantum Physics/Mechanics/Particle Physics-Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Paul Dirac. Particle physicist Stephen Barr (professor emeritus, University of Delaware).

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Proper Referent of 1 John 4:8 (Wash, Rinse, Repeat)

Our heavenly Father is the referent of ὁ Θεὸς in 1 John 4:8. Let's not forget that point. For example, 1 John 4:9 reads: "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him" (NIV). The "God" mentioned in that verse is the Father: not the Son or the Holy Spirit/holy spirit. So the old line of argumentation that tries to identify the Trinity with "God is love" (see Augustine of Hippo for one) is just mistaken. "God" in this verse clearly refers to the Father only. Thanks for your time.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Song of Solomon 5:11 and Canonicity


"His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven" (Song of Solomon 5:11 KJV).

It has been said that the Song of Solomon almost did not make the biblical canon because Jews and Christians both had trouble making sense of the work. This book was eventually given an allegorical interpretation by readers in Judaism and Christianity, so that we now have this great sacred work in the scriptural canon, which Jehovah inspired by means of his holy spirit.

Writing Out Arguments and Logical Forms Facillitates Understanding

 Thhe following could apply to learning a language too.

It seems that the logical memory device known as "Cesare" goes like this:

1) No P are M
2) All S are M
3) Ergo, no S are P

The argument's validity can be demonstrated by means of a reductio ad aburdum argument (also known as reductio per impossibile):

1a) No P are M
2a) Some S are P
3a) Ergo, some S are not M

3a) contradicts 2) and 2a) contradicts 3). Notice the false conclusion as well in the reductio example.
So, it helps to write these things out and clarifies what's happening in arguments and language. Consulting Aristotle's square of opposition might shed some additional light on what's happening in these arguments.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Bible​—A Book of Fact, Not Fiction (Modified Talk)

Play Introduction to 1 Chronicles (4:50)

The first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles are mainly genealogies; that might make us wonder why this book was included in the Bible canon.

As our video noted, whenever the Israelites returned to Judah in 537 BCE, the lists in 1 Chronicles helped them to know who rightly belonged to the line of Davidic kings and it helped to establish the line of priestly descent, but are there other benefits we can derive from 1 Chronicles?

1 Chronicles 1:1 (read)-Adam was a real person whom Ezra counts as part of the ancestral line for restored Israel.

1 Chronicles 1:4-Noah was a real person.

Show and discuss the picture

Knowing that people in the Bible actually lived and went through experiences like ours can help to build our faith (James 5:17). It will make the Bible live for us as we study and work hard to apply the things we learn. As with other books of the Bible, 1 Chronicles gives us good reason to believe the Bible is God’s inspired Word.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

When Was 2 Peter Written?: Some Scholars Speak

Michael Green (2 Peter and Jude, TNTC): "The external evidence is inconclusive. No book in the Canon is so poorly attested among the Fathers, yet 2 Peter has incomparably better support for its inclusion than the best attested of the excluded books. It is not cited by name until Origen, at the beginning of the third century, who six time quotes it as Scripture. In short ‘Peter blows on the twin trumpets of his own Epistles’.2 Yet it was used in Egypt long before this.3 Not only was it contained in the Sahidic and Bohairic versions of the New Testament, dating from (?) the late second and fourth centuries respectively, but we are told4 that Clement of Alexandria had it in his Bible and wrote a commentary on it. This takes us back at least to the middle of the second century. The Apocalypse of Peter, written somewhere between AD 110–140, makes much use of 2 Peter,5 which throws the date of our Epistle back further still. Furthermore, there are possible or probable traces of 2 Peter in 1 Clement (AD 95), 2 Clement (AD 150), Aristides (AD 130), Hermas (AD 120), Valentinus (AD 130) and Hippolytus (AD 180)."

Green thinks a date of 68 CE is possible for the epistle, but likewise thinks we cannot be sure yet.

