Christians Philosophy?

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.



Categories: atheism, christianity, english

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19 replies

  1. “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.”
    However, this happens all of the time, with philosophers and theologians conflicting with each other and all insisting that their version is the only “right” one. Each claims the other has made errors and none can show that they have not.

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    • Your claim is true and ultimately claims must be supported by the Truth. Many reveal what is real within the constructs of reality. But even what is real has to be grounded in the truth.
      As many philosophers and theologians present their views it still within our objectivity that we discern. So therefore unless we are grounded in the truth fixed on a moral absolute we will never be able to see a lie.
      Thank you for sharing.

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      • What is the source of this Truth you refer to? And what are these moral absolutes?

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      • Wonderful question. How do you define good from evil? We use a moral reference. We can either look towards a subjective reference or an objective reference. An Objective reference is based on our moral platform. This platform would have to based on an absolute which provides a reference point that is free from any mortal discrimination. Many world views look toward a reference point outside their reality. It is their absolute. Whether the absolute is based on Truth which must be anchored in the evidential proof for it’s existence, otherwise it is only subjective. There is only one world view that is based on an objective truth supported by historical evidence and grounded in a theological foundation that has been consistent and logical. But that is my view and another long and drawn out debate.
        Thank you for your question. I have not given it the full weight for a complete answer but just an simple outline. Hope that helps.

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      • You really are good at saying nonsense. What do you even mean?

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      • Interesting you would say that since you consider yourself a naturalist. So let us try and define what is nonsense since you have not offered anything in rebuttal. Why is it when people do not want to even try to understand and have the decency to ask questions resort to their basic instinct to refute by offering nothing in return. Or is it because you are a naturalist you do not have anything to offer apart from your own existential existence which is your own definition of your autonomy.

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      • quite the word salad, Luke. Christians do love to claim they have the truth. alas, none of you can support your claim.

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      • The problem with you is that you have offered nothing to rebut my claim. I have given you an argument which you simply respond with ridicule. Either you do not understand it or just have nothing to offer in return. Check out all the postings by atheists. You are no different. You disagree which your inherent are right too, but offer nothing in response but continuing to attack the questioner but not the question. So I’m not sure what you expect from this conversation. Most people who are genuinely seeking answers or intellectually mature will offer coherent questions or responses rather than nothing. You are a troll that satisfies his inflated ego in a belief which amounts to nothing.
        At least offer something. Explain why you believe in a life without moral accountability. Why don’t you respond to the question concerning the killing of children or rape or murder. Or is an acceptable by-product of your world without moral accountability.
        Why don’t you respond to that? Is it morally acceptable? Is yes explain. If not then continue explaining.
        This is what we call discourse. Not your silly childish attempt of incoherency. .

        Liked by 1 person

      • and luke chooses to lie again. Hmmm, do you think your supposedly omniscient god won’t notice?

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      • Interesting you would call me a liar to be judged by a God you don’t believe in. Sounds pretty silly.
        The reality in my life is that, I know I will be judged. You don’t know my past, my burdens and the things I have done

        The life I live today is not penance for myself but an effort to stop others from destroying their lives and others, as I had done.
        I have seen evils that will last 1000 lifetimes. I have seen what humanity has done to each other. All in the defiant call of self-righteousness.
        All lead by people who proclaim defiance against any accountability.
        Oh yes I will be judged and I look forward to that day.
        I have a destiny no matter whatever my judgement will be but the life I live now is filled with love and compassion with all my loved ones and my brothers and sisters in Christ.
        Take care and good night.

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      • Luke, tell me, where in the bible does it have your god giving humans morals.

        And funny how liars aren’t held accountable by some imaginary god. you are held accountable by the rest of us humans.

        Nope, you haven’t seen “evils that will last a 1000 lifetimes” You are a failure in a first world country who has done nothing at all. I do love the attempts to pretend how important you are by the lies on how “bad” you supposedly were.

        You have no destiny at all. You are just like the rest of us.

        and it’s hilarious that you think that, again, you have the only TrueChristianity(tm).

        You have no love at all. love isn’t when you whine and wish eternal torture on those who disagree with you. You are just one run of the mill abusive failure.

