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Christ left a manuscript for us to read and you would be shocked to see the amount of instruction in it as to how to treat and choose a wife. For Example: The bible speaks about a Virtuous woman. He Loves you and wants the best for you. Also get to know him more by praying, reading his word and seeking him then your opinion of him will be different. Maybe some resentment inside or unforgiveness? I know because I lived this too.

It was never meant to be easy, just think of Jesus and the life he lived and his triumphant exit. The condition and mindset some women and me have today has nothing to do with God, remember he gave us all free will and sadly the world today is full of so many obstacles designed by the devil to trip us up and loose our Faith in God. Believe in him no matter the outcome and may God continue to bless you. Why on earth would the most powerful man in this universe that suffered and died for YOU, give you anything good if you have lost all faith in Him? He wants only the faithful, that believe in His greatness and love to enter His gates.

Not people who lose their love and faith in Him the second something goes wrong. Continue with that attitude, and the rest of your life will be sadness and loneliness. Is it going to be easy… never! I do take care of our children, cook, clean, a good and faithful wife, but at the same time I do want to be successful with my rescue. So, that being said, it is possible to have a good woman, and her be successful at something.

But there are women out there that do just want to be a wife and mother. The more inpatient you are with God, the longer it will take. There are steps you must take to lead you where He wants you to go, just have to try and listen.

For many parents the real problems begin once their child has secured a place in school.

Good luck! I hope your life changes for the better, and you find happiness. I followed a path that was given to me and embraced it wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, I failed the training for the job I left everything to do. I have to believe that I have done what God wanted me to do and it is time to move on, but it has been hard for me. Since I left school, I have been looking for a new job. At first, I tried to transfer from my in-school, very part-time job to another location in a different state. While I was waiting to hear about that one, I found another that would allow me to use what I learned in school and move my career in a totally different direction.

So today, I had an open house for the new job and I am even more interested in getting that job. It is very close to what I wanted to specialize in with my doctorate degree, just approaching from a different angle and includes paid training. I honestly feel as though the Lord is leading me here. The trouble is, even if I go through the interview process, which at this point is not guaranteed, it could take another month or two before I would start. That one is a done deal if I want it. The hours would be acceptable and the manager is trying to get me a little more money.

I need a job as soon as possible, as my paychecks from before my move were negligible but I really want to wait for the new job. But is that the smart thing to do? I am not one to accept a job and then leave after just two months, if I were to get the new one. I have been praying but I feel as though I cannot hear any answers right now. Wait on the lord and be of good courage. He will strengthen you. What you must get will come to you if you wait. God is your provider, not your job. Depend on him. If he takes care of the birds and the bees what more will he do for you? Matthew 5 verse 25 God bless you.

Sometimes God wants us to totally trust that he is the all mighty God, and he will take care of us, and provide everything we need, if you totally trust in him. Give all you issues, confusion, and worried to him, and dont think on them again. He will work it all out for you. And also, sometimes we have to be still n listen! It made me broken, and for years I lost my faith in God. A year ago, I started my first step to attend a two-day Retreat by joining one of their ministries in the parish.

My courage took me to move forward after the initial steps by joining the formation period. The formation started by sharing how you feel about the Retreat and what made you decide to continue your journey with God. I came from another country, with strong accent but I am more confident when I write to express what I want to deliver about my feelings. When my turn to share my reasons, I took my notes and started reading it, and being so emotional, it also bring me tears. The first thing, I had in mind was to give up and stop the move I am about to take.

I felt I do not belong to the group as I am not a talker and no room to share how I witness God in my daily life. On my way home, the Holy Spirit came upon me. We are about to finish the end of a year formation and during this one year, the steps I had started is leading me to get more closer to God…..

I trust you will show me the right path to take and trusting you will show me with the outcome! We put the decision forward in prayer to God trusting wholeheartedly that He had placed the desire and promise on our hearts to go to Ireland. With only our South African passports and no impressive degrees we knew it was a tall order and could only happen by the grace of our good Lord. In record time things started to happen. A company made contact with my husband and he was flown over for an interview. All expenses paid and he had the job. He now just needed a work permit.

The company spared no expense and hired solicitors too handle everything fully confident he would be approved with no hassle. We did our best to advise them but in hindsight we should have just insisted on handling the permit application ourselves. The company has now put the position on hold until further notice. We now wait on God to show us the next step. Every other challenging step of this entire process has gone smoothly where other people struggle. We praised Him openly and gave all the glory to Him.

We were vocal sharing our good news when my instinct is normally to keep things like this private until receiving confirmation. Then out of nowhere the refusal. We are gutted. To say we feel foolish is an understatement. The worst part is that during the process my husband actually lost his job. But in faith we persevered trusting that this job in Ireland was the job he was meant to have.

Now my husband is scrambling to get a job. Increase your faith. Never doubt his providence. Doubt blocks your blessings. We were so vocal in sharing our good news when my instinct is normally to keep things like this private until receiving confirmation. The worst part is that during the process much husband actually lost his job.

Then a month of further waiting since the refusal for the company to decide its next step, only for them to place the position on hold. Oh my goodness! Do not know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there everyone obtaining identical rss issue? Everyone who knows kindly respond. I am a teacher who has been wanting to work as an assistant principal. I am qualified and have been turned down for some chances. My former principal called me a couple of weeks ago because he wanted me to apply for the position at his new school. He called me last night to say of all the interviewees, I got the job.

The catch? There are no guarantees. Furthermore, if I leave the county where I am, I may not be rehired if I lose this. My husband can get him to and from school, so the choice is really mine to make. We walk by faith not by sight. Maybe god wants to get your foot in the door. Pray and ask him and he will respond. Learn to trust him more. When you pray release it to him. Amazing article!! However left me still wondering.. I am debating on going on a medical mission trip outside the country and when mentioned to my wonderful parents they were very concerned and shared that they strongly do not wish for me to go.

My boyfriend of 4. They also find it selfish because if something bad would happen to me there that would hurt them all very much. I see what they mean but going out of the country for a mission trip has always been on my heart. I have skipped going on multiple other vacations in order to save money for this. Is it selfish for me to still want to go even though it would offend my family and loved ones? Is this his way of telling me that me and my boyfriend are not meant to be?