Duane F. Watson and Terrance Callahan (First and Second Peter, pages 136-137, Paideia Series):

"It seems likely that 2 Peter was written sometime between 100 and 140, perhaps about 125 (so also Mayor 1907, cxxvii; Senior 1980, 99). Other commentators assign different dates. Richard J. Bauckham (1988, 3740–42) gives the most comprehensive survey. Dates proposed by the commentaries I have consulted include the following:

ca. 60 (Bigg 1901, 242–47)

63 (Wohlenberg 1915, xxxvii)

mid-60s (Mounce 1982, 99)

64–110 (Davids 2006, 130–31)

ca. 65 (Moo 1996, 24–25)

65–68 (Harvey and Towner 2009, 15)

ca. 70 or 80 (Chaine 1939, 34)

80–90 (Bauckham 1983, 157–58)

ca. 90 (Reicke 1964, 144–45; Spicq 1966, 195)

late first or early second century (Perkins 1995, 160; Harrington 2003, 237)

ca. 100 (Schelkle 1961, 178–79)

100–110 (Kelly 1969, 237; Knoch 1990, 213)

100–125 (James 1912, xxx; Paulsen 1992, 94; Vögtle 1994, 128–29)

110–50 (Grundmann 1974, 65)

130 (Sidebottom 1967, 99)"

Is Genesis 1:1 in The Construct State Or Is It Absolute?

Scholars differ on the answer to the question posed in this blog entry, but to take the position that it has to be construct, as some Youtubers/TikTokers claim, is just wrong. I will cite some informative websites to demonstrate my point:

See for a discussion of the grammatical possibilities

Good dissertation here:

Tip of the iceberg.

Friday, February 23, 2024

LSJ Entry for Hagios (Screenshot)


1 Peter 5:6-7: Qualities We Need and How God Deals with Us

Greek (WH): Ταπεινώθητε οὖν ὑπὸ τὴν κραταιὰν χεῖρα τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα ὑμᾶς ὑψώσῃ ἐν καιρῷ, πᾶσαν τὴν μέριμναν ὑμῶν ἐπιρίψαντες ἐπ' αὐτόν, ὅτι αὐτῷ μέλει περὶ ὑμῶν.

ESV: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

I heard a talk recently that pointed out three beautiful things about these verses. Peter (under inspiration) teaches that we as Christians need humility, patience, and trust in Jehovah. We must humble ourselves under Jehovah's mighty hand when under trial, we patiently wait until the proper or due time when he exalts us, and we cast/throw all of our anxieties on him, which shows we trust God. 

But notice that we can confidently throw our anxieties/burdens on Jehovah because we know he cares for us (Psalms 55:22; Proverbs 3:5-6). What a beautiful assurance the apostle gives. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

More Pertaining to Greek Gender (Morphology)


A friend once asked me about grammatical gender in Ancient Greek, so I'll make a few remarks here.

Cities in Greek are normally feminine gender if I remember correctly. Granted, some nouns in the language have masculine and feminine forms, but the differentiation of gender in these instances is normally marked by the article employed with the noun (e.g., ὁ λόγος is masculine, whereas ἡ νῆσος is feminine).

Louw-Nida Greek and English Lexicon points out that Βαβυλὼν is a feminine noun and so does BDAG. The article used in Revelation along with "Babylon" also points to the noun being feminine with respect to its grammatical gender: even when a nominal declines, unless the article indicates otherwise, we can conclude that its gender remains the same: λόγος is nom. sing. masc., but λόγοι is nom. pl. masc.


1 Corinthians 10:18: A Brief Syntactical Discussion

βλέπετε τὸν Ἰσραὴλ κατὰ σάρκα· οὐχ οἱ ἐσθίοντες τὰς θυσίας κοινωνοὶ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου εἰσίν (1 Corinthians 10:18-Nestle 1904) It seems that κοινωνοὶ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου is a genitive of association (Compare Rom. 8:17). Furthermore, the substantival phrase οἱ ἐσθίοντες is the subject here rather than θυσιαστήριον. Additionally, the context suggests that the eater/one approaching the altar consumes the meat, not the altar per se (1 Cor. 10:16-17). For a similar use of altar terminology, see Heb. 13:10. Roy E. Ciampa and Brian S. Rosner (The First Letter to the Corinthians, PNTC Series):

By “participating in the altar” Paul evidently means that those eating the meal from the food taken from the altar are counted as those who offered the worship through the sacrifice that was offered there (and expect to benefit from the efficacy of that offering). The implication for eating food offered to idols is clear. Paul implies that to knowingly eat food that has been clearly identified as such makes one a willing participant of the offering from which it was taken. Such is understood to be the case in Christian participation in the Lord’s Supper and in the offerings made at the temple in Jerusalem as well, and it would be only reasonable to assume that it applies to food offered to idols also. That very implication brings Paul back to the issue of the significance of idols and idol food, an issue that he touched on in 8:4, 7 and that he addresses again in the following verses.

