Born into a family of Anabaptist roots, Austin Eikenberry has spent most of his life trying to find a way to understand the meaning and content of his faith. Studying in Anabaptist, Lutheran, Reformed, and even Catholic traditions, the question has continued to interest and drive his academic pursuits. Even beyond academic pursuits, the question of faith has impacted the way in which, and even the location where, he has lived his life. A graduate of St. Olaf College, with a degree in Biology and Computer Science, and with a career in clinical research, he also brings an analytical and scientific mindset to questions of theological and philosophical import. His wife and children have graciously supported him in his masters work at SouthEastern Baptist Theological Seminary, now in his PhD work at the Graduate Theological Union, and more in his pursuit of meaning and capacity in living (rather than just studying) a faith-filled life.
Abstract: The intersection of temporality and eternality has been a fundamental question of Christian theology almost from its earliest inception. Rooted in the ancient Greek philosophical debates about the nature of reality, the debate between eternality as timelessness and eternality as endless time has highlighted questions regarding the nature of God. While Thomists generally hold that timelessness is a necessary condition of impassibility and perfection and process theology holds that temporal progression is an intrinsic reality for both God and creation, other options have been forwarded to make a more continuous distinction between the temporality of creation and the eternality of God. Most prominent recently, Pannenberg sought to integrate temporality and eternality by focusing on God as the power of the future and His actions as proleptically manifesting the eschatalogical reality that God alone holds and controls. The extent to which this idea is feasible within the scientific, philosophical, and theological landscape forms the centerpiece of my current research as a part of the larger question of whether retrograde causation is a potentially coherent concept.
of this Essay is not the so-called Liberty of the Will, so unfortunately opposed to the misnamed doctrine of Philosophical Necessity; but Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual. A question seldom stated, and hardly ever discussed, in general terms, but which profoundly influences the practical controversies of the age by its latent presence, and is likely soon to make itself recognised as the vital question of the future. It is so far from being new, that, in a certain sense, it has divided mankind, almost from the remotest ages; but in the stage of progress into which the more civilized portions of the species have now entered, it presents itself under new conditions, and requires a different and more fundamental treatment.
An Essay in Philosophical Theology