Search Results for: "Arbour"

Greg Trickett Remembers Ben Arbour

With the recent and very tragic death of EPS member, Ben Arbour, and his dear wife, Meg, EPS President, Mike Austin, has invited friends and colleagues of Ben to offer their reflections on Ben’s life, his care for philosophy, and his ministry to others.

Ben’s friend and colleague, Greg Trickett (Associate Professor of Philosophy at Weatherford College) offers this personal reflection:

On the night of Thursday, November 5th, just after midnight, Ben and Meg Arbour were tragically killed while coming home from a date. They were hit by a street racer less than two blocks from their home. I heard the news of their deaths on Friday morning at around 10am. In that instant, time slowed and my world changed. Those of you who met Ben know that he didn’t know a stranger. You also know that he and Meg touched and positively impacted so many lives. If you didn’t know him, chances are you knew others who did. Within the Christian Philosophical community, there were far fewer than six degrees that separated Ben from any other person. Personally, for me he was one of a handful of my closest friends.
Ben thrived on his friends, they were like oxygen for him, and he was in his element in large crowds where he knew lots of people. I went to several conferences with him and it was typical to find Ben at lunch or dinner trying his best to gather every single one of his friends to go somewhere for a meal. I think he enjoyed those gatherings more than the presentations, and he really enjoyed the presentations.
But I enjoyed the smaller gatherings, especially when just the five of us, Ben and I along with Jay Howell, Brad Palmer, and David Williams, would hang out. The last thing we did was go golfing for Brad’s and my birthdays. Two weeks before that, we’d gathered at my house to play the board game, Pandemic which Ben thoroughly enjoyed.
It hurts. And I know his family is hurting exponentially more. Please pray for Ben and Meg’s four children as they cope and begin to face a life without their parents. (If you are wanting to help, please consider contributing to a fund set up for their kids through Wedgewood Baptist Church at Make sure to designate your donation to “Arbour fund.”) But there is comfort in all this. It is a comfort found in the faith and hope to which Ben and Meg held. Their faith was in Christ who came so that all may be saved and find hope; their hope was in the resurrection. I look forward to seeing Ben again. Much to Ben’s pleasure, it’ll be a bigger group next time, but I know I’ll see him again, because my faith and hope are the same.

Joshua Farris Remembers Ben Arbour

With the recent and very tragic death of EPS member, Ben Arbour, and his dear wife, Meg, EPS President, Mike Austin, has invited friends and colleagues of Ben to offer their reflections on Ben’s life, his care for philosophy, and his ministry to others. Ben’s friend and colleague, Joshua Farris (Executive Director, Alpine Christian School; Director of Trinity School of Theology), offers this personal reflection:

“Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;” (2 Corinthians 1:10)

Ben Arbour, and his wife Meg, passed away on Friday November 6, 2020. Their death seems to have been sudden, and it was certainly tragic. They were the victims of a drag race early in the morning that Friday.

I am still dismayed by Ben’s (and Meg’s, but I will focus on Ben) death. The feeling of shock has stayed with me since I first heard the news early Friday morning shortly after waking up.

Ben, as many have stated already, was an extrovert. He was outgoing and loved a good discussion or a bit of banter. He would call you up randomly and delineate an argument he had been turning over in his head that day. Often the argument had something to do with Higher-Ed, politics, theology, or, his favorite topic—metaphysical idealism.

Ben was an important figure in Christian philosophy. Investing himself primarily in the Evangelical Philosophical Society, he broadened his influence internationally through his writings on Anselmian theism and Open Theism. Both conservative and traditional, Ben was rightly discouraged and critical of the left leaning trend in the world of “Christian Philosophy”—something he saw as ironically the beginning of the end for the community. Ben lived out his convictions and was unafraid to challenge the convictions of others—even when it meant speaking against the trends of our times. Ben, for all the reasons here mentioned, was an important fixture in the Christian philosophy community. He challenged ideas and, most importantly, he brought people together for philosophical discussion (at times those with quite disparate perspectives). He organized several philosophical conferences for EPS and others. For this reason alone, he is a significant figure in our community and his absence will be noticed by all.

More importantly, Ben was a friend. Good friends are hard to find. Ben often challenged me in ways that I found frustrating, but after some time I knew it came from a heart that loved me and my virtue—whether it be intellectual or volitional. His life was instructive in this way in that he prodded his friends toward virtue.

His death has been instructive. When I heard others jump to the hope before properly processing his untimely death, I was discouraged. His death was and is devastating. While I am weary of easy believ-ism, my resolve is to trust that He will deliver us from the grave. He has been faithful in the past, and he will be faithful again. I will see Ben again.

