Taking Requests

You know, it’s actually hard work coming up with new subjects to write podcast episodes on. I’ve done thirty-seven so far and you’ve all just sat back and soaked it up.

So now it’s time to get involved. I want to hear from listeners about what they’d like to hear episodes on. Anything in philosophy, theology, biblical studies or anything you think might suit Say Hello to my Little Friend. You can leave a comment on this blog entry, or (and) get in touch via the “Contact us” button over on the right.

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51 thoughts on “Taking Requests

  1. One could always do book reviews and responses or discuss the the contributions of philosophers alive or dead to the discussions. You could do several or focus on one in a podcast depending on how deep your analysis goes, and deep is better than shallow.

  2. Glenn, I’d be interested to hear your take on the Catholic Church, leaving aside the disagreements you might have with it that you would also have with many other popular Christian sects (e.g., on physicalism and annihilationism). I know that’s a big topic, but maybe you could focus in on whatever aspects interest you most.

    I would be even more interested to hear more on the topic of original sin (I know you did a crash course on the concept in one podcast already), especially how this concept might map onto anthropological accounts of early human development. Some questions that occur to me in this area include the following. Even if there was no Adam and Eve, was there a first human being (or human couple), whether scientifically or theologically speaking? And if so, was it this first person (or couple) who sinned, and so brought sin into the world? (I.e., is it necessary, theologically speaking, to conceive of this first person or couple as the first sinner(s)?) And was death brought into the world for the first time along with sin? If so, how do we describe the manner in which the (unending) life of the first person would have unfolded had he not sinned? In particular, what do we say about the existence and behavior of things in nature violent to man’s constitution (diseases, natural disasters, predators) before the first sin? Or, stepping back, do we need to rethink some traditional claims about original sin if we are to square the concept with the story of early human development presented to us by modern science? This whole question is one of the most difficult in Christian theology, to me. I have never seen it addressed very directly; even those Christian thinkers who try to reconcile evolution with Christianity seem to me to overlook or ignore the fact that such a reconciliation raises questions about original sin which did not pose much of a difficulty on the pre-Darwinian account of original sin. I believe this question is an important one not just because any orthodox presentation of Christianity must give an account of original sin that is coherent with modern scientific findings, but because, depending on how the question is answered, one will end up with different views of God’s original intention in creating humanity. To give a couple of (non-exhaustive) examples, God created humans knowing that they would perish, or He created them to be free from death but sin wrecked God’s plan and now as a result humans die and have to struggle against creation in some ways, even if all this takes place in light of the ultimate context of an unending afterlife.

  3. Not only divine hiddeness, but also that contrasted with the tension that the Creator is described as evident. (of course, that can be a matter of several episodes.

    More on that book review idea, skeptics books as well with criticism.

  4. Some suggestions:

    Divine hiddenness
    Evidential problem of evil
    The Trinity (how to resolve the purported “logical” problem)
    Petitionary prayer
    Soteriological exclusivism vs inclusivism vs universalism
    The hermeneutics of Genesis 1 – 11 (whether it’s to be taken as literal history or not)
    Atonement

    Those are just some ideas to get you going. πŸ™‚ I enjoy your work.

  5. Wow – There are some really good suggestions here! It looks like there will certainly be an episode on the issue of divine hiddenness coming up some time. Thanks to a suggestion received via Facebook from Madeleine, the next episode is going to look at the popular but shoddy documentary: Zeitgeist: The Movie.

  6. Just to add my own votes based on topics already mentioned.

    Divine hiddenness
    Evidential problem of evil
    The Trinity (how to resolve the purported β€œlogical” problem)
    Petitionary prayer
    Soteriological exclusivism vs inclusivism vs universalism
    The hermeneutics of Genesis 1 – 11 (whether it’s to be taken as literal history or not)
    Atonement
    Original Sin

    Always enjoy your podcasts and really want to hear more!

  7. Dr. Peoples,

    I would second divine hiddenness, problem of evil and Genesis hermeutics ( and maybe your overall views on origins).
    May I also suggest you covering your views on the (kalaam) cosmological argument and maybe arguments for the Resurrection of the Christ?

    As I first time commentor, I would just like to say thank you for your podcast, It is much appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Caleb A.

