Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ian Taylor's Muddled Chronology

I'm getting very close to the end of Justin Martyr's canon.  At this point, his brilliant ideas simply repeat.  That means I'll remember them better, but I'm also going to wander over to other philosophers on the internet.

Today I ran into Ian Taylor.  He was born in Britain and worked as a metallurgist.  When he became a Christian he joined up with a Canadian evangelist.  He wrote this work called In the Minds of MenIt is available to read.  I think I'm going to follow this for a while.  He presents really good information on philosophy, science, and major paradigms throughout history.  The factual part is very good.  The chronological aspect is terrible.  It's like, he mentions the Council of Trent, followed by Wycliffe who had been dead for some time by that point, followed by Luther which was the reason for the Council of Trent, then the Renaissance which was more the reason for Wycliffe, and then to Voltaire.  It's like he gets the Renaissance and the 17th century Enlightenment confused.  No, these span a good 400 years and are not the same thing.  Similar, but not the same.

He starts out by mentioning Plato's story of the soldier on his funeral pyre who suddenly woke up and talked to his dad about what he had seen on the other side.  He then talks of Near Death Experiences and how some people believe in them and many don't.  Then he explains how mostly people who believe in NDEs believe in supernature and a Creator God.  Those who don't eventually stop believing in divine revelation.

It's not that easily divided, Ian.  I will die for my believe in Jesus, God the Creator in 6 days, the Virgin Birth, and Resurrection.  However, as a cessationist, I do not believe new revelation has come from the Lord since the death of the Apostles.  For that reason, I seriously doubt people can see glimpses of either heaven or hell at least accurately before they have completely died.  According to Ian Taylor, you'd think I agreed with Darwin in that NDEs are not certain because they are not testable.  Far from that.  Divine revelation is a given fact of history testified by witnesses.  NDEs simply happen on surgical tables or in car wrecks and get published into popular books.  I greatly believe in revelation, just not in isolated events that are merely legend.

Other than that, I do feel like he accurately describes Plato, Aristotle, Galileo, the medieval Roman Church, the French Endarkeners, and even Thomas Aquinas.  He is really hard to pin down and I might have to break down this first chapter into pieces because it is so hard to process at one time.  So far, I see this man as brilliant who shows his process and sources, but is not discerning as to what is real revelation or not.  That is very dangerous.  Anyway, I shall proceed later.

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