John Gilhooly Remembers Ben Arbour

With the recent and very tragic death of EPS member, Ben Arbour, and his dear wife, Meg, EPS President, Mike Austin, has invited friends and colleagues of Ben to offer their reflections on Ben’s life, his care for philosophy, and his ministry to others.

Ben’s friend and colleague, John Gilhooly (Director of Honors Program, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Theology, at Cedarville University), offers this reflection:

Ben was a wonderful, relentless, indefatigable advocate for clarity in our speech about God, purity in our devotion to Christ, and charity in our conduct by the Spirit. He was a loyal friend: equal measures bold and honest. He knew no strangers because he showed no partiality. He argued fiercely because he cared deeply. He took his work seriously but he could laugh at himself. His friends knew that even a causal joke directed his way would provoke a serious response – even as he chuckled at the absurdity. 

I realized when I met Ben that I did not love analytic philosophy. I wouldn’t do it for free or as a hobby. But, Ben’s professional accomplishments were something he happened to do when the more pressing business of his work or family or church was complete. He had a passion in his pursuits that was contagious, even if his grit and tenacity for argument were so surpassing that few could imitate the frenzied pace of his joyous life. Ben was a hurricane that could argue.

I will miss him until the Day, and the academic community is poorer for the vacuum of personality and insight that Ben leaves behind.

For the EPS web project on The Philosophy of Theological Anthropology, Ben and John wrote on “Transgenderism, Human Ontology, and the Metaphysics of Properties.”

Remembering Ben Arbour

As many of you have likely heard, one of our members and his wife, Ben and Meg Arbour, were tragically killed in an automobile accident on November 6.

When I first heard the news, I was, of course shocked and saddened. I was also reminded of the brevity of life, and that each of our days is a gift from God. James 4:14 immediately came to my mind, a hard truth, but a truth nonetheless: “Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” This reminds me of the importance of being faithful today, and each day we are given. This is the sort of faithfulness that Ben demonstrated in his own life as a follower of Jesus, husband, father, and philosopher.

Ben was a very active and devoted member of the EPS. He was involved in our annual and regional meetings, contributed to Philosophia Christi and EPS web projects, and produced several publications, including the recent edited volume, Philosophical Essays Against Open Theism (Routledge, 2018). He worked as a finance manager in Fort Worth, and also taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His devotion to philosophy done in Christ and for the sake of Christ was exemplary.

On a more personal note, I had several great conversations with Ben over the past few years, both in person at our annual meetings and over the phone. We discussed the EPS, politics, and some of the controversial issues in contemporary America. We had talked about writing something together on some of these issues. I wish we had done so. Ben stands out to me as a tough-minded, tender-hearted man who loves God, his family, and philosophy. He will be missed by so many.

For those who are interested in helping out Ben and Meg’s four children, there is a GoFundMe set up that will be administered by the grandparents.

There are several forthcoming tributes to Ben that will be available at the EPS website and in other EPS venues from several of his friends. In the meantime, please keep Ben and Meg’s family and friends in your prayers.

In Christ,

Mike Austin

EPS President

* Photo credit: Dusty Deevers.

2023 EPS Southwest Region Call for Papers



The 2023 ETS/EPS annual conference for the Southwest region will be hosted on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX) on March 24–25, 2023. EPS members of any rank (including graduate students) or from any region are invited to submit a proposal to present their paper on-site during the conference. All presenting members must register and attend the conference in person on the campus of SWBTS. EPS proposals may be related to any topic in the field of philosophy, including ethics, philosophy of religion, religious epistemology, etc. Topics relating philosophical inquiry to the conference’s theme (Kingdom of God) would be appreciated. To register for the conference, please go to

Please submit proposals to

All proposals should include a title, a 200-word description, and a brief statement concerning your credentials (education and experience). Proposals are due by January 31, 2023.

SW ETS/EPS Ben Arbour Memorial Student Paper Competition

Student members whose papers are accepted for inclusion in the program will be eligible to enter a student paper competition. Students who wish to enter the competition must submit the following to Greg Trickett at by February 26, 2023: 1. A titled, full version of the paper to be presented (no more than 5,000 words) suitable for blind review. 2. A 200-300 word abstract with the paper title as it appears on the blind review submission, the student’s name, pursued degree, and societal (EPS or ETS) and institutional affiliations.

The winner(s) will be announced at the final plenary session of the conference. Students must present their papers at the conference to be considered for the competition.

