Book Notice: SEBTS Dean of the College Jamie Dew Publishes “God & Evil” (IVP)

Evil. Every human language has a word for it and every human being has a concept of it. Yet theologians, philosophers, and humanity in general have wrestled with how to understand it. In so wrestling, they usually wrestle with a related question: what does God have to do with evil?

Southeastern’s Dean of the College, Jamie Dew, recently published a volume addressing just these issues. Dew co-edited God and Evil: The Case for God in a World Filled With Pain (IVP 2013) with Chad Meister (Professor of Philosophy at Bethel College in Indiana) in order to provide an answer to these two basic human questions.

As they state in the book’s introduction, “people generally believe that God exists and that evil is ubiquitous. The problem is that these two claims seem to conflict” (p. 9). Thus humans often ask the two questions noted above without a way to get at the answer. Only “conflict” remains. Thus co-editors Dew and Meister have pulled together an expert team of philosophers and theologians. Paul Copan, Gary Habermas, William Lane Craig, William Dembski, Win Corduran, Southeastern professors Bruce Little and Dew, and several others address the conflict in four main parts.

Part One asks “what is evil and why is it a problem?” Part Two discusses “some reasons God might allow evil” and engages Augustine, Irenaeus, and Leibniz on the topic. Part Three investigates evil and other themes such as “evil and original sin” and “evil and the resurrection.” Finally, Part Four puts evil in dialogue with other issues such as hell, creation, and evolution. Thus one could read this book straight through or read an individual chapter on the topic most interesting and relevant to him/her. Either way, God and Evil encourages and challenges readers to integrate evil into a world over and in which God reigns.

For its comprehensive and flexible approach, God and Evil will serve well pastors, college and seminary students, and interested laypersons. Pick up a copy here and start reading. Also, if you are a prospective college or seminary student you can study philosophy with the likes of Jamie Dew and Bruce Little at the College at Southeastern and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Click the links and check out the admissions page.

 

 

An Invitation to Study English and Humanities at the College at Southeastern

The College at Southeastern offers a robust core curriculum which includes courses in English and the Humanities. One unique aspect of the college is its four required seminars in the History of Ideas. These seminars are capped at 15 students, and consist of reading 8-10 great books per semester, and writing 10 short papers and 2 long papers per semester. The authors covered include philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, etc.), theologians (Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, etc.), historians (Herodotus, Thucydides), and the great literary figures (Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, etc.). As the students read these books, they learn to read for deep comprehension, and to respond to the ideas in those books Christianly and critically.

In addition to the History of Ideas seminars, Southeastern offers a further fine array of courses in the Humanities and English. The student wanting to study literature has the opportunity to take courses such in World Literature, British Literature, and American Literature. The student wanting to study the humanities in more depth may take further seminars in Theology & Culture, Philosophy & Science, History & Politics, for example. These courses and others are taught by a fine faculty, including:

John Burkett (Ph.D. candidate, Texas Christian University) is Instructor of Rhetoric and Composition and Director of the Writing Center at Southeastern. He is the author of The Rhetoric of St. Augustine of Hippo: De Doctrina Christiana and the Search for a Distinctly Christian Rhetoric (Baylor University Press); further, his dissertation critically examines Aristotle’s rhetoric. Dr. Burkett is the quintessential scholar, known both for lofty thoughts and detailed careful scholarship.

Jamie Dew (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D. candidate, University of Birmingham) is Assistant Professor of History of Ideas and Philosophy and is the author of Science and Theology: An Assessment of Alister McGrath’s Critical Realist Perspective (Wipf & Stock), co-editor with Norman Geisler and Chad Meister of God and Evil (forthcoming, IVP), and co-author with Mark Foreman of How do We Know? (forthcoming, IVP). His specialties lie in philosophy of religion, the history of philosophy, and epistemology. He is currently working on a second Ph.D. (in religious epistemology) at the University of Birmingham, England. Jamie is also a senior pastor and the father of two sets of twins.

Steve Ladd (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy. Dr. Ladd’s expertise lies in the realms of logic, rhetoric, and metaphysics. He is a student favorite in our college’s History of Ideas seminars.

Ivan Spencer (Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington) is Associate Professor of History and Philosophy and author of The Christology of Liberation Theology. His areas of specialization include the history of ideas, liberation theology, and classic literature. Dr. Spencer is a student favorite in the college’s History of Ideas seminars, and is known for roasting, grinding, and brewing his own coffee beans.

Michael Travers (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is Professor of English and Senior Fellow, L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture and is the author of The Devotional Experience in the Poetry of John Milton (Edwin Mellen), Encountering God in the Psalms (Kregel), and co-author with Richard D. Patterson of Face to Face With God: Human Images of God in the Bible (Biblical Studies Press), and has published articles in Bibliotheca Sacra, Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (Baker), Journal of Evangelical Theological Society, and Westminster Theological Journal. Dr. Travers is known as a master teacher, a mentor to young faculty, and a fine writer.

Further, through these faculty members, Southeastern offers the following curricula in English and Humanities:

The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies and English double major promotes an understanding of literature, trains students to think critically and write effectively, and encourages them to reflect on the central issues of the human condition-all from a Christian perspective. Core curriculum classes in composition emphasize the skills of effective research and writing. English major classes present literature from within a Christian worldview. Students will be equipped to understand culture and to communicate the gospel to others clearly and effectively.

The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies and Humanities double major introduces students to the influential ideas of Western civilization. Students read great works of literature, history, philosophy, theology, and political theory and interact with them from a Christian perspective. Additional courses in philosophy, literature, and history prepare students for graduate work in seminary, classical studies, literature, history, law, or any other field in the liberal arts. Students may also choose to major in Christian Studies and minor in English or Humanities.

