Before someone tries to dismiss this study as mere philosophical whimsical ideologies, I would admonish the reader to keep in mind the various forerunners in the field of the category called ‘philosophy of religion’ upon which many a precedent has been established. Such men as St. Anselm of Canterbury-12th century cleric and philosopher (1033–1109), St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Rene Descartes (1596-1650), Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), George Berkeley (1685-1753), David Hume (1711-1776), etc all laid the foundation for further confirmation concerning some (though not all) of the ideas, concepts, and perceptions of philosophies predecessors before them: Thales of Miletos (c. 624 BC-546 BC), Pythagoras (c. 572-500 BC), Theano, Pythagoras’s wife, and their three daughters, Myia, Damo, and Arignote, Parmenides (c. 515-440 BC), Heraclitus (c. 510-470 BC), Socrates (469-399 BC), and Plato (427-347 BC), and Aristotle (384-322 BC).
I would admit that not too many people get turned on by the study of philosophy. But it is the philosophers who shape much of the ideas of the world in which we live. Their influence inevitably seeps quietly down into the culture with practical effects on the way we view our world. Christians have always had to meet head-on the philosophical outlooks prevailing in any given time and society.
To many of the early Church fathers, classical philosophy was erroneous for the simple reason that it did not emanate from divine revelation. It was secular and pagan. The early Church fathers complained that whereas Greek philosophers may have argued over words, Christianity possessed the Word, true wisdom as revealed by God. So, the early Church fathers believed that studying Greek thought would contaminate Christian morality and promote heresy. For the early Church Fathers, there would be no compromise between Greek philosophy and Christian revelation. The early Church father, Tertullian (150-225) once wrote that “with our faith, we desire no further belief. For this is our faith that there is nothing which we ought to believe besides.”
However, there were other Church fathers who defended the value of studying classical literature and philosophy. The classical Greeks could aid in the moral development of children because the Greeks, though pagan, still embraced a virtuous life. Knowledge of Greek thought helped Christians to explain their beliefs logically and enabled them to argue intelligently with critics of Christianity. It was Clement of Alexandria (c.150-220 BC) who brought reason to the support of faith by trying to make Christianity more intellectually respectable. As Clement once wrote in his Stromata (Miscellanies), “thus philosophy acted as a schoolmaster to the Greek, preparing them for Christ, as the laws of the Jews prepared them for Christ.”
The first in the great long line of Christian philosophers was Justin Martyr. He addressed his arguments to the mighty Roman emperor himself, and he ended up giving his life for his courageous defense of the faith. Born of Greek parents, in Samaritan Territory. Studied Stoic philosophy in Ephesus, then Aristotelian philosophy (with a teacher anxious about his fee), then Pythagorean, and finally Platonic philosophy. Then converted to Christianity. Tertullian first applied the title philosophus et martyr to him. Eusebius of Caesarea wrote: “Justin, in philosopher’s garb, preached the word of God.” (Ecclesiastical History, IV, II) He was martyred at Rome under prefect Junius Rusticus. Taught (1) the soul has a special kinship to God; (2) man is responsible for his actions; (3) in the world to come there is judgment and justice.
In the Second Apology, Justin argues that the Logos is germinally present in every human soul (logos spermatikos). Everyone participates in the Logos. Hence all truths which have ever been known by all the philosophers belong to Christians: “Whatever things were rightly said among all men, are the property of us Christians.” (II Apology, 10)
Early exponent of the view that Christianity is the true philosophy – “the only reliable and serviceable philosophy.” To Justin, Christianity appeared as the best answer to the questions philosophy asked. Christianity was not Justin’s substitute for philosophy—Justin believed that Christianity was rational, and that it was more rational than philosophical reason had ever been. Justin called himself a philosopher even after his conversion: “…I found this philosophy [Christian revelation] alone to be safe and profitable. Thus and for this reason, I am a philosopher.” (Dialogue, 8).
Using the language and techniques of Greek philosophy, Christian intellectuals changed Christianity from a simple ethical creed into a theoretical system. From this ‘Hellenization of Christianity,’ theology was born. Christ was depicted as the divine Logos (reason) in human form. Roman Stoicism was incorporated into the belief that all are equal and united in Christ. Then came the paradigm shift, in which philosophy took on many guises and forms; yet the five categorical branches of philosophy remained intact as demonstrated in our colleges and universities.
If you were to pick up the cataloge of a typical four-year college or university in the United States and look under the “Philosophy” heading, you will find courses offered in the following areas, among them others: epistemology, ontology (or metaphysics), logic, ethics (or moral philosophy), political philosophy, and aesthetics, along with a group of courses whose titles begin with the words “Philosophy of __________,” for example, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. Lets take a look at what you would study if you signed up for these courses.
Epistemology is the study of “knowledge.” Epistemology deals with the process by which we can know that something is true. It addresses questions such as:
1. What can I know?
2. How is knowledge acquired?
3. Can we be certain of anything?
Within epistemology there are two important categories – rationalism and empiricism.
Rationalism stresses reason as the most important element in knowing. Rationalism holds that knowledge is gained primarily through the mind. It also asserts that we are born with innate ideas that precede any experiences we may have with our physical senses.
Empiricism, on the other hand, asserts that all our knowledge comes from our five senses. To use the terminology of the empiricist, John Locke, our minds are a “blank slate” at birth. Thus knowledge comes from our experiences.
Metaphysics is the study of “reality.” More specifically it is the study of reality that is beyond the scientific or mathematical realms. The term “metaphysics” itself literally means “beyond the physical.” The metaphysical issues most discussed are the existence of God, the soul, and the afterlife.
Ethics is the study of moral value, right and wrong. Ethics is involved with placing value to personal actions, decisions, and relations. Important ethical issues today include abortion, sexual morality, the death penalty, euthanasia, pornography, and the environment.
Logic is the study of right reasoning. It is the tool philosophers use to study other philosophical categories. Good logic includes the use of good thinking skills and the avoidance of logic fallacies.
Aesthetics is the study of art and beauty. It attempts to address such issues as:
1. What is art?
2. What is the relationship between beauty and art?
3. Are there objective standards by which art can be judged?
4. Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?
The principle goal of philosophy is not the conclusion or Pentium of all knowledge within the boundaries of observable conscious reason, but the method whereby all beliefs, doubts, data, and self consciousness can be approached without prejudices and provincialism. When one approach’s the study of philosophy without any preconceived ideas or connotations, one can begin to think critically, clearly, collectively, and comprehensively about the world in which we live in. Philosophy studies the most fundamental questions at hand. It studies the questions man has asked since the dawn of his appearance. It can entail questions of individuality, society, ethic/morals, truth/error, reason/logic, knowledge, science, and religious belief. Every afore mentioned subject is subject to one another in some form or fashion. However, within the traditional sub fields of philosophy there are vast differences of opinions, beliefs, thoughts, and conclusions. Philosophy is the by-product that is hatched by an individual’s ability to think and therefore reason as a collective “I” as the French Philosopher Rene Descartes concluded in his dialogue entitled ‘Meditations,’ in his ‘Sum Res Cogitans,’ (“I am a thing that thinks”).
Of the 5 categories above, I will concentrate, not on the many theological questions that one may ask concerning Full Preterism; but I will examine the belief/concept from a ontological/metaphysical (beyond the physical) perspective. Therefore, it is upon this premise that I present the concept of Full Preterism as the correct doctrine when seen from the ontological point of view. With that said let us examine Plato’s famous ‘Simile of the Line’, which is the center piece of his most important work ‘The Republic’. It is called ‘simile’ because in it knowledge and reality are likened to a line that Socrates draws presumably on the ground with a stick. What we get here is Plato’s metaphysical scheme.