Monday, February 19, 2024

More Physicalism/Reductionism: Against Ultrasensory Forms

The issue of reductionism is evidently not all that inconsequential. I'm not a chemist although I once assumed the role of chemistry teacher for three months in Caldwell County, NC (USA). Nevertheless, what I'm stating here is pretty much a given in modern scientific circles far as I can tell. A nomothetic analysis of clouds yields the conclusion that clouds (ontologically speaking?) are nothing but ensembles of water molecules; similarly, with water. It's ontologically nothing but H2O far as we know (= epistemic possibility). I checked my copy of Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos: he apparently explains water in these terms as well.

Stephen Hawking once analyzed the structure of matter by probing the role that atoms and quarks play in the constitution of matter. He then asked in effect whether it's possible to reduce matter to a level of existence below subatomic particles; his tentative answer was that energy (simpliciter) possibly subsists beneath subatomic particles. Regardless of the answer to Hawking's query, it seems that a thing is what it is because of its atomic/molecular structure. A cloud is nothing above and beyond "a collection of water molecules"; water itself is nothing above and beyond H20. Waterness is therefore nothing but the common properties of water that we find in singular instances of the wet stuff: it's not some intelligible "thingy" (universal/abstract form) that the soul abstracts from matter. No one has ever proved by means of empiricism or rationalism that Forms of any kind exist. 

Causal reductionism seems tough to explain when clouds or trees are the objects of inquiry. Does not Aristotle give a natural account of teloi since his deity is not an efficient universal cause but just a final cause? Hence, from the venerable Stagirite's perspective, it would appear that utterances regarding deific teloi might be out of bounds when it comes to delineating the nature of final causes. But maybe we could invoke causal reductionism within the sweeping compass of final causality to provide justification for the natural ends of acorns or agricultural seeds and other biological organisms. That is, one might take this approach when exploring these issues from an Aristotelian or Thomistic vantage-point.

John R. Searle makes a distinction between ontological, causal and eliminative reductionism. He defines the former this way: "Phenomena of type A are ontologically reducible to phenomena of type B if and only if A's are nothing but B's" (Mind: A Brief Introduction, page 83). Some examples include material objects which are "nothing but collections of molecules" and sunsets which are nothing but "appearances generated by the rotation of the earth on its axis relative to the sun" (ibid.). Phenomena of type A are causally reducible (Searle would argue) to phenomena of type B "if and only if the behavior of A's is causally explained by the behavior of B's, and A's have no causal powers in addition to the powers of B's" (ibid). E.g., solidity is causally reducible to the behavior of molecules; consciousness might be causally reducible to neuronal behavior without being ontologically reducible to neuronal activity.

When I referred to Hawking earlier I had this quote from A Brief History of Time in mind found in chapter five:

"We now know that neither the atoms nor the protons and neutrons within them are indivisible. So the question is: what are the truly elementary particles, the basic building blocks from which everything is made? Since the wavelength of light is much larger than the size of an atom, we cannot hope to 'look' at the parts of an atom in the ordinary way. We need to use something with a much smaller wave-length. As we saw in the last chapter, quantum mechanics tells us that all particles are in fact waves, and that the higher the energy of a particle, the smaller the wavelength of the corresponding wave. So the best answer we can give to our question depends on how high a particle energy we have at our disposal,
because this determines on how small a length scale we can look. These particle energies are usually measured in units called electron volts. (In Thomson’s experiments with electrons, we saw that he used an electric field to accelerate the electrons. The energy that an electron gains from an electric field of one volt is what is known as an electron volt.) In the nineteenth century, when the only particle energies that people knew how to use were the low energies of a few electron volts generated by chemical reactions such as burning, it was thought that atoms were the smallest unit. In Rutherford’s experiment, the alpha-particles had energies of millions of electron volts. More recently, we have learned how to use
electromagnetic fields to give particles energies of at first millions and then thousands of millions of electron volts. And so we know that particles that were thought to be 'elementary' thirty years ago are, in fact, made up of smaller particles. May these, as we go to still higher energies, in turn be found to be made from still smaller particles? This is certainly possible, but we do have some theoretical reasons for believing that we have, or are very near to, a knowledge of the ultimate building blocks of nature."


