Is Philosophy at Odds with Christianity?

Philosophy is almost universally frowned upon in the Christian church, especially in more fundamental leaning congregations. Many within the Christian church consider philosophy to be completely at odds with Christianity or Christian doctrine. There are certainly many unsound philosophes that are directly in opposition to Christianity or Christian teaching.

The apostle Paul warns Christians to “beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit.” (Colossians 2:8, KJV) Others view philosophy as simply being man’s wisdom as opposed to God’s wisdom, and, as such, to be avoided if one is to avoid error. Still others view philosophy as inaccessible to the average person and therefore unnecessary or irrelevant to the practicing Christian.

This apparent opposition and tension between philosophy and Christianity causes many within the Christian church to avoid philosophy altogether, regardless of its form. Is it possible that avoiding philosophy is more harmful than beneficial in relation to Christianity? Further, is it impossible to delve deeply into Christian theology without the tools of philosophy? Is philosophy really at odds with Christianity, or is it essential to Christian theology?

This research paper will examine the above topics and will make the argument that philosophy itself, while not necessarily essential to the practicing Christian, is not at odds with Christianity. To the contrary, the tools of philosophy can do much to aid in the study and development Christian theology and, in fact, are essential to that. Philosophy, in the individual sense, is unavoidable in that we all develop our own philosophies about the world around us. The key is to be able to ascertain and discern between sound and unsound philosophy so that unsound ideas can be rejected. Additionally, the Christian should be mindful not to elevate philosophical assumptions or opinions above clear special revelation.

Does Truth Exist? Truth in the Face of Postmodernism

Postmodernism is primarily a late 20th century movement within Philosophy that is broadly characterized by skepticism, subjectivism, relativism; a general suspicion of reason; and an elevated assertion that ideology plays a central role in maintaining political or economic power. One of the central tenets of Postmodernism is extreme skepticism with regard to absolute or objective truth claims . These claims are extremely problematic because they would render objective truths as preference held by those espousing them. Postmodernism, while prevalent in modern society, is a false ideology and is one of, if not the, most destructive philosophies in existence. In contrast with the teachings of Postmodernism, truth is critical to understanding virtually anything and everything. It is the instrument by which we seek to understand reality itself and is inextricably linked to it. It is by seeking truth that we attempt to answer the big questions in life and to find direction. This paper will demonstrate that truth does exist, that it must exist, and that it matters profoundly in all of mankind’s endeavors. How one’s beliefs align with reality ultimately determine whether actions taken based on those beliefs will succeed or fail or be correct or incorrect.

My Kingdom Is Not of This World

We are SUPER excited to announce the publication of MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD (21 Days to Knowing Jesus Christ). This book is a compilation of and expansion on the Mars Hill Institute online study entitled 21 Days to Knowing Jesus Christ.

The paperback printed version of the book is now available to purchase HERE! Get yours NOW!

This is a one of a kind publication that is of value to both those who are interested in knowing about Jesus Christ and those who are already believers. It is intended to be both a resources for evangelism outreach as well as a training tool for believers who want to deepen their relationship with Christ and learn how to better share their faith.

This book is a great gift for someone who is curious about Christianity and wanting to know more about Jesus Christ and His claims. It walks the reader through a 21-day study in the Gospel of John and synthesizes the teachings into an easy to understand, yet comprehensive summary. It provides Biblical and cultural context as well as identifying Old Testament prophecy and references relevant to Jesus. It spells out precisely what Jesus teachings are and why they should form the foundation of our lives.

At the end of 21 days, you will look at the world differently and have a renewed understanding of the central claims of Christianity.

Table of Contents:

The Pursuit of Truth
The Bible
Why the Gospel of John?
The Historical Jesus Christ
The Culture of Jesus’ Day
The Scriptures of Jesus’ Day
Gospel of John Timeline
Day 1 – The Eternal Word
Day 2 – Water Turned to Wine
Day 3 – The New Birth
Day 4 – A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah
Day 5 – A Man Healed at the Pool of Bethesda
Day 6 – Feeding the Five Thousand
Day 7 – Jesus’ Brethren Disbelieve
Day 8 – The Truth Shall Make You Free
Day 9 – A Man Born Blind Receives Sight
Day 10 – The True Shepherd
Day 11 – Lazarus Raised from the Dead
Day 12 – Walk in the Light
Day 13 – The New Commandment
Day 14 – The Way, the Truth, and the Light
Day 15 – The True Vine
Day 16 – I Have Overcome the World
Day 17 – The Hour Has Come
Day 18 – My Kingdom Is Not of This World
Day 19 – It is Finished
Day 20 – The Empty Tomb
Day 21 – Follow Me
The Nature of Jesus from the Text
The Miracles of Jesus
The Old Testament Prophecies
The Truth Claims of Jesus
The Commands of Jesus
What Did Other People Say About Jesus?
Conclusion – Who Is Jesus Christ to You?
The Way Forward
The Roman Road

We are currently planning on making this resource available in two formats: 1) Printed booklet form for distribution in evangelistic outreach ministries and 2) Mass market Paperback and Hardcover edition for regular consumer markets. The outreach version will be made available to churches only in bulk quantities while the consumer version will be available through Amazon and book stores.

