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The basis for and results of a christian philosophy

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Philosophy Teacher's Assistant
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Dordt College

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  1. Introduction.
  2. What is meant by a 'Christian Worldview'.
  3. Definition of Christian Worldview.
  4. Explanation of definition using sources.
  5. How does a Christian Worldview give rise to a philosophy?
  6. Definition of Christian Philosophy.
  7. Explanation of definition using sources.
  8. What are the implication of these basic principles of Christian philosophy to the role of the Christian philosopher and his scholarship?
    1. The Christian philosopher's job to combat reductionism.
    2. The Christian philosopher a generalist?implications for scholarship.
    3. The Christian philosopher a poet?implications for scholarship.
    4. The Christian philosopher a communicator?implications for scholarship.
  9. Conclusion.

The Basis for and Results of a Christian Philosophy

The history of ideas is full of steel-traps. Men of science, men of art, men of literature, and men of religion, whose names we utter reverently, and to whom we credit a plethora of theories and analyses, have made the traps that wait there to grab the unsuspecting scholar's perspective and twist all of reality into the mold of just one of its aspects. Such are, for example, diverse theories like Marxism, Freudianism, and Rationalism (Walsh and Middleton 180). These theories reduce the abundance of nature, by searching for the principle that explains this world, among the functions of things in the world, rather than viewing those functions as being part of the things which must be explained by a principle outside them (Walsh and Middleton 182-183). This is known as Reductionism, the single greatest pitfall for the philosopher of any subject. I will show that the Christian Worldview is the basis for a philosophy that acknowledges both the diversity and coherence of the world, and I will show that this philosophy has implications for scholarship, particularly for the philosopher himself.

[...] The term itself was originated by James Orr, a Christian professor, according to David Naugle's Worldview: The History of a Concept: . ] Orr traces its origin to Immanuel Kant and his notion of a world concept, or Weltbegriff. This term functioned as an idea of pure reason to bring the totality of human experience into the unity of a world-whole, or Weltganz [ . ] Orr continues his historical investigation, noting that though Weltanschauung was not common with Kant (nor with Fichte or Schelling), still his Copernican revolution in philosophy gave momentum to its use, focusing on the human mind about which the world orbited. [...]


[...] I would add one proviso to this recommendation for the education of a philosopher. One subject demands special attention, indeed specialization, from him: the nature of reality as a covenant response to God's creative word, and the number and kinds of the modes of being, so that he may, in fact, be suitably general. So, in my own case, I plan to make an intense study of Covenant theology and Dooyeweerdian philosophy, to understand these two things essential to my vocation. [...]


[...] And for our relation to the world: the recognition that in the whole world the curse is restrained by grace, that the life of the world is to be honored in its independence, and that we must, in every domain, discover the treasures and develop the potencies hidden by God in nature and in human life.? (Kuyper 31) For Kuyper, these relationships point to Calvinism, and its basis in the sovereignty of God, as equivalent to the Christian worldview (Kuyper 190). [...]

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