Way too many factors have played into this and each day I become more confused. I learned so much! I came back humbled and my heart just filled to the brim with compassion! I am a wife and a mother. My parents were not happy I was going either.. And I would advise you to pray on it and see what he speaks to your heart! Bless you. I recently applied for a full tine job that was perfect for me after I had left a part time job that had become toxic. I prayed about the full time job and prayed God would only open this door for me if it was his will.

I ended up being interviewed twice and offered the job. Plus we have a very busy schedule and another parent working full time out of town which leaves all parenting duties to me. This job has little room to take time off to take care of kids. Someone else will need to get them from school and take them to their after achool activities as well as other appointments. This means not seeing each other for about 13 hours a day. It feels taking this job may put a strain on the family and especially my 12 year old.

Any thoughts? Am I passing up a blessing? Well, you prayed and God answered, I would try it! He will solve the issues. Many years ago when I had 5 young children I was called out of the blue and offered a full time teaching job. I had never thought about working at all, how would I do it with 5? But I felt God call me and so I said yes and he opened many doors — the most unbelievable one was that my youngest, a preschooler, was able to attend a day care in the classroom next to mine in my high school!! How God worked out that was amazing as it was well known and had quite a waiting list, but He wanted me to teach and worked all out.

You prayed and He opened the door. Now trust that everything else will work out. I am moving also, away from my teaching job that is toxic to me. I love my students and classes but it is affecting my ability to be a good mom and wife. So I prayed, felt led, quit, and have now received a new job at a university! And I have to trust that He knows best and knows all the details and needs, as He does and is working all out for His glory and my good.

I call it a demonic divide. My adult daugter was offered a lucrative position. From the time the children 4 of them left for school -until 10pm and beyond they did not see mom. YES, it will put a strain on family. I saw it first hand. I believe it was the hand of God. It seems like when I do that, everything falls apart. Work has been slow so I thought I would use the free time I had getting close to God. My family and I are n tricky situations on every level and we are challenged My go to has always been alcohol not a daily bases but often.

It is my weak point. I prayed hard about it. And just when it seemed like I got it together all the work I have done fell apart in one day when all stresses became too much and I drank. I have been asked to leave but we have been here so many times through my fault and my partners. It is a toxic relationship but we both believe in God and are Christians. I have a very important decision to make to leave or stay. Am I being silly? Go to AA. You are an alcoholic. What ever kind it is, you rely on drinking to get rid of stress. When in crisis, never a good time to make big decisions or drink.

Go to every meeting you are able to make. You will know when you can go to fewer meetings but for now, you need every one of them. Until you get your alcoholism dealt with, nothing in your life will work and the toxicity you talk about is because of your drinking and will continue. They will teach you how to control your emotional impulses and show you how to find better ways to deal with your emotions. Go to AA and be supported by people in the same struggle you are. Take care. I wish you the best and I will pray for you to succeed. I hope you do. Work the program. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.

It takes time to recover so do not expect immediate results that fix or change everything for the better. Get a sponsor too, someone who will help you work the program. Be patient and stay the course. It will be worth all the hard work. Yes, please report back. I wish you all success in finding your way out of this addiction.

Just thinking now that I have prayed literally begged God to help me with my drinking and asked the Holy Spirit to strengthen me and not let me fall into temptation. Why did God not answer me? Why did I have to look for help on a website and find my own healing before he can work through me? Because He has a lesson s for you to learn. It will be good — Romans Or there will be something about this journey that is going to bless someone else, through you.

Or both. Sometimes we need to climb out or go through so we learn something important. Sometimes it is so we can bless others. In my experience is it has worked both ways, for me. When I fought cancer, He could have healed me. He had done it before. But this time I had to walk through it, chemo and all. And because I did, I learned to let go of pride. I would not accept help until I got to a point that I had no choice. He knew this was the way for me to change a bad habit.

I thank Him he put me through that very difficult experience. I learned that letting others help me, blessed them. I would not and could not see that refusing help was robbing others of blessing. Want to see someone light up with feeling good?


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Let them help you. No reasonable person wants that guilt on their conscience. But Romans is the best answer I can give you. This is one prayer HE promises to answer. James You just go to AA. It is open to everyone without appointment. I know it when I see it. But most of all, be real at AA. Thank you for being so hard on me. May you be blessed. I meant arrangements in the sense I looked it up found a meeting contacted the person to see if the time and date still applies. Lost, after you get to first AA meeting, hopefully you will find people to help you get to meetings.

Probably going to be important that you find a sponsor quickly so they may help with this too. Ask around. It is likely you will need more than one meeting a week. As I said before, eventually you will be able to cut back to a week. Everyone is different. I had a friend who went multiple times a day but he needed to do that in the beginning of his sobriety, in order not to drink. And that pleases God. Best to you. Father I ask you to help Lost get to meetings, hold onto sobriety and willingly earn what you are about to teach. Father give Lost understanding of why she drinks so she may seek You for specific healing for this emotional problem s.

Give Lost the wisdom to know what to do instead of drinking. Help Lost find a sponsor and AA groups that will support and encourage her with people who will help her with rides. And lastly I ask You to show her Your purpose of all this and how to use it for Your glory. In Jesus name, Amen. Psalms [8]I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Praying unceasingly.. I run the race. So that He gets the glory in the rescue.

Faith and trust and believing that failure is okay.. God still has us in His hands…He will allow us ruined knees and broken hearts to get to the ultimate goal of Christlikeness. Believing the unbelievable is the first step…more difficult than imaginable…but worth k owing the Lord. It is not true God allows us to make wrong decisions so He can rescue us for His Glory. Nor is it true that believing the unbelievable is the first step to anything with or about God.

Where did you get these ideas? I interpreted her comment to mean that we all have free will. God will never take away this gift. God clearly allows this. Do you disagree? We started planning the wedding in faith because we both are believers and we committed it to God in prayer. When do I start having faith and be practical? Hi, im glad i found this, my marriage has been on da rocky side, hence probs i created based on actions i was getting from him so i reacted, im honestly nd sincerly regretful of da choices i made…now hes at da conclusion tht its best we get a devorce…i love my husband dearly nd dont agree…ive been praying nd hoping tht god wld just restore our marriage…but my faith hasnt been whr its supp 2 b…esp bcuz i havnt been seeing n e possitive changes…but ive decided 2 go at it with all my faith this time…i just want bk my husband nd a healthy pregnancy..

