Boredom and the Possibility of Community

Several years ago, I had the privilege of serving as a Eucharistic minister in a small church community in upstate New York. I had come to the Episcopal Church as an adult after a childhood spent in evangelical congregations of varying degrees of fundamentalism. My mother was a converted Catholic and preferred the emphasis these churches placed on relationship over ritual. I came... Read More

“Outlaw justice” – was Paul really a political theologian?

The standard average Christian evangelical, or Reformed, reading of Paul makes him into a huckster of cheap grace. How many times have you heard a sermon on Romans, or a Christian song on the radio, or some radio plug for a new church or ministry, invoking the Reformation-revivalist message that it’s all about giving up trying to make something out of your life on your own,... Read More

What is the Work of Faith?

The following is a guest post by Andrew Irvine (Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Maryville College). He is the editor of Postcolonial Philosophy of Religion (Springer 2009), The present essay comes from a talk that he gave at Maryville College on September 10, 2013. He can be reached at   Matthew 6: 20-33 “Faith works”... Read More

Can Philosophy Come Forth As Prophecy?

J. Aaron Simmons ( – Department of Philosophy, Furman University Zachary Jolly ( – Department of Philosophy, Furman University In 1984 Alvin Plantinga’s landmark essay, “Advice to Christian Philosophers,” appeared in print in Faith and Philosophy. This widely celebrated essay can rightly be said to have crystallized... Read More

The Strangest of All Things Pomo – the Resurrection!

I’ve been reading two books of late that would seem to bear little relationship to each other, but actually do in a revolutionary and quite profound manner. The first is by New Testament scholar N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Fortress Press, 2003). The second is theoretical physicist Lee Smolen’s Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future... Read More

Philosophy and Theology . . . “Analytic” or Not

By J. Aaron Simmons (Furman University, Department of Philosophy) –   The following are thoughts inspired by the vigorous discussion that recently occurred on Roger E. Olson’s blog. Olson instigated the discussion by commenting that philosophy and theology are distinct disciplines due to the way in which “special revelation” is used by theology,... Read More

The exception rules, or why postmodern theology needs to think the impossible

A number of years ago when I was a department chair I asked a certain administrator at my institution why he had not followed the rules in granting certain privileges to a certain faculty member that seemed to go against the very rules he himself had laid down. The response was classic, and since the impact of his decision was entirely favorable, though not perhaps for those who... Read More

On Postmodern Epistemology: A Rejoinder to Hackett

J. Aaron Simmons Department of Philosophy Furman University   I would like to begin this short rejoinder to Ed Hackett’s critique of my notion of postmodern kataphaticism by thanking him for his time and energy in responding to my short essay.  What follows is not at all intended to be conclusive, but simply one more move in a conversation that I... Read More

Postmodern Kataphaticism?

J. Aaron Simmons Department of Philosophy Furman University Email:   Let me begin by simply offering the following thesis: The genuinely important negative theological trajectory in much of postmodern/continental/deconstructive philosophy of religion has led to its own problematic dogmatism.  Specifically, in the crucial attempt to overcome onto-theology,... Read More

Sanctified: Fashion, Fame & the Everlasting

Above the new brand materials for Saint Laurent During Summer 2012, a subtle shift was made to France’s most significant fashion label. Just a few years after the designer’s passing, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) has been renamed Saint Laurent.  Born with the last name Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, Yves Saint Laurent was fashion’s golden child, but refining his name to Saint Laurent... Read More