2019 EPS Annual Conference: How Christian Philosophers Can Serve Theologians and Biblical Scholars

At the

2019 Annual EPS Conference
in San Diego, California,
Talbot School
of Theology’s
Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, will deliver this year’s
plenary address.

Title: “How Christian Philosophers can serve Systematic Theologians and Biblical

Synopsis: The paper will begin by laying out two reasons why much of contemporary
theology and scriptural studies are anemic in their impact for Christ: these disciplines
are often done in isolation from the broader cultural issues facing the church and
their results are not presented as knowledge of reality. The paper argues that an
important solution to this problem is for theological and scriptural scholars to
appropriate the findings of Christian philosophy and do integrative work with Christian
philosophers in their intellectual projects. The paper goes on to state and illustrate
four ways that Christian philosophy and philosophers can serve their colleagues
in theology and scriptural studies.

Time and Location: Thursday, November 21st, 2:00-2:50 pm; Seaport ABCDE,
Second Floor,

Manchester Grand Hyatt.

If you or a colleague wish to attend and have not yet registered,

onsite registration
will be available.

J.P. will also be the final plenary speaker for the annual

EPS Apologetics conference
(Saturday, November 23rd, at

Maranatha Chapel
, San Diego). J.P. will be speaking on “Science and Secularism”
(see also his 2018 book,

Scientism and Secularism)
. For the last 18 years, the EPS has
helped bring apologetics and worldview training to local churches in a variety of
locations around the U.S., drawing upon seasoned expertise from EPS members working
in apologetics, philosophy, theology, and ethics.

In light of commemorating the 20th Anniversary of

Philosophia Christi
J.P. wrote the following paper in the

Summer 2019
issue of

Philosophia Christi

“My Retrospective and Prospective Musings on the Evangelical Philosophical Society”
he writes:

This article reflects on three issues: (1) the past twenty years of the Evangelical
Philosophical Society (EPS), (2) ideas for EPS’s future, and (3) some words
of advice to my younger EPS colleagues. Regarding (1), I identify four values
that were central to the rebirth of the EPS and that have guided us for twenty
years. Regarding (2), I issue a warning and a challenge. Regarding (3), I provide
three words of advice for keeping us on course.

For other EPS content at the intersection of philosophy, theology and biblical studies,
see these free web contributions:

Support the EPS
to expand its reach, support its members, and be a credible
presence of Christ-shaped philosophical interests in the academy and into the wider

Philosophical Essays Against Open Theism

In 2018, Routledge released, Philosophical Essays Against Open Theism, edited by Benjamin H. Arbour. Arbour is Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Weatherford College.

From the publisher’s description:

This new collection of philosophically rigorous essays critiques the interpretation of divine omniscience known as open theism, focusing primarily on philosophically motivated open theism and positing arguments that reject divine knowledge of future contingents in the face of the dilemma of freedom and foreknowledge. The sixteen new essays in this collection, written by some of the most renowned philosophers on the topic of divine providence, represent a philosophical attempt to seriously consider open theism. They cover a wide variety of issues, including: the ontology of time, systematic metaphysics, perfect being theology, the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, the problem of evil, and the nature of divine knowledge in general. Philosophical Essays Against Open Theism advances the discussion by wrestling against the assertions of open theism, and will be of interest to both proponents and opponents of this controversial issue.In a recent, wide-ranging interview, Arbour talked not only about his own journey as a Christian and philosopher, but also his current views on Open Theism.

In a recent, wide-ranging interview, Arbour talked not only about his own journey as a Christian and philosopher, but also his current views on Open Theism.

Transgenderism, Human Ontology, and the Metaphysics of Properties

This paper argues that the narrative of transgenderism contains mutually inconsistent claims and therefore fails.

First, the denial of gender essentialism is inconsistent with anyone’s insistence that facts about people make it the case that either they have always been gendered in some respective way, or that they in fact belong to other genders than what were originally recognized.

Second, the argument that sex and gender come apart is inconsistent with the view that persons can be born into the wrong bodies; and attempts to bring bodies in line with trans people’s self-understood genders via gender reassignment surgery undermine the claim that gender and sex are not normatively related.

Third, the argument that gender is a social construct is inconsistent with the idea that society’s assignment of a person’s gender can be mistaken based on privileged information that an individual has.

Finally, the social promotion of self-identification as veridical is inconsistent on both major accounts of gender. Hence, transgenderism is mutually inconsistent with its own aims and claims.

The full-text of this paper is available for FREE by clicking here. The paper is part of an ongoing EPS web project focused on a Philosophy of Theological Anthropology. For more on this paper’s theme, see the EPS web project’s Philosophical Discussions on Marriage and Family Topics.

