Anti Christian Essays

Anti Christian Essays-63
Thus, the legitimacy of philosophy was derived from the legitimacy of the underlying faith commitments.Into the High Middle Ages, Augustine's views were widely defended. Thomas Aquinas offered yet another model for the relationship between philosophy and theology.

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The first reason is that atheism was the predominant opinion among English language philosophers throughout much of that century.

A second, quite related reason is that philosophers in the twentieth century regarded theological language as either meaningless, or, at best, subject to scrutiny only insofar as that language had a bearing on religious practice.

These data can be accepted on the basis of the reliability of our natural faculties with respect to the natural world.

Theology, on the other hand takes as its starting point the divine revelations contained in the Bible.

For most of the twentieth century, the vast majority of English language philosophy—including philosophy of religion—went on without much interaction with theology at all.

While there are a number of complex reasons for this divorce, three are especially important.Since God both created the world which is accessible to philosophy and revealed the texts accessible to theologians, the claims yielded by one cannot conflict with the claims yielded by another unless the philosopher or theologian has made some prior error.Since the deliverances of the two disciplines must then coincide, philosophy can be put to the service of theology (and perhaps vice-versa). First, philosophical reasoning might persuade some who do not accept the authority of purported divine revelation of the claims contained in religious texts.Since this way of thinking about philosophy and theology sharply demarcates the disciplines, it is possible in principle that the conclusions reached by one might be contradicted by the other.According to advocates of this model, however, any such conflict must be merely apparent.Some early Christian thinkers such as Tertullian were of the view that any intrusion of secular philosophical reason into theological reflection was out of order.Thus, even if certain theological claims seemed to fly in the face of the standards of reasoning defended by philosophers, the religious believer should not flinch. Augustine of Hippo, argued that philosophical reflection complemented theology, but only when these philosophical reflections were firmly grounded in a prior intellectual commitment to the underlying truth of the Christian faith.Thus, an atheist who is unwilling to accept the authority of religious texts might come to believe that God exists on the basis of purely philosophical arguments.Second, distinctively philosophical techniques might be brought to bear in helping the theologian clear up imprecise or ambiguous theological claims.Many of the doctrines central to Christianity have important philosophical implications or presuppositions.In this article, we begin with a brief general discussion of the relationship between philosophy and Christian dogma, and then we turn our attention to three of the most philosophically challenging Christian doctrines: the trinity, the incarnation, and the atonement.


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