November 7, 2019

God's Love and Limits

God's love and ability to create a universe from nothing does not imply that God can completely control the universe.

My forthcoming paper "Theodicy, Supreme Providence, and Semiclassical Theism" presents a natural theology based on modern physics which describes creation from nothing and what I call "supreme providence." Supreme providence implies that the Supreme Being governs the universe with inexhaustible love, perception and power. However, God's perception and power created the universe with amazing particles that are beyond complete control. This helps to explain the coexistence of God and extensive, horrific evil in the universe.

I describe the philosophical problem of evil:

"Extensive horrific suffering caused by diseases, accidents, and natural disasters could be prevented by God as defined by traditional divine attributes. Also, theists believe that God wants them to protect and help people who suffer from these horrors of nature. The protection and help includes prayers and practical support. So why does God not prevent these horrors of nature or do more to fix the consequences of the horrors? Furthermore, most theists support the moral rightness of protecting society by incarcerating perpetrators of serial rape, serial killing, mass murder, terrorism, human trafficking, and all crimes against humanity. So why does God not do more to protect society from the horrors caused by horrific perpetrators?"

Traditional theism says that God is all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful. This means that God can single-handedly and immediately prevent any and all evil, while God has nonetheless permitted the existence of all evil events experienced in history.

Typical justification for the coexistence of God and extensive, horrific evil says the following: God gave humans free will and humans abused the divine gift of free will; the existence of horrific evil is temporary; humans can develop moral excellence while resisting evil; faithful believers will eventually enjoy everlasting love and happiness without evil; and humans cannot always understand the divine reason for the existence of various horrific evil.

Many believers are content with the above reasons for extensive, horrific evil. However, I explain that creation from nothing and God's qualities of everlasting love, perception and power do not imply that God can completely control creation. Also, God always lovingly perceives everything and prayer sometimes results in divine intervention because of synergy between God and humans.

This post begins a new direction for my blogging while I focus on explaining my research on God's love and limits to the general public. Stay tuned for more.

Source: James Goetz, "Theodicy, Supreme Providence, and Semiclassical Theism," Theology and Science (forthcoming)

October 25, 2019

Astronomical Entanglement and ER=EPR Indicate the Universal Wormhole

For Immediate Release

Astronomical quantum entanglement and quantum teleportation indicate nothingness and the universal wormhole. Researcher James Goetz proposes that the recent discovery that quantum entanglement extends to 2,000 light-years (10 quadrillion kilometers) and the ER=EPR conjecture indicate the existence of nothingness and the universal potential for quantum wormholes.

"ER=EPR" is a pseudo acronym that refers to Einstein-Rosen bridges and the EPR paradox. The ER=EPR conjecture says that any pair of entangled particles (EPR) is connected by an Einstein-Rosen bridge (ER), while ER is commonly called a "wormhole." No scientific evidence indicates the reality of any traversable wormhole which would have mouths at each end that permit particles to transport back and forth through the wormhole. However, quantum wormholes have no traversable mouths. The physics that indicates the impossibility or unlikeliness of traversable wormholes has nothing to do with the ER=EPR conjecture.

The EPR paradox refers to the famous 1935 paper by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen which describes what is now called "quantum entanglement" and respective "action at a distance." However, the authors rejected the possibility of entanglement and action at a distance because the theory of relativity implies that the entanglement of causally disconnected particles is impossible. Instead, the authors proposed that the appearance of entanglement was actually determinism caused by hidden variables. Standard physics eventually rejected hidden-variable theory and accepted the reality of quantum entanglement while there is no consensus for the structure of entanglement.

Ironically, later in 1935, Einstein and Rosen published their famous paper about relativity and theoretical 'bridges' that can connect causally disconnected regions of spacetime, that is, wormholes or ER. The irony is that wormhole theory can logically explain the entanglement of otherwise causally disconnected particles, for example, the EPR paradox. Also, nobody proposed a wormhole resolution for the EPR paradox until 2013 when Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind published "Cool Horizons for Entangled Black Holes" and introduced ER=EPR. Since then, Google Scholar has compiled over 700 references to ER=EPR.

