It is necessary for Christians to pursue philosophical studies, or is this not required?
Due to the fact that it is necessary for Christians to have a worldview or a set of presuppositions, even if those presuppositions are demonstrably incorrect, I believe that Christians should engage in good philosophical study. A person’s worldview has an impact on how they live and interpret their experiences, whether or not they are consciously aware of this. C.S. Lewis wrote in an essay titled “On Learning in Wartime” that “good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy must be addressed.” To put it another way, in order to be accepted, it is necessary for Christians to provide responses to opposing philosophical positions.
The apostle Peter instructs us to “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” (1 Pet. 3:15). The application of this verse by Lewis, on the other hand, is limited to the study of philosophy more broadly. Most importantly we are commanded to love God not only with our heart, soul, and strength, but also with our mind. Mark claims that in Mark 12:30. Christian worship is being re-conceived as primarily about having a specific emotional experience or adhering to a specific set of moral rules, rather than as a combination of both. While God desires for us to love him with every fiber of our being, this does not exclude our intellect from the equation. Philosophy’s methods of development are particularly well suited for this type of growth. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God,” Paul exhorts in another passage (Rom. 12:2). Thus, philosophy is concerned with the identification of false worldviews as well as the development of one’s own.
Christian skepticism of philosophy, however, is not uncommon because of the apostle Paul’s warning: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8). In contrast, practicing philosophy comes with its own set of hazards. Because Christian beliefs are occasionally publicly disparaged or ridiculed by well-known philosophers, as depicted in some faith-based films, it is possible that this is the case. Even though some atheists use philosophy to attack Christians, the majority of atheists do not necessarily agree with the loudest voices on the subject.
It is when philosophy draws Christians in for the wrong reasons that they are most at risk of losing their faith as Christians. Several philosophy students have stated that they take pleasure in winning arguments and that the skills philosophy provides them are a means of proving themselves or increasing their sense of self-importance. The warning in Colossians 2:8 is as follows: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ”.Because of sin, and particularly because of its “noetic” effects (on our thinking), we are naturally inclined to use good things, such as the study of philosophy, for bad reasons, such as the desire to believe that we are intellectually superior to those around us. That is not the reason or the manner in which Christians should engage in philosophical study, according to the Bible.
For their part, historians of Christian theology have demonstrated that philosophers and theologians have at various times considered themselves natural complements to one another and at other times regarded one another as mortal enemies. Some early Christian thinkers, such as Tertullian, were of the opinion that any intrusion of secular philosophical reason into theological reflection was improper. For the opposite view point, some Christian thinkers, notably St. Augustine of Hippo, argued that philosophical reflection could be a useful complement to theology, but only if the philosophical reflections were founded on a firm prior intellectual commitment to the fundamental truths of Christian faith. As a result, the legitimacy of philosophy was determined in part by the legitimacy of the religious commitments that underpinned the philosophy.
In the High Middle Ages, Augustine’s views were vigorously defended by his followers, who were known as Augustinians. During this time period, the relationship between philosophy and theology became even more complicated as St. Thomas Aquinas offered yet another model for how the two should be approached from different perspectives. Philosophy and theology, according to Thomistic thought, are two distinct endeavours that differ primarily in their intellectual starting points. When it comes to delivering data, philosophy relies on our natural mental faculties: what we see and hear as well as what we taste, touch, and smell are all examples of data delivery. We can accept these data if we believe that our natural faculties are reliable when interacting with the natural world, which we believe to be true. For its part, theology takes as its starting point of reference the divine revelations contained within the Bible. On the basis of divine authority, it is possible to accept these data, in a way that is analogous to the way in which we accept claims made by physics professors about the fundamental facts of physics, for example.
It is distinguishable between theological arguments and philosophical arguments in that theological arguments have at least one of their premises derived from revelation, whereas philosophical arguments do not have at least one of their premises derived from revelation and thus fall into the domain of philosophy. In light of the clear distinction between philosophy and theology that is established by this way of thinking about the two disciplines, it is theoretically possible that the conclusions reached by one discipline may be contradicted by the conclusions reached by another discipline. For their part, proponents of this model believe that any such conflict should be only superficially apparent. It is impossible for the claims made by one philosopher to conflict with the claims made by another theologian because God created and revealed a world that is accessible to both philosophers and theologians. This is true unless either the philosopher or theologian has made an error prior to making their claims.