Christian Philosopher? Some
Concerns among the Successes*
Are Christians in philosophy placing
their faith and hope in philosophical concepts or in Biblical
*This paper was presented at the 2011
Southeast Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society,
March 25, 2011.
No Christian in philosophy today would argue
that there has not been a virtual explosion in the number of
Christians working in philosophy.
William Lane Craig and Paul Copan declare, “Nothing short
of a veritable revolution in Anglo-American philosophy has
begun! … God is making a comeback.”
Someone has estimated that 30 percent of all faculty at
the college and graduate levels, including those secular, who
are working in philosophy, are Christians.
Alvin Plantinga played a considerable role in this
development with his leadership in several ways and in
particular his landmark address in 1978, “Advice to Christian
there are a plethora of others who deserve mention, but cannot
for reasons of time.
At first glance this growth of Christians in philosophy
is a cause for celebration—an exciting advancement for the
Kingdom of God.
However, rapid growth in any area is almost
never entirely positive.
In this paper I propose that some definitions, methods,
traditions, and conclusions may not be advantageous to the
Kingdom and even inconsistent with a basic Biblical
Christians in philosophy have been sometimes too influenced by
non-Christian philosophies and tradition, and thus have not
developed a philosophy that is fully coherent with God’s Special
I am new to philosophy, as a full-time study.
I am a physician, receiving my M.D. degree in 1969,
having served five years in the military and Family Medicine
training and having held a faculty position for 25 years at the
Georgia Health Sciences University where I retired in the year
2000. With my
spiritual awakening in the mid-1970s, I began work in what I
have called “Biblical-medical ethics,” producing four books,
several periodicals, conferences, and eventually a website.
When I started, there were few evangelical Christians
writing on medical ethics, and their work lacked some of the
same problems that I will discuss here.
I take this time briefly to review my career in medicine
and medical ethics because certain of these particulars apply to
First, ethics is one major traditional branch
of philosophy. So,
although I have less than three full years working in
philosophy, I have been working in an area that is intrinsically
and essentially philosophical—requiring considerable interface
with other branches of philosophy.
Second, being “new” to a full-time pursuit in
philosophy and primarily from another field of study, I have a
perspective that lacks the familiarity of those who have long
been in this discipline.
While this view does not guarantee accurate insights, it
does provide for a different perspective.
On my website,
www.biblicalphilosphy.org, I have listed
more than thirty unique concepts or emphases that are not
commonly found among other Christian philosophers.
So, at least in my own mind (!), I am contributing to
this field of scholarship.
I am going to focus on five areas.
There are many other concerns that I am unable to address
in a short paper.
Christianity, the Bible, and Regeneration: A Two-fold Division
Abraham Kuyper, who lived and worked in the
latter 19th and early 20th centuries,
defined an approach in his
Principles of Sacred Theology, which he named a “two-fold
starting point,” that of
palingenesis and Scripture.
of course, is regeneration, also variously called “being
born-again” or “born from above” (John 3:3, 5), “a new heart,”
or “a new spirit” (Ezekiel 25:37).
This change is rich and profound.
Last year at this meeting, I discussed the
epistemological changes that occur with regeneration.
In summary and for our purposes, regeneration is a change
of belief: a change from trust in one’s own basic foundation
(that is, the self) to trust in Scripture—God’s Special
Revelation to man.
Regeneration is more than that with the implantation of
new life, the fruit of the Spirit, and other graces, but my
focus here is the change in epistemology.
Now, you should immediately note that I said
“trust in Scripture,” not trust in God or even Jesus Christ.
This observation is important, and what was recognized by
Kuyper, but missed by too many modern evangelicals and is hugely
John’s apocalyptic Revelation, 22:18-19, states with a startling
warning that the voice of God to man has ended.
We trust Christ for salvation, but we only know of His
saving work from Scripture.
We trust God the Father to be the same, yesterday, today,
and forever, but we know this truth from Scripture.
We trust the Holy Spirit as our “earnest” until we enter
heaven, but we have this hope through Scripture.
All the definitive
and trustworthy knowledge that we have of God, His universe, and
man are found in the Scriptures.
Kuyper goes further with his two-fold starting
point. There are
two, and only two, epistemologies: one “mined” from the golden
ore of Scripture and another formulated by unregenerate man.
