If God Is All-Knowing, All Powerful, How Can We Have Free Agency?

Great question, that, in the headline. The smartest theologians and philosophers in every age for the past 2,000+ years (and more recently, physicists and mathematicians) have tried to figure how human beings can have free will in a universe in which everything is predestined by God.

At the very least, that proposition appears to violate the basic rule of logic, the Principle of Non-Contradiction — That which is A cannot also be Not-A.  If people can choose as they wish, then God can’t be determining their choice.

NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace was asked about this during a recent presentation at Ohio State University. In response, Wallace explains why free will and materialism are similarly opposed but there is at least the logical possibility of a solution in a universe created by God.


 

STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Moving On Up On Capitol Hill

Recent Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Kristine Lucius may have one of the toughest jobs on Capitol Hill these days – she’s now chief of staff for Sen. Kamala Harris, the California Democrat who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. That puts Lucius directing traffic at a very busy intersection! Her law degree is from Georgetown University and her BA is from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Jesse Lee has a second act with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, moving over from the Center for American Progress where he was a vice president. Lee previously worked as senior new media adviser for Pelosi in 2007. He’s also a veteran of the Obama White House communications office. He is a 2002 Trinity College graduate in philosophy.

Carina Nichols has her first job on the Hill, as a legislative assistant for Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). Nichols expects to finish her MA in environmental management at Duke University in 2012 and she has a BS in biological sciences and ecology from Colorado State University. Welcome to the Hill, Carina!

Katharine MacGregor has been nominated by President Donald Trump as Deputy Secretary of the Interior. MacGregor is a Hill veteran, having served on the House Natural Resources Committee in various positions for six years.

Acting Deputy Secretary of the Interior Katharine MacGregor (Screen shot from DOI web site).

She also worked on the personal staffs of three Republican representatives, including Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Rep. Thelma Drake (R-Va.) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

She is a University of Pennsylvania 2004 graduate with a BA in American history and classical studies, with honors. She is presently the Acting Deputy Secretary.

Ally Kehoe is the new communications director for Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), moving over from the same position with Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ). Kehoe is a 2008 graduate in political science and broadcast journalism from Syracuse University.


Looking for a Hill Job?

Check out this five-part HillFaith series by Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for Senators Don Nickle (R-Okla.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). Bernhardt has a wealth of experience, insider insight, how-tos and obscure terms (know what a “golden reference” is on the Hill?), plus lots of helpful links.

The Best Resources for Finding a Job On the Hill

Where Your Best Job Lead is on Capitol Hill May Surprise You

Getting in the Door on Capitol Hill

Here’s Nine Valuable Tips for Interviewing Well on Capitol Hill

Working on Capitol Hill is the World’s Best Job (Or at Least My Best Ever)


Got A New Job On The Hill? Tell The World About It Right Here

Just email the details – name of your new boss, your new title, description of duties, where you graduated from school, a great digital photo of yourself, etc. Send to: mt.hillfaith@gmail.com.


 

Here’s What Beauty Tells Us About Ourselves And The Universe (Hint: This Is VIP)

What is “beauty?” Is it really just “in the eye of the beholder?” One happy, contented person’s beautiful blue sky is nothing more than another depressed, lonely individual’s empty, meaningless expanse of … whatever?

This may seem like a trite question to begin with, but, if you think about it carefully, something extremely important is illustrated by the fact that people disagree on what is and is not beautiful. That’s what this brief, thought-provoking video is about.

Dr. Sean McDowell is a professor of apologetics at Biola University and, with his father Josh, co-author of the latest edition of “More Than A Carpenter,” the classic presentation of evidence for the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Enjoy!

 

Kanye West May Be The Canary In America’s Political Coal Mine

Something is happening with the guy and it’s much bigger than Donald Trump

Kanye West is one of those famous people who got that way by being unusually talented at something – in his case, music and entrepreneurship – and being unlike pretty much anybody else in American public life.

Kanye West during his Chicago Sunday Service (Screen shot )

That makes him, depending upon your perspective, either unique and fascinating, or weird and puzzling. Either way, he’s not a take-him-or-leave-him kind of guy.

Love or despise him, though, West is a major influence on contemporary American culture and that makes him relevant in multiple ways for folks working on Capitol Hill.

(For one thing, he may be a canary in the coal mine of American politics, telling us in advance of a coming seismic shift in the way Black Americans see things in Washington, D.C. That, as Sen. Bernie Sanders might say,  would be huuuuge on Capitol Hill.) Continue reading “Kanye West May Be The Canary In America’s Political Coal Mine”

WORKING ON THE HILL: Studies Reveal Unexpected Profiles Of Hill Staff Pay, Demographics

When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi released the results of her July survey of Congressional Compensation and Diversity on September 26, it prompted Casey Burgat, senior fellow for the R Street Institute’s Governance Project, to run a comparison with data on HIll staff he uses in his analyses.

Casey Burgat, R Street Institute Governance Project Senior Fellow (screen shot from C-SPAN)

Pelosi’s results were based on responses from more than 5,000 respondents to a survey that was sent to 10,000 Hill employees. Burgat uses data obtained from Legistorm, the widely used compiler of official congressional information about salaries, staff backgrounds, employment histories and much, much more, as of March 2019.

For the most part, the Pelosi and Legistorm data are close, but Burgat found some significant differences, especially with regard to issues like salary and gender distributions by position. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Studies Reveal Unexpected Profiles Of Hill Staff Pay, Demographics”

There Are Humongous Problems With Scientism (Note: Not Science, But ‘Scientism’)

Science proves it. I believe it. That settles it. Really?

iApologia logo (Screen shot)

It was not uncommon in years past to hear it stereotypically declared occasionally among some religious folks in America that “The Bible says it, I believe it and that settles it!”

Comedians and college professors still make jokes about such declarations here and there, but the truth is, there are also examples of the same sort of closed mindedness on the other side of the debate about the origins of the universe, the existence of God, and related topics.

Daniel Currier at iApologia explains why he describes this state of mind as “scientism:” Continue reading “There Are Humongous Problems With Scientism (Note: Not Science, But ‘Scientism’)”

Just In Case You Were In Siberia This Past Week, With No Internet …

Here’s what you missed on HillFaith:

* Why did a Chicago atheist doing standup comedy become a Christian?
* Ready for the insurmountable odds against you being here by chance?
* Is America a “Christian nation?” Apologist Frank Turek’s answer will surprise you.
* Here’s why agnosticism is self-defeating (And who wants to live that kind of life?).
* Cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace explains why witnesses with differing accounts can all be right.
* Looking for the right recipe for your office’s culture? Just add salt. And guess who is the salt!