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Archive for November 19th, 2014

I just posted a few minutes ago but this is too good not to share right now!

Redeeming Philosophy A God-Centered Approach to the Big Questions

Dr. Vern Poythress of Westminster Theological Seminary has just had his book Redeeming Philosophy published just a few weeks ago last month.  Apparently he has made this book available for free online as a PDF!

You can download the file if you click HERE.

Here’s the book’s description from the publisher’s website:

Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I find meaning?

Life is full of big questions. The study of philosophy seeks to answer such questions. In his latest book, prolific author Vern Poythress investigates the foundations and limitations of Western philosophy, sketching a distinctly Christian approach to answering basic questions about the nature of humanity, the existence of God, the search for meaning, and the basis for morality.

For Christians eager to engage with the timeless philosophical issues that have perplexed men and women for millennia, this is the place to begin.

Here is the table of content:

Table of Contents

Part 1: Basic Issues in Exploring Big Questions

  1. The Big Questions about Life
  2. The Bible as a Resource
  3. Opposite Approaches to Philosophy

Part 2: Metaphysics: What Is There?

  1. Inadequate Philosophies
  2. Christian Metaphysics

Part 3: Perspectives

  1. Introducing Perspectives
  2. Multiperspectivalism
  3. Perspectives on God
  4. Perspectives on the World
  5. Perspectives through Language
  6. Implications for Theology

Part 4: Examples of Metaphysical Analysis

  1. Metaphysics of an Apple
  2. Metaphysics of Walking
  3. Metaphysics of a Bookmark
  4. Perspectives in Combination

Part 5: Other Subdivisions of Philosophy

  1. Ethics
  2. Epistemology
  3. The Soul, the Mind, and Psychology
  4. Logic
  5. Aesthetics
  6. Specialized Branches of Philosophy

Part 6: Interacting with Defective Philosophies

  1. The Challenge of Philosophies
  2. Immanuel Kant
  3. Edmund Husserl
  4. Analytic Philosophy

Appendix A: Cosmonomic Philosophy
Appendix B: Perspectives on the Trinity
Appendix C: The Structure of a Bookmark

 

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One Christian apologist and theologian that I really got to read more this year has been John Frame.  His writing has been tremendously helpful and has the rare combination of being intellectually stimulating, biblically faithful and I would even say quite devotional.  Beyond the apologetics’ value of John Frame presenting a coherent Christian worldview in which he shows the inter-relationship and inter-dependence of Christian doctrines, I find that Frame’s writing engages my mind, will and emotions to love God and God’s truth more.

If you didn’t know already, every morning on Mondays through Saturdays we post quotes from John Frame on our Facebook page and our Twitter.  We plan to do this for the remainder of 2014 and going into 2015.

An example of Frame’s spirituality that seeps into his discussion about apologetics and theology is a passage in The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God that talks about doctrinal controversy and the relationship to spiritual immaturity in which he discusses the importance of Christians to grow in holiness and make progress in sanctification.  I appreciated that Frame did talk about this in the context of a book that talks about Christian theory of knowledge!  The Christian must not separate academic theological endeavors from one’s progress in being more like Christ!

Here is the quote:

Many doctrinal misunderstandings in the church are doubtless due to this spiritual-ethical immaturity.  We need to pay more attention to this fact when we get into theological disputes.  Sometimes, we through arguments back and forth, over and over again, desperately trying to convince one another.  But often there is in one of the disputers–or both!–the kind of spiritual immaturity that prevents clear perception.  We all know how it works in practice.  Lacking sufficient love for one another, we seek to interpret the other person’s views in the worst possible sense.  (we forget the tremendous importance of love–even as an epistemological concept; cf. 1 Cor. 8:1-3; 1 Tim. 1:5ff; 1 John 2:4f.; 3:18f.; 4:7ff.).  Lacking sufficient humility, too, we overestimate the extent of our own knowledge.  In such a csae, with one or more immature debaters, it may be best not to seek immediate agreement in our controversy”

(John Frame, The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, 155)

Of course this does not mean that all doctrinal debate is the result of all parties being theologically immature but if we really believe what the Bible says about our sinfulness, we ought to be ready to search our motives, and re-check if any of the above is true.

Knowing this truth has made me more slower in responding to online debate and also see the importance of not just only reading up on theological and apologetics’ controversy but also the importance of resources on sanctification and godliness.

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