According to Plato, what we see, hear, taste, feel, or smell is subject to constant change and therefore expressed in mere opinion, while true knowledge is of what is stable and unchanging. For example, we can see water freezing, knowing it’s still being water, an individual changing a lot over the years, still being the same person, and so on. To have true knowledge is to have an infallible knowledge of the real, and the real can be grasped only in a clear, universal definition, not be opinion. We have to ask about the “essence” of things. Did anyone say Hebrews 13:8
In The Republic, Plato sets forth the simile of the line by which he divides all knowledge into the realm of opinion and the realm of true knowledge. While opinion relates to particulars (for example, an individual horse or an individual Christian Doctrine), knowledge relates to universals (the essence of horses, the “horseness”, that is applicable in all cases, the norm of the particular horses. Similar to eschatology as in eschatological utterances). For Plato, opinions can be shaken by criticism or by conflicting evidence, while true knowledge cannot. In the Republic, he seeks to illustrate his meaning by distinguishing four grades of cognition, each with its own class of objects. The lowest grade is that of mere guesswork (eikasia), which has as its objects the images of dreams or the reflections in water. A higher state of cognition is that of belief pistis), where one has learned to distinguish physical things from their mere shadows. Here a person has a conviction about the experience of the world as known through the senses. It is only when we move higher, to understanding (dianoia), that we have knowledge – when we move, so to speak, from a particular horse to the essence, “horseness,” that which makes all horses alike as horses, but different from human beings and other animals. There is, however, one more step needed to ascend to the supreme first principle (noesis). Each step in the ascent to knowledge moves to a higher level of abstraction, farther and farther from the particular and more and more toward the universal: from the shadow of a horse to a specific horse to horseness to the basic and fundamental principles characteristic of all biological life.
Plato’s ‘Simile of the Line’ contains two schools of philosophical concepts….
A. Knowledge…Pure Reason, Understanding
B. The Intelligible World…The Forms, Scientific Concepts
A. Opinion…Belief, Imaging
B. The Invisible World…Sensible Objects, Images
A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two different things by employing the words “like”, “as”, or “than”. Even though both similes and metaphors are forms of comparison, similes indirectly compare the two ideas and allow them to remain distinct in spite of their similarities, whereas metaphors compare two things directly. Perhaps this is where Immanuel Kant got his ideology of ‘transcendental idealism’ from? Moreover, it would appear that even the Scriptures reveal such similes (as in the invisible & sensible objects) as quoted in the following passages: Matt 13:24-32, 38-45, 47-50, 18:23-35, 20:1-16, 22:2-14, 25:1-13, 14-30, Mark 4:26-31, Luke 13:18-19, 21, 14:16-24, 19:12-27. The term “likened to” according to these passages are no different than Plato’s simile of the line in this respect.
The Invisible World & The Ontological Sensible Objects
Transcendental idealism is a doctrine founded by German philosopher Immanuel Kant in the eighteenth century. Kant’s doctrine maintains that human experience of things is similar to the way theyappear to us – implying a fundamentally subject-based component, rather than being an activity that directly (and therefore without any obvious causal link) comprehends the things as they are in and of themselves. If we try to keep within the framework of what can be proved by the Kantian argument, we can say that it is possible to demonstrate the empirical reality of space and time, that is to say, the objective validity of all spatial and temporal properties in mathematics and physics. But this empirical reality involves transcendental ideality; space and time are forms of human intuition, and they can only be proved valid for things as they appear to us and not for things as they are in themselves. Martin, Kant’s Metaphysics and Theory of Science, p. 41.
Opposing Kantian transcendental idealism is the doctrine of philosophical realism,that is, the proposition that the world is knowable as it really is, without any consideration of the knower’s manner of knowing. This has been propounded by philosophers such as Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, Ralph Barton Perry, and Henry Babcock Veatch. Contrary to transcendental idealism, realism claims that perceived objects exist in and of themselves, independent of the mind.
Anti-realism – any position involving either the denial of the objective reality of entities of a certain type or the insistence that we should be agnostic about their real existence. Thus, we may speak of anti-realism with respect to other minds, the past, the future, universals, mathematical entities (such as natural numbers), moral categories, the material world, or even thought.
However, within the Kantian school of thought we also have what is called ‘Realism’ The whole of realism is as follows….
a view of a reality ontologically independent of conception, perception, etc. Objects have certain properties regardless of any thought to the contrary.
a view that certain types of sense data accurately represent a mind-independent reality while other types do not. A key example is the primary/secondary quality distinction.
