I received a copy of Philosophia Christi (The journal of the Evangelical Philosophical Society) in the mail today. It contains my article, “Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Account of Petitionary Prayer.” As wierd as it sounds this is the most personally significant essay I have ever published….
The year was 2007 and I was sitting in my pastor’s car (Neil Johnson’s black Expedition) telling him how my life was sort of falling apart. I had been a +4.0 student and had been accepted into UCLA. Now one year in I was facing academic probation. In the midst of that I found philosophy and fell in love with it. He told me about how some professors at Biola had a goal of raising up 100 christian philosophers and placing them in secular grad schools. Never in my life had I heard of Christian philosophers. That’s when I decided I wanted to do philosophy but as a Christian. The next 10 or so years took me on a different path. I didn’t end up doing philosophy but I still loved it and hoped that one day I could get back to doing it. Little did I know that around that time a little thing called Analytic Theology was starting to form. I would end up falling into the world of AT (as we call it) and because of that I have had the opportunity to dive back into philosophical things. Although I am by no means a philosopher, publishing in a philosophy journal for the first time marks the fulfillment of that goal I set back in 2007.
Here is an abstract of the essay:
Many contemporary philosophical accounts of petitionary prayer assume that petitionary prayers attempt to persuade God to act by giving God reasons to do that which God would otherwise not have done had the prayer not been offered. Alternatively, this essay suggests there is an account of what petitionary prayer accomplishes that has largely been left underexplored in contemporary philosophical literature: The Secondary-Causal Account. I suggest that the work of the Italian Reformer, Peter Martyr Vermigli, is a helpful resource for developing this alternative which is faithful to Scripture, meets confessional requirements, and can meet common intuitions about prayer.