In his encyclopedic endeavor, and later in his Stone
Lectures at Princeton in 1898, he posits a thoroughgoing
worldview that covers every area of study, scholarship, and
human concern. His
famous quote is:
Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to
be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a
square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over
which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: “Mine!”
Kuyper’s two epistemologies are only what
Scripture designates as “light” vs. “darkness,” “the wisdom of
God” vs. “foolishness of the world”, and “truth” vs.
Blamires in his book, The
Christian Mind, has called this division, the
“gigantic battle between good and evil which splits the
Augustine of Hippo divided the history of man into the
City of God and the City of Man.
These are all designations for the same two-fold
With some concern, rarely have I seen this
division portrayed by Christians in philosophy.
In fact the opposite seems prevalent.
“Classical theism”—to be discussed later—usually includes
the other religions of Islam, and Judaism.
Scripture, however, recognizes only two “theisms”: one
true and one false.
Worse, many Christians in philosophy specifically eschew
Scripture from their works.
Yet, if the revelation of God’s mind to man is not
relevant to epistemology, then God is not relevant to man, for
we know nothing with certainty of God outside of His own
What Scripture is and how it fits into man’s
epistemology is the greatest issue—the watershed issue of
scholarship and worldview.
The usual reason that Christians in philosophy say that
they do not reference Scripture is that the unbeliever will not
accept it. That is a
tenuous argument at best, as the unbeliever already knows that
who is a Christian and who is not.
In addition, no philosopher entirely accepts the beliefs
of other philosophers.
In fact, as Peter Van Inwagen, Scott
Oliphint, and others have concluded, there are no agreed-upon
answers in over 2500 years of philosophy.
Surely, the revelation of God has some answers that all
of the mind-power of men throughout history does not have!
Stephen K. Moroney in his book, and a similar paper,
differs with Kuyper’s approach and offers a different paradigm
for the noetic effects of sin.
In the sense of a fuller development of this concept,
Moroney has advanced this understanding.
However, he did not retain Kuyper’s division between the
regenerate and the unregenerate which is a fatal mistake.
Even in mathematics, which virtually all philosophers
consider the most “objective” of the sciences, unless those who
use this knowledge do so to the glory of God, they are both
epistemologically and morally guilty.
Further, Moroney has only partially grasped the great
noetic impact of the more “subjective” sciences, such as
sociology, psychology, and personality theory, but even the
so-called “hard sciences,” such as physics and chemistry, are
approaching metaphysical speculations of a mystical, religious
Plantinga, in his noteworthy paper previously mentioned,
states my own concern here, when he says, “I deeply believe that
the pattern displayed in philosophy is also to be found in every
area of serious intellectual endeavor.”
Let me give two examples from medicine how serious this
issue is. (1)
the Scriptures as an ethical norm, one-third of all pregnancies
in the United States are aborted—over 1.2 million a year.
(2) Iatrogenic (medically related) deaths.
One book argues that modern medicine in the United States
is now the leading cause of death at 800,000 per year—above
cancer, heart attacks, and strokes—the big three diseases that
This high death rate which does not include abortions
results from a failure to apply the “truth” of Biblical ethics
and the fallacies of empirical science to medical practice. The
ignorance and avoidance of Scripture and simple reason is
incredibly fatal and deadly, both morally and pragmatically.
Thus, my concern is no light matter!
Moving back to philosophy, one of the most
prominent figures in Christian philosophy, J. P. Moreland,
delivered a paper at the 2007 Annual Meeting of ETS and EPS on the
over-commitment of evangelicals to the Bible.
There are many issues concerning that paper, but I will
address only three.
First, Moreland greatly misunderstands what is and is not truth.
For someone who wrote a good book on scientific
fallacies, Moreland shows a commitment to empiricism, induction,
and the scientific method that is justified neither by his prior
book, nor a logical understanding of that method.
By definition, induction or empiricism is never true
because of assumptions throughout, limited means of measurement,
and the impossibility of examining the entire universe of facts.
Relative to medicine, I have shown the great impact of
failure to understand the fallacy of the scientific method.
Michael Polanyi, Thomas Kuhn, and Karl Popper have
written volumes about this problem.
Second, Moreland gives an elite status to the
“scholarly duties of Christian intellectuals” over “pastors,
parachurch staff, and lay folk.”