The view most notably put forth by David Lewis that possible worlds are as real as the actual world.
The philosophical view that there are objective moral values. Moral realists argue that moral judgments describe moral facts. This combines a cognitivist view about moral judgments (they are belief-like mental states that describe the state of the world), a view about the existence of moral facts (they do in fact exist), and a view about the nature of moral facts (they are objective: independent of our cognizing them, or our stance towards them). It contrasts with expressiveness or non-cognitivist theories of moral judgment, error theories of moral judgments, fictional theories of moral judgment, and constructivist or relativist theories of the nature of moral facts.
Naïve realism, direct realism, or common sense realism
the common view of the world including the claims that it is as it is perceived, that objects have the properties attributed to them, and that they maintain these properties when not being perceived.
A belief in the existence of universals as articulated by Plato. Platonic realism is often called Plato’s theory of Forms.
Of the 5 sub-categories, we will examine the model of ‘Modal Realism’.
Modal realism is the view, notably propounded by David Kellogg Lewis, that all possible worlds are as real as the actual world. It is based on the following tenets: possible worlds exist; possible worlds are not different in kind from the actual world; possible worlds are irreducible entities; the term actual in actual world is indexical.
The term goes back to Leibniz’s theory of possible worlds, used to analyze necessity, possibility, and similar modal notions. In short: the actual world is regarded as merely one among an infinite set of logically possible worlds, some “nearer” to the actual world and some more remote. A proposition is necessary if it is true in all possible worlds, and possible if it is true in at least one.
At the heart of David Lewis’ modal realism are six central doctrines about possible worlds:
A. Possible worlds exist – they are just as real as our world;
B. Possible worlds are the same sort of things as our world – they differ in content, not in kind;
C. Possible worlds cannot be reduced to something more basic – they are irreducible entities in their own right.
D. Actuality is indexical. When we distinguish our world from other possible worlds by claiming that it alone is actual, we mean only that it is our world.
E. Possible worlds are unified by the spatiotemporal interrelations of their parts; every world is spatiotemporally isolated from every other world.
F. Possible worlds are causally isolated from each other.
One may accuse me of perceiving multiple universe’s. That is far from the truth. What I’ am declaring here is the possibility of another world (not of Epistemology) but of the ontological spiritual component, known as the Kingdom of God. However, everything that we perceive is conceptualized through our senses, thus creating motion and this is accomplished in the 4th dimension – the dimension of time.
Motion according to the Scriptures and General Relativity
The Kingdom of God cometh without observance (Luke 17:20). The kingdoms of this world has become the Kingdom of our Lord (Rev 12:10), So shall the Son of Man be (Luke 17:24), till they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power (Mark 9:1)
The action verbs “cometh”, “has”, “become”, “have”, “come”, and “shall” indicates motion. And of course motion and time are not compatible to each other according to Einstein, for we can indeed have one without the other. However, time, in and of itself cannot exist without the action of motion. But God is Spirit, thus without Matter and Mass (John 4:24). For Him to enter our 3 dimensional world, He would have to travel at, or rather I should say, as the speed of Light (for He is Light) through a vacuum known as a motion – thus allowing Him to become Matter/Mass/Flesh as revealed in the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Himself in Jesus, the Galilean – thus creating for Himself; time in motion (Hebrews 1:1-2). The reality of the resurrection, in all probability, might be based upon these principles of physics. For He can indeed appear as flesh and yet disappear through walls of stone – since walls of stone does not exist in His realm of Being. Thus, He can appear and disappear as demonstrated, and yet be the fleshly bodily resurrected Christ! Here we can see the theory of relativity at work. Allow me to elaborate…
The Theory of Relativity was brought up by Elbert Einstein in 1905. It consists of two theories-the General Theory of Relativity and the Special Theory of Relativity.
According to the General Theory of Relativity, it is impossible to distinguish between gravitational fields and the other force fields in space. The gravitational field or any field of force produces measurable because of the presence of matter in the universe.
