Search Results for: Angus Menuge

2011 Highlights of Annual EPS Meetings & Conference

Several dozen papers will be presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the EPS (San Francisco), along with several more at the EPS Apologetics Conference (Berkeley), and the EPS session at SBL. In addition, there are several worthwhile panel discussions to enjoy this year, some of which are part of the ETS’s or the EPS’s schedule. Lot’s of great contributions by EPS members in ETS sessions! Below is a handy snapshot of some of the highlights:


EPS RECEPTION @ 8:30 pm, Marriott – Foothill G
EPS and ETS members are welcome to come enjoy fellowship with a word of encouragement from Dr. Paul Gould, “Against Saving the World on Your Own Time.”


EPS PLENARY SESSION @ 3:30 pm, Marriott – Yerba Buena
Dr. Dallas Willard will discuss the topic, “The Shape of Moral Knowledge.”

EPS Apologetics Conference (Berkeley) @ 7:00 pm
Dr. Dallas Willard is the plenary speaker for this evening: “Knowing in the Context of Spiritual Formation.”
More info:

EPS Business Meeting @ 8:30 am, Marriott – Yerba Buena 1
Come hear about the latest happenings in the EPS, including who are the newest elected members of the Executive Committee.

EPS Apologetics Conference (Berkeley) @ 7:00 pm
Dr. J.P. Moreland is the plenary speaker for this evening: “Loving God with All Your Mind.”
More info:

EPS Apologetics Conference (Berkeley) @ 8:45 am and @ 12:00 pm
Dr. Craig Hazen’s plenary on “Christianity in a World of Religions” and Greg Koukl’s plenary on “The Intolerance of Tolerance.”
More info:

EPS Session at SBL @ 7:00 pm, Marriott – Pacific E
“Prospects for Body-Soul Dualism,” with contributors J.P. Moreland, Angus Menuge, and Kevin Corcoran

Fall 2011 EPS President’s Update

Greetings, EPS Members!

My school—Palm Beach Atlantic University—is eagerly anticipating Alvin Plantinga’s coming this Sunday! He’ll be here for several days of lectures and conversations with faculty and students here. I’m reminded of the splendid time we had with him at our EPS annual meeting and apologetics conference last year in Atlanta.  

We are blessed to live in these days, being able to stand on the shoulders of philosophical giants like Plantinga. I recently received the latest issue of Faith and Philosophy (though please do keep subscribing to Philosophia Christi!) Therein, Nicholas Wolterstorff reflects on Plantinga’s remarkable career, beginning with the time they were sophomores together at Calvin College some sixty years ago. Wolterstorff notes how the today’s landscape in the philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and epistemology—so utterly different from sixty years ago—clearly evidences Plantinga’s distinctive influence.  As Christian philosophers and apologists, we are the beneficiaries of the groundbreaking, bold ideas and writings of Plantinga and Wolterstorff—and we could add many more.

Annual Meeting

Next month we look forward to gathering again, this time in San Francisco. We’ll have another influential veteran philosopher as our plenary speaker, Dallas Willard. God has used him to train a generation of philosophers, help awaken the church to the life of the mind, and remind us of the importance of the spiritual disciplines to transform character. Also at our EPS annual meeting, we have another excellent lineup of papers, and we’re grateful to Jeremy Evans as program chair for managing this so ably.

Apologetics Conference

We’ll be having our annual apologetics conference at the historic First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley. Our engaging plenary speakers include Dallas Willard, whose topic will be, “Jesus: The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived,” as well as J.P. Moreland, Craig Hazen, and Greg Koukl. We’ll have a lot of our “regulars” presenting at the breakout seminars—William Craig, Frank Beckwith, Doug Geivett. You’ll see some newer faces as well—such as Holly Ordway (a former atheist and author of Not God’s Type), the kiwi philosopher Matt Flannagan (a rising star in the sky of philosophical theology), Mike Licona (the author of a landmark book on The Resurrection of Jesus), Mike Horner (a veteran Canadian apologist), and I’Ching Thomas (an apologist who works with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Singapore). Register at We look forward to seeing you at these events—as well as at our reception on Wednesday night and business meeting on Thursday night (16 and 17 November).

