Posts Tagged ‘free will’


Emily Fisher Gray on Luther’s 95 Theses

The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation will be celebrated on October 31st of this year, marking the date that Martin Luther disseminated his famous 95 Theses on papal authority and indulgences. Prof. Emily Fisher Gray of Norwich University contextualizes this historically important document and explains how the themes of liberty and authority play out in this and other of Luther’s writings. We review the impact of this document, as well as Luther’s thoughts about a peasant uprising he inspired.

This is the fourth in our special series on the Protestant Reformation. Visit our archives for more great episodes.

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Paul Froese on the Meaning of Life

What is our purpose in life? How do we find it? While the good folks at Research on Religion would like to provide you with a definitive answer to that question, we can only offer you up a sociological analysis of how people search for meaning to their lives. Prof. Paul Froese (Baylor University) helps us with this task as he talks about his newest book, “On Purpose: How We Create the Meaning of Life.” Our journey includes everybody from Jesus to King Missile and from Tony Robbins to a pig who just doesn’t care.

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Stephen Barr on Quantum Physics, Religion, & the God Particle (Encore Presentation)

The following is an encore presentation of one of Tony’s favorite episodes recorded back in the fall of 2012. We will return shortly with fresh episodes.

Does quantum physics make it easier to believe in God? And what is the deal with that “God particle” that physicists just discovered? Did we really discover God and the origins of the universe? These questions, and many more, are answered by a real-honest-to-goodness physicist Dr. Stephen M. Barr (University of Delaware). Our discussion is both fun and informative as Prof. Barr explains, in terms a layman can undestand, what quantum physics is and how it relates to faith. While Prof. Barr argues that quantum mechanics does not make it necessarily easier to believe in God, it does make it harder to subscribe to a philosophy known as “materialism,” which often underpins a number of arguments for atheism. We also reflect on what it is like being a religious believer in the secular academic world.

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Oliver Crisp on Calvin and Reformed Theology

Who was John Calvin, how have people interpreted his theology throughout the ages, and is it really as narrow as many believe it to be? These questions and more are answered as Research on Religion dips into the world of historical theology with Prof. Oliver Crisp of Fuller Theological Seminary. With a delightful English accent, Dr. Crisp explains a lot of words that Tony cannot pronounce and argues that Reformed theology is a great deal more diverse that it is typically portrayed. Prof. Crisp also makes a strong case for why the study of deep theology is important.

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Russell Kleckley on Religion, Science, and Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler is perhaps best known for his modifications to the Copernican theory of heliocentrism, but few people remember how his science was guided by his deep personal faith. Prof. Russell Kleckley of Augsburg College discusses the natural philosophy and theology of this gifted mind. Kepler’s story is an interesting encapsulation of the scientific and religious ferment that was occurring in Europe in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Plus, we learn all about “Scuba Jesus.”

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Corey Olsen on J.R.R. Tolkien (An “Encore Episode”)

In celebration of my son having to read “The Hobbit” over the summer as a high school assignment, I am re-running this popular episode on J.R.R. Tolkien that aired in fall of 2012. The staff at Research on Religion is still on vacation following our 200th episode, but we will return shortly with some crescent fresh episodes.

Dig into those archives for other tasty nuggets that you may have missed and go over to our Facebook Fan Page to see some of Tony’s favorite episodes over the past year.

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Corey Olsen on J.R.R. Tolkien, Religion, and The Hobbit

Just in time for the release of the much-anticipated movie “The Hobbit,” we explore the life, times, and writings of J.R.R. Tolkien with Prof. Corey Olsen (a.k.a. “The Tolkien Professor”). We go over how Corey became enchanted by Tolkien’s writings and what Christians can take away from this genre of fantasy writing. Prof. Olsen reviews Tolkien’s influences, his fascination with mythology, and his ongoing relationship with C.S. Lewis. The conversation then delves into several spiritual themes that can be found in “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, namely the issues of providence, fate, and free will. This podcast is a great primer for those heading out to the theaters over the holiday season and will provide a richer viewing of Peter Jackson’s cinematic interpretation of this classic piece of literature.

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Stephen Barr on Quantum Physics, Religion, & the God Particle.

Does quantum physics make it easier to believe in God? And what is the deal with that “God particle” that physicists just discovered? Did we really discover God and the origins of the universe? These questions, and many more, are answered by a real-honest-to-goodness physicist Dr. Stephen M. Barr (University of Delaware). Our discussion is both fun and informative as Prof. Barr explains, in terms a layman can undestand, what quantum physics is and how it relates to faith. While Prof. Barr argues that quantum mechanics does not make it necessarily easier to believe in God, it does make it harder to subscribe to a philosophy known as “materialism,” which often underpins a number of arguments for atheism. We also reflect on what it is like being a religious believer in the secular academic world.

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