Why Christians Should Not Be Afraid of Philosophy

One of the most common comments I get on this blog is that I shouldn’t be doing philosophy and apologetics, I should just have faith. As if blind faith is virtuous or seen in the Scriptures (it is not). Philosophy, science, and any other discipline does not scare me. If Jesus is the truth, which I believe Him to be, then we are free to study whatever we want, knowing all truth is God’s truth, and it will all point back to Him.

Why Christians Should Not Be Afraid of Philosophy

Published by Haden Clark

Husband / Dog Dad / B.A. Business Administration / M.A. Theological Studies / M.B.A. Finance

89 thoughts on “Why Christians Should Not Be Afraid of Philosophy

  1. Christians claim the answers already but do not deliver in verifiable facts. What they do is promote a collective game of ” Make-Believe” that is as delusional and false as anything that can be proven.
    When you start out with the mandate of ” Faith” it simply means the acceptance of supernatural claims for which again is based on fantasy, delusion and mental suicide.
    So, yes people who are Christian are afraid of the erosion of their delusions, including any rational thinking process. 🎯

    Liked by 3 people

    1. However when we seek him diligently then He will manifest himself to us and give us the evidence of the faith we had too walk in so blindly. Experiential knowledge can not be moved or shaken can not be stolen or torn down. If you too seek you also will find and save your soul in the process.

      Like

    2. Do You Know ABOUT Christ or Know Christ?
      There is all the difference between a very large knowledge ABOUT Christ, and the smallest measure of the knowledge OF Christ. One may be immense in its range; the other may be very small in its measure. And yet the small thing may count for infinitely more than the immensity of the other.
      The knowledge of Christ in a spiritual way is basic to everything in our lives as the Lord’s children. As we go on, and the Holy Spirit begins to unveil Christ in our hearts, then we know how true this is. We know that it is that which gives reality to the spiritual life, makes it a very real thing. It is that which establishes us, so that, while the adversities might turn us away from a creed, a doctrine, an accepted position, a profession of relationship, nothing can turn us away from a spiritual knowledge. Spiritual knowledge is a part of our being, and we can never separate ourselves from that. That is reality! Nothing less than that could have accounted for Paul going through to the end, when he saw his life’s work going to pieces about him. The very assemblies for which he had, so to speak, poured out his lifeblood, forsook him at last when all they in Asia turned away from him. There is nothing to account for his remaining, not only loyal to the Lord, but triumphant to the last, save the fact that he knew the Lord in a spiritual way. Reality is found there. And every other virtue and value lies in the same direction. It is what Christ is, being progressively disclosed to our hearts.
      The day will come when most of us will be tested on this very thing, and under given tests the one thing that will become clear will be that a very great deal of our knowledge of the Lord was not knowledge after the Spirit, but knowledge which we had obtained by reason perhaps of having been born and brought up in Christian families, instructed from infancy; knowledge which we had obtained by reading good books, devotional literature; knowledge perhaps by all the ‘providences’, as we call them. They carried us through to a right place – the providences of birth and upbringing and association. And yet, unless they go further than that, the time will come when it will be proved that they lack the essential element in our relationship to the Lord. And from time to time the Lord does allow His winds of adversity to blow, He does take His winnowing fan and throw everything up into the air, and cause the wind to pass through, just to find how much there is of solid grain that will fall and remain uninfluenced by the wind, and just how much of the chaff will be carried away.

      Like

      1. There are two versions of Jesus in the NT;
        Version 1.0 is a G-d fearing, Torah Observant Jew who never claims to be G-d.
        Version 2.0 invented by Paul of Tarsus in his Epistles that describes a Jew hating, Torah rejecting, Roman advocating, man who is G-d and rejects Judaism as evil.
        The Christian church incorporated the Jesus Version 2.0 as defined by Paul and rejected the other. This was done by the Religion Management a team, the Imperial Cult of Rome in Nicaea in 325 AD and done so by vote.
        Also there are over 50 different and conflicting versions of the NT which have been translated into over 200 languages. So I need to ask where you are extracting your claims because it does matter!
        You might think that Jesus, being G-d would have done a better job? Or is this all just invented BS? I’ll take the simple conclusion!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Agreed
        That’s is why the receiving of the Holy Spirit is tantamount and paramount in our relationship with the Lord. In knowing the truth that sets us free from the deceptions.
        With Jesus it is and was all about personal relationships with us. To know him living and breathing within us. Teaching us the true, true.
        Make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ.