AAR/SBL Meeting

And don’t forget: just following these events, the EPS will be hosting a session at AAR/SBL on Saturday, 19 November at 7:00 PM. J.P. Moreland, Angus Menuge, and Kevin Corcoran will be presenting on the matter (!) of “Prospects for Body/Soul Dualism Today.”  This should be an exciting, substantial exchange on an important topic.   Each November is a highlight in my academic year—hearing thought-provoking papers, talking philosophy into the wee hours, enjoying the fellowship of old friends, meeting new philosophical comrades-in-arms, poring over the newest (discounted!) books in philosophy, apologetics, theology, and biblical studies.   I pray this will be a time of intellectual challenge and spiritual revitalization for us all so that we may return to our places of learning, teaching, writing, and ministry to serve Christ and his kingdom more effectively.

Warmly in Christ,

Paul Copan

EPS President

Philosophia Christi: Summer 2011 Issue

The Summer 2011 issue of Philosophia Christi should start to drop in mail boxes within the next couple of weeks. If you are not a current member or subscriber, please consider becoming one today.

There are lot’s of very interesting articles, notes and book reviews. This issue features a variety of contributions on philosophical anthropology, especially arguments for substance dualism by either arguing from or for the “self.” Contributors to this area include Dallas Willard, J.P. Moreland, Mihretu Guta. Angus Menuge also argues for how libertarian freedom hangs on a concept of the “substantial self.” Moreover, Donny Swanson challenges Nancey Murphy’s Christian physicalist conception of human distinctiveness. Jerry Walls further argues that no Christians should ever be a compatibilist. R. Scott Smith, echoing Willard’s work in phenomenology, challenges Merold Westphal and James K.A. Smith on their concepts of “finitude,” “fallenness,” and “immediacy.”

In his introduction to this issue, Editor-in-Chief Craig Hazen said of these contributions:

In these essays, clear thinking on the ‘self’ emerges as a powerful tool in demonstrating the inadequacy of philosophical naturalism.

Many further notable contributions are available in this issue, from the likes of Robert Larmer, Steve Cowan, John Warwick Montgomery, Paul Gould, and several more!

Subscribe today, and receive the Summer 2011 issue as your first issue!

2008 EPS Papers (Friday)

Here is a summary outline of who presented on Friday morning and afternoon of the annual EPS conference. The links are to posts that feature abstracts about the papers. Please feel free to comment at each post:

Jim A. Stewart (University of Wales, Lampeter)
The Absurdity of Life without Hell: How Popular Objections to Eternal Punishment Lead to Absurdities

Justin Grace (Terrant County College)
The Text & God: Is “God” a Proper Name or Is “God” Analogous with “Water”

Joel Schwartz (Baylor University)
Show Me the Meaning! A Wittgensteinian Apologetic

Kevin Diller (University of St. Andrews)
Non-Evidentialist Positive Apologetics

C. Charles Wang (Retired)
The Use of Presuppositional Circular Reasoning by Atheists and Theists

Book Symposium on C.S. Lewis as Philosopher

Khaldoun Sweis (Olive-Harvey College)
Evolutionary Naturalism Reconsidered

Stephen C. Dilley (St. Edward’s University)
Scientific Naturalism: A House Divided?

Timothy Yoder (Philadelphia Biblical University)
C. S. Lewis and Aristotle on the Ethical Value of Friendship

Angus Menuge (Concordia University, Wisconsin)
Is Downward Causation Possible?

David Vander Laan (Westmont College)
Bodies as Ecosystems

R. Scott Smith (Biola University)
Naturalism, Our Knowledge of Reality, and Some Implications for Christian Physicalists

Timothy Paul Erdel (Bethel College, Indiana)
Death and Philosophical Judgment

Dennis Plaisted (University of Tennessee, Chattanooga)
God and the Appropriation of Evil

Matt Getz (Biola University)
God’s Bootstraps: Euthyphro Generalized

Mary Jo Sharp (Biola University)
First-Century Monotheistic Judaism, the Earliest Christians, and the Recycled Pagan Myth Theory

Barry L. Carey (Biola University)
Servant Syndrome and the Soul

Richard Davis (Tyndale University)
God and Modal Concretism

EPS Philosophers Respond to New Scientist Article On “Creationism” and Materialism

Amanda Gefter, an editor with the Opinion section of the New Scientist, wrote a piece titled, “Creationists Declare War over the Brain” (posted October 22, 2008).

Gefter’s piece describes what she quotes as a “‘non-material neuroscience’ movement” that is “attempting to resurrect Cartesian dualism … in hope that it will make room in science both for supernatural forces and for a soul.”