The most amazing cases of entanglement include laboratory generated quantum teleportation and entangled pairs of photons in outer space. For example, quantum teleportation is the instantaneous transfer of quantum information from one location to a so-called causally disconnected location. Also, some entangled photons have endured for eight billion years while the action at distance expands to 2,000 light-years. The endurance of the entanglement is older than the Sun while the distance of the entanglement is 23 times the distance from the Sun to its nearest neighboring star. The cases of quantum teleportation and astronomical entanglement can be logically explained by the ER=EPR conjecture, while there is no other reasonable explanation for the teleportation and entanglement.

Goetz proposes the ER=EPR conjecture and the ubiquity of entanglement in laboratories and outer space indicate the existence of nothingness and the universal potential for quantum wormholes, that is, the universal wormhole. The universal wormhole has no mouths while it nonetheless can collapse the causal disconnection between any two locations in the universe. This permits a preferred focal pathway for a universal chronology despite the relativity of simultaneity which implies that there is no absolute universal chronology. Also, relativity does not imply the B-theory of time, eternalism and temporal parts. For example, relativity does not imply that objects persist through the time dimension in the same way they extend through the three spatial dimensions. Furthermore, Goetz develops more on modern physics for natural theology in his forthcoming paper "Theodicy, Supreme Providence, and Semiclassical Theism."

Source: James Goetz, "Theodicy, Supreme Providence, and Semiclassical Theism," Theology and Science (forthcoming)

September 7, 2017

Outline for Christian Marriage

I enjoyed the privilege of officiating for the marriage of my daughter Julie-Anne and my new son-in-law Jon-Michael Miller. I also enjoyed the privileged of sharing premarital counsel with them, and Julie-Anne said that I could share this council on my blog.

I shared six poignant points with minimal elaboration that are designed for lifelong reflection. I started with the most important Christian principal and then five points on marriage.

1. Jesus taught that the greatest commandments are to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.
Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37–40 NIV)
2. Jesus and the New Testament writers upended Ancient Middle East patriarchy.
a. A respectable man would never talk to an unknown woman. But Jesus started a conversation with the Samaritan Woman.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" (John 4:7 NIV)
b. Paul taught that a husband and wife equally belong to each other.
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:3–4 NIV)
c. Traditional churches mistakenly teach complementarianism that says husbands are the sole head of a family and females cannot be a senior pastor of a church. But that is based on misinterpretation of Scriptures written in the context of a male dominated patriarchal society; while the total sum of the New Testament upends male dominance.
3. The Song of Solomon is an Old Testament book about passion and romance between a husband and wife. Some of the language is odd by modern standards, e.g., comparing a wife to a fine female horse. But that was an accolade in ancient times. The main point is that the Bible promotes passion and romance in marriage.

4. Jesus taught in Matthew 19:4–9 that marriage is a serious commitment that forms a new family. For example, Jesus said that God forms the marriage. This means that marriage is a synergistic union between spouses and God. For instance, Jesus does not support casual marriage or casual divorce.

5. Marriage is a commitment of love and faithfulness between spouses, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health. Decisions about children, careers, finances, and property need to consider the good of the family.

6. Marriage involves mutual respect for individual boundaries and the formation of a partnership and family.

Copyright © 2017 James Edward Goetz

July 3, 2017

The Christian Code of Honor for Men

01. Men understand the love and forgiveness of the Lord.
02. Men trust and obey the Lord in every circumstance.
03. Men love the Lord above all else.
04. Men act with courage and honor.
05. Men speak with courage and honor.
06. Men respect all authority without disobeying the Lord.
07. Men respect and care for all humans.
08. Men never take advantage of females.
09. Men advocate sexually chastity.
10. Men stand against injustice.

updated 07/03/2017

Copyright © 2011, 2017 James Edward Goetz

May 16, 2017

The Christological Triad of Dale Tuggy II

What is the meaning of the Christian doctrine that says Jesus Christ is one person who is fully divine and fully human? For example, the 451 Chalcedonian Creed teaches this two-nature (divine-human) Christology.

