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.