I am so glad I found this article. Next week I need to make a decision on whether or not to accept on offer for a Masters Degree overseas which starts in 8 months. I also need to rely on my current employer to transfer me over on a visa which they said they would support me on. My fear is what if my job falls through? How do I know? Ive prayed and fasted at length and it has been revealed to me through scripture, dreams, and impressions from the holy spirit that I am meant to marry a man who happens to be my 2nd cousin by relation. My mother has expressed to me many times that I would break her heart and bring shame to her name if I decide to proceed with this.

I can already feel the division growing between her and me. However, I still believe God is leading me to make this decision… No matter how seemingly odd or culturally shamed. What advice do you have for me? Sometimes we get so caught up in what we think God is telling us, we have blinders on because we want what we want. If you 2 are really meant to be together, then hold off until God unites the whole family on this.

If you are really meant to be together there is no harm in waiting and in fact you will grow stronger, together, over time. Family are those you go cradle to grave with. Take it from someone who is orphaned by family rejection, it is a hard way to live and lonely, lonely, lonely especially around the holidays. I would ask you to consider the some unintended consequences. Here are some suggestions to think about:. At least when I was with one side I could escape the other side. When we are young we think we know all we need to know but our parents have a lot of life experience that is worth considering.

And I understand I pointed out a lot of negative here. I wonder if your family is all or mostly believers and this is the enemy trying to divide you all? For me, when all else is confusing I go to scripture. You never go wrong following that. Honour your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you.

Ex Even Jesus said that if we put him first, it may cause divisions with mothers and fathers and those close to us. Help please with any thoughts or comments: I have worked for a well known Christian ministry speaker, pastor, tv, ecourses and have gone from a contract position to a more permanent position.

In speaking with the CFO, we discussed FT employment, and because a large move would have to take place, I needed to know the salary. Every conversation has ended in frustration because she refuses to give a wage, unless I agree to take the job. Even with my yes, I still cannot get a quote from her. Yesterday, on the phone, she asked me to email what I would like to be paid, job description, etc and they would discuss it. I know these owners personally, so I am really stuck on whether to move forward or get out. I like my job, I learn and grow, doing it with excellence, as PH did.

Am I going to be used for growth and change? Is it toxic and I need to stay out? Thanks to whoever can speak into this please. There should be a salary and all the benefits discussed prior to taking an offer. That old tip of the iceberg thing. I know you may be looking for some scripture here but I feel this is just a moment when you need to use the brains God gave you and as he instructed us all how to use them.

Matt I am part of a church leadership team. The congregation is looking and wanting change but are unsure what that change should be. As I was thinking on this passage, over a number of months I found other events around me started to confirm or add to the explanation via Christian friends, Sermons, Daily bible notes etc. I truely believed God would speak to their hearts and that we would move forward. I am not one that wants fame or fortune, or believe that I am Gods gift and find it dificult to reconcile what I believe is Gods will for our Church that nothing has happened.

It makes you question if it was not his will how did I get it so wrong in my understanding. How did you come to terms with it? Do you know of any Scriptures that can shed any light. This is awfully vague so makes it hard to answer. Are you able to give more specifics and tell us what your vision for the church is?

Not having a reply puts you in a position of doubt — not of Gods love and promises — a personal doubt that you can get it so wrong. Not in the way you want it to say. Yes, I can get it very wrong. When something God is doing is really of Him, he moves others too. The devil can come in forms that makes us think he is God. In the bible, when it comes to visions and prophecy, they are primarily about calling people away from the sin of idolatry, empty ritualism, committing injustice on the poor.

Some were given visions about the end times. Isaiah had visions. You might try reading Isaiah 6 to see what Godly visions are like. In closing, I suggest you go back to the drawing board of our Father and ask if it is really from Him and what He wants you to do about it. Ask Him to show you if it properly lines up with His character, His word and His ways. He always answers those questions.

Truly test this vision against the Word. God does not make up new things so whatever this is, it has biblical support, if from Him. He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. If not biblically supported, then time to give it up. The fact that others are not moved leads me to think this may be not of God or only about something to pray for.

Is it being faithful or foolishness? Also, I heard a testimony from a lady that she waited on God for her finances and he provided so I thought to wait. When someone owes you money for work done, even a church, it is OK to make a polite and timely inquiry. The sooner the better.

Especially when it comes to pay. I would never, ever disrespect them this way. I have read so many articles about faith and trust I God and now I understand why most of the believers are struggling to get their breakthroughs and success: we are afraid to make the last decision in all that we do. Without a ministry and a pay cheque at this stage of my life is not something I would have chosen for myself, but here I am.

But I am learning lessons about waiting and trusting I never would have learned if life was predictable or routine. I would naturally been one who would play it safe, but God in His wisdom has seen fit to enforce a season of risk and trust on my wife and me. When he does, he finds that there had been a glass bridge there all the time. But I never want to miss out on the excitement of seeing God at work in a new venture.

Thank you for sharing. My husband and I find ourselves in such a similar situation. We are in our 50s facing a move to a new city from where we have lived our entire lives. My husband was wrongfully let go from his job of 34 years with no insurance or paycheck. For more than 7 years we have been struggling spiritually since the church we pastored closed.

No place has felt like home since. Our desire has been to move to Central Florida but he had a very good job that payed well and why rock the boat? Risks… to leave where we have always been to a place that we know very little about, with very little money, especially at our age is so scary! But somehow I feel God pushing us on to new things…I have been interviewed twice for a very unusual position and I believe I will be offered this position in a matter of days but I as a wife have never been the main breadwinner and in a different place…faith or foolishness has definitely been lingering in my mind!

Thx Carey! This is a timely post as our growing church is seriously considering a move from the movie theaters to a permanent facility. I really appreciated the 2 questions you offered! I got my confirmation this morning, so thx!! Appreciate the tensions that this post calls us to live into. Both need the truth, and the elimination of one by the other is not the world in which God intends for us to live.

A mockery of the sacred reveals an animosity that staggers not just the mind but shows the character flaw in one such as that. The words of Blake are appropriate here:. It is my hope that the reader will stay the course with an open mind to judge fairly how unique and splendid is the message of Jesus Christ, reaching to the deepest hungers and questions of the heart and mind. Every day, the news carries stories of tragedy and atrocity. News is thrust into our consciousness whether we want the information or not. Behind many an act and behind all responses is a worldview that filters reality.

The follower of Jesus sees what is happening through the lens of how Jesus describes the human condition and the answer He gives. The contrast with the secular gods of this age is huge. With that goal in mind, I enter into this journey of thought.