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      • Go hide behind your avatar. What fools who judge others while hiding behind a curtain. Then there are people like you who celebrate people like Jeffrey Dalmar and murderers and killers. By your definition, these people are heroes because they acted with their subjective nature.
        Or maybe you are already part of that culture that celebrate these people. these are your moral gods who exercise their free will. Go ahead and enjoy.
        Don’t judge me and my passions and the life I live today. II have a wonderful life today. I don’t have to worry about the evil around me and its influences because I believe in something far greater and divine than I am.

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      • BTW, I have supported my claim as well as challenged your moral discourse which you refuse to answer. So unfortunately, if you read what you have written…..you have offered nothing. Offer an argument. Give an answer. Why do you think it’s morally acceptable or unacceptable to kill children? Simple question.
        The question of a person moral compass is the greatest roadblock to the atheist argument. To deny morality is deny your moral good as well as your evil. Basically, it’s acceptable to kill someone because you feel like it.
        The greatest pitfall to that atheist argument is that the same argument applies when someone decides that same fate to you.
        So enjoy your autonomy but never question evil when it happens to you. It would just happen to be your unlucky day.

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      • and here we go again. Sigh. always good to see a Christian pretend he can’t see something he doesn’t like.

        It is unacceptable to me to kill children since I do not want to be killed and it causes pain, misery, etc for no reason.

        My morality gets better. I do not need to come up with an excuse why it is okay for a god to kill children, like you must. I don’t deny morality. I deny an objective morality that theists claim comes from their god. Each comes up with a morality that they claim is the one objective morality. Alas, no evidence for that at all.

        Humans generally agree on quite a bit of morality since it allows civilization to continue. But we do not agree on it all and morality is always changing.

        I’ll always question evil. I don’t have to pretend some god will be using it for some good that never manifests, Luke.

        Now, do show that your morality is objective. I’ll be waiting.

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      • That’s wonderful to actually see a response. Sorry for the sigh as I know it must be extremely hard to actually offer a response.
        Now since you have offered a response and you have admitted to a moral framework then I am sure you must be able to explain where it came from. Forget the horrible example of infanticide since you are about to use that to ridicule a God you do not believe it. So I will save you the trouble before you go down that path.
        You are utilizing a moral framework based on what presupposition? Since you say that you believe in a morality. Where do you gain your ability to discern?
        Remember you must be careful not to make a mistake by a subjective choice Subjectivity allows you the be exposed to the same choices others can make against you. I know for a fact that I would never hurt anyone because I believe in a objective framework and that same framework prevents me from violating someone own intrinsic value.
        If you talk about evil and your fear not be subjectively judged (hurt etc) then what framework would you expect others to uphold. The problem starts when other who hold the view like yours would not prevent them for doing you or anyone harm.
        Evil exist because most people act within their own reasoning void of a objective framework that is anchored in an absolute.
        Whatever you hold again at the existence of a Creator does not devalue your intrinsic worth. Since He created you for a purpose within a moral framework.
        Does it really bother you so much to see theist living within a moral objective franework that you would go through all this trouble to argue against it.
        It is either you are seeking to find meaning to your life and those you care about or you are void of any love, compassion and care for anyone but yourself.

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      • I love a Christian who wants me to not mention that is god is an infanticidal and genodical idiot. Nope I dont’ beleive it exists, but I am more than pleased to point out that YOU do and have no problem with it.

        I have gained my ability to discern from evolution. No luke or god needed. And subjectivity is no problem at all. Yep, my morals are subjective as are yours. So hmmm, your “warning” applies to you too, Luke.

        “Remember you must be careful not to make a mistake by a subjective choice Subjectivity allows you the be exposed to the same choices others can make against you. I know for a fact that I would never hurt anyone because I believe in a objective framework and that same framework prevents me from violating someone own intrinsic value.”

        And my subjective framework works exactly as your suposedly “objective” one works. That’s because it isn’t objective at all.

        Humans uphold the morals that makes civilization work. Again, no god intervening ever. And funny how humans haven’t just gone off ravening without your god, Luke. Like Penn Teller says (paraphrased) “I rape as much as I want. I don’t want to ever do it.” No god needed.

        Your god gives no intrinsic worth to humans. REmember dear, humans are dirty rags and this god of your kills millions of them in the bible.

        Also, no purpose from thsi god at all. Christians can’t agree on what it is and again, god is imaginary so your claims are just the fantasies of a human.

        No one needs a god for a moral framework. That’s your baseless claim. And with Christians, your morals are often crap, defending a genocidal lunatic. You are nothing to be impressed by.

