Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kevin Kim's Water from a Skull

Kevin Kim, Water from a Skull

The Big Hominid's book has finally arrived on my desk, along with a handwritten note from the Big Ho himself:

Enjoy! I hope this little tome passes mustard.

Nice humor in the oxymoronic "little tome" remark. And he hopes that it passes mustard.


What the hell? Wait a second . . . (rubbing eyes, adjusting glasses) . . . oh, it's "muster," not "mustard." Does it pass muster?

Sorry about the confusion, but I've just gotten up . . . at 3:00 a.m.

Anyway, does it pass muster? Well, let's take a look by checking the index for "Hodges, Horace Jeffery" . . . hmmm . . . no entry for "Hodges," so that's a strike against the book.

Hold on, there's no index either, so strike that strike, but add another strike for lack of an index.

(flipping through book...)

Wait, here's something in the dedications:
To the folks who, through the written and spoken word, have inspired me to think more deeply about the things that matter: blah, blah, Horace Jeffery Hodges, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and other blahs.
How nice! The Big Ho has dedicated his book to me! Thanks. Looks like it's gonna pass muster.

But let's look further...

(flipping further through book...)

Ah, this looks good:
Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges of Korea University wrote me an excellent explanation of middle knowledge once. In part, his explanation says:

Note three logical "moments" in God's knowledge: natural, middle, and free.

In God's natural knowledge, he knows all necessary truths, and all possibilities -- what could be true if God were to create worlds, including what free creatures could do. This knowledge is essential, or "natural" to God as God.

In God's free knowledge, he knows the true propositions about an actual world, including his omniscience of what will happen, e.g., what free creatures will do. It is "free" knowledge because it depends upon God's free act of creation. This knowledge is not essential to God's nature.

Between these two logical moments of God's knowing lies his middle knowledge, the knowledge that God has about particular worlds that he has not yet created but may freely create. This knowledge includes knowledge of what every free creature would do (not just could do). Like God's natural knowledge, this knowledge is logically prior to his free act to create, but like God's free knowledge, the content of this knowledge is dependent upon the actions of free creatures. Thus, "middle" -- between the other two types -- of knowledge.
I remember that explanation. It was one that I sent the Big Ho in an email way back in August 2004. He posted my email on his blog entry for August 10, 2004, then commented on it his blog entry for October 30, 2005.

Talk about a prompt response...

Anyway, I see that his entry for October 30, 2005 has been reworked for inclusion in the book that is now lying before me on my desk.

I ought to note that my above remarks on middle knowledge are indebted to William Lane Craig, The Only Wise God: The Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2000), 128-131. The Big Ho had noted this in his blog entry for August 10, 2004, but I want to again emphasize my intellectual debt to Dr. Craig, for the Big Ho's blog entry of October 30, 2005 neglects to mention this debt, and the book -- which reworks this entry -- neglects it as well.

So . . . one strike against muster for dropping a footnote, but a plus for making me look good. I guess that these two even out.

I'll have to read the book to see if I'm mentioned elsewhere, but any other mention of me would definitely add a big plus to the Big Ho's book. I'll get back to you on this after more 'research'...

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At 10:13 AM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...


Sorry I dropped the Craig reference, but for me it was more important to note the proximate source. Were I writing an academic treatise, it would certainly have been otherwise.

Well... almost certainly.

re: lack of an index (and, to anticipate another critique, lack of a bibliography or "Works Cited" list)

My guide, in this case, was The Philosophical Challenge of Religious Diversity, whose lack of both index and biblio allowed me to forgive myself for having made the same omission.

As Charles can attest, indexing is hard work. My book would have been delayed another year had I chosen to include an index. Perhaps I'll stick one in the second edition.


At 10:27 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Kevin, no need for a full-scale index. Just add a small one noting the pages on which my name can be found.

Actually, I have no beef with the lack of an index. Your book is user-friendly enough to locate things.

I would, however, feel more comfortable having my middle-knowledge remarks acknowledge Craig since he was my source. I'm not smart enough to understand middle knowledge theology on my own.

Thanks for the book copy, by the way. It was generous of you to provide me one.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Charles said...

I think you can get away without an index, unless you are feeling especially masochistic. If that is the case, than I wholeheartedly recommend an index. The more exhaustive the better.

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

Congrats to the Big Ho on the publication of his book and to the Gypsy Scholar on his prominent mention.

At 9:41 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Surely, the Big Ho is into masochism! Bring on the massive index!

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 9:43 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, CIV, I don't really deserve mention. The real hero here is William Lane Craig.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


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