Spiritual, but not religious? A dangerous mix

This alone ought to remind us just how critical is the foundation to every life when it comes to God. The follower of Jesus Christ must take serious note of this. That belief has meaning and must make a difference. He drew two circles and put a small dot in each of them. To many Westerners, the circle is his life and the dot is his faith.

In other words, a Muslim believed that life was expendable, his faith paramount. The Westerner, he charged, regards his life more important than what he believes. But faith seldom enters the conscience as a conviction. That was truly a sobering revelation of just how faith is viewed by most in the West, let alone the plurality of faiths that exist. In fact, the very word faith is now used in less than flattering terms.

How fascinating that is. If he is right, I will go so far as to say that the West is on the verge of collapse at the hands of its own secular intellectuals. It is only a matter of time. The Christian faith brings with it convictions by which to stand and build a moral framework. The secular thinker, with his implicitly amoral assumptions, imagines that knowledge without a moral base has enough sustaining power. Watch Europe cower under the heel of Islamists who have not forgotten that they were stopped from overtaking Europe and beaten back by Charles Martel thirteen centuries ago.

Now, with patience and the clever control of demographics and a gullible media, they stand by, ready to one day take over the structures and edifices built by a different ethic and a different belief system. It is only a matter of time, and they are in no hurry. Thirteen centuries ago, Europe was able to stop the theocratic Islamic tidal wave because it had a faith to defend.

The value-less culture of today will not be able to withstand the attack. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is especially true of a nation such as America whose values of trying to balance liberty with law were clear from the beginning. That balance is easier stated than done. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

The answer truly depends on what that belief is and whether it is true. Every other discipline is dismissed as being outside truth, reflecting merely cultural and career desires. That is the deadly fallout. All the customers are ordered to the floor. The naturalist is somewhat like that. Unable to respond to where the truth leads, he is useless to a person hungering for rescue and safety for life itself.

He just states what is and does nothing about what should be. Why do I make the connection between a nation, a people, and a culture? In the current climate, the political arena is fraught with language and views that are scary and disorienting. In one instance, a trail of lies makes no difference to the electorate, proving that the most valuable thing in human discourse, truth, is an expendable value if power is obtained.

Whether these are legitimate assertions or not is secondary to the assumption that morality matters. Ironically, the protestors protesting the candidates themselves resort to injurious means. But what is obvious is that statecraft has become soulcraft, and a nation that formally wishes to deny God finds its imperatives in a deadly mix of conflicting worldviews and hate-laden words on a path to power.

What has happened? The answer is clear. The discussion in the public square is now reduced to right or left, forgetting there is an up and down. These matters alone remind us that we had better understand this philosophy called atheism and why it leads where it does. Both have their own reasons, and there is no common point of reference. Each person is a law unto himself. Remember in the Old Testament when people wanted a king and God said that He wanted to be their ruler?

The people fought back and said they wanted to be like every other nation and, in fact, have somebody else to fight their wars while they could go about their lives. Once that becomes autonomous, culture and politics become lawless. And when those battles are lost, the war that looms is of huge proportions. This is, at best, the unintended consequence of atheism. That is simply not so. The formalization of it and giving it intellectual respect may have taken time, but the question goes back to the beginning of time. Right from the start the question was not the origin of species but the autonomy of the species.

We think Darwin buried God, but in fact, in Genesis 3, the very first in the created order wished to bury Him too. All the way to Calvary, the first attempt at death was the death of God. The Bible addresses this conflict from the pre-Mosaic era. After all, the battle in Genesis was really based on two questions. The battle between theism and atheism is the oldest philosophical debate. What are the two questions that existed for humanity from the beginning of creation? Is there a prescriptive backdrop to life? Can I not be my own definer of good and evil? Am I subject to some higher non-tangible authority?

As to the bible sic. As to the expressions so often used in the bible, that the word of the Lord came to such an one sic. That is a fascinating mix of prejudice and perversion. Would he do the same with the crucifixion and the resurrection or does a different kind of narrative now take place? The key here is that he simply does not believe God would reveal Himself in propositional truth. It existed from the beginning.

Revelation was not in a vacuum of belief. Revelation was sustained by evidence and propelled by a reality check, time and again. The very means by which we ascertain truth is not merely an inner voice but the rationale of why we are here in the first place. The question should really be why we even think of a supreme being. Why do we ask if there is a sovereign power over the universe?

Is it because we are deluded into thinking there should be, or is it because reason demands a cause and a purpose? There were no professors of science in the original created order to question revelation. From deep within the human soul arose the challenge for autonomy over against a boundary within which to live.

I have met intellectuals on both sides of the issue, and it is not merely an intellectual struggle. It is a struggle of bridge building, of trying to tie theoretical structures to heartfelt and heart-hungering realities. You will be as God, defining good and evil. Why would any self-respecting human being think up hell? Interestingly, these who challenge the existence of God are the very ones who are willing to punish others for their beliefs.

Fascinating how we wield power when we own it and then mock others with power for giving in to the same expression. Once again at the heart of all temptation is the desire for autonomy and power. The human scene was steeped in the battle for autonomy and power right from the beginning. Did God speak? Is it true what He says about good and evil? Are we going to believe the truth, or are we comfortable with the lie because of the power it promises to give us?

It seems as though the ultimate destination point, then and now, is the power to control culture and destiny. Very recently, a Russian business tycoon gave Stephen Hawking one hundred million dollars toward his endeavor to find extraterrestrial intelligence. After the slaughters in San Bernardino, Belgium, Paris, the Boston Marathon, Turkey, Baghdad, Orlando, Dallas, and the list goes on endlessly, we want to get to other planets without fixing our own and destroy them also?

I found his comment fascinating. My first reaction was cynical. Then another thought kicked in. Then yet another thought. It would have been our loss. You see how intrinsic value decisions are in the choices we make? The scientific single vision does not give us values; it gives us only what is and cannot give us what ought. Is it any wonder that in this scenario where science is our single vision, existence is the circle and what we believe—our values—are merely a dot, as described by my friend?

Hawking himself has paid her the finest compliments. Living side-by-side with one of the brightest minds in the world did not take away her deep belief in Jesus Christ and in the created order. That alone should tell us that what is at issue is not as simplistic as an intellectually determined faith. Much more goes into this. So then, right from the beginning, in the face of choices, two questions determined the future: 1 Did God say?