My previous blogpost analyzed Dale Tuggy's challenge to this Chalcedonian doctrine from his "Podcast 180—Apologists on How God Can Die—Part 3." Tuggy's podcast elaborated on his following "inconsistent triad" of propositions:

1. Jesus died.
2. Jesus was fully divine.
3. No fully divine being has ever died
To my surprise, several respondents to Tuggy's triad say in one way or another that all three statements are true. This indicates a misunderstanding of propositional logic. For example, Tuggy is an analytical theologian who is focusing on the propositional logic of his triad. Also, if any part of a simple or complex propositional statement is false, then the statement is false.

One could try to modify the triad to make all three propositions true, but all three original propositions cannot be true. Any two of them are mutually exclusive of the remaining one.

For example, Docetists reject that Jesus had a real human body that could die, so they could say that proposition 1 is false while propositions 2 and 3 are true. Or Unitarians and Nestorians reject that Jesus was fully divine, so they could say that propositions 1 and 3 are true while proposition 2 is false.

In my case, I hold that Jesus Christ was a hypostatic union of a fully divine nature and a fully human nature who suffered biological death. Likewise, I hold that proposition 3 is false because a fully divine being has died.

After listening to "Podcast 180," I also concluded that Tuggy was ambiguous about his proposition 1 that says, "Jesus died." Tuggy then challenged me in his blogpost "Some More Replies to the Triad" to respond to the original presentation of his triad in his "Podcast 145—'Tis Mystery All: The Immortal Dies!"

In "Podcast 145," Tuggy defined that death is the cessation of most or all normal life processes. Part of his justification for that definition is a hypothetical analogy of God killing but not annihilating an angel that has no biological processes. Perhaps this analogy refers to imagery in Revelation where the devil is sent to the bottomless pit for a 1,000 years or when the devil is eventually sent to the lake of fire. In the case of Jesus death, I disagree with Tuggy's definition of death. I stick with my statement from my previous blogpost:
The Incarnation was a hypostatic union of an uncreated divine nature and a created human nature. The death of Christ was the biological death of Christ while his human spirit and divine nature continued to exist.
For proposition 2, Tuggy defines that fully divine equals "divine in the way the one God is divine." Then, he notes some Scripture that emphasize the "immortality" of the sole God.

As far as I can see, Tuggy's semantics for the definition of fully divine excludes the possibility of a fully divine and a fully human hypostatic union. However, the term fully divine in the context of two-nature (divine-human) Christology indicates that Jesus Christ has a complete divine nature. For example, Tertullian and the later Chalcedonian Creed state that Jesus Christ has a complete uncreated divine nature and a complete created human nature. This indicates that Jesus Christ was one person who is both a divine being and a human being.

Tuggy then raises objections and questions to this teaching of the Chalcedonian Creed. The primary objection is that the ontology of one person with two natures cannot cohere with his logic of numerical identity. Tuggy also asks if the natures are abstract or concrete.

I have responses to the above objection and question. For example, I plan on writing a lengthy academic paper that combines my Relative-Social Trinitarianism with my semiclassical theism derived from my respective 2016 papers "Identical Legal Entities and the Trinity: Relative-Social Trinitarianism" and "Semiclassical Theism and the Passage of Planck Times." The combination is what I call semiclassical Christianity. For the purpose of resolving Tuggy's objections to two-nature Christology, I will outline main points of what I will call semiclassical Trinitarian theology and semiclassical Christology.

I briefly cited my 2016 papers in my previous blogpost. But I need to go more in-depth in this response.