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      3. And you can degrade yourself all that you like, it’s required that a Christian is a smug, self important covert narcissist immune from intelligence. I’ll mention you to G-d next time I have him over for morning tea….he’ll get a good laugh at your ignorance! 🎯😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. On the contrary.
        My relationship started in faith but now I live in the facts. And the fact remains that this cannot be refuted or taken from me by any persons in their own hermeneutics or of their art in rhetorical craftsmanship. End of conversation

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      5. Your arguments are all void. Spacetime is Flat which means that the Universe is Infinite and Eternal. An Eternal Universe was never created so the Creator God story is Bunk nonsense. You can keep believing in a false nonsense reality if you like but that is as stupid as everything else that you claim to believe.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. The difference between you and I is that I have experiential knowledge to the facts. Whereas you have retained things from books that are grossly compromised.
        Seek the truth and you too will find.
        Have a nice day😊

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      7. You lack knowledge and embrace “Belief-be(lie)f”. Good luck with that…are you up to date on the Heliocentric Model from Galileo? The Earth orbits the sun partner, that is a fact, the truth and creates knowledge even though the Church took 400 years to accept the Truth! I’m not waiting around for people like you to open up your eyes and get a brain either. Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Galileo was the First Victim of the mind control of Christianity. The Bible was written by men that knew much less than we do now. Quit playing “Make Be(lie)v!” It makes you look and sound STUPID!

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      9. Also I now know that you are not refitting me in a public forum in order to debunk me. That can not be done.
        However what your doing is sowing seeds of doubt for others to read.
        I’m on to your tactics, my pedigree friend.
        You will not prevail in your disillusionment and discord.
        Liken it to an alcoholic who after going to AA for awhile then starts drinking again. The fun in ignorance is no longer present so the alcoholic now drinks in misery knowing the truth that can set him free.
        The Matrix has you and is propagating it’s agenda in you and through you. Sounds to me like you may need to take the blue pill and see what’s down the rabbit hole.

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    3. I don’t know any Christians that believe what you just said, but if any do exist, they are wrong. The Bible does not promote blind faith. The Bible promotes faith – which is trust based on evidence. The Bible claims that the first disciples BELIEVED (had faith) in Jesus because of the miracles he did. Even if you think the story is bogus, my point is that the story does not promote blind faith. Thanks for your comment, have a good day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thomas was among the disciples who originally followed Jesus because he saw the miracles. Im interested to know, are you saying you follow Jesus for no reason? You just do it blindly?

        Like

      2. In the beginning we don’t see him but we know that he is there and we make the choice to follow him blindly so to speak.
        Then at the Kairos he manifest himself to us in many ways that we now receive the evidence of our faith.
        Thomas believed only after he witnessed him after Jesus’ resurrection.
        We believe not seeing until the appointed time.
        How I believe and see is my relationship with the lord and I can not give you that revelation. However I can testify that he lives and he has given me the evidence of my faith.

        Like

  2. Faith is a cornerstone of even the empirical sciences and the rationality behind philosophy. I believe there is enough room to make an argument for inclusion rather divisive either / or standpoints. Thus is the position science and religion lead to at a quantum level. Great reminder. I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Faith is a cornerstone of even the empirical sciences

      Hogwash!
      What an idiotic thing to write.
      The scientific method is based on observation and repetition – the systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.
      Faith my arse!

      Like

      1. Ark, why do you always need to be so aggressive and insulting, can you not have a civil conversation with someone who has a different perspective? I mean really, you’re just as much of a “guest” here as the rest of us. Anyways. Regarding Dr. Maples statement, how about this one. One could say that what precedes the application of the scientific method is, in fact, the idea. It is the idea that spurs on the scientific investigation, not in all circumstances, but in many. It is the idea of “faith”, “hope”, or “instinct” that, maybe, something else exists; for instance, those first advancing the field in quantum research. Faith is a broad spectrum, my friend, and research is filled with it. Are you a scientist in some capacity, professionally?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. This is also a “chicken or the egg” kind of thing. As modern quantum mechanics was surely, in large, spurred on by observation, though, it was Newton’s theory of the aether that helped Maxwell, Einstein, and the rest, pursue their ideas at the quantum level. Then, the aether was thrown out, again, and now, it’s being reintroduced, again. The “idea” is back. Now, was Newton’s idea spurred on by observation, I would bet, no doubt, but was it also spurred on by his imagination, again, I would bet, no doubt. Anyhoo.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. …. regarding the aether and which came first, Newton’s “idea”, or his observation, only Lord knows. But I’ll leave this quotation, as I know you LOVE Scripture:) “In the beginning was the Idea (Logos), and the Idea (Logos) was with God, and the Idea (Logos) was God. – Iōannēs 1:1

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Further, what say you regarding the “observer”, or shall I say, “us”. To my estimation Man is the fulcrum of the Cosmos. Thus, observation is key, but with observation one has to be conscious, or possess the very “Idea”. One must first have the very context to ever facilitate analogy (even in the “beginning”), which one could further argue, is the fundamental transduction process between our mind’s substance and what some may refer to as, the Higher Mind.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Ark, why do you always need to be so aggressive …

        Because, after discussing these subjects with fundamentalists, when I encounter disingenuous people ( such as you) it seems to be the best response.
        Honesty is such a rare coin when discussing anything with religious people.