The Greater and Lesser Lights? (Genesis 1:16)

Scholars often wonder why Genesis 1:16 refers to the greater and lesser lights without calling them "sun" and "moon." One suggestion has been that the Genesis account wants to emphasize the sun and moon are not gods (deities) but rather creations of YHWH Elohim (Gen 1:1). Maybe Genesis is militating against then-contemporary mythology: so the narrative goes.

Whatever the reason for Moses' choice of words besides divine inspiration, we know that he could have written "sun" and "moon" since the Hebrew word שֶׁ֫מֶשׁ (shemesh) does appear elsewhere in Genesis (Genesis 15:12, 17; 19:23). Hence, the language, "greater" and "lesser" lights seems intentional:

The author’s polemical concerns continue in these verses as indicated, first of all, by his choice of terminology. He uses the unusual expression the greater luminary instead of the normal word for sun—šemeš—of which he undoubtedly was aware. In the same way he opts for the lesser luminary instead of the familiar yārēaḥ, “moon.” The reason for this choice of terms may be due to the fact that these words—which are very similar in other Semitic languages—are the names of divinities.206 Thus this text is a deliberate attempt to reject out of hand any apotheosizing of the luminaries, by ignoring the concrete terms and using a word that speaks of their function.

Hamilton, Victor P. The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1-17 (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) (Kindle Locations 2404-2409). Eerdmans Publishing Co - A. Kindle Edition. 

Friday, February 16, 2024

To Which Mountain Was Jesus Taken?

A student once asked me from which mountain Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their glory (Matthew 4:8-11). We discussed how the mountain is not given a name in the account and it might even have been visionary, but also the word for "mountain" (ὄρος) appears numerous times in Matthew's Gospel (5:1; 5:14). However, these mountains are left nameless most of the time, I believe. For example, in the Sermon on the Mount (chaps. 5-7), we are not told what the mountain is and the same thing can be said for Matt. 17 with the transfiguration. In Matt. 28:16-20, Jesus gives the so-called Great Commission to his disciples from a mountain: Οἱ δὲ ἕνδεκα μαθηταὶ ἐπορεύθησαν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν εἰς τὸ ὄρος οὗ ἐτάξατο αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς.

There is also the question of how was he taken, and from which mountain one could possibly see all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor?

An Old Dialogue Concerning Atomism/Hylomorphism

I've omitted the name of my interlocutor for the sake of his privacy:

Atomism is incoherent for a number of reasons, not least of which is the inability to know what an atom is, or even that it is, if it is truly formless.  Moreover, a multitude of atoms are simply a nondescript collection without informative content unless multiple properties (a type of form) of atoms and combinations of atoms produce ever more complex structures (again a type of form) such that the whole becomes greater than simply the sum of its parts.

Reply: Does it go too far to say that atomism is "incoherent"? Even if it's wrongheaded or mistaken, that does not mean atomism is incoherent. A statement might be incoherent by virtue of its inherent non-intelligibility or through its contradictory structuring. However, atomism has none of those features. Furthermore, you say we cannot know what an atom is or even that it exist, "if it is truly formless." That depends on what one means by form. Recently, I have begun to wonder why, if one accepts forms, we must accept Aristotelian forms. In any event, atoms have content and the concept of an atom is intelligible enough. However, I do not see it as problematic that atoms might not instantiate Aristotelian forms. Finally, I don't know anyone who denies that atoms have properties and combine to make more complex structures. The question is whether properties and complex structures = Aristotelian forms.      