First of all, semiclassical theism is my natural theology of God and time, divine attributes, and creation. For example, semiclassical theism coheres with modern physics and proposes that God originally exists in a universe with infinite tenseless time. Additionally, God's primary attributes are inexhaustible love, inexhaustible perception, and inexhaustible force. Furthermore, God bridged from tenseless eternity to create the tensed physical universe from nothing. Also, God focuses of working through synergism with created agents such as believing humans.

Second of all, my Relative-Social Trinitarianism is based on biblical studies and my natural law theory of identity. My natural law theory of identity also includes my law of temporal identity and the formula logic of relative identity. For example, the law of temporal identity says:
Anything is absolutely identical to itself and nothing else at any given point of time.
Additionally, the formula logic of relative identity says:
(RI) x and y are the same F, but x and y are different Gs.
Furthermore, I define that a concrete entity is anything that is not a concept. Likewise, the concepts of intangible government and intangible property are abstract entities; while specific governments and intangible property are concrete entities. This indicates that the uncreated divine nature of Jesus is a concrete entity, despite its intangible nature. Some of my friends say that God is beyond a concrete entity, so that looks like its own article.

Moreover, my link contains revised examples of relative identity in the cases of math, natural law, and the Trinity. For an analogy of two-nature Christology, I will focus on the following example of the Roman Lepidus who was both triumvir and pontifex maximus from 44 BCE to 36 BCE:
1. The triumvir was relatively identical to Lepidus, but the triumvir was not absolutely identical to Lepidus.
2. The pontifex maximus was relatively identical to Lepidus, but pontifex maximus was not absolutely identical to Lepidus.
3. Natural person Lepidus who existed as the triumvir was absolutely identical to natural person Lepidus who existed as the pontifex maximus.
4. The triumvir was not identical to the pontifex maximus.
This model of identity is based on the ancient, international custom that indicates a holder of a political office is identical to their political office. I focused on describing this in the context of natural law theory, but the model of identity is the same for the other major schools of legal thought such as legal positivism and legal realism.

Here is another way of looking at the same case of Lepidus:
1. Lepidus was one undivided human person.
2. Lepidus was identical to the triumvir and the pontifex maximus.
3. Lepidus was not absolutely identical to the triumvir and the pontifex maximus.
4. The triumvir and the pontifex maximus were not identical to each other.
One might notice that the transitivity of classical numerical identity do not apply to this international custom. But the formula logic of relative identity does apply.

For the purpose of my analogy of two-nature Christology, the triumvir and the pontifex maximus each had their own complete official nature; while each nature was identical to the one person Lepidus.

Similarly, since the origin of the Incarnation, there was one complete divine nature and one complete human nature; while each nature was identical to the undivided person Jesus.

I clarify that all analogies have similarity and dissimilarity.

One might expect that fully divine means that every nature of a person is divine, which could exclude the possibility of a hypostatic union of a fully divine nature and a fully human nature. However, that was never a part of the Chalcedonian Creed. Regardless, the Christian doctrine of human divinization teaches that humans can develop by God's grace into a class of created divine nature. In this sense, the sinless human nature of Jesus was a created divine nature despite its mortality.

Tuggy also suggested that I support a "fully-creed-compliant christology." I have yet to address this in my academic publications or blog, but my Trinitarian theology and two-nature (divine-human) Christology rejects two points of creedal doctrines. The two points that I reject are (1) eternal generation and (2) eternal spiration/procession. I am not alone in this among contemporary Trinitarians, and I will eventually address this in detail.

This outline with references to my 2016 papers coherently describes basic points of my two-nature Christology. I also engaged Tuggy's inconsistent triad.

Minor Revisions 5/16/2017 10:30 PM EST
Copyright © 2017 James Edward Goetz

April 26, 2017

The Christological Triad of Dale Tuggy

I appreciated listening to Dale Tuggy's podcast "Apologists on How God Can Die—Part 3." I also enjoyed reading and joining in on the replies for parts 1 and 2.