If my understanding of Christian history is accurate,
then the greater problem of deviation from the truth of
Christianity has resided in the “Christian scholars,” not the
Third, Moreland is solidly linked to
“extrabiblical” knowledge in his commitment to The Third Wave,
discussed in this paper as “guidance, revelation… impressions,
dreams, visions, prophetic words, words of knowledge and
wisdom.” He should
read the Revelation of John, Chapter 22, as cited above.
Being “Christian,” Protestant, and Catholic
I fear that Moreland’s understanding is all
too prevalent among prominent Christian philosophers, for
example, the use of the word, “Christian,” in Society of
Philosophers, founded by Alvin Plantinga and others.
Membership in “The Society is to open to anyone
interested in philosophy who considers himself or herself a
I submit to you that this admitting requirement is overly
broad. The large
majority of “Christians” are in mainline churches which are
essentially apostate by historically orthodox standards.
Then, there is the problem of “Christians” relative to
Catholic-Protestant issues (which I will address shortly).
What then is “Christian?”
Is there a minimal standard?
What is the essence of Christianity?
What is and is not orthodox?
Well, I have already indirectly covered that subject.
No one would deny that “Christian” comes from “Christ”
who is central to orthodoxy.
And, what knowledge do we have of Christ—only that of the
Old and New Testaments.
There are no other
documents outside the Bible with knowledge about Christ!
We either take all those documents or we selective choose, as Thomas Jefferson,
Albert Schweitzer, Rudolf Bultmann, “liberal churches,” and
others have done. In
the later case, the individual has been the judge of who Christ
is, not the historical and God-breathed documents.
Further, I am speaking of a substantial, systematic
understanding of Scripture in philosophy, theology, and ethics,
not the confused, random selectivity of many who claim “No creed
but Christ” or the sects that are aberrant even to a minimal
Now, I realize that the EPS has its commitment
to evangelical orthodoxy with its requirement for Biblical
inerrancy and the Trinity.
But my review of the articles in
the publication of the EPS, shows a striking paucity of Biblical
references, while at the same time the inside cover quotes
Colossians 2:3, “In Christ are hidden all the treasures of
wisdom and knowledge.”
For example, in the last issue, Volume 12, Number 2, in
which the theme was “Theism and Ultimate Explanation,” I found
only one article that cited any Scripture, and those verses were
not really pertinent to the main arguments of the article.
Surely, if any topic had unique insights about theism and
ultimate explanation, Scripture would.
Yet, this absence of references to God’s revelation
stands for this particular issue of the periodical.
While referencing Scripture does not guarantee right
interpretation, at a minimum the centrality of Special
Revelation to epistemology has been considered.
Further, there is a disturbing friendliness
with non-Christian religions.
While I vigorously embrace every opportunity for dialogue
with them— as an
opportunity for evangelism—my reading of most of these
articles is their attempt to find some truth or compatibility
The theme of Volume 11, Number 2, was “Religious Diversity: A
Meister begins his Introduction to these articles with this
Religious diversity may well be one of the
greatest challenges currently facing Western culture, and few
issues are more troubling to Christians than how to understand
Christian truth claims in relation to the claims of the many
other faiths of the world.
I reference back to the Biblical division of
two belief systems.
All “faiths of the world,” to use Meister’s words, other than
Biblical Christianity are man’s attempt to find another way to
God. They can only
be “understood” in this light by Scripture.
(I will come back to
philosophy of religion which is pertinent here.)
More troubling, is the final proposition of
Paul Knitter in the same issue, “There might well be other
revealers/teachers/saviors similar to Jesus.”
I find no coherence in this proposition with Jesus
proposition, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No man comes to the Father (that is “is saved”) but by
me” (John 14:6). In
fact, I find Knitter’s statement, “anathema,” to use familiar
Catholic terminology, but I also find it here in a periodical
which claims Christian orthodoxy.
If we are doing philosophy that is not related
to Scripture, we have no more insights that the non-Christian.
We are not doing Christian philosophy, we are doing
philosophy just as the non-Christians and other religious
Now, I realize the validity of “academic freedom,” but any sort
of freedom is really dependent upon specific guidelines or laws.
I am not convinced that these have yet been well defined
by Christians in philosophical academics.
This concern leads into my next one.
William Lane Craig wrote an article entitled,
“The Resurrection of Theism,” as the Introduction to Volume 3 of
The Truth Journal in
1991. In that
article he uses the various terms of “philosophical theism,”
“traditional theism,” and mostly just plain “theism,” which is
perhaps more commonly known as “classical theism” or “god of the
I find this term problematic for Christians.