  8. Off the top of my head:

    Historicity of the Gospels
    Resurrection of Christ
    Divine violence in the Old Testament
    Ways of understanding certain parts of the OT
    The problem of animal suffering or more generally the darwinian problem of evil
    The kalam cosmological argument

    I also like the book review idea. Maybe you could spend a podcast or two reviewing a book, say the God Delusion, and pick out certain parts to critique. Hope this helps, keep up the good work.

  9. “the darwinian problem of evil” – There’s an interesting one. John Loftus wrote something about that, and his fans basically said “Wow, no theist has dealt with that before” (or maybe John said it). I was left thinking “Eh? Did you check?” Clearly not!

    Re: The historicity of the Gospels, I did a podcast called “Sexing up early church history” where I look atthe conspiracy nonsense peddled by Bart Ehrman and co., and I did a few blogs on the historical Jesus. But I agree, there’s always something else to comment on in that field, so that’s a possibility.

  10. How about an interview and profile of Ken Perrott? You could go over things such as climate change, ethics, science v faith etc.

  11. I have just been listening to your interview on Christian Physicalism and i think there is room for a follow up post. I agree with what you have to say about “soul” but have a related question or two. When Adam fell he died spiritually immediately and physically sometime later, which raises the question what died and has to be born again [born of the spirit]? What is the nature of what died and has to be born again? Clearly whatever it is isnt necessary for physical life as many if not most people never have it, which it turn suggests it is non-material. I would be fascinated by you thoughts.

  12. Jeremy, in the account of Adam yes you could say that he “died spiritually” (although the Bible never recalls that event with those words). But since spirituality is about a relationship and not a substance, I don’t see how that would pose a problem for physicalism.

    Being “born” again is clearly a metaphor. It refers to the beginning of a new life, a life in a restored relationship with God.

  13. “for when you eat it of it you will surely die”. This at least implies an immediacy that would appear to contradict a death that didnt happen for 800 years. Yes their relationship with God was broken, but surely something more died, as recounted Adam and Eve lost their ability to percieve God [their awareness of Him], their ability to perceive Spirit was gone, they thought they could hide in a bush. It is as though they had lost a part of themselves like a man losing his sight or hearing. I think of “born again” as more than just establishing a new relationship, [Paul says “If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness” and in other places he talks of needing to be spiritually alive to be able to discern spiritual truths]. Scripture also speaks of “God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth”.
    It would seem to me that in being born again/made alive in the spirit that God gives to us something that is more than just a part of our physical bodies, something that we are not born with, something that allows/effects spiritual awareness/ communication/ understanding and this is something we do not have naturally/ cannot do ourselves.

  14. Its getting too late and i forgot my last question.
    Surely having a “spiritual”[non physical] component to my being is part of being made “in our image, in our likeness”?

  15. I would like to second the following topics…

    Divine violence in the Old Testament

    Ways of understanding certain parts of the OT

    The problem of animal suffering or more generally the darwinian problem of evil

    Especially….

    Soteriological exclusivism vs inclusivism vs universalism

    Thanks!!

  16. Glenn
    Thanks for the range of topics you have already covered.

    I’d be interested in your take on physicalism and free will.
    Obviously free will plays a big part in theological arguments not least in the problem of evil.
    I wonder whether you feel that full libertarian (contra-causal) free will is required to support the theological position or whether compatabilist free will is sufficient.

  17. – Incarnation (in general and specifically on a non-dualist understanding of the human mind).

    – Inspiration of the Bible (can there be “high views of Scripture” that aren’t strictly inerrantist, etc.)

    – Methodological issues in Christian Theology (epistemological basis for systematic theology, etc.)

    – The nature of everlasting life. (Seems that you’ve spent more time discussing the nature of hell.)

    – Responding to various atheist arguments.

  18. I’m glad you like darwinian evil idea. If you do decide to do a podcast I might recommend checking out a book called “The Groaning of Creation”, which deals specifically with this problem. It’s written by Christopher Southgate who is a christian theologian. I’ve read some good reviews so it’s on my to read list. I know Loftus wrote a chapter on it in his second book, though I have not read it. Honestly, I’m debating whether or not to read his first book because from what I’ve so far from his debate and some of his online interactions, I’m not that impressed πŸ˜‰

  19. Jeremy, that would be what it says in english, however the Hebrew mind would never have conceived of a death that didnt involve “all of me”. I cant really give you an indepth reply here, and I am not a language scholar, but I suspect you should do some research into what “on that day you shall die” meant to a Jew, and what the “words” actually say (because it doesnt say die, for example, it says “dying you shall die” – what ever that might mean).

  20. JT – reading Loftus is time spent that you won’t get back. Seriously, we have a limited time in this life, so you have to choose wisely what you read.

  21. @Geoff
    Fair point on the Hebrew,[ maybe “dying you shall die” means “dying spiritually wiil ultimately kill you physically” ] but doesnt really answer St Paul’s use of “spirit”. Also if i believe scripture to be inspired by God, not just written by men, then there is always room for more than just what the human writer may have concieved or understood, we are talking about the written Word of God, His revelation of truth/reality/Himself to us for all times, not just 1500BC.

  22. Another thought, Christ told one of the thieves on the crosses beside him, “today you will be with me in Paradise”, what part of that man enjoyed Paradise with Christ that immediately, i am sure it wasnt his body as unlike Jesus his body would have remained on its cross probably for some time.

  23. Jeremy, There was a real physical death the same day they first sinned – it was the death of the animals God used to cover their nakedness, the first type of Christ’s sacrifice for us. So God really did mean a physical death, but then being a softy, he stepped in and acted on their behalf by providing a substitution.

    Topic suggestions:
    1. James B Jordan’s take on symbolism in the bible. He doesn’t publish much on the web but Mike Bull talks about his views alot (here: http://www.bullartistry.com.au/wp/) That’s where I got that little gem about the first animal sacrifice above.
    2. If that’s too general, how about the use of chiasms as a way to analyse the bible (which is one of the big things Jordan and Mike Bull do)
    3. Theonomy – who do we believe about it? Antagonists make it out to look pretty stupid and protagonists say the antagonists are just making straw-men to knock down. (possible subtopic: what’s Federal Vision all about?)

  24. P.S. I may be the only young earth creationist who reads your blog/listens to the podcast, but if you think there are more of us out there, I’d like to hear your take on Genesis re how literally to take it. I assume you deny evolution but not sure where you stand on a historical Adam and Eve, Neanderthals, age of the universe (starlight and time), radioisotope dating, globality (not sure if that’s a word) of Noah’s flood etc.

  25. @Jeremy,

    What Glenn said πŸ˜› (saves me having to reiterate it all πŸ˜›

    I dont think this has any conflict with the way Paul portrays “Spirit” at all, in fact, I dont believe its possible to understand Paul properly without realising that this is probably how he thought anyway (since he was Jewish, after all, and thought like Jew).

  26. @Jeremy,

    I dont see how 2 Cor is relevant really, or really changes anything. The other 2 passages are what I would say are “trickier” to explain, so I would prefer to leave it for someone else such as Glenn (who has probably already posted on it or written somewhere about it), who has a better understanding of it than I to respond. I can, however, if you are particularly interested in my opinion (I would stand corrected probably by Glenn anyway :P)

  27. For those of you who’ve been talking about physicalism, I will be challenging Glenn with these and other biblical passages often alleged to disprove physicalism in a followup episode to Let’s Get Physical, in which Glenn explained his view to my listeners and gave a positive biblical case for it.

  28. I second the suggestion by Haecceitas about more elaboration on physicalism in relation to the incarnation. I had left a long-winded comment on the last “In Search of the Soul” episode asking how this impacts your Christology; but I posted the comment so long after the episode was current that it probably didn’t get noticed.

    Also, I’d like to hear at least one episode in which the opening music lasts about 3 times as long. πŸ˜‰

  29. G’day Glenn

    I’m fairly new to your work, so not sure if you’ve covered this ground elsewhere – but following your ‘hell’ podcast series, I’d be interested to know what:
    – the role of ‘good works’ is in terms of its impact on heaven (for those who are saved)?
    – the role of ‘evil works’ in terms of judgement – ie, will Hitler and the ‘good’ but non-believing person be equally annihilated? Is there punishment before annihilation?

    Cheers!

  30. another thought … I’ve searched your site … have you addressed near-death experiences as evidence for the soul in terms of the mind/body problem?

  31. Hi Glenn

    It’s clear you have a strong theological background and good logical clarity. I also appreciate your position on letting scripture interpret scripture, it’s been good to see how that works in practice; and based on your example, I’ve started to do it too.

    Would you be up to tackling ‘keep the Sabbath holy’? The gravity of this command struck me when a friend of mine (previously Christian πŸ™ ) bluntly pointed out the ‘death penalty for someone picking up sticks on the wrong day’ Numbers 15:32+ …. ie, I don’t completely ‘get’ it, but it seems very important to God.

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