"No... actually, I'm a Christian."
(true story, too. conversation I had with a classmate this week.)
But that's the mentality a lot of people have, isn't it? Many of the fathers of philosophy were not Christians; they neither tested their ideas through the lens of Scripture, nor did they present their ideas from a Christian view. So obviously they've gotta be full of crap and we should STAAAY AWAAAY!
I looked up the word in the online Webster Dictionary. A few highlights?
- All learning
- Pursuit of wisdom
- A search for a general understanding of values and reality
One of the joys (as I was discussing with a friend several weeks ago) of being a Christian philosopher is that you don't have to be afraid to study the great works in the field. These men, God fearing or not, were looking for truth in life. For wisdom. And you do have to wade through some things you won't agree with (since when has that ever NOT been true of MOST texts?), but if it's truth, it will always be true, no matter how it's arrived at. So you're reading along, considering, learning, gaining new facets on ideas you'd held before and all of a sudden the Father of wisdom jumps off the page at you and yells, "SURPRISE!" And you're like, "God, what were You doing in a book written by someone who didn't believe in You?"
And that's just it. That's what I go hunting for. In addition to the simple pleasure of learning, you find these nuggets of truth about God's character in some of the most unlikely places... and they're often the most beautiful.
I've done the spoon-feeding thing. Just sit back, coast, you catch on pretty quickly where the Christianese catch phrases are supposed to go in your conversations so you can use them without even having a good concept of their meaning.... All you've learned is how to cheat the system, which is worse than learning nothing at all. But
God's a big guy; He can hold His own in an argument. Try Him, question the things you once thoughtlessly agreed to believe - I do so on a regular basis and He never disappoints. You never know where a little brain power will take you....
"Honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; know that wisdom is thus for your soul." Pr. 24