        Regarding Dr. Marples statement … ..

        No. This is not what the scientific method involves so stop trying to wheedle some pseudo religious crap into the dialogue.

        Like

      6. And this position is ultimately just as fundamental to science as would be a Christians whom would negate the blind faith in gravity we are all subject to.

        You see, multiple perspectives can lead to growth for all parties, but fundamentalist hostility as you have shown here only Spurs further hostility.

        In analytical psychology, a profession I have practiced for over two decades now, we understand that inner hostility is is projected at a level of insecurity from those that would project its emotional response. While I believe fully in the power that dialectic discourse has to benefit students of science, philosophy, and religion, it is ultimately dependent on dialogue, not a monologue of fundamental predispositions and prejudice. I bid you good day, and good luck in your further growth.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. It would behoove you to consider that, such arguments you have put forward have been kicked around for a very very long time and I am familiar with pretty much every theological two-step put forward by those who would try to marry/harmonize science and religion.
        As someone as eminent as Francis Collins cannot do it, I cannot imagine anyone else can either, and to date this has proven to be the case.

        The insecurity is on display by those who would shirk their personal responsibility and invest faith in an entity for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever and then condemn, overtly or tacitly, every individual who does not toe the line is the height of hubris and is, quite frankly, disgusting.

        There is no benefit to religion. It is divisive, crippling individuals; divides friends families,and nations.

        Like

      8. I am sorry you lack faith, which is all that I speak of here. Descartes, Newton, and many founders/practitioners of scientific method were deeply spiritual men. By definition, faith, that belief n the unknown that cannot be sensed is the cornerstone of the cognitive capacity we have to believe in a concept that remains theoretical and cannot be sensed from the tenets of objectivity. Without faith, no scientific discovery I’ll hold enough merit to become a principal by which people believe.

        Please do not assume to approach individuals from a paternalistic form of ego laden superiority. It Behooves me to engage in growth oriented dialectical discourse, Socratic vs. Platonic hermeneutics. Also a foundational element of the rationality behind scientific method, I will continue to have faith in God and Gravity. Neither have fails Me as of yet. If you wish to have faith alone in gravity, that is perfectly acceptable. Last I have seen through my extensive world travels, is that there is plenty of room on this earth for divergent opinions and assumptions. However, maybe with all these points of reference (relativity) we can learn to be less hostile and more objective towards these divergent viewpoints. Have a great day.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. By definition, faith, that belief n the unknown that cannot be sensed is the cornerstone of the cognitive capacity we have to believe in a concept that remains theoretical and cannot be sensed from the tenets of objectivity. Without faith, no scientific discovery I’ll hold enough merit to become a principal by which people believe

        Bollocks!

        Well, you go ahead and have faith in your god. Delusion is the standard bolt hole for so many who require a crutch when reality looms.
        Just don’t indoctrinate children with such garbage and I’m perfectly fine with whatever nonsense you wish to believe.

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      10. You may disagree all you like, but faith as the religious understand it is belief in something that cannot be supported by any evidence.
        However, if you feel you actually have evidence, then please, I implore you, present it and we might then be able to have a decent discussion.

        As religions and their proponents, and in context Christianity, have been responsible for some of the world’s worst problems I see no particular reason to pander to the drivel espoused in its defense.

        Like

      11. Thought provoking blog post. I read lot of the comments from both sides and I’m surprised we are still having a faith discussion as it relates to religion in the 21st century. If we applied the scientific method to religion, particularly the Abrahamic religions it has failed the test. Time to move on.

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      12. Not according to most religious zealots. God is as real to them as anything in nature. I’m perfectly ok with the notion of God as a philosophical construct. Is God purely philosophical to you or is he real, in other words does he exist? If so, let’s test his existence by quoting his word and see if he answers prayers. I’m also perfectly fine with a historical Jesus, no problem there, it’s when Christians see him as their lord and savior who will return for the day of judgment etc.. etc., and one who answers prayers that blows my mind.