For example, Alvin Plantinga in his book,
Knowledge of God, a
debate with Michael Tooley, equates “classical theistic belief”
with Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
Are we called to defend false beliefs, as indeed we would
all agree that the latter are false beliefs, or at least Judaism
is an incomplete belief since Messiah has not come in their
system. By contrast
and appropriately Greg Bahnsen, in his famous debate with Gordon
Stein in his introductory remarks declared that he was defending
…not general theism—whatever that might be.
I have not found the non-Christian religions to be
philosophically defensible, each of them being internally
incoherent or undermining human reason and experience.
Since I am by the grace of God a Christian, I cannot,
from the heart, adequately defend those religious faiths with
which I disagree. My commitment is to the Triune God and the
Christian world view based on God's revelation in the Old and
Interestingly, that position confused Stein.
He was prepared to argue against classical theism which
Bahnsen was not defending because other Christians, whom he had
debated, had used that approach.
In another direction, there has been much
rejoicing in Anthony Flew’s “conversion” to theism, especially
in the publication of his book,
There Is a God.
But is theism, even classical theism, sufficient for
includes no orthodox specifics about Jesus Christ.
Without Him and His work there is no salvation.
So, is Anthony Flew in Heaven or Hell today?
I would not dare speculate, but Romans 10:9 declares, as
far as belief is necessary for salvation, “that if you confess
with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that
God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
It says nothing about a confession of a “god of theism.”
Blaise Pascal warned that the "The God of
Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob (was) not the God of the
course, one could use the terms “Christian theism,” as do
Cornelius Van Til and others, or even something like “maximal
But being consistent with a Biblical epistemology, why not
advocate and defend Biblical theism?
Philosophy of Religion
“Philosophy of religion” is a similar problem.
I am not taking the simplistic position that Christianity
is not a religion—I believe that it is
the religion, even though there is a paucity of definitions for
“religion” in major philosophical books, including dictionaries,
both Christian and non-Christian—a fact that is quite amazing!
Philosophy of religion in the West is
predominately and overwhelmingly about Christianity.
As Scott Oliphint states, “philosophy of religion … is
terminology used to designate an old, old task, that of natural
names include philosophical theology, natural religion,
theological philosophy, and natural law.
The website, the Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy, has this introduction.
Philosophy of religion is the philosophical
examination of the central themes and concepts involved in
religious traditions. It involves all the main areas of
philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics and value
theory, the philosophy of language, philosophy of science, law,
sociology, politics, history, and so on.
It seems that philosophy of religion includes virtually
all of philosophy.
Being overly broad is one problem with philosophy of religion.
A second problem is that Christianity as the true
religion is obscured among many false religions.
And the presence of
Christianity does the opposite: gives credence to false
religions. Third, as previously stated, Christianity is not
“Christian” without supernatural revelation—that is supernatural
Fourth, this term implies
that religion is grounded in rationalism: how else can one
“faith” be decided against another.
An almost fatal concern here is the current
use of “faith-groups” or “faith-based” groups in common
discourse and in the news media.
To understand how critical this issue is, ponder what is
the opposite of “faith-based?”
The opposite is “reason-based.”
Now, in a debate between “faith-based” and
“reason-based,” who wins before the argument starts?
The reason-based idea.
So, I posit that in today’s common dialogue, “faith
groups” have no real chance to be heard.
Theirs is virtually a shrill cry compared to “reasoned
philosophers, perhaps better than anyone, understand that all ideas of epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and politics are
faith-based—not just those that are religious.
Communism, secular humanism, naturalism, scientism,
socialism, republicanism, and all the others –isms of the day
are faith-based, as well.
Christians must speak to their every area of
influence—churches, parachurch organizations, publications, and
conferences—with this message.
We cannot win an argument with “faith” against “reason.”
The terms of debate must be “faith” vs. “faith.”
The writings of Michael Polanyi can help a great deal in
this regard with the secular community.
What About Rome and Protestantism?
In the Preface to
Warranted Christian Belief,
Alvin Plantinga writes:
This book is about the intellectual or
rational acceptability of Christian belief. When I speak here of
Christian belief, I mean what is common to the great creeds of
the main branches of the Christian church, what unites Calvin
and Aquinas, Luther and Augustine, Menno Simons and Karl Barth,
Mother Teresa and St. Maximus the Confessor, Billy Graham and
St. Gregory Palamas—classical Christian belief, as we might call
Now, that is some hodgepodge of beliefs to be
called “classical Christian belief,” but I want to focus only on
Rome and Protestantism.
