Andrew P. Porter, app -at- jedp -dot- com



Inasmuch as the only way for readers to comment is in correspondence with me, Comments received in correspondence to me may be posted in part or in whole, and responded to on this weblog.

A weblog: Perplexing the Guides

The MTS Thesis: Meeting God in History, Relativity, and Pluralism

Every non-fundamentalist seminarian quickly learns that among the principal challenges to theology in the modern world are critical history, historical and cultural relativity, and religious pluralism. The teachers don't say that as a general summary, but that is the import of beginning Bible and theology. My teachers were among the last students of the Neoorthodox; the curriculum may have changed since the 1970s. I am out of touch. The idea for the MTS thesis arose from a connection that came to me one day in Edward Hobbs's Gospel of Mark course: History, relativity, and pluralism are respectively species of Exposure, Limitation, and Need. Call them the three cardinal disappointments in life. Edward (of blessed memory; he died in 2018) had been at some pains to argue that in biblical religion the world is affirmed as good, in full view of its pains. Dealing with Exposure, Limitation, and Need is the price to be paid (or task to be undertaken) if one would participate in biblical religion of either variety. (The rabbis handle these matters somewhat differently from biblical religion of the Christian variety, and those differences are for some other time.) An exposition of the claims about Exposure, Limitation, and Need can be found in the Trinity paper, "The Trinity and the Indo-European Tripartite Worldview." After the MTS thesis came the doctoral dissertation, on the theology of H. Richard Niebuhr and the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. It was written in about two or three years, and it was not particularly reader-friendly (dense and technical). Over the next ten years I put together a constructive version of the same argument, Elementary Monotheism. It was published by University Press of America, but got little attention and few sales.

Elementary Monotheism is available online, full text:

I. Exposure, Limitation, and Need
and II. Action and Language in Historical Religion

Some basic Bible stuff

Recent Work: An introduction to
The Accountant's Tale and Unanswerable Questions

Some (only a few) of the reasons why Christianity
has trouble in secular culture today (AT),
and beginning thoughts on how we relate to ultimate reality as personal (UAQ).

The Accountant's Tale

Unanswerable Questions:

The Action Book (2011):

An approach to action starting from narrative
rather than from the idea of will- or intention-initiated motions.

Basic Concepts of Biblical Religion (2016)

The Bible book (2008), In the Beginning, Exodus: The Bible Then and Now

First pages: colophon, contents, intro, and first chapter

The Creationism book (2006):
Where, Now, O Biologists, Is Your Theory? Intelligent Design as Naturalism By Other Means

Postscript to the creationism book:
From a perspective years afterward, some of what I did not know when I wrote Where Now. Much of it is in later books.

Older Books:

By the Waters of Naturalism is online, full text

More Publications

The web-page for the Pacific Coast Theological Society can be reached at; some links to its entries are duplicated in pages within.

Social Ethics: Physician-Assisted Suicide

The campaign to legalize so-called "physician-assisted suicide" (PAS), or "Medical Aid in Dying" (MAiD) is perennial, and it is especially dangerous to people like me, the disabled. In the homicidal pity of some, we are thought to be especially suitable for PAS, MAiD, or just euthanasia.

And now for something completely different:

Planetary Position software, calendar software,

and current planetary positions

Philosophy Quiz

Curriculum Vitae

Some Comments on the Global Warming Controversy