Christ Is Risen, & We With Him, & All Good Things We Rightly Love

The Risen Christ has defeated death. This should not be such a surprise when we consider that the Lógos is the Principal and origin of all being, all life – to which death is logically posterior, and upon which it depends, as a parasite. Nonbeing can’t have defects such as death, for it is not anything at all, either good or bad.

Still it is a surprise, indeed a shock; for most people, it is simply incredible. Destroying death looks to us impossible, because to us it is impossible.

In Jesus, we see a man like us surmounting death (not to mention the rest of nature). Most Christians I have known are still struggling to come to terms with this notion; they want to believe it, but have no idea how to. Thus most Easter sermons I have heard were about how, as surely as spring refreshes the world, so there is hope of renewal for our broken relationships, lost hopes, and so forth; true enough and hopeful, but in the final analysis merely worldly discourses, eschewing any honest straightforward grapple with the main thing, the metaphysical thing: Jesus is God, and God wins.

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The Necessary Devastation of Good Friday

The Apostles didn’t understand Jesus until after the Resurrection. They couldn’t have understood him even then, had not his horrible death completely ruined all their notions about him, and left them utterly emptied of all expectation, all preconception, all pretense of comprehension.

Passion of the Christ 2: Resurrection Will Be The Greatest Story Every Told, Says Jim Caviezel ...

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Goodness, Truth & Beauty are Classist, Racist & Sexist

Woke seppuku reached something of an apotheosis – I shall not say, a maximum – in the recent announcement by a Loyola professor of marketing (marketing, forsooth – that quintessential organ of oppressive capitalism) that clean, tidy, well stocked pantries are “classist, racist and sexist.”

I kid thee not. Pantries. What’s next: butt wiping?

One wonders immediately whether professors of marketing are per se classist, racist and sexist. How not?

Keep working your way down this rabbit hole with me. For “clean, tidy, well stocked pantries,” substitute any other denotation of something that has been from ancient days – or even in the last day or two – thought unremarkably good. To wit:

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And There Shall Be No More Death

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 21:4

Here’s the thing, my brothers and sisters: you cannot partake that final total victory, except insofar as you now accept your present suffering, and indeed agree thereto, so as to suffer it most completely. Salvation from death and suffering is real and meaningful only insofar as death and suffering are first and beforehand real and meaningful; only, i.e., insofar as they are really painful, and experienced by us as such.

If we cannot admit to the horror of life, nor then might we accede to its redemption and rescue.

No pain, no salve thereof. What, would you put a band aid on unharmed skin?

Pain then is a forecondition of salvation. Consider pain then as a bonus; consider it an adventure.

Be therefore steadfast, and honest, and true. Reckon your pain honestly, and bear up. He that shall endure to the end shall be saved. Matthew 24:13.

The Basic Problem of All Gnosticism

Gnosticism presupposes that we can know reality, enough to master it, surmount it, and indeed perfect it, under our own steam. The basic Gnostic premise is that, while normal people can’t know enough to master and surmount and so perfect life, the initiates can.

So stated, it’s a foolish notion. What, any single human and – we all know this – defective mind on a tiny planet in the outer arm of one galaxy among trillions such can encompass the whole cosmos, and so on its own recognizance plumb the ultimate ontological depths thereof? It is to laugh.

The fundamental attitude of Gnosticism is epistemological pride.

The fundamental attitude of faith is epistemological humility.

Which attitude ends up conferring more knowledge? The question answers itself.

Dying, Jesus Suffered & Bore the Pain of All Sins; So, He Healed Them, All

On the Cross, Jesus in his omniscience knew, and so suffered, felt, endured, all the agony of all creaturely defections, and of all their vicious consequences.

Omniscience eternally and always knows all of that, of course. But in time, and in Jesus, he knows it particularly, and so, acutely, on the Cross. As a man, God knows all the pain of all his creatures, just as we know each our own pain. A staggering thought.

Indeed it is by the suffering of Jesus that omniscience knows the suffering of his creatures; that, i.e., the suffering of his creatures just is the suffering of Jesus. Matthew 25:40.

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The Principle of Sufficient Reason & Creaturely Free Agency

Note the conjunction in the title of this post. It is meant to convey the double intuition that on the one hand we (and perhaps many other sorts of creatures) are free agents, and on the other that everything that happens must be sufficiently caused – must, i.e., be exhaustively caused, and tied in to all other things that happen with perfect coherence and logical consistency in a seamless ontological web, so that we have for our environment an orderly cosmos, rational and therefore intelligible: the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR).

It seems prima facie that the truth of the PSR rules out creaturely free agency. It does not.

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An Argument from Our Agency

Longtime commenter Ilíon Troas and I have been corresponding privily about topics tangential to my recent post on error and free agency. In a recent message to me, he shared the following startling argument, and courteously agreed to my suggestion that we should publish it here as a guest post. A more expansive version may be found at his blog, Iliocentrism; here, I reproduce only the core of his argument. It is this argument that prompted the train of thought in me that resulted in my even more recent post on causation.

We theists recognize two general categories of causation: mechanistic (i.e., “cause-and-effect”) and agency (“ground-and-consequent”). Most people, including most God-deniers, will initially agree that these two categories are real, and distinct, and unbridgeable … until they see where the argument is going.

From recognition of the unbridgeable distinction between mechanism and agency, I argue that agency cannot “arise” from mechanism – this is what the God-deniers who haven’t denied agency from the start will then deny and this denial can then be shown absurd and thus false – and thus that agency is, and must be, fundamental to [the] nature of reality.

But, as there is no such thing as agency unless there is an actually existing agent, it follows that *an actually existing agent* is fundamental to the nature of reality.

That is, *we* cannot be agents unless God (who is an agent) exists; or put another way: the fact that we *are* agents proves the reality of God and simultaneously proves the falseness of atheism, in all its forms.

On the other hand, atheism in all its forms denies, and must deny, true agency. For, as per the little argument above, to acknowledge the reality of agency is to acknowledge the reality of God.

Some *atheists* will try to posit random causation, or ‘randomness’ as a causation – and these people will frequently try to subsume agency under ‘randomness.’ But, this is absurd, and thus seen to be false. For, to speak of ‘randomness’ is to speak of a lack of correlation between two or more things. That is, to speak of a “random cause” is to literally speak of a “cause” which is not correlated with its alleged effect – literally, it is to speak of an effect which is not caused by a “cause,” and of a “cause” which does not cause an effect.

All Causes Are Reasons

There cannot be a cause that is irrational; for, as incoherent, any “thing” irrational could not be realized concretely in itself, or therefore in its effects. It could not be a thing. So there cannot be a brute cause; a cause, that is, which is prior to reason. Nor by the same token could there be a brute state of affairs prior to reason, and thus without reason or ratio; for, what is not logically consistent cannot subsist.

No Lógos no reason no cause no being.

Being;; ergo, Lógos. QED.

NB: this argument – *like all arguments whatsoever* – presupposes the Lógos.

Hence, a corollary argument: no Lógos no argument; argument; ergo, etc.

What are the practical implications of these arguments? Get to church, dude! Confess, and repent! The Lord our God – who is the Lógos, logic himself in person – is implacable. All your pathetic puerile gamma atheist dodges are for naught. Get home, now, or begone, into the outer darkness.

Up to you.

NB: that it is up to you presupposes the Lógos. By the definition of the Lógos, everything does.

The Phenomenology of Error → ¬ ¬ Free Agency

Last night at choir rehearsal our choirmaster casually refuted the notion that Benjamin Libet’s justly famous experiment showing that neural activity manifesting decisions precedes conscious awareness thereof falsifies free agency.

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