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 how understanding the Bible transforms our thoughts about the biggest questions that mankind has asked.
It might be helpful to describe the plan; how do you get a consistent philosophy or worldview from an ancient text?
One of the simplest forms of deductive syllogism is called the Hypothetical Syllogism, which takes the form:
If A, then B
If B, then C
If A, then C
This book will follow the basic pattern of that syllogism, fleshed out as:
If the Bible is true, then certain core philosophical beliefs are true
If those certain core philosophical beliefs are true, then many other philosophical beliefs are true.
If the Bible is true, then many other philosophical beliefs are true.
Now, of course, the above syllogism does not address the question of whether or not the A clause [that the Bible is true] is a valid statement or not. Nor will that be the main focus of this book. The main focus of this book is to describe, in some detail, what are the right answers to the questions of philosophy if one assumes, even for argument's sake alone, that the Bible is true. To that end, we will also glance at competing worldviews or philosophical systems for comparison and contrast.
In the last section of the book we will come then come back to the validity of that first clause, vis-a-vis the intellectual alternatives. After all, the question we ultimately face is not, "Can you prove it with certainty?" but rather, "Which belief system will you give your life to?" After all, refusing to choose is simply choosing the default.