The Special Theory of Relativity states that it is impossible to measure or detect the absolute motion of a body through space. However, one can accurately determine its relative motion by using the speed of light as a basis.
The understanding of the of time as the fourth dimension besides length, width, and height (commonly known as the four-dimensional continuum or space time continuum) and the strange effects an object takes on as it approaches the speed of light will also help you understand the Theory of Relativity.
The speed of light remains the same, or constant, no matter what the frame of reference, by the way. The frame of reference is a number or quantity you base something on. Einstein realized that the idea of “right now” was only an idea and when you tried to make an experiment to see how things “really are” “right now” “everywhere” , you just can’t do it. You can see how things “really are” “right here”. But not “out there”. You are forced to do a calculation. Why?
Well Einstein realized that no one can “see” the universe except from some one place where they are standing. He realized that you can’t actually see things, you can only see light, and it takes time for light to move to get to you so you can’t really see how things “are” only how they “were” a while ago.
But how long ago? Well, you have to see what you see first. Then you measure how far away things are. Then you use a formula that is called Distance = Rate-Time, to find out the time the light started out.
But to do that calculation you need to know the “speed of light” (the rate that light travels.…how fast it goes.) If it goes really fast then what you see happened just a short time ago because if it goes fast then it won’t take long for the light to get to you.
But if it goes really slow then it will take a long time to get to you and by the time it does you will say: “Well sure I can see it but that light is soooo old that I know what I see happened a looong time ago. It took that light eons to reach me!” Perhaps a prelude to I Cor 15:23-24.…where individuals receive the Light of the World – who is the Christ – thus producing, not the end of the world per-se (since the earth endures forever), but perhaps an end to all matter as we know it to be – in which the elements will melt in fervent heat in favor of its new matrix, the ontological virtues spoken of by Christ Jesus in His sermon on the mount & Plato’s simile.
The key concept here E = mc2 or it can be written as e=mc^2. For those that do not understand the meaning of this equation, allow me to explain. E is for energy, which equals M for the relativity of mass/matter in its relation to C which is light which was determined empirically, as squared instead of taking the square root.
As the speed of a matter approaches the speed of light, the mass (or weight, in layman’s terms) can change and hence cannot be measured. In other words, it becomes ‘relative’. This also led to the first realization that mass can actually be converted into energy at speeds approaching that of light (eg- the speed of subatomic particles like electrons). As to the two light beams are passing each other, their speed: relative to each other, is twice the speed of light, but the actual speed is still only ‘c’.
More generally, it is normally impossible for information or energy to travel faster than c. One argument for this follows from the counter-intuitive implication of special relativity known as the relativity of simultaneity. relativity of simultaneity is the concept that simultaneity – whether two events occur at the same time – is not absolute, but depends on the observer’s reference frame. According to the special theory of relativity, it is impossible to say in an absolute sense whether two events occur at the same time if those events are separated in space.
This is when I’ am reminded of the words of our Lord, when He declared; “as lightening flashes in the east to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be”. Of course Jesus had to use phrases that men would understand. Imagine if He had opt to use the term ‘light speed’ No one would of understood such a concept. Light can not be measured, therefore; it is considered in all probability that the Light from the east to the west in relation to the Parousia can not be seen or measured. But, nevertheless and notwithstanding, we do see the effects of this causality – such as: Jerusalem’s destruction, the spread of His word – courtesy of the Reformation, and knowledge being increased.
If the spatial distance between two events A and B is greater than the time interval between them multiplied by c then there are frames of reference in which A precedes B, others in which B precedes A, and others in which they are simultaneous. As a result, if something were traveling faster than c relative to an inertial frame of reference, it would be traveling backwards in time relative to another frame, and causality would be violated. It is thought that the Scharnhorst effect does allow signals to travel slightly faster than c, but the special conditions in which this effect can occur prevent one from using this effect to violate causality. Taylor, EF; Wheeler, JA (1992). Spacetime Physics. W. H. Freeman. pp. 74–5.
