Sunday, July 17, 2011

Christianity is a philosophy

Unfaith turns Christianity into only a philosophy. Of course, Christianity is a philosophy -- though not a rationalistic one because we have not worked it out from ourselves. Rather, God has told us the answers. In this sense it is the true philosophy, for it gives the right answers to man's philosophic and intellectual questions. However, while it is the true philosophy, our Father in heaven did not mean it to be only theorectical or abstract. He meant it to tell us about Himself -- how we can get to heaven, but equally, how we can live right now in the universe as it is with both the seen and the unseen portions standing in equal reality. If Christians just use Christianity as a matter of mental assent between conversion and death, if they only use it to answer intellectual questions, it is like using a silver spoon for a screw driver. I can believe that a silver spoon makes a good screw driver at certain times. But it is made for something else. To take the silver spoon that's meant to feed you, moment by moment, and keep it in your tool box to use only as a screw driver is silly.
Francis Schaeffer
Death in the City (Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press: 1969) 139-40


Speedy G said...

Unfaith turns Christianity into only a philosophy.

I'm not sure that the statement is entirely true. For every adherent to any particular philosophy certainly has a high degree of "faith" in it. I suspect that the author meant that w/o faith, Christianity is "lessened" into something representative of "someone else's" "belief/ faith". For Christianity is more than a mere philosophy. It answers the metaphysical questions that science cannot address. Philosophy cannot answer those questions. Only religion can.

Philosophy is an arbiter between science and religion. It's role is to delineate the boundaries between the two, nothing more. For there are some theories that cannot be scientifically tested and can only be theologically posited.

marion said...

Yikes - complex stuff - way beyond me.
Psalm 131 is what its all about !
All I know is that God IS.
... and that I once was lost but now I am found and that I once was blind but now I see.

Speedy G said...

Christianity is a Revealed religion. It isn't a hypothesis that can be logically and/ or experimentally tested. That's where the "faith" comes in. Whereas philosophy's faith lies largely in the efficacy of Reason/reason (with or without the capital 'R').