What does it mean to be an atheist? Is it monolithic? Are all atheistic systems the same in political theory? A term is used univocally about God and humans when it has the same sense. In terms of the later difference, philosophers sometimes distinguish between what is attributed to some thing and the mode in which some state such as knowledge is realized. Terms are used analogously when there is some similarity between what is being attributed, e. Theological work that stresses our ability to form a positive concept of the divine has been called the via positiva or catophatic theology.

On the other hand, those who stress the unknowability of God embrace what is called the via negativa or apophatic theology. Maimonides — was a great proponent of the via negativa , favoring the view that we know God principally through what God is not God is not material, not evil, not ignorant, and so on. According to Karen Armstrong, some of the greatest theologians in the Abrahamic faiths held that God.

Armstrong x. A prima facie challenge to this position is that it is hard to believe that religious practitioners could pray or worship or trust in a being which was altogether inscrutable or a being that we cannot in any way understand. Let us now turn to two prominent philosophical movements that challenged a realist philosophy of God.

Ayer by a group of philosophers who met in Austria called the Vienna Circle from to Ostensibly factual claims that do not make any difference in terms of our actual or possible empirical experience are void of meaning. A British philosopher, who visited the Vienna Circle, A. Ayer popularized this criterion of meaning in his book, Language, Truth, and Logic. In it, Ayer argued that religious claims as well as their denial were without cognitive content.

By his lights, theism, and also atheism and agnosticism, were nonsense, because they were about the reality or unreality or unknowability of that which made no difference to our empirical experience. How might one empirically confirm or disconfirm that there is an incorporeal, invisible God or that Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu? Famously, Antony Flew employed this strategy in his likening the God of theism to a belief that there is an undetectable, invisible gardener who could not be heard or smelled or otherwise empirically discovered Flew In addition to rejecting traditional religious beliefs as meaningless, Ayer and other logical positivists rejected the meaningfulness of moral statements.

The logical positivist critique of religion is not dead. Still, the criterion of meaning advanced by logical positivism faced a series of objections for details see Copleston and Taliaferro b. Consider five objections that were instrumental in the retreat of logical positivism from its position of dominance. First, it was charged that logical positivism itself is self-refuting. Is the statement of its standard of meaning propositions are meaningful if and only if they are about the relations of ideas or about matters that are subject to empirical verification or falsification itself about the relations of ideas or about matters that are subject to empirical verification or falsification?

Arguably not. At best, the positivist criterion of meaning is a recommendation about what to count as meaningful. Second, it was argued that there are meaningful statements about the world that are not subject to direct or indirect empirical confirmation or disconfirmation. Plausible candidates include statements about the origin of the cosmos or, closer to home, the mental states of other persons or of nonhuman animals for discussion, see Van Cleve and Taliaferro Third, limiting human experience to what is narrowly understood to be empirical seemed to many philosophers to be arbitrary or capricious.

Broad and others defended a wider understanding of experience to allow for the meaningfulness of moral experience: arguably, one can experience the wrongness of an act as when an innocent person feels herself to be violated. If it is meaningful to refer to the right to beliefs, why is it not meaningful to refer to moral rights such as the right not to be tortured?

And if we are countenancing a broader concept of what may be experienced, in the tradition of phenomenology which involves the analysis of appearances why rule out, as a matter of principle, the experience of the divine or the sacred? Fifth, and probably most importantly in terms of the history of ideas, the seminal philosopher of science Carl Hempel — contended that the project of logical positivism was too limited Hempel It was insensitive to the broader task of scientific inquiry which is properly conducted not on the tactical scale of scrutinizing particular claims about empirical experience but in terms of a coherent, overall theory or view of the world.

According to Hempel, we should be concerned with empirical inquiry but see this as defined by an overall theoretical understanding of reality and the laws of nature. Moreover, the positivist critique of what they called metaphysics was attacked as confused as some metaphysics was implied in their claims about empirical experience; see the aptly titled classic The Metaphysics of Logical Positivism by Gustav Bergmann — Let us now turn to Wittgenstein — and the philosophy of religion his work inspired.

In the Philosophical Investigations published posthumously in and in many other works including the publication of notes taken by his students on his lectures , Wittgenstein opposed what he called the picture theory of meaning. On this view, statements are true or false depending upon whether reality matches the picture expressed by the statements.

1. The Field and its Significance

Wittgenstein came to see this view of meaning as deeply problematic. The meaning of language is, rather, to be found not in referential fidelity but in its use in what Wittgenstein referred to as forms of life. As this position was applied to religious matters, D. Phillips , , B.

Tilghman , and, more recently, Howard Wettstein , sought to displace traditional metaphysical debate and arguments over theism and its alternatives and to focus instead on the way language about God, the soul, prayer, resurrection, the afterlife, and so on, functions in the life of religious practitioners. For example, Phillips contended that the practice of prayer is best not viewed as humans seeking to influence an all powerful, invisible person, but to achieve solidarity with other persons in light of the fragility of life.

To ask whether God exists is not to ask a theoretical question. If it is to mean anything at all, it is to wonder about praising and praying; it is to wonder whether there is anything in all that. Phillips At least two reasons bolstered this philosophy of religion inspired by Wittgenstein. First, it seemed as though this methodology was more faithful to the practice of philosophy of religion being truly about the actual practice of religious persons themselves. Second, while there has been a revival of philosophical arguments for and against theism and alternative concepts of God as will be noted in section 5 , significant numbers of philosophers from the mid-twentieth century onward have concluded that all the traditional arguments and counter-arguments about the metaphysical claims of religion are indecisive.

If that is the case, the Wittgenstein-inspired new philosophy of religion had the advantage of shifting ground to what might be a more promising area of agreement. While this non-realist approach to religion has its defenders today, especially in work by Howard Wettstein, many philosophers have contended that traditional and contemporary religious life rests on making claims about what is truly the case in a realist context. It is hard to imagine why persons would pray to God if they, literally, thought there is no God of any kind.

Interestingly, perhaps inheriting the Wittgenstein stress on practice, some philosophers working on religion today place greater stress on the meaning of religion in life, rather than seeing religious belief as primarily a matter of assessing an hypothesis see Cottingham Virtually all the extant and current methodologies in epistemology have been employed in assessing religious claims. Some of these methods have been more rationalistic in the sense that they have involved reasoning from ostensibly self-evident truths e.

Also, some have sought to be ahistorical not dependent upon historical revelation claims , while others are profoundly historical e. Over the past twenty years, there has been a growing literature on the nature of religious faith. Among many philosophers in the analytical tradition, faith has often been treated as the propositional attitude belief, e. The following examines first what is known as evidentialism and reformed epistemology and then a form of what is called volitional epistemology of religion.