We recall the historical event called the Reformation.
We recall Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Westminster
Fathers, and a great host of other “protesters” who decried the
doctrines of Rome.
We recall the blood that was shed over these issues.
Now, I reference Plantinga for four reasons.
(1) He is representative of many Christians in philosophy
who blur the boundaries of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.
For example, several Catholics spoke at the recent
Evangelical Society meeting in Atlanta.
(2) He is perhaps the most prominent Christian
philosopher of recent times, and because of his stature, will
influence a host of students and graduates in his thinking.
(3) He represents a common “crossover” of faculty serving
at Catholic schools and Catholics serving at Protestant schools.
(4) I have more familiarity with him than most other
There are likely saved individuals in
Catholicism, especially since Vatican II.
However, while Vatican II loosened some practices, dogma
and anathemas of the Council of Trent still stand.
One of those is that Rome is the only true Church.
My brothers and sisters, the beliefs of Rome and those of
Protestantism are not reconcilable, despite modern attempts.
For these lines to be blurred by Christian philosophers
is to ignore “what is” and “what has been.”
It is to demean the blood of Protestant martyrs and the
doctrinal efforts of all the Reformers.
Philosophy in the Service of God and His Book
If I am right, what are we to do?
The Evangelical Philosophical Society needs to limit its
focus to a truly Biblical approach—one based upon Kuyper’s
two-fold starting point with more definition, as defined by
Moroney and others.
Our doctrinal affirmation
already declares an epistemology that is fully adequate to
accomplish that goal.
If philosophy is to serve theology, then the latter
provides the presuppositions for the former.
Currently, the evidence is that this situation is not the
case, as I have presented.
Personally, I believe that the only truth that we will
ever know this side of heaven is that which God has revealed in
Scripture. Further, God
has promised fruit from the diligent application of Scripture;
He has not made any promises concerning extra-Biblical
knowledge. I am not
saying that the Bible is the encyclopedia of everything
technical, or even academic, but we must be certain that its
depth and breadth are fully explored and that it is the
controlling ethical concern in every endeavor.
My suggestion does not mean that philosophers
who are Christians should not address apologetically
every challenge presented by the secularists.
But that work should be separate and distinct from a
truly Biblical philosophy.
We should heed the warnings of Norman Geisler
in his Presidential Address to the Evangelical Theological
Society in 1998, entitled “Beware of Philosophy: A Warning to
While Geisler has his own philosophical and theological
problems with which we might differ, he has some valuable
guidelines here. He
directly addresses naturalism, agnosticism, evolutionism,
progressivism, existentialism, phenomenology, conventionalism,
processism, Platonic allegorism, Okhamistic nominalism,
Aristotelianism, anthropological monism, and historical
discusses how these are covertly influential among many
theologians and philosophers who are Christians.
Further, he gives these instructions for as “intellectual
advice for the mind.”
Avoid the desire to become a famous scholar.
the temptation to be unique.
Steer right to go straight.
Do not trade orthodoxy for academic respectability.
Do not dance on the edges
Reject any methodology with the Bible or good reason.
Then, he gives some spiritual advice for the
Always choose Lordship over scholarship.
Do not allow morality to determine methodology.
Do not allow sincerity to become a test for orthodoxy.
Moreland has warned against “bibliolatry.”
I contend that the opposite is the problem: the Bible and
sound theology have been largely ignored by Christians in
philosophy and other areas of scholarship, and I have given
evidence for that disturbing proposition.
The work of Plantinga and others have positioned
Christians in philosophy for great opportunities to influence
the church and society, perhaps greater opportunities than ever
before. However, my
observations give serious pause for concern, rather than simply
Apostle Paul in I Corinthians, Chapters 1 and 2, declares that
that the wisdom of all the philosophies of the world are
foolishness compared to the “mind of Christ” given in His
will we place our trust?
“Trajectories in Philosophy and Apologetics,”
example, Gordon H. Clark, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Arthur
Holmes, uGeorge Mavrodes, Stephen Evans, William Alston,
Elonore Stump, James Sire, and others named elsewhere in
Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, reprinted 1980). His
two-fold starting point is present throughout the book.