In such a frame of reference, an “effect” could be observed before its “cause”. Such a violation of causality has never been recorded, Zhang, YZ (1997). Special Relativity and Its Experimental Foundations. Advanced Series on Theoretical Physical Science. 4. World Scientific. pp. 172–3, and would lead to paradoxes such as the tachyonic antitelephone. Tolman, RC (2009) . “Velocities greater than that of light”. The Theory of the Relativity of Motion (Reprint ed.). BiblioLife. p. 54
The relativity of simultaneity can be calculated using Lorentz transformations, which relate the coordinates used by one observer to coordinates used by another in uniform relative motion with respect to the first.
Assume that the first observer uses coordinates labeled t, x, y, and z, while the second observer uses coordinates labeled t’, x’, y’, and z’. Now suppose that the first observer sees, for example, the second (the x) moving in the x-direction at the velocity v (velocity) And suppose that the observer’s coordinate axes are parallel and that they have the same origin. Then, the Lorentz transformations show that the coordinates are related by the equations:
where c is the speed of light. If two events happen at the same time in the frame of the first observer (such as the destruction of one world and the Parousia of the next), they will have identical values of the t-coordinate (time). However, if they have different values of the x-coordinate (different positions in the x-direction), we see that they will have different values of the t’ coordinate; they will happen at different times in that frame. The term that accounts for the failure of absolute simultaneity is that v x/c2. The latter equation may give light as to why the apostle Paul used all ‘tense’s’ in reference to time in motion in respect to his doctrines concerning salvation and sanctification. In many Scriptural citations; he often used the past tense, the present tense, and the future tense (past tense Eph 1:4,7, 14, I Cor 6:11, present tesne Jn 17:17, I Cor 3:1-2, Eph 5:26, I Pet 2:2, and future tense I Cor 15: 26, Eph 5:26-27).
The Ontological and Scientific Probabilities In Relation to the Kingdom of God
You will note that I used the word probability. I only use the word to express a theory or hypothesis in relation to the Kingdom of God, and since we are dealing with scientific terms; I’ am limited to such a phraseology. But in reference to the ontological, we can indeed discuss the immaterial. When we think of the immaterial we often think of Rene Descartes.
The basic strategy of Descartes‘s method of doubt is to defeat skepticism on its own ground. This method is a solid approach against the epistemological doctrines of Dispensationalism and/or futurists. Descartes begins by doubting the truth of everything – not only the evidence of the senses and the more extravagant cultural presuppositions, but even the fundamental process of reasoning itself. If any particular truth about the world can survive this extreme skeptical challenge, then it must be truly indubitable and therefore a perfectly certain foundation for knowledge. The First Meditation, then, is an extended exercise in learning to doubt everything that I believe, considered at three distinct levels: Perceptual Illusion, The Dream Problem, A Deceiving God. Yet in all this, Descartes redeems himself by claiming “I’ am a thing that thinks” “therefore I exist”. And therefore, if we can think, debate, conceptualize, and believe; by faith in ontological reality of he Kingdom; therefore it must exist in space and time as revealed in us.
Space and Time According to Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Since we experience the actual world as full of physical objects, Leibniz provided a detailed account of the nature of bodies. As Descartes had correctly noted, the essence of matter is that it is spatially extended. But since every extended thing, no matter how small, is in principle divisible into even smaller parts, it is apparent that all material objects are compound beings made up of simple elements. But from this Leibniz concluded that the ultimate constituents of the world must be simple, indivisible, and therefore unextended, particles—dimensionless mathematical points. So the entire world of extended matter is in reality constructed from simple immaterial substances, monads, or entelechies.
In fact, Leibniz held that neither space nor time is a fundamental feature of reality. Of course individual substances stand in spatial relation to each other, but relations of this sort are reducible in logic to the non-relational features of windowless monads. In exactly the same way, temporal relations can be logically analyzed as the timeless properties of individual monads. Space and time are unreal, but references to spatial location and temporal duration provide a convenient short-hand for keeping track of the relations among the consistent set of monads which is the actual world.
