If we could sum up the meaning of philosophy in just four words it would literally be, ‘the love of wisdom.’ From a Christian perspective, my first thought is that ‘the love of wisdom’ is not a good thing, and considering the post-modernistic, worldview society we now live, I would be right. Then I considered Webster’s 1828 definition of the word. Check out this snippet:
The objects of philosophy are to ascertain facts or truth, and the causes of things or their phenomena; to enlarge our views of God and his works…True religion and true philosophy must ultimately arrive at the same principle.
That right there is a definition I can live with! If the true goal of a philosopher is to boil everything down to what truth is in every situation, then ultimately he will arrive at the foot of the cross. The question then arises, “Why does this seldom happen?” I submit to you that the Apostle Paul ‘nailed-it’ when he penned:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Romans 1:20-23
The problem with philosophers is that they’re sinners like you and me. Our God is telling us, “Look around—it’s obvious—I made this!” Those who deny God do so because to recognize a righteous God is to also recognize that they are sin-filled. Therefore those who deny God must establish a reasonable explanation for their version of what truth is. In so doing; in their pronouncement of wisdom, they become fools.
Colossians 2:8 is a warning to the church. “Beware,” we are told, there are philosophers and deceivers pushing the traditions of men and the principles of the world. Why are we warned? Because these liars are very good at what they do—they’re good because they worked very hard to convince themselves before they turned their nonsense on you and I. My friends, Oprah is just the tip of the iceberg.
What should we do? We must heed the warning and know that our enemy is constantly on the prowl seeking to devour us. We must stay amidst the flock; in the very center if possible, because those on the fringes are easy pickings for the wolves. And we must be in the word of God so that we can compare the lies against that which is right. It is true, a born-again believer has the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of Truth with them, and He will guide us, but if we try to constantly go it alone, or without the Sword of truth by our side, we risk being deceived by our adversaries.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15
These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands