Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview

  1. "We must show our Scriptures not to be in conflict with whatever (our critics) can demonstrate about the nature of things from reliable sources."
  2. Philosophy
    The attempt to think rationally and critically about life's most important questions in order to obtain knowledge and wisdom about them.
  3. Worldview
    An ordered set of propositions that one believes, especially propositions about life's most important questions.
  4. First-Order Discipline
    A philosophy of x, where x can be any discipline whatever: law, mathematics, education, science, government, medicine, history, literature.
  5. Second-Order Discipline
    When philosophers examine a discipline to formulate a philosophy of that field, they ask normative questions about that discipline, (questions about what one ought and ought not believe in that discipline and why), analyze and criticize the assumptions underlying it, clarify the concepts within it and integrate that discipline with other fields.
  6. Logic
    Investigates the principles of right reasoning and focuses on questions such as when can a conclusion legitimately be drawn form premises and why?
  7. Epistemology
    The Study of knowledge and justified belief.

    What is knowledge? Can we have it? How do we know things and justify our beliefs? What are the kinds of things we can know?
  8. Metaphysics
    The study of being or reality.

    What does it mean for something to exist? What are the ultimate kinds of things that exist? What is a substance? What is a property? Is matter real? Is mind real? What are space, time and causation? What is linguistic meaning?
  9. Value Theory
    Study of value, ex. ethical value and aesthetic value.

    What does it mean to say something is right or wrong, beautiful or ugly? How do we justify our beliefs in these areas?
  10. Seven reasons why philosophy is crucial to the texture, curricula and mission of the Christian university and the development of a robust Christian Life
    • 1. Aid to apologetics
    • 2. Aid to polemics
    • 3. A central expression of the image of God in us
    • 4. Helps to add clarity to the concepts of systemic theology
    • 5. Facilitate the spiritual discipline of study
    • 6. Enhance the boldness and self-image of the Christian community in general
    • 7. Essential for the task of integration
  11. Apologetics
    The task of giving a reasoned defense of Christian theism in light of objections raised against it and of offering positive evidence on its behalf.
  12. Polemics
    The task of criticizing and refuting alternative views of the world.
  13. Dualism
    The view that we are composed of both a physical and mental entity.
  14. Integration
    To blend or form into a whole. Occurs when one's theological beliefs, primarily rooted in Scripture, are blended and unified with propositions judged as rational from other sources into a coherent and intellectually adequate Christian worldview.

    • 1. Believing community needs to draw from all areas of knowledge in forming an integrated Christian worldview consistent with Scripture.
    • 2. A person grows to maturity to the extent that he becomes integrated, unfragmented self , and of the ways is to have the various aspects of one's intellectual life in harmony. If Smith believes one thing in church and another thing in the lab or office, he will be fragmented.
    • 3. When the gospel confronts a new culture, Christian theology must be related to that culture in a way that is at once sensitive to the culture and faithful to Scripture.
  15. To be ignorant and simple now - not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground - would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.
    C.S. Lewis
  16. Noetic Effects of sin
    Sin's effect on the mind.
  17. Faith
    • Three components
    • 1. Notitia - understanding the content of the Christian faith

    2. Fiducia - trust

    3. Assensus - the assent of the intellect to the truth of some proposition.

    Trust is based on understanding, knowledge and the intellect's assent to the truth.

    In Scripture, faith involves placing trust in what you have reason to believe is true. Faith is not a blind irrational leap into the dark.
Card Set
Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview
Notes and definitions from Chapter 1 of Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview