Search Results for: Joshua Farris

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.

Souls Without Thisnesses: A Rejoinder to Joshua Farris

William Hasker responds to the latest response from Joshua Farris on issues related to metaphysics of souls. Farris states that Hasker has failed to account for the particularity, the individual existence, of human souls.  Now, in a rejoinder, Hasker shows how this feature can be accounted for by emergent dualists, without invoking thisnesses or haecceities.

Originally, in the pages of Philosophia Christi (20:1, 2018), Hasker responded to Farris’ “Souls, Emergent and Created: Why Mere Emergent Dualism is Insufficient,” in his “Emergent Dualism and Emergent Creationism: A Response to Joshua Farris.”

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.

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!

A Response to Hasker’s Emergent Dualism and Emergent Creationism

In the pages of Philosophia Christi (20:1, 2018), William Hasker responded to Joshua Farris’ “Souls, Emergent and Created: Why Mere Emergent Dualism is Insufficient,” in his “Emergent Dualism and Emergent Creationism: A Response to Joshua Farris.”

Farris now replies to Hasker, arguing that Hasker spends more time on secondary issues rather than the central objection. Farris shows that Hasker gives no good reasons for denying the primitive particularity view and offers no alternative particularity account.

The full-text of this article is available for FREE by clicking here. The paper is part of an ongoing EPS web project focused on a Philosophy of Theological Anthropology.

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!

A Substantive (Soul) Model of the Imago Dei: A Rich Property View

Learn more about this Routledge Research Companion to Theological Anthropology and this chapter contribution!

The psalmist raises a profound question, “What is humankind that you are mindful of them?” One aspect of this question is, “what is it that composes humankind?” Are humans bodies, brains, soul-body units or something else? Another aspect of the first question is, “why are we images of God?” and “what does it mean to be an image of God?” Surely the second question has something to do with the first.

As images, humans reflect and represent God. In order to answer the second question, we must say something in reply to the first question. In the present chapter, I endorse a substance dualism model of personal ontology as a satisfying way to make sense of the imago Dei (i.e., the image of God) by contrasting it with one sophisticated view advanced by Kathryn Tanner.

For further study:

  • What models of personal ontology coherently account for the Scriptural data on human beings?
  • What are the distinctions between various models of personal ontology as constructive accountings of a substantive image?
  • Does substance dualism have the resources to account for a robust biblical portrayal of embodied human nature?

Virtual Conference: Cosmic Mind, Divine Action, and Design-Engaged Theology

Date: April 14th, 10 am (GMT-05:00) Central Time (US & Canada).

Register today!

Goal: This virtual conference draws on intelligent design theory to make the case for a God who cares—and for what that means as humans seek to join God’s redemptive mission in crucial areas of human thinking, responsibility, and life. The conference speakers and participants will center on one unifying question: “What are the implications of Intelligent Design for science-engaged theology?”

Featured Speakers

  • Steve Meyer: Evidence from Cosmology, Physics, and Origin of Life
  • Joshua Farris: Evidence for a Cosmic Mind from individual humans
  • Michael Egnor: Evidence from Neuroscience for Neurotheology
  • J.P. Moreland: The Soul, ID Research and Science-Engaged Theology
  • Charles Taliaferro: Cosmic Mind and Implications for Creation & Vocation

Learn more at

The Creation of Self

In 2023, John Hunt Publishing will release The Creation of Self by Joshua R. Farris. Farris is currently the Humboldt Experienced Researcher Fellow at the University of Bochum in Bochum, Germany, focusing on biologically-engaged religious anthropology. Farris is also a co-project editor and coordinator of the EPS web project on the Philosophy of Theological Anthropology.

Bruce Gordon, Associate Professor of History and Philosophy of Science (Houston Baptist University), says that

Many old-school neuroscientists and philosophers of mind, having retreated to the keep of non-reductive physicalism, seem oblivious to the fact that their materialist position has been overrun both by the evidence, and by panpsychist, dualist, and idealist armies. In this regard, apart from Richard Swinburne, none has been more vigorous in defending the consistency of emergent-creationist dualism with neuroscience, and the necessity of an immaterial mind to a proper understanding of human personhood, than Joshua Farris. With respect to religious issues, Farris is the leader. Those who think that substance dualism is untenable display their doxastic inertia and ignore Farris’ work at their peril.

Introduction to Theological Anthropology

Baker Academic recently published Introduction to Theological Anthropology by Joshua R. Farris. Farris (PhD, University of Bristol) is Chester and Margaret Paluch Lecturer for 2019-2020 at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. He was assistant professor of theology at Houston Baptist University and served as a Henry Fellow for the Creation Project at the Carl F. H. Henry Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is author of The Soul of Theological Anthropology and the coeditor of Christian Physicalism? and The Ashgate Research Companion to Theological Anthropology. 

From the publisher’s description of Introduction to Theological Anthropology:

In this thorough introduction to theological anthropology, Joshua Farris offers an evangelical perspective on the topic. Farris walks the reader through some of the most important issues in traditional approaches to anthropology, such as sexuality, posthumanism, and the image of God. He addresses fundamental questions like, Who am I? and Why do I exist? He also considers the creaturely and divine nature of humans, the body-soul relationship, and the beatific vision.

Joshua Farris is co-editor (with Nathan Jacobs) of the prominent Philosophy of Theological Anthropology project, a web project of the Evangelical Philosophical Society.  

ETS-EPS 2019: Penal Substitution in Contemporary Perspective

In addition to various individual papers on important philosophical issues, EPS members also contribute to important theological debates at the 2019 ETS-EPS conference:

The ‘Christus Odium’ Variety of Penal Substitution in Contemporary Perspective 
November 20, 9:00 AM – 12:10 PM
Third Floor – Mission Beach BC 

Moderator: Ryan A. Brandt (Grand Canyon University)

9:00 AM—9:35 AM
Joshua Farris(Heythrop College)
S. Mark Hamilton(Free University of Amsterdam)
Which Penalty, Whose Atonement?

9:35 AM—10:10 AM
Derek Rishmawy(Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
An Experiment in Odium: Retrieving Classical Tools for Contemporary Atonement Doctrine

10:20 AM—10:55 AM
Tom McCall(Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
The Well-Pleased Father and the Much-Loved Son: Christus Odium in Theological Perspective

10:55 AM—11:30 AM
Owen Strachan(Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)
Ryan L. Rippee(The Cornerstone Bible College and Seminary)
It Was the Will of the Father to Crush Him: On Penal Substitution and Divine Wrath 

11:30 AM—12:10 PM
Q&A Panel Discussion

2019 EPS Southwest Region: Call for Papers

Theme: “Middle Knowledge”

March 8-9, 2019
3939 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70126
All full members and student members of EPS are invited to submit paper proposals on topics related to this year’s theme, including heaven, hell, purgatory, resurrection, the afterlife, etc. Quality papers on topics not directly related to the theme are also welcome. 
Full Members: Paper proposals should include a title and abstract (300 words), the presenter’s name and institutional affiliation, and the presenter’s membership status. An acceptable paper should be delivered in 25 minutes with 5-10 minutes for discussion. 
Student Members: Proposals should include the student’s degree program and email confirmation.
All paper proposals should be submitted to
The submission deadline is February 1, 2019.
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 Feb. 8, 2019
  1. A titled, full version of the paper to be presented 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 and institutional affiliations.
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. 
Joshua Farris, Chair,
Chad Meeks, Program Chair,
Graham Floyd, Secretary
To enjoy more work on philosophy of religion issues, become a subscriber to the journal, Philosophia Christior become a member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society [includes annual print subscription to the journal], along with many FREE articles at the EPS website.