8 Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ. (HCSB)
Many people assume that this verse is warning Christians away from philosophy, but this passage talks about a particular kind of philosophy, the kind that is based on what human tradition says. Philosophy based on Christ is a good thing.
Philosophy is a method of discovering truth. Many people claim that science is the only way to truth, but I ask “What scientific study did you do to discover that truth?”, “How much does that “truth” weigh?”. There are several other questions I could ask to point out that not all truth is scientific.
In Jurassic Park, Dr. Ian Malcolm says ” Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should. ”
The reason that they did not stop to think about that question is that should and ought are in the realm of philosophy, science can inform moral truth, but it can not discover it.
Philosophy is the love of wisdom, and true wisdom flows from God’s truth.
Wisdom is mentioned many times in the Bible, and most of the time it is in a good light. The wisdom of Solomon was at one time famous all over the then known world, and his wisdom came from God.
A good book that is filled with Christian Philosophy, that debunks the most common bad philosophy today, the “everyone is right but the Christians view” is Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air by Greg Koukl
If you have ever been told not to judge, or that truth is relative, and did not know what to say, you need this book.
Some people seem to think that we have to turn our brains off before we do anything religious, but that is not what God wants of us. As John Piper said “the brain God gave you is intended to throw fuel on the fire of your affections for God. It’s really good at it if you let it.” . Exploring the world and theology are related if your mind is open. One is the study of God, the other is the study of what God created. If you can interpret the facts with an open mind, they both blend together quite beautifully.
When I exercise my mind I get excited. The more I know about him, and his creation, the closer, and more in awe of his majesty I am.
It is like exercise of the body at first, and difficult to do at first, if you haven’t done it in awhile, but with prayer God will get you through it.
This also has the benefit of catching those who believe that Christians are unintelligent off guard. I remember one time that I was talking to a group of people on X-box. Somehow the subject of Christians being stupid came up, and that was my chance to shine. For 45 minutes these teenagers who wanted to play a racing game shut up and listened to me talk about God! They had never heard anything like I was saying. God was certainly with me that day to enable me to draw teenage boys away from a game, to hear about God.
If I had not been a book reader, I don’t think that conversation would have been possible.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. The Apologetics Study Bible
I have often stated that debating is my sport. While it can be fun for strange people like me, we (Yes I am including myself in this) need to be very careful not to lose focus on what is really important here. The goal should not be to smash our opponent’s face in with our fist till he or she is to battered and bruised to get off the floor. It is tempting to say that some people deserve it, I personally have been battling harsh feelings toward someone who claimed she was my friend, and have been quite grumpy toward people with similar philosophies for almost a year now. It is time that I STOP IT! Our goal should be to lead them closer to the truth, not to obliterate their face! Being mean wins no one, if Christ loved you before you were saved, you should at least try to love the person that you are debating. If you are mean, you could do more harm than good. It is possible to win the battle, but lose the war.
If they’re used very much at all, written materials nowadays eventually wear out and fall apart and must be discarded. Our modern economy of disposable and replaceable abundance — including cheap paperbacks and, now, e-books — makes this “waste” inconsequential.In the ancient world, though, papyrus scrolls and parchments animal skin were very expensive and much more durable than modern books. Since they were written out and copied by hand, such books were both relatively rare and highly treasured.
It seems that in some circles all you have to do is mention Christ without an attached profanity and you are called all sorts of names, narrow-minded , and intolerant come to mind.
Are we Narrow-minded?
Well in one sense they are right, we think what we believe is true, but doesn’t everyone? If you don’t believe that your beliefs are true, then why bother believing them at all? It turns out that someone who wants you to accept all beliefs, and will reject you if you reject any of those beliefs is just as intolerant as they claim that Christians are.
If a cancer patient said to you “I HATE chemotherapy so I am going to take a shot of vodka instead.” would it be tolerant to let them do that? Under the modern day definition of tolerance, which is really total acceptance yes it would, but that “tolerance” would end up killing them which is an act of HATE! While ultimately it is their choice I will not tolerate someone going to their death without a good stern talking to. I will tell them repeatedly that cancer kills, and vodka will do nothing to prevent it from doing so. They need Chemo!
It may be narrow-minded to believe that in order to get to Heaven that you have to first seek admission from the creator of Heaven, but if it is true , so what that it is narrow minded? Truth is narrow. 2+2=4 not 3, and not 5 but if a child were to tell me that it was 5 I would correct, but still love that child. And that is what true tolerance is, the ability to see error, but love that person anyway.