Tuggy focused on a criticism from a recent blog post by apologist Steve Hays, which criticized Tuggy's recent unitarian criticism of two-nature (divine-human) Christology. For example, Tuggy proposes the following inconsistent triad:

1. Jesus died.
2. Jesus was fully divine.
3. No fully divine being has ever died.
Tuggy supports that his first statement "Jesus died" means something different than "Jesus suffered biological death." Then, he supports that his triad is inconsistent and therefore indicates the inconsistency of two-nature Christology.

Tuggy also mentioned that he was dissatisfied with the clarity of every oppositional reply to his triad. I agree with the dissatisfaction until I wrote this blog post. The ambiguities in Tuggy's triad encouraged me to make careful definitions of (1) an individual human nature and human death; (2) the divine nature; and (3) two-nature Christology. Then, I briefly sift his triad.

First, this paragraph outlines relevant points of an individual human nature and death. I propose some type of substance dualism of the mind. This includes overdetermination of a conscious neurological system and a conscious spirit. Human death is the cessation of human biological life that includes the neurological system; while the postmortem human spirit potentially continues with consciousness and communication. The apostolic church knew little about neurology, but their primary view of human death focused on the cessation of biological life while supporting a potentially conscious intermediate state.

Second, this paragraph outlines relevant points of the divine nature. "The primary attributes of God are inexhaustible love, inexhaustible perception, and inexhaustible force." I quoted this from the abstract for my model of God and time in my 2016 paper "Semiclassical Theism and the Passage of Planck Times." I also support that these divine attributes cohere with my natural law coregency model of the Trinity in my 2016 paper "Identical Legal Entities and theTrinity: Relative-Social Trinitarianism.

Third, I outline relevant points of Christology. "Christ," "the Son of God," and "the second person of the Trinity" are references to the respective divine person who eventually incarnated. The Incarnation was a hypostatic union of an uncreated divine nature and a created human nature. The death of Christ was the biological death of Christ while his human spirit and divine nature continued to exist. I also support a literal descent of Christ into hades in my 2012 Conditional Futurism, chapter 13.

As stated earlier, I disagree with the implications and ambiguities of Tuggy's triad.

First, the statement "Jesus died" implies to me that his biological life ceased to exist while his human spirit and divine nature continued to exist.

Second, the statement "Jesus was fully divine" coheres with belief that the Incarnation was a hypostatic union of an uncreated divine nature and a created human nature.

Third, the statement "No fully divine being has ever died" is false, but no uncreated divine nature has ever ceased to exist.

This is my best effort to date to precisely and coherently address Tuggy's triad. Perhaps more details will unfold in this discussion.

Minor Revisions 4/27/2017
Copyright © 2017 James Edward Goetz

August 22, 2016

Relativity Predicts Universal Wormhole


Matterless wormhole theory predicts a potential universal wormhole. Researcher James Goetz theorizes that extra-dimensional relativity indicates a possible omnicluster of matterless wormholes or in other words a universal wormhole. Amazing properties of the wormhole include no dimensions and zero distance to all points in the universe. Moreover, a hypothetical observer in the wormhole could observe a universal chronology despite the relativity of time. This modifies the theory of relativity.

The theory is part of Goetz's introduction to the natural theology called semiclassical theism. Goetz proposes a model of God, time, and creation that fits with modern physics, such as relativity, quantum mechanics, quantum gravity, Big Bang cosmology, zero-energy universe and multiverse geometry. This is a theory of everything.

Apart from physics, the universal wormhole theory helps to explain the theology of divine omniscience and omnipresence. Also, semiclassical theism proposes that God is omnipresent in tenseless eternity and tensed creation.

Goetz published the research this August 22 in the online version of Theology and Science, the scholarly journal of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.

See the online version of the paper:

Or freely download the Author's Accepted Manuscript at PhilPapers:

James Goetz, "Semiclassical Theism and the Passage of Planck Times," Theology and Science 14:3 (2016), DOI: 10.1080/14746700.2016.1191881.

Copyright © 2016 James Edward Goetz
Permission given for all press releases