Saturday, December 26, 2009

On the Limits of Empiricism

"The observation of even a million white swans does not justify the statement 'all swans are white.'"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On Real Assent

I.5.1: Belief in One God:

This being what Theists mean when they speak of {102} God, their assent to this truth admits without difficulty of being what I have called a notional assent. It is an assent following upon acts of inference, and other purely intellectual exercises; and it is an assent to a large development of predicates, correlative to each other, or at least intimately connected together, drawn out as if on paper, as we might map a country which we had never seen, or construct mathematical tables, or master the methods of discovery of Newton or Davy, without being geographers, mathematicians, or chemists ourselves.

So far is clear; but the question follows, Can I attain to any more vivid assent to the Being of a God, than that which is given merely to notions of the intellect? Can I enter with a personal knowledge into the circle of truths which make up that great thought. Can I rise to what I have called an imaginative apprehension of it? Can I believe as if I saw? Since such a high assent requires a present experience or memory of the fact, at first sight it would seem as if the answer must be in the negative; for how can I assent as if I saw, unless I have seen? but no one in this life can see God. Yet I conceive a real assent is possible, and I proceed to show how.

- John Henry Newman, An Essay In Aid Of A Grammar of Assent (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1903), 101.

Monday, December 14, 2009

On The Fullness of Christ

A humble reflection on the fullness of Christ:
What is the fullness of Christ? What more do I need that Christ has not already given? What more do I want that Christ does not satisfy? What do I lack that Christ has not already given? All I have is in Christ. My salvation is in Christ. My identity is in Christ. Christus Victor, Christus Salvator.

Here Paul's words:
"See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

- Colossians 2:8-15