Interlocutor: Radical dualism creates an even more obvious epistemological dead-end since it is easily rejected as bald intellectual fabrication as it lacks deference to the objective world as its primary source of knowledge.  None of these alternatives to hylomorphism can explain the reality of change which troubled the pre-Socratics or provide a coherent epistemology that is grounded in a nonsubjective philosophy which confounded Plato.  Thus it is no surprise that neither alternative worldview can solve the mind-body problem.

Reply: If by "radical dualism," you mean Cartesian substance dualism, then I agree that radical dualism is not a suitable alternative for hylomorphism. Cartesian dualism particularly has a problem dealing with the mind-body problem. If anything Descartes unwittingly exacerbated the problem.

Interlocutor: Only hylomorphism, whereby a potentially knowable form is united to individuating matter, can bring immaterial (spiritual) and physical reality into a coherent relationship such that the immaterial knowing soul is understood as the form of an individual material human body.  It is true that abstract concepts or ideas known by an immaterial soul require the mediation of physical senses and a physical brain in such manner that the brain’s mediating physical images become ‘that by which we know’ rather than ‘that which we know’, i.e. the actual form potentially abstractable from the existing material substance itself.  Nonetheless, such ‘coding and decoding’ of physically accessible information should pose no difficulty for an immaterial intellect capable of abstract symbolic thinking through the use of analogy.

Reply: There are lots of presuppositions in Aristotle's theory that I question. However, please allow me to say for now that this whole question of a soul is one that should be explored further. But even if we accept Aristotle's theory of hylomorphism, Anthony Kenny and Joel Green have argued that his notion of the soul is amenable to physicalism or Aristotle's soul can be the appropriate subject of biological inquiry since he defines the soul as the principle of life. In other words, I would seriously question whether the soul that Aristotle posits is an immaterial soul. Maybe it is, but I am not sure about that point. In any event, I question the existence of an immaterial soul. So each thing you say about the soul interacting with the brain seems problematic to me. My sympathies rest with writers like Joseph LeDoux (The Synaptic Self) and Francis Crick (The Astonishing Hypothesis) or Antonio Damasio (Descartes' Error). I believe that neuroscience (generally speaking) provides a more satisfactory account of how our minds work: this approach, I would humbly submit, is superior to Platonism or Aristotelianism.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Barnes' Notes for Ecclesiastes 11:5

"As thou knowest not what is the way of the wind [ruach], nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the work of God who doeth all" (Ecclesiastes 11:5 ASV).

"Spirit - The same Hebrew word (like πνεῦμα pneuma in Greek and 'Spirit' in English) signifies both the wind-Ecclesiastes 11:4 and the Spirit (compare marginal reference). The Old Testament in many places recognizes the special operation of God Job 10:8-12; Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5, and distinctly of the Spirit of God Job 31:15 in the origination of every child. Compare Genesis 2:7" (Barnes' Notes on the Bible).

Disclaimer: I don't necessarily endorse Barnes' whole commentary on this verse.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Proverbs 19:11 and Sekel

HCSB: "A person’s insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense."

NRSV: "Those with good sense are slow to anger, and it is their glory to overlook an offense."

I'm going to focus on the word translated "insight" or "good sense."

The Hebrew word rendered "insight" or "prudence" (Bruce Waltke) is sekel (שֵׂ֣כֶל): it occurs elsewhere in 1 Chronicles 22:12; 26:14, etc. Compare Daniel 8:25.

Concerning the passage above from Daniel,  Zdravko Stefanovic writes (Daniel, page 317): 

" 'Through his cunning.' The key term in this expression is sekel, 'wisdom,' which in its general usage is positive but in this context has a negative meaning. Some translate it here as 'crafty scheming.' "

However, 1 Chronicles 22:12 (Legacy Standard Bible) states: "Only Yahweh give you insight and understanding, and give you command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of Yahweh your God."

This is a positive use of sekel. TDOT likewise makes these remarks, and I encourage you to read the whole entry found in Vol. XIV: 125-126:

Friday, February 09, 2024

John 1:12 and GENESQAI

Here is an old discussion I had with someone about John 1:12 which my partner in dialogue transliterated: OSOI DE ELABON AUTON EDWKEN AUTOIS EXOUSIAN TEKNA QEOU GENESQAI.

