Philosophy & the Christian

From the pen of Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer, who taught me a lot in my early years of trying to grasp the foundations of the faith:

The first meaning [of philosophy] is a discipline, an academic subject. That is what we usually think of as philosophy: a highly technical study which few people pursue. In this sense, few people are philosophers.

But there is a second meaning that we must not miss if we are going to understand the problem of preaching the gospel in the twentieth-century [and now twenty-first-century] world. For philosophy also means a man’s world view. In this sense, all men are philosophers, for all men have a world view. This is just as true of the man digging a ditch as it is of the philosopher in the university.

Christians have tended to despise the concept of philosophy. This has been one of the weaknesses of evangelical, orthodox Christianity—we have been proud in despising philosophy, and we have been exceedingly proud in despising the intellectual.

Our theological seminaries hardly ever relate their theology to philosophy, and specifically to the current philosophy. Thus, men go out from the theological seminaries not knowing how to relate it. It is not that they not know the answers, but my observation is that most men graduating from our theological seminaries do not know the questions.

In fact, philosophy is universal in scope. No man can live without a world view; therefore, there is no man who is not a philosopher.