Among the scholars that she mentions as examples of this “non-material neuroscience movement,” Gefter quotes from EPS philosophers and Philosophia Christi contributors J.P. Moreland, Angus Menuge and William Dembski (only Menuge is referenced in the article as being a philosopher).

Moreland, the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology, recently published his Consciousness & the Existence of God: A Theistic Argument (Routledge), which Gefter describes as having “fanned the flames” with its publication in June of this year.

Of Moreland’s book, she says that “Non-materialist neuroscience provided him with this helpful explanation: since God ‘is’ consciousness.” But Moreland’s book offers a philosophical explanation for non-materialism; it is not dependent on the findings of neuroscience. (She goes on to quote Moreland, which at first glance appears to be from his Routledge book. Yet upon further inspection, it appears that she selectively quotes from a blog post by Moreland).

Nonetheless, in response to Gefter’s piece, Moreland e-mailed us with the following reply:

The simple truth is that in both science and philosophy, strict physicalist analysis of consciousness and the self have been breaking down since the mid-1980s. The problems with physicalism have nothing directly to do with theism; they follow from rigorous treatments of consciousness and the self as we know them to be. The real problem comes in trying to explain its origin and for this problem, naturalism in general and Darwinism in particular, are useless. In my view, the only two serious contenders are theism and panpsychism which, contrary to the musings of some, has throughout the history of philosophy been correctly taken as a rival to and not a specification of naturalism.

(Moreland is set to publish in 2009 a similar book about the philosophical problems of naturalism titled, The Recalcitrant Imago Dei: Human Persons and the Failure of Naturalism )

Angus Menuge
, Concordia University’s (Wisconsin) Professor of Philosophy and Computer Science and Chair of Philosophy, is cited by Gefter for receiving funds from the Discovery Institute for his Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science book and for testifying “in favour of teaching ID in state-funded high-schools.”

But as Menuge notes in an e-mail to us, “I did not testify ‘in favour of teaching ID in state-funded high-schools,’ as the media would have discovered if they had actually reported the testimony given in Kansas instead of recycling a standardized science/religion story-line; we simply maintained that students should learn about the evidence for and against the neo-Darwinian view and insisted that Intelligent Design was not yet sufficiently developed as a theory to be taught in classrooms.”

Moreover, Menuge notes, “Amanda Gefter also has her chronology wrong: though I did receive support from the Discovery Institute to research Agents Under Fire, this was not part of a program to develop ‘non-materialist neuroscience’ (an area in which I have since become very interested) but my attempt to show in detail that scientific materialism is untenable because materialism undermines the rationality of science.”

Gefter agrees that “scientists have yet to crack the great mystery of how consciousness could emerge from firing neurons.” But she then suggests that the argument against materialism is (quoting naturalist philosopher Patricia Churchland) “an argument from ignorance.” Churchland says, “The fact [that] something isn’t currently explained doesn’t mean it will never be explained or that we need to completely change not only our neuroscience but our physics.”

Menuge admits “it is possible that a materialistic explanation of consciousness might be found, but that does not make the claim that consciousness is non-physical an argument from ignorance.” Menuge further counsels,

At any given time, scientists should infer the best current explanation of the available evidence, and right now, the best evidence from both neuroscience and rigorous philosophical analysis is that consciousness is not reducible to the physical. Churchland’s refusal to draw this inference is based not on evidence, but on what Karl Popper called “promissory materialism,” a reliance on the mere speculative possibility of a materialistic explanation. Since this attitude can be maintained indefinitely, it means that even if a non-materialist account is correct (and supported by overwhelming evidence), that inconvenient truth can always be ignored. Surely the project of science should be one of following the evidence wherever it leads, not of protecting a preconceived materialist philosophy. Isn’t it that philosophy—the one that constantly changes its shape to avoid engagement with troublesome evidence, either ignoring the data or simply declaring it materialistic—that most resembles a virus?

In one respect, perhaps it is gratifying that the New Scientist raises awareness (if only out of fear) about important challenges to the materialist establishment. On the other hand, “What irony,” wrote William Dembski in an e-mail.

Witch hunts, subversion of science, not following evidence to its logical conclusion — all the things the author worries will happen to science if a non-materialist neuroscience succeeds — are the things she herself embraces in reflexively assuming that the only valid neuroscience must be materialist.

Updated 10/24, 6:15 Am (PST)

Theistic and Non-Theistic Perspectives on Religious Liberty and the Law

Get 20% discount off the book via Routledge by entering the code FLR40 at checkout!