Evidentialism is the view that for a person to be justified in some belief, that person must have some awareness of the evidence for the belief. On this view, the belief in question must not be undermined or defeated by other, evident beliefs held by the person. Moreover, evidentialists often contend that the degree of confidence in a belief should be proportional to the evidence. Evidentialism has been defended by representatives of all the different viewpoints in philosophy of religion: theism, atheism, advocates of non-theistic models of God, agnostics.

Evidentialists have differed in terms of their accounts of evidence what weight might be given to phenomenology? Probably the most well known evidentialist in the field of philosophy of religion who advocates for theism is Richard Swinburne —. Swinburne was and is the leading advocate of theistic natural theology since the early s. Swinburne has applied his considerable analytical skills in arguing for the coherence and cogency of theism, and the analysis and defense of specific Christian teachings about the trinity, incarnation, the resurrection of Christ, revelation, and more.

Taylor — , F. Tennant — , William Temple — , H. Lewis — , and A. Ewing — The positive philosophical case for theism has been met by work by many powerful philosophers, most recently Ronald Hepburn — , J. Schellenberg — , and Paul Draper —. There have been at least two interesting, recent developments in the philosophy of religion in the framework of evidentialism. Arguably, in the Christian understanding of values, an evident relationship with God is part of the highest human good, and if God were loving, God would bring about such a good.

Because there is evidence that God does not make Godself available to earnest seekers of such a relationship, this is evidence that such a God does not exist. The argument applies beyond Christian values and theism, and to any concept of God in which God is powerful and good and such that a relationship with such a good God would be fulfilling and good for creatures. It would not work with a concept of God as we find, for example, in the work of Aristotle in which God is not lovingly and providentially engaged in the world.

This line of reasoning is often referred to in terms of the hiddenness of God.


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  4. Another interesting development has been advanced by Sandra Menssen and Thomas Sullivan. In philosophical reflection about God the tendency has been to give priority to what may be called bare theism assessing the plausibility of there being the God of theism rather than a more specific concept of God.

    This priority makes sense insofar as the plausibility of a general thesis there are mammals on the savanna will be greater than a more specific thesis there are 12, giraffes on the savanna. In terms of the order of inquiry, it may be helpful at times, to consider more specific philosophical positions—for example, it may seem at first glance that materialism is hopeless until one engages the resources of some specific materialist account that involves functionalism—but, arguably, this does not alone offset the logical primacy of the more general thesis whether this is bare theism or bare materialism.

    Perhaps the import of the Menssen-Sullivan proposal is that philosophers of religion need to enhance their critical assessment of general positions along with taking seriously more specific accounts about the data on hand e. Evidentialism has been challenged on many grounds. Some argue that it is too stringent; we have many evident beliefs that we would be at a loss to successfully justify.

    Instead of evidentialism, some philosophers adopt a form of reliabilism, according to which a person may be justified in a belief so long as the belief is produced by a reliable means, whether or not the person is aware of evidence that justifies the belief. Two movements in philosophy of religion develop positions that are not in line with the traditional evidential tradition: reformed epistemology and volitional epistemology. Reformed epistemology has been championed by Alvin Plantinga — and Nicholas Wolterstorff — , among others.

    While this sense of God may not be apparent due to sin, it can reliably prompt persons to believe in God and support a life of Christian faith. While this prompting may play an evidential role in terms of the experience or ostensible perception of God, it can also warrant Christian belief in the absence of evidence or argument see K. In the language Plantinga introduced, belief in God may be as properly basic as our ordinary beliefs about other persons and the world. The framework of Reformed epistemology is conditional as it advances the thesis that if there is a God and if God has indeed created us with a sensus divinitatis that reliably leads us to believe truly that God exists, then such belief is warranted.

    There is a sense in which Reformed epistemology is more of a defensive strategy offering grounds for thinking that religious belief, if true, is warranted rather than providing a positive reason why persons who do not have or believe they have a sensus divinitatis should embrace Christian faith. Plantinga has argued that at least one alternative to Christian faith, secular naturalism, is deeply problematic, if not self-refuting, but this position if cogent has been advanced more as a reason not to be a naturalist than as a reason for being a theist.

    Reformed epistemology is not ipso facto fideism. Fideism explicitly endorses the legitimacy of faith without the support, not just of propositional evidence, but also of reason MacSwain By contrast, Reformed epistemology offers a metaphysical and epistemological account of warrant according to which belief in God can be warranted even if it is not supported by evidence and it offers an account of properly basic belief according to which basic belief in God is on an epistemic par with our ordinary basic beliefs about the world and other minds which seem to be paradigmatically rational.

    Nonetheless, while Reformed epistemology is not necessarily fideistic, it shares with fideism the idea that a person may have a justified religious belief in the absence of evidence. Consider now what is called volitional epistemology in the philosophy of religion. Paul Moser has systematically argued for a profoundly different framework in which he contends that if the God of Christianity exists, this God would not be evident to inquirers who for example are curious about whether God exists.

    This process might involve persons receiving accepting the revelation of Jesus Christ as redeemer and sanctifier who calls persons to a radical life of loving compassion, even the loving of our enemies. The terrain covered so far in this entry indicates considerable disagreement over epistemic justification and religious belief. If the experts disagree about such matters, what should non-experts think and do? Or, putting the question to the so-called experts, if you as a trained inquirer disagree about the above matters with those whom you regard as equally intelligent and sensitive to evidence, should that fact alone bring you to modify or even abandon the confidence you hold concerning your own beliefs?

    Some philosophers propose that in the case of disagreements among epistemic peers, one should seek some kind of account of the disagreement. For example, is there any reason to think that the evidence available to you and your peers differs or is conceived of differently. Perhaps there are ways of explaining, for example, why Buddhists may claim not to observe themselves as substantial selves existing over time whereas a non-Buddhist might claim that self-observation provides grounds for believing that persons are substantial, enduring agents David Lund The non-Buddhist might need another reason to prefer her framework over the Buddhist one, but she would at least perhaps have found a way of accounting for why equally reasonable persons would come to different conclusions in the face of ostensibly identical evidence.