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      13. 1. I didn’t say God was a “philosophical construct”. I said arguments for God are philosophical. No one believes God is physical, therefore your demand for empirical evidence is nonsensical.
        2. Why would what other people see Jesus as bother you? Are other people obligated to change their religious views based on what bothers you?
        3. If God doesn’t answer a prayer, you think that means he doesn’t exist? Sounds like a flawed methodology.

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      14. On your third point, if the God of the Bible who purportedly answers prayers doesn’t answer them, what conclusion do you draw from this? What would think would happen if you placed 100 people with with stage 2 cancer who instead of seeking treatment sought prayer instead? And another group (100 patients) with stage 2 cancer instead sought treatment. Holding all other things constant. What would you expect the results to be? Here is where you put on your adult hat.

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      15. On your second point, did I say they are obligated to change their belief because It bothered me? If I went up to a podium where I began to sing hymns praising Santa Claus, and making wild “faith” based statements I would expect the rational human beings in the room to, at minimum, rolls their eyes. And if I said that if the people in the room didn’t praise Santa Claus, they were going to hell, I would expect people to walk out of the room. This is what this is like for people who don’t believe. It’s not that I don’t want to, I can’t.

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      16. With all due respect, my friend, you clearly haven’t a clue about the most basic findings regarding quantum research and it’s relationship to the observer.

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      17. Again, if you had a basic understanding of the leading scientific research in this field it would become ever so obvious the implications of “faith”, or better yet, one’s “hopeful” inclinations, or “ideas” in relationship to scientific observation, but alas…

        Like

      18. Again, In context, faith is belief in things unseen.
        Or perhaps you would prefer Mr. Sam Clements version?

        The scientific method is at least a parsec away from ridiculous religious ideology -faith.

        Like

      19. Good Lord, man. Tear yourself away from your keyboard, plunge your nose into the copious amounts of literature on the subject, and you may just find the answers that you seek; and further, you’ll likely see how “faith” and the “scientific method” are absolutely intertwined on so many levels.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Idea

      Scientific Hypothesis

      Scientific Method

      Observation

      Idea

      Scientific Hypothesis

      Scientific Method

      Observation

      Idea

      Scientific Hypothesis

      Scientific Method

      Observation

      Idea

      Like

  3. Do You Know ABOUT Christ or Know OF Christ?
    There is all the difference between a very large knowledge ABOUT Christ, and the smallest measure of the knowledge OF Christ. One may be immense in its range; the other may be very small in its measure. And yet the small thing may count for infinitely more than the immensity of the other.
    The knowledge of Christ in a spiritual way is basic to everything in our lives as the Lord’s children. As we go on, and the Holy Spirit begins to unveil Christ in our hearts, then we know how true this is. We know that it is that which gives reality to the spiritual life, makes it a very real thing. It is that which establishes us, so that, while the adversities might turn us away from a creed, a doctrine, an accepted position, a profession of relationship, nothing can turn us away from a spiritual knowledge. Spiritual knowledge is a part of our being, and we can never separate ourselves from that. That is reality! Nothing less than that could have accounted for Paul going through to the end, when he saw his life’s work going to pieces about him. The very assemblies for which he had, so to speak, poured out his lifeblood, forsook him at last when all they in Asia turned away from him. There is nothing to account for his remaining, not only loyal to the Lord, but triumphant to the last, save the fact that he knew the Lord in a spiritual way. Reality is found there. And every other virtue and value lies in the same direction. It is what Christ is, being progressively disclosed to our hearts.
    The day will come when most of us will be tested on this very thing, and under given tests the one thing that will become clear will be that a very great deal of our knowledge of the Lord was not knowledge after the Spirit, but knowledge which we had obtained by reason perhaps of having been born and brought up in Christian families, instructed from infancy; knowledge which we had obtained by reading good books, devotional literature; knowledge perhaps by all the ‘providences’, as we call them. They carried us through to a right place – the providences of birth and upbringing and association. And yet, unless they go further than that, the time will come when it will be proved that they lack the essential element in our relationship to the Lord. And from time to time the Lord does allow His winds of adversity to blow, He does take His winnowing fan and throw everything up into the air, and cause the wind to pass through, just to find how much there is of solid grain that will fall and remain uninfluenced by the wind, and just how much of the chaff will be carried away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Most Christians are afraid of anything they feel threatens their faith: science, philosophy— you name it.
    I am a Christian, but I don’t let my faith stop me from seeking knowledge and asking questions. Like you rightly said, wherever we seek the truth from, it will always point back to him.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. While I obviously support the thrust of your post, I do find it curious that you would argue that the Bible NEVER promotes blind faith. Surely, passages like the Binding of Isaac, or Jesus’ saying “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe,” or the claim in Hebrews that faith is the assurance of things unseen can be seen as advocating blind faith, don’t you think?

    I’ll certainly agree that the Bible doesn’t promote blind faith to the exclusion of informed faith, but it does seem to promote it, nonetheless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Abraham had past experiences to trust God, namely God’s promise that Isaac would be his successor. Jesus admonished Thomas’ lack of faith because Thomas had 3 years of evidence with Jesus that should’ve been sufficient for him to believe. And the very next verse in Hebrews says we can know the invisible based on what we do see, namely creation. So, none of those are examples of blind faith and I maintain that there are no examples.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The debate between the “faithful” and the “faithless”, over “faith”, has always puzzled me. One may postulate that it is absolutely impossible to exhibit faith, spiritual or otherwise, blindly. Faith, hope, instinct, or however one may choose to express their understanding is never done so “blindly”. All faith is reasoned through experience in some capacity, no matter the context. Even the “faithless” have faith that their perspective is correct due to their own experience. People always say, “it takes faith to believe in Jesus”, though, one may ask, what “faith” was Jesus really speaking of, or more so, what mindset was He speaking of? If one feeds the hungry, cares for the sick, loves their enemy as oneself, loves God– the ALL, clothes the naked, turns the other cheek, etc… What mindset will become of such a person once they begin to act out in absolute Love? Where was Jesus directing this “faith”? One may say, ultimately, it was Faith in His fellow Man.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is not faith in the sense that the religious apply,, but rather trust based on evidence and experience.
      Believers are unable to provide evidence for the claims of their religion.

      Like

      1. It’s beyond strange that you, a self prescribed atheist, who admitted to having very little experience with religion, who now, clearly, isn’t in communion with such, and further, who obviously isn’t studied in the subject, claims to have any intellectual depth or authority in the subject.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I am a Christian and currently reading The Little Book of Stoicism. I am a happy to pick and choose which philosophies I want to adopt as long as they do not clash with my Christian beliefs. Reading philosophy has strengthened my faith as I have seen that there is truly no peace outside Jesus Christ.

    Please check out my blog foolishthoughtsdaily.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Idea

    Scientific Hypothesis

    Scientific Method

    Observation

    Idea

    Scientific Hypothesis

    Scientific Method

    Observation

    Idea

    Scientific Hypothesis

    Scientific Method

    Observation

    Idea

    You will notice that faith does enter into you description.
    Neither does a god for that matter ….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have been pondering the same truths that you have addressed in this article. I believe that with the foundation of truth given to us by our God, we are able to approach any idea or method of thinking and learn from it. We may encounter the world without becoming it. Just as the man who builds his house upon the rock is able to stand firm through the winds and floods of the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. That. That drove me nuts in several circles. Too many Christians fix on the sacred/profane split. For a while I wondered if this was a trad/denom problem, but I found suspicions regarding knowledge to be an issue amidst my closest brethren.

    I use this when arguing with my mother, “Creation is an expression of its creator. If you believe God made/designed everything, then everything shows you something of Him.” (Combination of an Aquinas shotglass and sounding enough like her mega-preachers so that she’ll catch what I said.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Addendum: Perhaps a “get thee to a library” is in order? Well, a library not infected by history revisionists. As for what faith has to do with the scientific method, well, Christian scientists exist now and in the past. Wonder why? And ugh, the scientific method is a method, not science. Good grief. Why must schools insist on chucking out history of the sciences classes/courses?

      Furthermore, to the well-meaning Christians speaking in defense, when arguing with those in atheist and agnostic spectra, philosophy and history are your best tools (the latter won’t be if you’re rebuffing a history reviser). Theology without philosophy won’t be as useful because you don’t have common ground that your interlocutor agrees upon. That’s where we get a lot of the “Bible-thumper” insults from.

      Like

  11. The very definition of faith is found at Hebrews 11:1. Faith moves us to action. To live as Jesus did. Its founded on evidence we find in the bible…and with things we can actually see. We must study it to know or have such knowledge. http://www.jw.org

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wouldn’t Christian thinkers such as Lord Acton and Thomas Aquinas be provide sufficient justification for not fearing philosophy?

    Christianity had its own core philosophical tenants. It is a philosophy in its own right. Hence , why there are and were Christian philosophers.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for the post. I conpleatly agree with you about that. Personally, I think that the church is suffering from having faith without understanding. I do think that it’s ok for someone to have faith without understanding, but it becomes a problem when that ignorance lasts a lifetime.

    Like

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