        I have meaning to my life. No luke or god needed. But nice lies to accuse me of having no love or compassion. Such the Christian, again, nothing but lies told to make yourself feel ever so special.

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      • I love a Christian who wants me to not mention that is god is an infanticidal and genodical idiot. Nope, I don’t believe it exists, but I am more than pleased to point out that YOU do and have no problem with it.

        Of course, I accept a God that would execute judgement on a nation in the Old Testament whose culture was based on child sacrifice and worship to pagan gods. The same way he will execute judgement against those who go out of their way to insult Him and blaspheme against Him. He commanded the Israelites to eliminate the Canaanites. To eliminate every pagan worshipper. This is a just and moral God because he does exactly as he promises.
        The same way He will judge you. I have nothing to fear and it is because of that justice executed, God will prevail and it is because of that justice I trust in His moral standard.

        I have gained my ability to discern from evolution. No luke or god needed. And subjectivity is no problem at all. Yep, my morals are subjective as are yours. So hmmm, your “warning” applies to you too, Luke.
        You keep saying you gain, have, obtain…………on and on but no evidence to support why you have moral standards. Gain it from where? Unfortunately, your point only supports the evil of this world. You gain it subjectively and follow like a fool without discernment. Subjective moral standards fuel the evil in this world. Your standards propagate the many people who have led nations into a genocide. It is people with your beliefs that support the holocaust because of subjective thinking. Being led by people to at in a manner void of conscience.

        And my subjective framework works exactly as your supposedly “objective” one works. That’s because it isn’t objective at all.
        I believe you are morally good but you raise your hand against God in defiance and reject Him. The definition you gave is exactly the reason God exist. You just cannot explain your reason for your choices and reject God. You are defiant but still morally good. So you rather avoid the truth and defy God.

        Humans uphold the morals that make civilization work. Again, no god intervening ever. And funny how humans haven’t just gone off ravening without your god, Luke. Like Penn Teller says (paraphrased) “I rape as much as I want. I don’t want to ever do it.” No god needed.
        You really believe civilization has not had disastrous history. WW1, WW2, Pol Pot, Stalin, etc etc. I am sure you don’t celebrate this past. Civilization has been led by people whose subjective beliefs have led people who, like you follow because YOU assume subjectively is right. and many suffer. You say ‘No God needed” – these events happened by it did end as well……because God WAS needed.

        Your god gives no intrinsic worth to humans. Remember dear, humans are dirty rags and this god of yours kills millions of them in the bible. God eliminates those who are predestined to act against Him and become the example of those you are struggling with their
        You weep over evil eliminated and at the same time blame God for eliminating it. Did you feel sad when evil is eliminated? God eliminates evil by His own sovereign nature. He is God and sometimes evil continues to persist through people who believe things like you do as a reminder that your judgement will come later. You exist to keep people like me aware of evil.

        Also, no purpose from this god at all. Christians can’t agree on what it is and again, god is imaginary so your claims are just the fantasies of a human.
        No one needs a god for a moral framework. That’s your baseless claim. And with Christians, your morals are often crap, defending a genocidal lunatic. You are nothing to be impressed by.

        Yes, people like you rejoice in leaders like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and icons of worship like Jeffrey Dalmer because they acted subjectively within their own reasoning. It is by this belief that evil continues to exist today. BTW, I don’t do this to impress you but to better myself and awareness of the fools that exist out there who no matter how logic prevails will never see past their own self-righteous egos.

        I have meaning to my life. No luke or god needed. But nice lies to accuse me of having no love or compassion. Such the Christian, again, nothing but lies told to make yourself feel ever so special

        You continue to claim things and expect the world to believe you. Same when you say you have meaning in your life. How can you have meaning when you believe in nothing except yourself. Like everything, you say it is based on nothing to support it. You live an empty life because you have no idea of or need to know what true meaning is all about.

        I didn’t realize you were the same troll that lurks in the dark from previous postings.

        The fact you hide behind an avatar without a name and attack those who act within their beliefs while you hide behind a mask. A mask that personifies the ugliness you hide within yourself. My name is Luke and I do not hide. Why do you hide? What do you fear?

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  2. Interesting you would say that since you consider yourself a naturalist. So let us try and define what is nonsense since you have not offered anything in rebuttal. Why is it when people do not want to even try to understand and have the decency to ask questions resort to their basic instinct to refute by offering nothing in return. Or is it because you are a naturalist you do not have anything to offer apart from your own existential existence which is your own definition of your autonomy.

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