In 2017, Routledge published Religious Liberty and the Law: Theistic and Non-Theistic Perspectives in the Applied Legal Philosophy series, edited by Angus J. L. Menuge. Menuge is Professor and Chair of Philosophy, Concordia University, Wisconsin, USA. In addition to being President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, his teaching and research interests are in the areas of philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. He has published widely on these and related issues.

From the publisher’s description of Religious Liberty and the Law: 

Questions of religious liberty have become flashpoints of controversy in virtually every area of life around the world. Despite the protection of religious liberty at both national and supranational levels, there is an increasing number of conflicts concerning the proper way to recognize it – both in modern secular states and in countries with an established religion or theocratic mode of government. 

This book provides an analysis of the general concept of religious liberty along with a close study of important cases that can serve as test beds for conflict resolution proposals. It combines the insights of both pure academics and experienced legal practitioners to take a fresh look at the nature, scope and limits of religious liberty. Divided into two parts, the collection presents a blend of legal and philosophical approaches, and draws on cases from a wide range of jurisdictions, including Brazil, India, Australia, the USA, the Netherlands, and Canada.

Presenting a broad range of views, this often provocative volume makes for fascinating reading for academics and researchers working in the areas of law and religion, legal philosophy and human rights.

Special Philosophia Christi Issue on Neuroscience and the Soul

The Evangelical Philosophical Society is pleased to announce the release of the Summer 2013 (vol. 15, no. 1) issue of Philosophia Christi, featuring notable philosophers like Oxford University’s Daniel Robinson and Durham University’s E. J. Lowe.

Guest editors Chad Meister and Charles Taliaferro write in their introduction to this issue that

This special summer issue of Philosophia Christi is devoted to neuroscience and the soul. It includes ten articles that bear on current thinking about science and the mind from a diverse group of philosophers. With the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation (JTF), Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought has helped to support this publishing opportunity. JTF is highly committed to fostering fruitful exchanges on science and religion. Our hope is that you find these articles engaging and perhaps challenging to your own perspective on the role of science in understanding the mind and the world of which it is a part.
Main article contributors include:
  • Daniel Robinson, “Neuroscience and the Soul.”
  • William Hasker, “What is Naturalism? And Should We be Naturalists?”
  • E. J. Lowe, “Naturalism, Theism, and Objects of Reason.”
  • Stewart Goetz, “The Argument from Reason.”
  • J. Daryl Charles, “Blame it on My Criminal Brain: Materialism, Metaphysics, and the Human Moral Instinct.”
  • Angus J. L. Menuge, “Neuroscience, Rationality and Free Will: A Critique of John Searle’s Libertarian Naturalism.”
  • Eric LaRock, “From Biological Naturalism to Emergent Subject Dualism.”
  • John M. DePoe, “RoboMary, Blue Banana Tricks, and the Metaphysics of Consciousness: A Critique of Daniel Dennett’s Apology for Physicalism.”
  • J. P. Moreland, “Mental vs. Top-Down Causation: Sic et Non.”
  • Anthony J. Rudd, “Bodily Subjectivity and the Mind-Body Problem.”

The Summer 2013 issue is available for purchase, whether as a single issue or as part of a subscription to the journal, by clicking here.

Christianity Not a Source of Violence

In the wake of the recent killings in Oslo, Norway, there has been a flurry of debate over whether the accused mass-murderer, Anders Breivik, is in fact a Christian. The New York Times described Breivik as a “Christian extremist,” William Saletan at Slate has used the phrase “Christian terrorism,” and numerous other journalists and bloggers continue to use similar terms (despite the fact that the media have typically repudiated the use of such terminology regarding Islam).

Two of the strongest assertions have come from Chicago Theological Seminary professor Susan Brooks Thislethwaite in the Washington Post and University of Chicago Divinity School professor Margaret Mitchell in Sightings, the latter of which declares that “Breivik is deeply and significantly a Christian.” This is especially disappointing, since as scholars in theology and New Testament studies, respectively, Thislethwaite and Mitchell should know better. In no reasonable sense of the term can Breivik be called a Christian. As Jordan Sekulow said in a rejoinder to Thislethwaite in another Washington Post piece, “To label Breivik a ‘Christian’ requires a depraved understand[ing] of what it means to be a Christian.”

