Monday, October 17, 2011

Advice to Christian Philosophers: Two Resources

Rembrandt - "Philosopher In Meditation"

If you are a Jesus-follower who is interested in philosophy then here are two sources you need to check out.

First, read Alvin Plantinga's short and famous essay "Advice to Christian Philosophers." It's been published in The Analytic Theist: An Alvin Plantinga Reader. You can read it for free here. If these don't work for you send me a check for $100 and I'll mail it to you.

Second, Garrett DeWeese's Doing Philosophy as a Christian looks to be good and important. Here are some reviews from a few theistic philosophy-giants.

"In this unique and uniquely important book, Professor DeWeese carefully and winsomely develops a clear, deep and cogent approach to the practice of philosophizing as a Christian. In so doing, he demonstrates a rich knowledge of Scripture, analytic philosophy and the history of philosophy--a rare combination of intellectual virtue. Both students and professors of philosophy will benefit greatly from this astute and timely work, for which I have the highest admiration." (Douglas Groothuis, professor of philosophy, Denver Seminary, and author of Christian Apologetics )

"Sooner or later, reflective Christians will face the question of what to do with the academic discipline of philosophy. Garrett DeWeese rightly contends that Jesus as Lord has an important bearing on this question. This book aims to spell out this bearing of Jesus. In doing so, it merits careful attention from all reflective Christians." (Paul K. Moser, Loyola University Chicago )

"Garrett DeWeese's book fills a serious gap. Students in philosophy as well as professional philosophers will find much insight into the important question of how Christian faith shapes the practice of philosophy. Not all Christian philosophers will agree with all the positions taken, but all can benefit from this fine example of what it means to be integrally Christian while seeking to do philosophy in a rigorous manner." (C. Stephen Evans, professor of philosophy and humanities, Baylor University )

"While many both in the church and in the world think that a Christian philosopher is an oxymoron, Christians in the university know better. Over the last fifty years there has been a dramatic resurgence of faithful Christians in academic philosophy. Many of the best young Christian minds continue to flock to this discipline. Finally there is a tool to help them think deeply and critically about the benefits of bringing their commitments to the authority of Scripture and the person of Jesus into their study of philosophy. Doing Philosophy as a Christian will set the beginner on the right path, and it will challenge the more advanced philosopher to continue to become a more faithful follower of Christ. Not only will those who study this book be better philosophers, they will be better able to lead others into a deeper encounter with Christ." (Gregory E. Ganssle, Yale University )

"With graduate degrees in theology and philosophy, and years of deep reflection, Garry DeWeese is uniquely qualified to write on how to approach philosophy from a Christian perspective. And Doing Philosophy as a Christian does just that. In page after page, DeWeese offers fresh insight and deep reflection about how to honor Jesus as Lord in the task of doing philosophy. This is a must-read for all interested in worldview development and the integration of Scripture with the field of philosophy." (J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology )