Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Paul Moser's "Idolater's Anonymous"

(Beth Bentley & Linda, in Jerusalem)

I've recently read some of the stuff Loyola U. philosopher Paul Moser has written and am much impressed and encouraged!

Today I discovered his "Idolater's Anonymous" page. Moser writes: "Idolatry begins as theft from God, the gift Giver, as we value something or someone in a way that hinders the love and trust we owe to God. Idolatry turns back on us, however, to keep us from having what we need for true, lasting satisfaction in life. In the end, the greatest human tragedy is idolatry. It diminishes and even severs friendship with God, the only Giver of lasting life and satisfaction. Out of the tragedy of idolatry come all other human woes, including addictions, worries, selfish fears, resentments, jealousies, hatreds, and so on."

This is good stuff. Check out the Q&A, plus the WEALTH of primary source writings Moser links us to! Check out, e.g., Moser's "Why Isn't God More Obvious?"

I recently read Moser's "Reorienting Religious Epistemology: Cognitive Grace, Filial Knowledge, and Gethsemane Struggle." He writes: "Filial knowledge of God [the kind Jesus had of the Father] is irreducible to knowledge that a particular object in the universe exists. It is irreducible also to knowledge that the premises of an argument are true." (In James Beilby, ed.; For Faith and Clarity: Philosophical Contributions to Theology, 72) Filial knowledge of God "exceeds intellectual assent to, or acceptance of, a proposition. It demands that we put the true God at the center of our lives... There is no coming to know the true God without resulting personal agape transformation through the reception of God's self-giving, forgiving love." (Ib., 73) Contrarily, if I attune my life to only self-indulgent frequencies, "devoting my life exclusively to what advances my own selfish purposes," I should not be surprised that I would not excperience an all-loving God.

I think Moser is writing some brilliant works, and we'll be following him for a long time.