Reflections on Biblical and
Christian Philosophy

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Where Does One Begin? Where Are You? What Questions Do You Have? Where Are You Hurting? What Occupies Your Mind?

“HELP!”

“I have fallen, and I can’t get up!

“Felt-needs.” What are yours?

As a Christian, have you ever wondered, “Why is everyone else so joyful, while I am not. Maybe even you lead a life of “quiet desperation.”

Can this thing called “Christianity” be real? Does God really exist? Does He really care for ME?”

Where is the “abundant life” that Jesus promised?

“HELP!”

I go to church. I read my Bible. I pray. Nothing changes

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Philosophy will help--I guarantee it! “But,” you say, “I don’t have time to study. Philosophy sounds hard and complicated. And, I am hurting, now!”

OK, OK! You will have to allow me more than a micro-second for some answers. Besides that, each person reading this page may have a different problem. So, I will have to give several answers. But, let’s get started.

Philosophy can tell you that God is real. It can tell you that faith in God and His promises are the most certain things that you can know in this life on planet earth. It can tell you that the Bible is what every serious philosopher has sought their entire lives.

Philosophy make not make it easy for you, but it will give answers to your deepest “felt-needs” or questions about God and this life on Planet Earth.

All right, Answer Number One. If you have read this page to this point and understood it, you have just out-thought some of the greatest philosophers of the late 20th Century. Smile! you have already achieved more than these philosophers!

“Huh!” You say. “All I did was read a few lines.”

Yes, you did! And, to get to this point, you understood them. These “great” philosophers have said that words are so imprecise that they cannot be a means of communication. But, have you not understood everything that I have said so far. Words communicate. Answer Number One completed!

“Hey,” wait a minute,” you challenge. “That’s too easy. Philosophy cannot be this easy. And, how can something so simple answer all my concerns and deepest needs listed above?”

Whoa! Hold on. Give me a chance. We have only done a page or so. Stay with me a little longer.

Simple or not, Ludwig Wittgenstein and others indeed tried to postulate that language cannot communicate. For a while, many philosophers and others trembled at their notion that even if we knew something (truth, for instance), it could not be communicated because of the inadequacies of language. Yet, you and I have proven them wrong, since you have continued with me so far. And, they contradicted their own reasoning because they used words to communicate their ideas which were understood by those reading them.

Relative to your Christian faith, you now know that the Bible can be read and understood. Now, I am not saying how much you can understand at this point, but that you can understand it. After all, as I said, we have just begun. You can know that David was king of Israel. At this point, you cannot know whether it is true, but you know what the sentence says. And, you know that Jesus talked to Peter. And, you know that Paul was imprisoned in Rome. Again, we have not covered truth, only that you can read sentences in the Bible and elsewhere and understand them.

So, you see, philosophy can be made hard or easy. I am going to try to make it easy, but sometimes it may stretch you a little bit. But, stretching is good for you--for example, when you wake up in the morning! Maybe these little philosophy lessons will do the same for you.

Answer Number Two: You Exist in the Universe

René Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” I have shown that you can read. If you can read, you also think. Therefore, you are.

“Hey, you can’t slip that by me! How do I know that I am not dreaming and will suddenly wake up!”

Let’s see, now. How old are you? Fifteen? Twenty? Thirty? Forty? Ancient, like me? Don’t you think that if you were going to wake up, it would have happened by now!

And, the universe. Have you not been looking at the same sun, moon, and stars since you were able to understand what they are?

Therefore, you and the universe are. You and it exist. Welcome to a life on Planet Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy.

(Actually, there is more that we need to say about thinking being real, but we will get there. What I have said here is true within the system that we will construct.)

 

Answer Number Three: Those Pesky Emotions Are Not Reliable

What to you fell right now? Happy, sad, perplexed, a little anxious? Why are you reading this page? Are you on the verge of despair? Were you curious about a philosophy book that is simple?

What about the last few days or weeks? Are you OK? Are you depressed? Have you just broken up with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Are you so mad that you could yell? Are you happy because something great just happened in your life?

Do you think of yourself as a simple or complex person? Well, sub-answer number three: everyone is complex!

I am going to assume that you are single, but you can add all the multiples of spouse and children and all their “things,” if that applies to you. You either have a job or go to school. You have a family with at least a mother, father, brother, and sister. You have friends. You have acquaintances. You own things, maybe have a hobby, a cell phone, or a Gameboy. Maybe you have a pet: dog, cat, or goldfish. You write email and letters. You have teachers or co-workers. Seasons of Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall occur every year. The weather is rain or sleet or snow or sunshine--or maybe a tornado. Are you getting the picture? On the Planet Earth you have a complex existence.

“How did we get here?,” you might be thinking. “I thought that this answer was on emotions.” It is.

But, before I got to emotions, I had to place them in context--the context of a complicated life. Let’s assume that you just got some really bad news: you failed an important exam; you broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend; someone close to you died; your parents are so unfair; your children are so unruly.

So, whatever happened, that person or thing is not your whole life. While it may be important to you, it is not your whole life. Your whole life is much more. So, why should that one event destroy the rest of your relationships? Does it seem reasonable to let one happening to color your whole life?

But, we all do it! Yes, we do. I do it. But, that is not the question. Do we destroy everything else in our lives over one event?

I am not asking you suddenly to become a Spartan, taking everything in stride or getting up off the mat instantly to go again. All that I am asking at this point is to consider that the strong emotions from one event is only one event. There is much more to your life than that one event!

The reason that I bring emotions up is that one or more of them is almost always the reason that we question life or question God. You lose a parent, “Why, God?” But, there is much else in your life that is right and good. The emotions challenge everything else. You become crippled, “Why God?” There is still much in your life that is right and good. We have trials at work which make us angry, “Why God?” But, we have all the rest of our lives that is right and good.

Emotions color. Emotions interfere. Emotions destroy. But, they do so only because we let one area of our lives affect all others. It is that simple.

But, being simple, that does not mean it is not hard. I can ask you to roll a 25-pound ball up a long, steep hill. It is a simple task, but quite hard.

All I ask for now is simple to begin to think how strong emotions triggered in one area of our lives affects all others. It is likely the reason that you are seriously questioning everything else!

 

Others:

Challenge your “safe” environment (church, family beliefs). “Examine” your life - Socrates.

Use good reason (logic)

The Bible has all the answers that you need.

Philosophy, apologetics has all the answers that you need outside the Bible.

 

“There are no absolutes” = at least one absolute

The law of non-contradiction

Inescapables:

 

 


 

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