What is at work here again is Leibniz’s notion of complete individual substances, each of which mirrors every other. A monad not only contains all of its own past, present, and future features but also, by virtue of a complex web of spatio-temporal references, some representation of every other monad, each of which in turn contains….In a universe of windowless mirrors, each reflects any other, along with its reflections of every other, and so on – ad infinitum. It is for this reason that an infinite analysis would be required to reveal the otherwise implicit identity at the heart of every truth of fact. In order fully to understand the simple fact that my eyes are brown, one would have to consider the eye-color of all of my ancestors, the anatomical structure of the iris, my personal opthalmological history, the culturally-defined concept of color, the poetical associations of dark eyes, etc., etc., etc.; the slightest difference in any one of these things would undermine the truth of this matter of fact. Existential assertions presuppose the reality of just this one among all possible worlds as the actual world.
The Best of All Possible Worlds (The Earth as we know it & The Kingdom of God)
Both in the Monadology and at the more popular level of presentation that characterizes the Discourse on Metaphysics, Leibniz (like Descartes) resolved some of the most thorny philosophical problems by reference to God. God (alone) exists necessarily, and everything else flows from the divine nature. Limited only by contradiction, God first conceives of every possible world – the world with just one monad; the worlds with exactly two monads; those with three, with seventeen, with five billion, etc. Then God simply chooses which of them to create.
Of course even God must have a sufficient reason for actualizing this world rather than any other. The most direct advantage of this world is that (as the plenum principle requires) it is the fullest. That is, more things exist and/or more events actually take place in this world than in any other consistent set of interrelated monads. In a more lofty tone, Leibniz declared that a benevolent God would choose to create whatever possible world contained the smallest amount of evil; hence (in a phrase that would later be mocked by Voltaire) this is “the best of all possible worlds,” according to Leibniz. Nothing about it could be changed without making things worse rather than better on the whole.
Similarly, the existence of a benevolent God can be used to account for the smooth operation of a universe that consists of indefinitely many distinct individual substances, none of which have any causal influence over any other. (Monadology 51) A crucial element of God’s creative activity, Leibniz held, is the establishment of a “pre-established harmony” among all existing things. Like well-made clocks that have been synchronized, wound, and set in motion together, the monads that make up our world are independent, self-contained, purely active beings whose features coincide without any genuine interaction among them.
One special case of this pre-established harmony, of course, accounts for the apparent interaction of mind and body in a human being as nothing more than the perfect parallelism of their functions. In fact, the human mind is just the dominant member of a local cluster of monads which collectively constitute the associated human body. (Monadology 63) Neither has any real effect on the other, but these monads are most clearly reflected in each others’ foreground. Thus, in both sensation and volition, the divinely-ordained coincidence of bodily movements and mental thoughts creates an illusion of genuine causal influence.
Moreover, each person is a complete individual substance in the sense that its being is utterly independent of everything else. Because statements of identity are self-contained, any apparent relation between substances must actually be a matching pair of features that each possesses alone. (Thus, for example, I happen to have the property of being Aaron’s father, and Aaron happens to have the property of being my son, but these are two facts, not one). Hence, on Leibniz’s view, there can be no interaction between substances, each of which is purely active. Monads are “windowless.” (Monadology 7)
Where Spinoza saw the world as a single comprehensive substance like Descartes’s extended matter, then, Leibniz supposed that the world is composed of many discrete particles, each of which is simple, active, and independent of every other, like Descartes’s minds or souls. The rationalists’ common reliance upon mathematical models of reasoning led to startlingly different conceptions of the universe. Yet the rationality, consistency, and necessity within each system is clear. Thus the Kingdom of Heaven can be within us and outside as perceived by the ontological simile of the line.
According to Spinoza’s…“Deus sive Natura“
Spinoza supposed it easy to demonstrate that such a being does really exist (but for our discussion, let us say the Kingdom). As the ontological argument makes clear, The Kingdom’s very essence includes existence. Moreover, nothing else could possibly prevent the existence of that substance which has infinite attributes in itself. Finally, although it depends on a posteriori grounds to which Spinoza would rather not appeal, the cosmological argument helps us to understand that since we ourselves exist, so must an infinite cause of the universe. Thus, God exists. (I Prop. xi). And therefore His Kingdom of pure virtue exists.
