Paul Copan (Analytic Philosopher & Christian Apologist)

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Paul Copan, born 1962, is an analytic philosopher, theologian, and apologist. He is a Professor of Philosophy and Ethics and holds the endowed Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University (1). He was Adjunct Associate Professor (Trinity International University), Adjunct Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy (Bethel Seminary), and Adjunct Associate Professor of Philosophy (Georgia Perimter College). He was also the president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society.

He holds a number of memberships in several different societies including the Society of Christian Philosophers, Evangelical Theological Society, Evangelical Philosophy Society, Society of Biblical Literature, and the The American Philosophical Society. He has a BA degree in biblical studies (Columbia International University), MA in philosophy of religion (Trinity International University), MDiv in philosophy of religion (Trinity International), and a PhD in the philosophy of religion (Marquette University). During his career as an academic philosopher and an apologist, he has spoken regularly on university campuses, at conferences, and to church groups.

Copan writes frequently within several important fields including the philosophy of religion, Christian philosophy of religion, theology, science and religion, and apologetics. His work is also critical of several philosophies, beliefs, and worldviews. He criticizes naturalism, atheism, the presumption of atheism (that atheism should be the default position on the existence of God), scientism (the philosophical view that science is the only means by which one can access truth), positivism (that knowledge must be scientifically verifiable otherwise its meaningless), epistemic relativism, pluralism, anti-supernaturalism, and Christian presuppositionalism. Much of his apologetics work has focused on relativism, divine command theory, and the problematic ethics in the Old Testament.

“That’s Just Your Interpretation”: Responding to Skeptics Who Challenge Your Faith (2001) engages relativism and the challenges relativists pose to Christians and the truth claims of Christianity. Copan looks at the question of truth, theism, Eastern religion, naturalism, and doctrinal questions. “How do you know you’re not wrong?”: Responding to Objections that Leave Christians Speechless (2005) examines postmodernism, postmodern beliefs, and postmodern challenges to Christianity. Loving Wisdom: Christian Philosophy of Religion (2007) outlines Christian philosophy of religion, and addresses a wide range of topics and questions which Copan argues are adequately accounted for by Christianity. When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (2008) is a treatment of numerous philosophies including pluralism, relativism, anti-supernaturalism (arguments against miracles) which are fleshed out in such a way so that they can be used in dialogue with skeptics in places where people gather. True for You, But Not for Me: Overcoming Objections to Christian Faith (2009) engages relativism and common cultural beliefs and claims that “All religions lead to God,” and “Who are you to judge others?” He argues against the view that the historical Jesus was merely just another great religious leader. Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God (2011) goes in much detail in its analysis of problematic verses in the Old Testament which have been used to show that the biblical God is a moral monster. He analyzes the verses in question and looks at the nature of God presented in the Old and New Testaments, and attempts to show that they are in fact the same God. Did God Really Command Genocide? Coming to Terms with the Justice of God (2014) looks at the problem of God commanding genocide which is problematic for many believers who believe that God is a good, kind, and loving deity would never command the wholesale slaughter of people. Copan examines whether or not God actually commanded genocide.

References

1. Palm Atlantic Beach University. Copan, Paul. Available.

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