Showing posts from December, 2022

The Big Questions of Philosophy

Let's define our terms a bit. What is meant by the term, philosophy?  Etymologically speaking, the word simply means "the love of wisdom".  More specifically, however, the term refers to one or both of two related meanings. First, it can refer to a a coherent and consistent answer to the most basic questions of human existence. Or, second, philosophy can refer to the academic field of study that asks these questions, analyzes how others have addressed them, and seeks to advance answers to them (or at least one of them). So, what are these questions, these "Big Questions" of philosophy?  The first question is simply, "what is real?"  The second question is "how can we know?" And the third question is, "what should we do?" And these lend themselves to what are often viewed as the three main branches of philosophy: Metaphysics -- studying the nature of reality itself. This includes the question of God's existence, the question of m

What does a Philosophy of the Bible look like?

I suppose someone may agree with that [the previous post], and yet still be very unclear of what, exactly, a philosophy of the Bible would actually look like. How do you translate a story into a textbook? You don't. Story is always primary. Story is hard-wired into us, for we are part of a story. Yet stories can be analyzed in various ways. One way is by asking if the story teaches anything, and, if so, what is it teaching. For at least a hundred years now critics have revolted against the idea that a good story teaches anything. But I disagree. Certainly not every story is designed to teach, and many fictional stories have become unpalatable by mixing in moralist messaging of various kinds. Yet only a fool could read something like *The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich* without learning anything about good and evil, bravery and cowardice. The Bible is a story, but is a story that transforms both thoughts and values; or at least it has that potential. In this book we will look at h

Is the Bible a book of Philosophy?

  After the great mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal died, a note was found sewn into the lining of his jacket:      “Fire…the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Not the god of the philosophers ”.       Nonetheless, I think Pascal would approve of the goal of this little project: to explain the philosophy of the Bible. For he himself was a fervent believer and renown philosopher, and never viewed these two things in conflict. His hand-written note was not a repudiation of philosophy, but a way of doing philosophy.        For he knew one simple fact: we are all philosophers. Everyday we make decisions which reflect our belief in what is real, what is valuable, what is true, and what is right. And these four questions constitute the bulk of what philosophy is about.       So if the Bible has any coherence at all, it will have a philosophy. The Bible is not a book about philosophy, but a story. But that story, if true, must be based on certain core beliefs about reality, va

Something New

I have switched my writing from to this site, because I my writing interests have changed. I hope to start a podcast and write a book about the philosophy of the Bible, and I will post the materials here as I work on them.  I've been privileged to be able to teach some philosophy at the undergraduate level (though I am far from an expert) and serve as a teaching pastor at the same time. I have always found an overlap between my classes and my sermons, and would like to develop the Big Idea of the Bible, using the terms and categories of philosophy.  Anyway, I would appreciate the feedback of anyone who finds themselves here. I need it. Daniel