Why Christians Should Not Be Afraid of Philosophy

PhilosophyI remember during my undergraduate degree, having only recently become a Christian, a friend of mine telling me if I took a philosophy course, I would be convinced there was no God. I never did take that philosophy course (although I have read widely in philosophy), but not out of fear of losing faith.

There are Christians who are suspicious of philosophy and who possibly fear philosophy as a faith-killer. I came across this quote by one of the church fathers, Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD), that I think is very helpful:

But the multitude are frightened at the Hellenic philosophy, as children are at masks, being afraid lest it lead them astray. But if the faith (for I cannot call it knowledge) which they possess be such as to be dissolved by plausible speech, let it by all means dissolved, and let them confess that they will not retain the truth. For truth is immoveable; but false opinion dissolves. (Stromata 6.10)

Truth is truth and no philosophy can change that. Study that is aimed at the truth will only reveal what is within us that is not true. For Christians, this may change some of their Sunday school faith, but it should lead to a solid and rational faith in Christ.

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2 thoughts on “Why Christians Should Not Be Afraid of Philosophy”

  1. Thank you for sharing the criticism you have received. When I was in university many many years ago I took a philosophy course. The professor encouraged me to change my major to philosophy because he found the Christian position challenging various philosophies was both stimulating and enriching to the class. It was awesome to share God’s way, presence, design and purpose in that class. U of O is my alma mater – very secular university – most often opposing faith. What we believe and how we present our faith is crucial – I am pleased with your posts – keep on!

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