Those sympathetic with these accusations apparently reject the distinction between genuine Christians and those who merely claim to be Christians. We recognize this distinction in every other context, and so should we here. Being a Christian is not simply a matter of affirming certain propositions, as is clear from many biblical passages (e.g., Mt. 25:31-46; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; and Gal. 5:19-21). Even if Anders Breivik did affirm the deity and resurrection of Jesus (which, in fact, he denies), this would not by itself make him any more Christian than the devil himself (who presumably would affirm these truths).

Even more disturbing is the contention by Thislethwaite that there are “elements of Christianity” that actually inspire violence. Thislethwaite neglects to specify what those elements are, beyond pointing to certain problematic “interpretations” of Scripture.

Some might be tempted to justify this view by pointing to certain Old Testament passages where God commanded the killing of the Canaanites. But these are not uniquely Christian texts. Jews and Muslims also regard the Old Testament books as scripture. To properly assess a true Christian ethic of violence we must focus on Christianity’s distinguishing person, Jesus Christ, and Christianity’s distinguishing text, the New Testament. And when we do so, what do we find? A consistent ethic of non-violence. Consider the following:

    The Example of Christ – Jesus’ entire life was characterized by peace and reconciliation, earning him the moniker “Prince of Peace.”Even in the face of extreme injustice and merciless torture, he did not resist his abusers. Jesus even rebuked a disciple for resorting to violence to defend him (Mt. 26:52).

    The Ministry of Christ – Jesus consistently worked for peace and reconciliation. He declared, “blessed are the peacemakers” (Mt. 5:9) and instructed people to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28). Jesus explicitly taught an ethic of personal non-violence, saying, “Do not [violently] resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also” (Mt. 5:39).

    Other New Testament Teachings – The Apostle Paul taught fellow Christians to live peacefully with others, saying, “so far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:18).He makes the same admonition repeatedly (see I Cor. 7:15; 1 Cor. 14:33; 2 Cor. 13:11; and 1 Thess. 5:13). Paul and Peter also expressly reject rebellion against government authorities (Rom. 13:1-3; 1 Pet. 2:13-17).

The influence of these teachings in the history of the church is well-known, including:1) significant pacifist theological traditions (e.g., the Quakers and Mennonites), 2) Christian non-violent social movements (e.g. anti-war organizations, anti-death penalty groups, and Martin Luther King’s work in the civil rights movement), and 3) Christian martyrdom, as thousands of believers have been, and continue to be, tortured and killed rather than to violently defend themselves against oppressors.

These are the facts that have been overlooked or ignored by those such as Thislethwaite who suggest Christianity inspires violence. Perhaps what Thislethwaite really wants to highlight is the fact that some madmen, most recently Anders Breivik, have warped or twisted Christian ideas to their own use in attempting to justify their violence. Well, of course this is true—and it is so obvious it is hardly worth stating. But this is a far cry from the notion that Christianity itself, as defined above inspires violence or that there could be such a thing as a “Christian terrorist.” We are deeply saddened by such a gross distortion of the moral essence of our faith—a misrepresentation so severe that it amounts to theological slander.

Rather than cast blame where it does not belong, let us instead pray for the survivors and families of the victims of the Oslo shootings and even for Anders Breivik. Let us renew our efforts to sow harmony and reconciliation instead of violence and discord in all contexts, public and private. And let us promote the New Testament ethic of peaceful living and self-giving love. In short, let us follow the example and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we work for redemption in all things.

Paul Copan, Ph.D.

President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society

Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics

Palm Beach Atlantic University

James S. Spiegel. Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy and religion

Taylor University (Indiana)


J.P. Moreland, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy

Talbot School of Theology

Craig J. Hazen, Ph.D.

Professor of Comparative Religion

Biola Univeristy


William A. Dembski, Ph.D.

Research Professor in Philosophy

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary


Angus Menuge, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy

Concordia University (Wisconsin)


Jeremy Evans, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary


Gary R. Habermas, Ph.D

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Theology

Liberty University


Bruce A. Little, Ph.D.

Director of the L. Russ Bush Center For Faith and Culture

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary


Timothy Paul Erdel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy

Bethel College, Indiana


Robert B. Stewart, Ph.D.

Associated Professor of Philosophy and Theology

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary


Robert Larmer, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair

Department of Philosophy

University of New Brunswick


Gregory E Ganssle, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow

Rivendell Institute


Mary Jo Sharp

President, Confident Christianity


Lenny Esposito

President, Come Reason Ministries