•  1
    Perfect Being Attacked! Jeff Speaks’s The Greatest Possible Being (review)
    Faith and Philosophy 38 (2): 262-273. 2021.
    Jeff Speaks’s The Greatest Possible Being criticizes several sorts of perfect being theology. I show that his main discussions target what are really idealizations of actual perfect-being projects. I then focus on whether Speaks’s idealizations match up with the real historical article. I argue that, in one key respect, they do not and that it would be uncharitable to think that one of them does. If the idealizations do not represent what perfect being thinkers have actually been doing, a questi…Read more
  • Against Deity Theories
    In Jonathan L. Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion: Volume 2, Oxford University Press. 2009.
  •  4
    Anselm on Necessity
    Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 5 (1). 2017.
    This article provides an explanation of Anselm’s understanding of necessity. Anselm did not write much about modality, and what he did write is puzzling. The dominant readings of Anselm see him as having two concepts of necessity, one merely physical or causal, the other logical or “alethic.” This article argues that Anselm has just one concept of necessity, which corresponds best to what is now called broadly logical or absolute necessity, but whose metaphysics is in terms of powers and lacks o…Read more
  •  21
    Time and Eternity
    Cornell University Press. 2018.
    Brian Leftow makes an important contribution to the longstanding debate among philosophers and theologians about the nature of God's eternity. The author develops a powerful and original defense of the notion that God is eternal in that he exists timelessly; that is, that though God exists, he does not exist at any time. Leftow defends the claim that a timeless God can be an object of human experience, and he attempts to delineate the extent of such a God's omniscience. Finally, the author pays …Read more
  •  1
    God and the Problem of Universals
    In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 2, Oxford University Press. 2006.
  •  67
    The Trinity is unconstitutional
    Religious Studies 54 (3): 359-376. 2018.
  •  25
    God, Time and Knowledge
    Philosophical Review 101 (2): 444. 1992.
  •  69
    Presentism, Atemporality, and Time’s Way
    Faith and Philosophy 35 (2): 173-194. 2018.
    After defining presentism, I consider four arguments that presentism and divine atemporality are incompatible. I identify an assumption common to the four, ask what reason there is to consider it true, and argue against it.
  • Simplicity and Eternity
    Dissertation, Yale University. 1984.
    Medieval philosophers distinguished God from all else by calling Him supremely one. Realists about properties affirmed God's special unity by arguing either that God cannot be conceived to be without His properties or that God wholly lacks the real complexity having properties involves. ;This thesis examines the latter, more radical doctrine of divine simplicity. On this doctrine, for all F, what makes God F differs in no way from what makes Him God. ;If all truths about God have the same truth-…Read more
  • Time and Eternity
    Religious Studies 28 (3): 429-431. 1992.
  •  5
    Luis de Molina: On Divine Foreknowledge (review)
    International Philosophical Quarterly 31 (3): 374-376. 1991.
  •  2
    Divine Action and Embodiment
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 71 113-124. 1997.
  • The Cambridge Companion to Anselm
    with Brian Davies
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 59 (2): 117-120. 2006.
  •  320
    Replies to Oppy, Bohn and Forrest
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (3): 39--63. 2014.
  •  257
    Why perfect being theology?
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 69 (2): 103-118. 2011.
    I display the historical roots of perfect being theology in Greco-Roman philosophy, and the distinctive reasons for Christians to take up a version of this project. I also rebut a recent argument that perfect-being reasoning should lead one to atheism
  •  89
    Whither philosophy of religion?
    with Pamela Sue Anderson and J. L. Schellenberg
    Religious Studies 51 (3): 441-454. 2015.
    The post-war expansion of university faculties climaxed in the early 1970s. Since then, there have been more professional philosophers than ever before in history: a startling claim, but sober truth. In analytic philosophy, they have worked with more rigour and better training than even the Scholastics. It would take a surprising lack of talent among us, or perhaps argue some deep defect in the questions we ask, if the result werenotmore progress in philosophy than most periods can boast. And in…Read more
  •  36
    Why didn't God Create the World Sooner?
    Religious Studies 27 (2): 157. 1991.
    The Western monotheisms agree that God has created the universe, and that at some point in the past, the universe began to exist. Thus they believe that and are compatible. Yet one can argue that and are incompatible, so that the Western theistic picture of creation is inconsistent. Augustine's Confessions quotes a famous argument that entails~: What was God doing before he made heaven and earth? … if did nothing, why did he not continue in this way … forever …? If any new motion arise in God, o…Read more
  •  85
    Time Travel and the Trinity
    Faith and Philosophy 29 (3): 313-324. 2012.
    I have used a time travel story to model the “Latin” version of the Trinity. William Hasker’s “A Leftovian Trinity?” criticizes my arguments. This piece replies
  •  36
    Two Trinities: Reply to Hasker
    Religious Studies 46 (4). 2010.
    William Hasker replies to my arguments against social Trinitarianism, offers some criticism of my own view, and begins a sketch of another account of the Trinity. I reply with some defence of my own theory and some questions about his
  •  35
    Two trinities: Reply to Hasker: Brian Leftow
    Religious Studies 46 (4): 441-447. 2010.
    William Hasker replies to my arguments against Social Trinitarianism, offers some criticism of my own view, and begins a sketch of another account of the Trinity. I reply with some defence of my own theory and some questions about his
  •  1
    Trinity, The
    Oxford University Press. 1999.
  •  15
    The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas
    International Philosophical Quarterly 31 (4): 502-503. 1991.
  •  52
    The Roots of Eternity
    Religious Studies 24 (2). 1988.
    The claim that God is eternal is a standard feature of late–classical and mediaeval philosophical theology. It is prominent in discussions of the relation of God's foreknowledge to human freedom, and its consequences pervade traditional accounts of other kinds of divine knowledge, of God's will, and of God's relation to the world. So an examination of the concept of eternity promises to repay our efforts with a better understanding of the history of philosophical theology and with insight into t…Read more
  •  106
    The Nature of Necessity
    Res Philosophica 94 (3): 359-383. 2017.
    I give an account of the nature of absolute or metaphysical necessity. Absolute-necessarily P, I suggest, just if it is always the case that P and there never is or was a power with a chance to bring it about, bring about a power to bring it about, etc., that not P. I display both advantages and a cost of this sort of definition.
  •  131
    The ontological argument
    In William J. Wainwright (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion, Oxford University Press. 2005.
    This chapter presents and critically discusses the main historical variants of the “ontological argument,” a form of a priori argument for the existence of God pioneered by Anselm of Canterbury. I assess the contributions of Anselm, Descartes, Leibniz, and Gödel, and criticisms by Gaunilo, Kant, and Oppy among others.
  • The humanity of God
    In Anna Marmodoro & Jonathan Hill (eds.), The Metaphysics of the Incarnation, Oxford University Press. 2011.
  •  21
    The Greater-Good Defense
    with Melville Stewart
    Philosophical Quarterly 46 (184): 405. 1996.
  •  21
    X
    Faith and Philosophy 31 (1): 3-23. 2014.
    Western theism holds that God cannot do evil. Christians also hold that Christ is God the Son and that Christ was tempted to do evil. These claims appear to be jointly inconsistent. I argue that they are not
  •  53
    Tempting God
    Faith and Philosophy 31 (1): 3-23. 2014.
    Western theism holds that God cannot do evil. Christians also hold that Christ is God the Son and that Christ was tempted to do evil. These claims appear to be jointly inconsistent. I argue that they are not