We invite you to study with our English and Humanities faculty in the B. A. programs of Southeastern. For more info visit our website (http://www.sebts.edu/college/) and check out the Admissions and Academics links.

An Invitation to Study Philosophy at Southeastern

It has been said that the title of philosopher is easily earned by anyone with a credibly furrowed brow who speaks, writes, and otherwise publicly bloviates about the big, big questions. It has also been said that philosophy departments are full of pervicacious malaperts who overestimate their own brilliance, gazing condescendingly on the ignorant masses who believe in such fantasies as the virgin birth and the resurrection.

Not so at Southeastern, where our faculty are not only wickedly smart and well-credentialed (PhDs from Oxford, Texas A&M, U. Texas, and, ahem, Southeastern Seminary), but also faithful men of the Word. For those of you interested in studying ministry in general, or philosophy and apologetics in particular, we invite you to Southeastern to study critical thinking, logic, apologetics, history of philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, and various other mind-bendingly exciting topics. At Southeastern, you will have the opportunity to study with professors such as:

Jamie Dew (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D. candidate, University of Birmingham) is Assistant Professor of History of Ideas and Philosophy and is the author of Science and Theology: An Assessment of Alister McGrath’s Critical Realist Perspective (Wipf & Stock), co-editor with Norman Geisler and Chad Meister of God and Evil (forthcoming, IVP), and co-author with Mark Foreman of How do We Know? (forthcoming, IVP). His specialties lie in philosophy of religion, the history of philosophy, and epistemology. He is currently working on a second Ph.D. in religious epistemology at the University of Birmingham, England. Jamie is also a senior pastor and the father of two sets of twins.

Jeremy A Evans (Ph.D., Texas A&M University) is Associate Professor of Philosophy and is the author of Evil and Essential Christian Beliefs (forthcoming, B&H Academic), the editor of Taking Christian Moral Thought Seriously: The Legitimacy of Christian Moral Thought in the Marketplace of Ideas (forthcoming, B&H Academic), co-editor with fellow SEBTS prof Heath Thomas and Paul Copan of Old Testament Holy War and Christian Morality (forthcoming, InterVarsity Press), and has published articles in Philosophia Christi. His areas of specialization are in Philosophical Theology and the Philosophy of Religion. Jeremy is the father of four children and is a senior pastor. One gets the suspicion that Dr. Evans could tie half his brain behind his back and still be sharper than the atheist ideologues he so often antagonizes.

Steve Ladd (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy. Dr. Ladd’s expertise lies in the realms of logic, rhetoric, and metaphysics. He is a student favorite in our college’s History of Ideas seminars.

Bruce Little (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Bush Center for Faith and Culture and is the author of God, Why this Evil? (Hamilton Books), A Creation-Order Theodicy: God and Gratuitous Evil (University Press of America), the editor of Defending the Faith and Engaging Culture: Essays in Honor of Dr. L. Russ Bush (Broadman & Holman), and Francis A Schaeffer: A Mind and Heart for God (P&R Publishing) and co-author of several works, many in Russian, with Dr. Felix Lazarev, Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Tavricheskiy National University in Simferopol, Ukraine. His areas of specialization include the problem of evil, logic and argumentation, and epistemology. Dr. Little is known for being a master teacher, wearing a bowtie, and speaking in a northern Maine accent. One sometimes hears students refer to him as Dr. Dapper.

Ivan Spencer (Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington) is Associate Professor of History and Philosophy and author of The Christology of Liberation Theology. His areas of specialization include the history of ideas, liberation theology, and classic literature. Dr. Spencer is a student favorite in the college’s History of Ideas seminars, and is known for roasting, grinding, and brewing his own coffee beans.

Gregory A Welty (D.Phil., Oriel College, University of Oxford) is Associate Professor of Philosophy. His Ph.D. dissertation is entitled “Theistic Conceptual Realism: The Case for Interpreting Abstract Objects as Divine Ideas.” He is the author of articles in Southwestern Journal of Theology and Calvinism: A Southern-Baptist Dialogue (B&H), and numerous book reviews. His areas of specialization include the philosophy of religion, the coherence of theism, theistic arguments, and the relation between God and abstract objects. Dr. Welty is new to Southeastern’s campus, but has already made an impression with his sharp mind and ready wit.

The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies and Theology is a double major which introduces students to the study of God and man. Students read great works of theology, literature, history, philosophy, and political theory and interact with them from a Christian perspective. Additional courses allow students to tailor this program toward graduate work in Philosophy or Philosophy of Religion. The College also offers the Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies with a minor in Apologetics, equipping the student to defend the Christian faith, emphasizing theology, philosophy, logic, and communication skills.

The M.A. in Philosophy of Religion prepares students to have an effective voice in the public square through an advanced study of historical and contemporary philosophical/theological issues relevant to the study of religion (e.g., religious pluralism, the problem of evil, the relationship between faith and reason). The M.Div. with Christian Apologetics is designed to train men and women to present cogent and winsome arguments for the truth of the Christian faith. The Th.M. in Theological Studies with a concentration in Philosophy equips post-M.Div. students who want to enhance their theological training, either for preparation for doctoral study or as an advanced degree for service in the church. Students can take the thesis or non-thesis tracks under the supervision of a professor in the area of Philosophy.

The Ph.D. in Theological Studies with a concentration in Philosophy of Religion prepares students to teach the philosophy of religion and other related courses to college or seminary students, and to write at the scholarly level about the history, study, and praxis of philosophy.

We invite you to study with our Philosophy faculty in the B. A., M.A., M.Div., Th.M., or Ph.D. programs of Southeastern. For more info visit our website (http://www.sebts.edu/ or http://www.sebts.edu/college/) and check out the Admissions and Academics links.