Stay Tuned for more information!

Wise Sayings of Solomon (Part 10) – Proverbs Chapter 11:16-20

Join us as we study the proverbs of King Solomon in the Book of Proverbs and follow up on the 21 Days to Knowing Jesus Christ Bible Study. I hope that you enjoy this study and that it will be helpful to you in building a daily Bible study habit. Click the appropriate links below to access the content for the day. You can select what version of the Bible you prefer at the top of the page in the link below (King James Version is the default):

Read The Proverbs of Solomon, Chapter 11 here

There are two links below to the Matthew Henry Commentary on Proverbs Chapter 11. There is a Concise version and a Complete version. The Concise version is a short, abbreviated version while the Complete version is typically a lot longer and can sometimes be longer than the Biblical text itself. Choose whichever one you have time for. The Complete version goes further in depth but the Concise version is illuminating while not as lengthy.

Read the Matthew Henry Commentary on Proverbs Chapter 11 (Concise) here

Read the Matthew Henry Commentary of Proverbs Chapter 11 (Complete) here

Listen to a personal reading of Proverbs Chapter 11 here

Observations from the text:

  • In Verses 16-20 of Proverbs Chapter 11 we continue in our reading of the wise sayings or proverbs of Solomon which began in verse 1 of Chapter 10. These wise sayings of Solomon are principles that we can put to use in our lives. A principle is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. In this case, these principles are the foundation for righteous living and living in a way that both works and is pleasing to the Lord. In these verses, Solomon contrasts various aspects of the lives of the righteous and the wicked and provides valuable words of wisdom to live by.

    In verse 16, Solomon contrasts a gracious woman and ruthless men by saying that the gracious woman retains honor while the ruthless men retain riches. The contrast is that of exhibiting grace and thereby having honor versus the ruthless pursuit of riches or earthly wealth. A gracious woman has been described as having wisdom in earlier discussion. This contrast continues that theme in that the wise seek honor and value others while the wicked seek worldly goods and self enrichment.

    In verse 17, Solomon contrasts a merciful man and a cruel one by saying that the merciful man does good for his own soul while the cruel one troubles his own flesh. A merciful man, by exhibiting mercy in his life, is blessed of God. A cruel person does himself a disservice because the Lord will not bless cruelty. God’s word promises that the merciful will be shown mercy.

    In verse 18, Solomon contrasts a wicked man and a righteous one by saying that the wicked man does deceptive work while the man who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. Work that is characterized by deception and dishonesty is indicative of wickedness and will be rewarded as such. By contrast, a person who lives righteously by exhibiting honor and integrity will see the sure result of that lifestyle.

    In verse 19, Solomon contrasts righteousness and the pursuit of evil by saying that as righteousness leads to life, one who pursues evil does so to his own death. What this verse is saying is that as certainly as right action leads to life, the pursuit of evil leads to destruction.

    In verse 20, those who are of a perverse (or wicked) heart are contrasted with the blameless (or righteous). Solomon tells us that those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord while the righteous are His delight. God hates evil and wickedness but loves righteousness and equity.

    Let’s review Solomon’s words below:

    16 A gracious woman retains honor,
    But ruthless men retain riches.
    17 The merciful man does good for his own soul,
    But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.
    18 The wicked man does deceptive work,
    But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.
    19 As righteousness leads to life,
    So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
    20 Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord,
    But the blameless in their ways are His delight.

    The words of wisdom of King Solomon are perfect Biblical guides to living in a way that is pleasing and acceptable to God. They also are practical guidelines for living in a way that works in the reality that God has created. Let us all embrace these truths and apply them in our lives every day.

Thank you so much for joining us in our ongoing study. I hope that it is as encouraging and enlightening to you as it is to me. Please follow the ministry of the Mars Hill Institute on our Facebook page at HERE. You can go back and visit the daily posts at any time on the website or Facebook page. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the website by email so that you can be directly notified when new posts or materials become available.

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What are some key take-aways for you from the Chapter we reviewed today? Feel free to dig further on your own if you have time. Have a GREAT and Blessed Day!

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