    Assessing the significance of disagreement over religious belief is very different from assessing the significance of disagreement in domains where there are clearer, shared understandings of methodology and evidence. For example, if two equally proficient detectives examine the same evidence that Smith murdered Jones, their disagreement should other things being equal lead us to modify confidence that Smith is guilty, for the detectives may be presumed to use the same evidence and methods of investigation.

    But in assessing the disagreements among philosophers over for example the coherence and plausibility of theism, philosophers today often rely on different methodologies phenomenology, empiricism, conceptual or linguistic analysis, structural theory, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, and so on. But what if a person accepts a given religion as reasonable and yet acknowledges that equally reasonable, mature, responsible inquirers adopt a different religion incompatible with her own and they all share a similar philosophical methodology?

    This situation is not an abstract thought experiment. One option would be to adopt an epistemological pluralism, according to which persons can be equally well justified in affirming incompatible beliefs. This option would seem to provide some grounds for epistemic humility Audi ; Ward , , At the end of this section, two observations are also worth noting about epistemic disagreements.

    First, our beliefs and our confidence in the truth of our beliefs may not be under our voluntary control. Perhaps you form a belief of the truth of Buddhism based on what you take to be compelling evidence. Even if you are convinced that equally intelligent persons do not reach a similar conclusion, that alone may not empower you to deny what seems to you to be compelling.

    Second, if the disagreement between experts gives you reason to abandon a position, then the very principle you are relying on one should abandon a belief that X if experts disagree about X would be undermined, for experts disagree about what one should do when experts disagree. For overviews and explorations of relevant philosophical work in a pluralistic setting, see New Models of Religious Understanding edited by Fiona Ellis and Renewing Philosophy of Religion edited by Paul Draper and J. The relationship between religion and science has been an important topic in twentieth century philosophy of religion and it seems highly important today.

    This section begins by considering the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine now the National Academy of Medicine statement on the relationship between science and religion:. Science and religion are based on different aspects of human experience. In science, explanations must be based on evidence drawn from examining the natural world. Scientifically based observations or experiments that conflict with an explanation eventually must lead to modification or even abandonment of that explanation. Religious faith, in contrast, does not depend only on empirical evidence, is not necessarily modified in the face of conflicting evidence, and typically involves supernatural forces or entities.

    Because they are not a part of nature, supernatural entities cannot be investigated by science. In this sense, science and religion are separate and address aspects of human understanding in different ways. Attempts to pit science and religion against each other create controversy where none needs to exist.

    NASIM This view of science and religion seems promising on many fronts. Neither God nor Allah nor Brahman the divine as conceived of in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism is a physical or material object or process. It seems, then, that the divine or the sacred and many other elements in world religions meditation, prayer, sin and forgiveness, deliverance from craving can only be indirectly investigated scientifically. So, a neurologist can produce detailed studies of the brains of monks and nuns when they pray and meditate, and there can be comparative studies of the health of those who practice a religion and those who do not, but it is very hard to conceive of how to scientifically measure God or Allah or Brahman or the Dao, heaven, and so on.

    Despite the initial plausibility of the Academies stance, however, it may be problematic. The later are a panoply of what is commonly thought of as preposterous superstition. The similarity of the terms supernatural and superstitious may not be an accident. Moving beyond this minor point about terminology, religious beliefs have traditionally and today been thought of as subject to evidence.

    Evidence for religious beliefs have included appeal to the contingency of the cosmos and principles of explanation, the ostensibly purposive nature of the cosmos, the emergence of consciousness, and so on.

    Importance of Religion and Religious Beliefs | Pew Research Center

    Evidence against religious belief have included appeal to the evident, quantity of evil in the cosmos, the success of the natural sciences, and so on. One reason, however, for supporting the Academies notion that religion and science do not overlap is the fact that in modern science there has been a bracketing of reference to minds and the mental. That is, the sciences have been concerned with a mind-independent physical world, whereas in religion this is chiefly a domain concerned with mind feelings, emotions, thoughts, ideas, and so on , created minds and in the case of some religions the mind of God.

    The science of Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton was carried out with an explicit study of the world without appeal to anything involving what today would be referred to as the psychological, the mind or the mental. The bracketing of mind from the physical sciences was not a sign of early scientists having any doubts about the existence, power and importance of minds. That is, from Kepler through Newton and on to the early twentieth century, scientists themselves did not doubt the causal significance of minds; they simply did not include minds their own or the minds of others among the data of what they were studying.

    But interestingly, each of the early modern scientists believed that what they were studying was in some fashion made possible by the whole of the natural world terrestrial and celestial being created and sustained in existence by a Divine Mind, an all good, necessarily existing Creator. They had an overall or comprehensive worldview according to which science itself was reasonable and made sense. Scientists have to have a kind of faith or trust in their methods and that the cosmos is so ordered that their methods are effective and reliable.

    Whether there is sufficient evidence for or against some religious conception of the cosmos will be addressed in section 4. Let us contrast briefly, however, two very different views on whether contemporary science has undermined religious belief. We know, but our ancestors did not, that humans belong to a single species of African primate that developed agriculture, government, and writing late in its history. We know that our species is a tiny twig of a genealogical tree that embraces all living things and that emerged from prebiotic chemicals almost four billion years ago.

    There is no such thing as fate, providence, karma, spells, curses, augury, divine retribution, or answered prayer—though the discrepancy between the laws of probability and the workings of cognition may explain why people think there is. Pinker Following up on Pinker, it should be noted that it would not be scientifically acceptable today to appeal to miracles or to direct acts of God.

    Any supposed miracle would to many, if not all scientists be a kind of defeat and to welcome an unacceptable mystery. This is why some philosophers of science propose that the sciences are methodologically atheistic. As Michael Ruse points out:. The arguments that are given for suggesting that science necessitates atheism are not convincing. There is no question that many of the claims of religion are no longer tenable in light of modern science. But more sophisticated Christians know that already.

    The thing is that these things are not all there is to religions, and many would say that they are far from the central claims of religion—God existing and being creator and having a special place for humans and so forth. Ruse 74— Ruse goes on to note that religions address important concerns that go beyond what is approachable only from the standpoint of the natural sciences. Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the purpose of it all? And somewhat more controversially what are the basic foundations of morality and what is sentience?

    Science takes the world as given Science sees no ultimate purpose to reality… I would say that as science does not speak to these issues, I see no reason why the religious person should not offer answers. They cannot be scientific answers. They must be religious answers—answers that will involve a God or gods. There is something rather than nothing because a good God created them from love out of nothing. The purpose of it all is to find eternal bliss with the Creator. We humans are not just any old kind of organism.

