Philosophy can quickly become a black hole of circular reasoning. To most, it can sound like needless gibberish about the ethereal and existential.
Mature philosophical dialogue teaches us to think deeply.
Those moments spent in careful, disciplined thought and debate prepare us not only to speak intelligently about various topics, but to be able to be articulate, in crystal clear fashion, our convictions – without once sounding defensive.
Philosopher/professor, Paul Copan, is sometimes asked who his favorite philosopher in history is. He replies, “Jesus of Nazareth.” This usually prompts surprised reactions from people who counter, “Wow – I never thought of Jesus as a philosopher.”
But he was.
Certainly, he was so much more. But Christ was the greatest philosopher to ever walk the planet.
In his book, How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong?, Copan cites another brilliant philosopher, Douglas Groothuis, who presents Jesus of Nazareth as a rigorous philosopher. Groothuis defines a “philosopher” as
one having a “strong inclination to pursue truth about philosophical matters.” These philosophical matters include “life’s meaning, purpose, and value as they relate to all the major divisions of philosophy”—especially the areas of knowledge (epistemology), ultimate reality (metaphysics), and ethics. A philosopher’s task is accomplished “through the rigorous use of human reasoning and . . . with some intellectual facility.”
Can you even begin to imagine sitting around a campfire with Jesus Christ listening to him talk about the meaning of life, the existence of God, the cosmos, objective morality, absolute truth, etc?
The Hebrew imagery behind the repeated biblical command to “meditate” upon the Word of God carries the idea of: wrestling with, analyzing, testing and sorting out intellectually. In short – to think deeply.
Like Copan and Groothuis, William Lane Craig is a brilliant philosopher (all three men are Christians). I saw the post below by Craig and thought it well worth passing along.
Learn to think deeply. nw