DeWeese on the Task of the Christian Philosopher

“As Christian philosophers, we must practice in our profession what we claim in our confession.  The apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians that Christ is not only the power of God but also the wisdom of God (I Cor. 1:24).  True wisdom is Christocentric in its origin and application.  Specifically, I think that as Christian philosophers we have a solemn duty to discover what Jesus believed and taught, and then believe, teach and defend that.  This is a beginning, of course; there is much in contemporary philosophy that Jesus did not directly address, just as there is much in modern physics that he did not speak to.  But where he spoke, and where his words have direct implications for our subjects, we must listen and learn.  Christian philosophers should not be so eager to surf the cultural swell that we cannot hear and heed our Lord’s clear teaching.

“. . . Christian philosophers can serve the Lord by doing what we do well—analysis, clarification, justification.  But Christian philosophers should not ever lose sight of the fact that serving the Lord entails as well serving his people.  Does our research and our teaching ultimately contribute to clarifying, demonstrating and confirming the truth of the credenda of the faith?  Do we, in the end, have anything to contribute to the project of helping our culture understand and pursue genuine human flourishing?  Will the church and the world be better for what we do?”

Garrett J. DeWeese in Doing Philosophy as a Christian (IVP, 2011), 63, 64.

 

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Philosophy Word of the Day – Augustine’s Political and Social Philosophy

Saint Augustine of Hippo, a seminal thinker on...

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“St. Augustine (C.E. 354-430), originally named Aurelius Augustinus, was the Catholic bishop of Hippo in northern Africa.  He was a skilled Roman-trained rhetorician, a prolific writer (who produced more than 110 works over a 30-year period), and by wide acclamation, the first Christian philosopher.  Writing from a unique background and vantage point as a keen observer of society before the fall of the Roman Empire, Augustine’s views on political and social philosophy constitute an important intellectual bridge between late antiquity and the emerging medieval world.  Because of the scope and quantity of his work, many scholars consider him to have been the most influential Western philosopher.

“Although Augustine certainly would not have thought of himself as a political or social philosopher per se, the record of his thoughts on such themes as the nature of human society, justice, the nature and role of the state, the relationship between church and state, just and unjust war, and peace all have played their part in the shaping of Western civilization. There is much in his work that anticipates major themes in the writings of moderns like Machiavelli, Luther, Calvin and, in particular, Hobbes.” (continue article)

—J. Mark Mattox at The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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