Please consider becoming a regular annual or monthly financial partner with the Evangelical Philosophical Society in order to expand its reach, support its members, and be a credible presence of Christ-shaped philosophical interests in the academy and into the wider culture!


The Evangelical Philosophical Society (EPS) is pleased to introduce a unique and ongoing Philosophy of Theological Anthropology project! Your contributions, readership, exploration and support are most welcomed. For more on this theme and Christian contributions to philosophy, become a subscriberfor as low as $25 per year! – to Philosophia Christi, the peer-reviewed journal of the EPS [all EPS members receive Philosophia Christi as part of their membership].

Summary of Project 

Inaugurated in 2018, The Philosophy of Theological Anthropology is an EPS web project devoted to the foundations and meta-themes of theological anthropology. Contributors seek to highlight a variety of new topics, which are at present underexplored, and fresh philosophical perspectives of older topics. This is an opportunity for philosophers and constructive theologians to explore foundational and innovative themes within theological anthropology from a philosophical perspective.

Topics of interest in this web series include areas of epistemology, metaphysics, Christology, and traditioned anthropology. We are interested in approaches that reconceive in fresh new ways the conditions and foundations for thinking about theological anthropology. This amounts to critical interrogations of commonly held assumptions in the contemporary theological literature on anthropology. We invite contributions that are extensions of previously published works as well as unique speculative pieces. 

Areas of Web Project 

The present issue will contain topics on anthropology, philosophy of mind, imago Dei [broadly conceived], with the aim toward advancing the philosophical foundations and implications of a theistic anthropology.

Current Papers

Core Project Questions

  • How should we approach the anthropos and its telos?
  • Furthermore, how might we understand human ‘selfhood’ and ‘identity’?
  • What are the benefits and liabilities of an Analytic Theology approach?
  • Analytic Theology and Christological anthropology?
  • What are the benefits and liabilities of a more Phenomenological approach to the anthropos?
  • What is the distinctive contribution of philosophy of mind/personal ontology in contemporary theological anthropology?
  • What role does or should the sciences play in our theological constructions?
  • What are the benefits of a Christological method to anthropology?
  • Christological anthropology as an organizing motif?
  • Is a Christological method sufficient for theological anthropology?
  • From the Christian tradition, what is the Good News for the anthropos and how might that shape approaches to a study of what it means to be human?
  • What role do ecclesial, theological, or philosophical traditions play in our theological construction?
  • What substantive place does reason and experience have in understanding humans?
  • What are the different religious/denominational perspectives on the nature of human beings?
  • How might spiritual features and formation of a human being shape an understanding of the nature and purpose of a human being?
  • What are the distinctive ideas within a Christian anthropology and other religious anthropologies?
  • How might theologies and philosophies of the human person shape theologies and philosophies of ‘public life’?

Find this Project Interesting? See these other EPS Web Projects

Want to Contribute to the Philosophy of Theological Anthropology Project? 

Options for contributing: reflection essays, critical responses, book reviews, exploratory essays, dialectical pieces, methodological hybrids (biblical studies to philosophy), how to communicate to the public.

Length: Shorter (e.g., 1500-2000 words) and longer papers (e.g., 6,000 words) are permitted. You are welcome to work with the Project Editors on length issues.

Suggested topics: evolution and theological anthropology, imago Dei, the metaphysics of gender and sexuality, method, Christological anthropology, religious epistemology, and human ontology.

Main Project Categories:

  1. Denominational and Traditioned Theological Anthropology
  2. Gender, Sex, and Sexuality
  3. Sociology, Ethnography, and Theological Anthropology
  4. Science, Design, and Anthropology
  5. Technology and Posthumanism
  6. Morality and Theological Anthropology
  7. Disciplines: Philosophy, Biblical Theology, Philosophical Theology, Systematic/Constructive Theology, Retrieval Theology, Social Science, Humanities (N.B. the aim of the investigation ought to impinge on philosophical-theological matters)

Submit a Proposal: Email a topic, thesis and description of the proposed paper (250 words max) to Project Editors Joshua Farris and Nathan Jacobs [see below]. They will help guide your proposal toward being a contribution of this web project.

Lead Project Editors & Coordinators:

Past Editorial Assistant: Dave Strobolakos.

Web Project Overseer: Joseph E. Gorra, Consulting Editor, Philosophia Christi.

Please consider becoming a regular annual or monthly financial partner with the Evangelical Philosophical Society in order to expand its reach, support its members, and be a credible presence of Christ-shaped philosophical interests in the academy and into the wider culture!