My Take:

First off, would you say that GENESQAI is "present tense/aspect"? I would parse it as aorist infinitive middle. Furthermore, it seems to be a constative aorist which expresses action as a whole without regard to the length of time. Therefore, I do not see any idea of continuity in GENESQAI: it is aspectually perfective. Conversely, I would agree that the phrase "TOIS PISTEUOUSIN EIS TON ONOMA AUTOU" expresses continuity. This can be discerned, not only from the aspect of the participial PISTEUOUSIN, but also from the context of 1:12. Hence, I would construe John 1:12 as a statement about those who are deemed "children of God" in this AIWN.

Writing from a post-resurrection perspective, John reports: "as many as did receive him, he gave authority to become children of God." The emphasis is on what Jesus has done as the SHALIACH of the Father, not on the process of humans becoming God's TEKNA. In other words, this Scripture does not nullify my previous observation that even now, Jesus has made it possible for anointed Christians to enjoy the status as adopted children of God.

The primary basis for this statement is 1 John 3:2--AGAPHTOI NUN TEKNA QEOU ESMEN: this passage indicates that sonship is a present reality for those who have "received" Christ and who have been anointed with the spirit of God (2 Cor. 1:21, 22).

Latin Deponent Verbs (Buck and Hale)

Latin Deponent Verbs (from Buck and Hale, pages 93-4):

Conjugation I example: miror, mirari, miratus sum ("admire")

Conjugation II example: vereor, vereri, veritus sum ("fear")

Conjugation III example: sequor, sequi, secutus sum ("follow")

Conjugation IV example: partior, partiri, partitus sum ("share")

Important to know when reading Latin literature, including the Vulgate.

Monday, February 05, 2024

Nancey Murphy's Theological Anthropology Stated Briefly

Reading the works by Nancey Murphy and Kevin Corcoran helped me to categorize my view of human nature. I had longed believed that humans do not have immortal souls and that they cannot live disembodied lives postmortem, but Murphy and Corcoran helped me to put a label on this kind of system. It's called Christian materialism/physicalism.

Maybe this explanation for Nancey Murphy's view of anthropology is a simple way of wording things. You tell me. The one particularly controversial aspect of Murphy's thought is what she writes about non-reductive physicalism or top-down causation. She argues that we need to consider the potential effects that one's environment possibly has on lower-level brain processes. For example, consider the role that the environment seems to have on the formation of "neural nets" or cell assemblies. One could evidently say that it is not only the random growth of dendrites or synaptic connections that lead to the formation of neural nets, but a "co-presentation of stimuli" to neurons might also explain these nets/assemblies.

What top-down causation suggests is that self-direction or freedom may result from an initially deterministic system. Another example that Murphy gives to illustrate this point is the gradual emergence of self-direction in prokaryotes like bacteria. Her account of what makes us human ultimately can be stated in natural terms. However, she does not exclude the work of God or the holy spirit nor does she deny the resurrection of the body. We are who we are, not only by virtue of synaptic connections or neural activity, but our relationship with God and others likewise shapes us qua our humanity.

I believe that Christian materialism is consonant with Bible verses such as Genesis 2:7; Ezekiel 18:4; 1 Peter 3:20. 

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Words of the Month (February 2024)

1) Anastrophe (English)-"Anastrophe is a rhetorical term for the inversion of conventional word order. It is often used to emphasize one or more of the reversed words." See Some sources call anastrophe a form of hyperbaton. Examples: Magna cum laude, Summa cum laude; "This love feel I, that feel no love in this" (Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare). One other example from the Roman poet Virgil is Ītaliam contrā, which = contrā Ītaliam. See

Other examples might include Latin constructions, stimulo parentali and emendatione observata

2) Anadiplosis (English)-"repetition of the last word or words of one clause or line of verse, at the beginning of the next (Ex.: 'He gave his life; his life was all he could give.')"

3) Epistemic (English)-"Wherever it is used, epistemic traces back to the knowledge of the Greeks. It comes from epistēmē, Greek for 'knowledge.' That Greek word is from the verb epistanai, meaning 'to know or understand,' a word formed from the prefix epi- (meaning 'upon"'or 'attached to') and histanai (meaning 'to cause to stand')." See