Dictionary Series - Philosophy: philosophyI was approached last week by a Soldier that was concerned about my reading and quoting philosophical works in my blogs and my sermons. He quoted the oft quoted:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12.2 NRSV)

Thus he bundled all philosophy together as human/worldly thinking as opposed to divine or divinely inspired thinking. It tickles me that I attended a Salvation Army – Ethics weekend last weekend where the main speaker: PhD James Reed said the absolute opposite. That many of the philosophers must have been divinely inspired in their search for truth and wisdom.

But if philosophy truly is what the name means, the love of wisdom, and if theology is words about god. Then it seems to me that Theology without philosophy is a dangerous enterprise. In my days within the church I have encountered good and bad theologies, wise and unwise theologies and it seems to me that the love of wisdom is a very good place to start the theological endeavour.

Listen to the scriptures exhort us towards philosophy:

Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you;
collect my counsels and guard them with your life.
Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom;
set your heart on a life of Understanding.
That’s right—if you make Insight your priority,
and won’t take no for an answer,
Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold,
like an adventurer on a treasure hunt,
Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours;
you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God.

(Prov 2.1-5 The message)

It seems to me that if all truth belongs to god, then the search for truth, the search for wisdom will lead us godward in the end.

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