However, his early development of the idea is
found on pages 150-182.
Centrality of Regeneration, Faith, and Sanctification in
a Biblical Epistemology.”
Abraham (1998),"Sphere Sovereignty," in Bratt, James D.,
Abraham Kuyper: A
Centennial Reader, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans,
Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1963), 70.
Metaphysics, (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2002), 7.
Kelly James Clark,
(Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993),
I am sure that there are many others, since they make no
reference to Scripture in their work.
These two avowedly avoid Scripture in these two
Reasons for Faith: Philosophy in the Service of Theology,
(Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2006), ix, 122.
The Noetic Effects
of Sin: An Historical and Contemporary Exploration of
How Sin Affects Our Thinking, (Lanham, MD: Lexington
“How Sin Affects Scholarship: A New Model,”
Scholar’s Review, XXVIII (Spring 1999): 432-451.
This latter publication can be found easily with
a title search on any search engine.
Plantinga’s paper cited in my introductory paragraph.
Null, Death by
Medicine, (Mt. Jackson, VA: Pratikos Books, 2010).
Evangelical Theological Society and Evangelical
Evangelicals Became Over-Committed to the Bible and What
Can Be Done about It,”
56th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical
Theological Society (jointly with the Evangelical
Philosophical Society), San Diego, CA.
outline of these problems may be found here:
O’Connor, “Theism and Ultimate Explanation,” 363-4.
“Classical theism is an approach to the doctrine of God
that emphasizes unchanging being, divine transcendence
and sovereignty as captured in a set of divine
attributes that typically includes atemporal eternity,
immutability, impassibility, and divine simplicity.”
Daniel J. Hill and Randal D. Rauser,
Philosophy A-Z, (Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh
Press, 2006), 182.
Plantinga and Michael Tooley,
Knowledge of God,
(Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2008), 1-2.
entire text of the debate can be found here:
the best example is this one.
Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy,
(Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1958).
York: Oxford University Press, 2000), vii.
text may be
More Disagreements with Present
*The time limit for paper presentations was 35 minutes with 10
minutes for discussion. Thus, I was only able to address
five more important issues. What follows here are more
areas in which Christians have not discerned Biblically.
Open Theism. A heresy that God is not
omniscient about the future. This limitation is an attempt to
give man the freedom to choose among options without God's
predestinating action. Also called "the open view of God,"
"creative-love theism," and "free-will theism." It should
categorized as heresy. I will not comment further, as the
following website and others have stood against this issue. See
A forum on free-will theism...
Exclusivism/Inclusivism. Exclusivism is
the orthodox, biblical belief that those persons who do
not believe in the Gospel truths of Scripture are "excluded"
from God's blessings now and condemned to Hell forever.
Inclusivism has become popular in the last few decades that God
judge's on the basis of the "light" that each person has who
have not had opportunity to hear the Gospel. Thus, a
person who never professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior can
be saved according to the "light" (understanding) that he has.
Inclusivism is another heresy. The Bible clearly defines
what is necessary for salvific belief caused by regeneration and
that the destinies of all persons is either to Heaven or Hell.
Others, particularly Millard Erickson, has written extensively
on this issue, so I do not need to comment further here.
Correspondence theory of truth: Among the
more evangelical philosophers and theologians, the
correspondence theory of truth seems to have a wide acceptance.
However, epistemology must precede any theory of truth.
That is, how can we know anything, much less truth? For
this theory to apply, one must thoroughly and systematically
understand reality in great detail. That
is, one needs a reality to which to
"correspond." This reality can only come from the Bible,
so a Biblical epistemology ("reality") necessarily must precede
any "correspondence." One could argue that coherence
(another test of truth) must be prior, because one must know
that his particular of correspondence fits with the whole of the
universe. It is this Biblical and coherent foundation that
is lacking in almost all discussions of the correspondence
theories of truth by evangelicals.
Reliance on empiricism. Few philosophers,
and even fewer theologians understand empiricism. Failing
to have this knowledge, they make great errors in their
thinking, preaching, and writing. For example,
"integration" of knowledge from one discipline with the Bible is
a failure to understand that only the Bible can be classified as
truth from a Christian perspective. One also hears of "all
truth is God's truth," but empiricism is never, never truth.
Empiricism may have great "operational," "functional," or
"pragmatic" value, but it is always subject to new evidence and
new theories. For more on empiricism, see
Empiricism: A Modern Danger....