    This does not mean that the religious answers are beyond criticism, but they must be answered on philosophical or theological grounds and not simply because they are not scientific. For much of the history of philosophy of religion, there has been stress on the assessment of theism. Section 6 makes special note of this broadening of horizons. Theism still has some claim for special attention given the large world population that is aligned with theistic traditions the Abrahamic faiths and theistic Hinduism and the enormity of attention given to the defense and critique of theism in philosophy of religion historically and today.

    Speculation about divine attributes in theistic tradition has often been carried out in accord with what is currently referred to as perfect being theology , according to which God is understood to be maximally excellent or unsurpassable in greatness. Divine attributes in this tradition have been identified by philosophers as those attributes that are the greatest compossible set of great-making properties; properties are compossible when they can be instantiated by the same being.

    Traditionally, the divine attributes have been identified as omnipotence, omniscience, perfect goodness, worthiness of worship, necessary of non-contingent existence, and eternality existing outside of time or atemporally.

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    Each of these attributes has been subject to nuanced different analysis, as noted below. God has also been traditionally conceived to be incorporeal or immaterial, immutable, impassable, omnipresent. One of the tools philosophers use in their investigation into divine attributes involve thought experiments. In thought experiments, hypothetical cases are described—cases that may or may not represent the way things are. In these descriptions, terms normally used in one context are employed in expanded settings.

    Thus, in thinking of God as omniscient, one might begin with a non-controversial case of a person knowing that a proposition is true, taking note of what it means for someone to possess that knowledge and of the ways in which the knowledge is secured. Various degrees of refinement would then be in order, as one speculates not only about the extent of a maximum set of propositions known but also about how these might be known. That is, in attributing omniscience to God, would one thereby claim God knows all truths in a way that is analogous to the way we come to know truths about the world?

    Too close an analogy would produce a peculiar picture of God relying upon, for example, induction, sensory evidence, or the testimony of others. Using thought experiments often employs an appearance principle. One version of an appearance principle is that a person has a reason for believing that some state of affairs SOA is possible if she can conceive, describe or imagine the SOA obtaining and she knows of no independent reasons for believing the SOA is impossible.

    As stated the principle is advanced as simply offering a reason for believing the SOA to be possible, and it thus may be seen a advancing a prima facie reason. Imagine there is a God who knows the future free action of human beings. If God does know you will freely do some act X , then it is true that you will indeed do X. But if you are free, would you not be free to avoid doing X?

    Given that it is foreknown you will do X , it appears you would not be free to refrain from the act. Initially this paradox seems easy to dispel. If God knows about your free action, then God knows that you will freely do something and that you could have refrained from it. Think of what is sometimes called the necessity of the past.

    Once a state of affairs has obtained, it is unalterably or necessarily the case that it did occur. If the problem is put in first-person terms and one imagines God foreknows you will freely turn to a different entry in this Encyclopedia moreover, God knows with unsurpassable precision when you will do so, which entry you will select and what you will think about it , then an easy resolution of the paradox seems elusive.

    To highlight the nature of this problem, imagine God tells you what you will freely do in the next hour. Under such conditions, is it still intelligible to believe you have the ability to do otherwise if it is known by God as well as yourself what you will indeed elect to do? Self-foreknowledge, then, produces an additional related problem because the psychology of choice seems to require prior ignorance about what will be choose.

    Various replies to the freedom-foreknowledge debate have been given. Some adopt compatibilism, affirming the compatibility of free will and determinism, and conclude that foreknowledge is no more threatening to freedom than determinism. While some prominent philosophical theists in the past have taken this route most dramatically Jonathan Edwards — , this seems to be the minority position in philosophy of religion today exceptions include Paul Helm, John Fischer, and Lynne Baker.

    A second position adheres to the libertarian outlook, which insists that freedom involves a radical, indeterminist exercise of power, and concludes that God cannot know future free action. What prevents such philosophers from denying that God is omniscient is that they contend there are no truths about future free actions, or that while there are truths about the future, God either cannot know those truths Swinburne or freely decides not to know them in order to preserve free choice John Lucas.

    Aristotle may have thought it was neither true nor false prior to a given sea battle whether a given side would win it. Some theists, such as Richard Swinburne, adopt this line today, holding that the future cannot be known.


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    If it cannot be known for metaphysical reasons, then omniscience can be analyzed as knowing all that it is possible to know. Other philosophers deny the original paradox. God can simply know the future without this having to be grounded on an established, determinate future. But this only works if there is no necessity of eternity analogous to the necessity of the past. If not, then there is an exactly parallel dilemma of timeless knowledge. For outstanding current analysis of freedom and foreknowledge, see the work of Linda Zagzebski. Could there be a being that is outside time?

    In the great monotheistic traditions, God is thought of as without any kind of beginning or end. God will never, indeed, can never, cease to be. This view is sometimes referred to as the thesis that God is everlasting. This is sometimes called the view that God is eternal as opposed to everlasting. Why adopt the more radical stance? One reason, already noted, is that if God is not temporally bound, there may be a resolution to the earlier problem of reconciling freedom and foreknowledge.

    As St. Augustine of Hippo put it:. The City of God , XI. Those affirming God to be unbounded by temporal sequences face several puzzles which I note without trying to settle. If God is somehow at or in all times, is God simultaneously at or in each? If so, there is the following problem. If God is simultaneous with the event of Rome burning in CE, and also simultaneous with your reading this entry, then it seems that Rome must be burning at the same time you are reading this entry. A different problem arises with respect to eternity and omniscience. If God is outside of time, can God know what time it is now?

    Arguably, there is a fact of the matter that it is now, say, midnight on 1 July A God outside of time might know that at midnight on 1 July certain things occur, but could God know when it is now that time? For some theists, describing God as a person or person-like God loves, acts, knows is not to equivocate. But it is not clear that an eternal God could be personal. All known world religions address the nature of good and evil and commend ways of achieving human well-being, whether this be thought of in terms of salvation, liberation, deliverance, enlightenment, tranquility, or an egoless state of Nirvana.

    Some religions construe the Divine as in some respect beyond our human notions of good and evil. In some forms of Hinduism, for example, Brahman has been extolled as possessing a sort of moral transcendence, and some Christian theologians and philosophers have likewise insisted that God is only a moral agent in a highly qualified sense, if at all Davies To call God good is, for them, very different from calling a human being good.