What is more convincing is the fact that God is a being with infinitely many attributes, each of which is itself infinite, upon which no limits of any kind can be imposed. So Spinoza argued that infinite substance must be indivisible, eternal, and unitary. There can be only one such substance, “God or nature,” in which everything else is wholly contained. Thus, Spinoza is an extreme monist, for whom “Whatever is, is in God.” Every mind and every body, every thought and every movement, all are nothing more than aspects of the one true being. Thus, God is an extended as well as a thinking substance (Individual) who has a soul, mind – logos, can reason, can be vexed, but most of all, God can love – for God is Love. Therefore, I say; His Kingdom exists!
Finally, God is perfectly free on Spinoza’s definition. Of course it would be incorrect to suppose that god has any choices about what to do. Everything that happens is not only causally determined but actually flows by logical necessity from immutable laws. But since everything is merely a part of God, those laws themselves, and cause and effect alike, are simply aspects of the divine essence, which is wholly self-contained and therefore free. (I Prop. xvii) Because there is no other substance, God’s actions can never be influenced by anything else.
Since He is perfectly free…there should be no limits placed upon Him as to the issue of eschatology. Many would attempt to place a time scale against the eternal – this simply should not be the case, since God is not restricted to time nor is His will (as in ref to His Kingdom can not be contained). His Kingdom is self existing within the Church Universal. This is evidenced by the Scriptural citation recorded in (Luke 17:21).
Moreover, to its illusionary or non-illusionary end of all things – this Kingdom is to grow and overtake the elements (both spiritual & physical as the new covenant demonstrated by the destruction of the old in AD70 and as the overspread of His Kingdom will overthrow this 3 dimensional world in favor of its new transformation. Again, perhaps; Spinoza was not far from the truth when declaring a three-step process for the achievement of human knowledge: First, disregard the misleading testimony of the senses and conventional learning. Second, starting from the adequate idea of any one existing thing, reason back to the eternal attribute of god from which it derives. Finally, use this knowledge of the divine essence to intuit everything else that ever was, is, and will be. Indeed, he supposed that the Ethics itself is an exercise in this ultimate pursuit of indubitable knowledge. Did not the Apostle Paul cite a similar quotation when he said “for we know in part and we prophecy in part”…seeing only through a veil. But when that which is perfect is come then all knowledge shall be done away with.
Yet we still think, we still learn, we still grow, and we still reason. With such affirmations of truth, how can a Full Preterist reconcile the Kingdom of God with perception to our reasoning? It can not! This may be due to the fact that this Kingdom has not yet revealed itself, as to abolish all reasoning. Though (at the same time) the Kingdom is here in the immaterial, ontological, and metaphysical sense, however it, or rather I should say God, chooses not to reveal such because, it is impossible for flesh and blood to inherit the Kingdom of God, since we live in the motion of time; much less perceive it with our senses; for we live by faith, not by sight (perception) Hebrews 11:1.
Yet, one may cite “Enoch and Elijah didn’t taste death, for they were translated into Heaven”. While this scenario presents a logical argumentation, it does not suffice when one quotes the words of the Apostle Paul whom declared “this corruption puts on in-corruption”. The take on Enoch and Elijah is that they were transformed. For Jesus Himself declared that no man hast ascended into Heaven except he that hast come down from Heaven – and indeed He did ascend into Heaven (Acts 1:11). No one can ascend into Heaven, if that was the case; then the person would truly have to travel trough the vacuum of motion, thus destroying his physical matter/mass. But this couldn’t have happen to Enoch or Elijah because the resurrection of the first fruit did not occur yet (for the Christ had not yet risen).
For His Kingdom is not of this world (as in perception, epistemological perception, or as a thing to be grasped); yet it is a reality by the ontological, metaphysical, spiritual, and Scriptural validations (John 18:36). We are to seek it (Matt 6:33), find it (Matt 7:8) and enter it (Matt 25:34). For truly it is among men (Matt 12:28). Though a few will find it in this life (Matt 7:14).