Tag Archive: Philosophy



1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; 3for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; 4for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young- 5let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance- 6for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” –Proverbs 1:1-7

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After having a rather difficult night last night, I sought out the Bible for comfort and opened it to Proverbs. Not only was I comforted, but rather convicted as well. We often turn to the scriptures in times of difficulty or trouble, but how much less do we do sometimes during periods of comfort? This was my own personal conviction, I am so willing to open the bible in such times of hardship, either spiritual, emotional, or physical, but I am much less apt to do so in times of peace. I am glad for this conviction because conviction is a form of instruction which leads unto a beneficial end. Though, I must admit, it isn’t always comfortable in and of itself.

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I realized something else as well. I have read Proverbs completely through (and indeed all of the sacred doctrine), but I have never embarked on a deep study of Proverbs, which shocks me somewhat. I am a fan of studying philosophy and philosophies. I find man infinitely interesting including the formulation of belief structures and sciences. This is generally speaking and does not reflect on what my viewpoints are concerning a particular philosophy, but studying them I do enjoy. Even in the study of opposing viewpoints, I feel I have honestly gained some wisdom and this is both to my benefit and my shame, for the Lord has shown me that I can continue to study, do what I enjoy, but focus more on the Holy Writ rather than on the words of ancient dead men. How much more important are the words of He who is still alive and those who live in Him?

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So this is what I embark upon now, to study the words of one of the wisest men who has ever lived. King Solomon. If I love philosophy so much, why is it that I have put this off or it has never occurred to me. Partially its because, although I have always enjoyed the book, and speaking to its credit, it is one of the perfect books for randomly opening and reading. I could say the same about Psalms as well. This was my main method of study in Proverbs, the closing of eyes and pointing of the finger to illuminate verses contained within. This does serve some benefit, but I feel I have missed some of the fullness of the knowledge contained within.

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During Solomon’s time, as it has been said, Israel was as close as it ever has got to being a world, “superpower.” King Solomon reigned during this time and his wealth of spirit, wisdom and material is unequaled. Therefore, he and his writings are great candidates for deep philosophical reflection. They are comforting, sweet, funny at times, insightful, contain deep mysteries, and can be even scary. Yet, all emanates from this man who deeply loved the Lord, as did his father David, and it is seen throughout. His love of the Lord is not only the love directed at the Lord Himself, but extends indeed to the Lord’s ways, means, and the knowledge or wisdom of the Lord.

It is a treasure trove of wisdom and experience. In fact, one could be reminded of the writings of Marcus Aurelius and his “Meditations,” when reading Proverbs, if one were so tempted to make a comparison. Yet, in reality, there is no comparison, for the wisdom of the world and the knowledge of God are two different things altogether. While one may be practical in the ways of the world, the other concerns divine things and thus is all the much greater. Yet, even these divine revelations have practical applications, for the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

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Proverbs starts out giving a “mission statement” about the book as a whole. In this Solomon gives us his desire and intention for the book:

1The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: 2for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; 3for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair.” —Proverbs 1:1-3

Man is a master at self-deception. Despite evidence to the contrary, we often think we have everything under control. That we have provided a safe house against enemies, catastrophe, heartbreak, hardship and temptation. How arrogant and silly we can be! More often then not, despite our best efforts, we find ourselves in great tribulation and challenge. Some of this, at times, is due to our own ignorance and self-pacification. In times of comfort, we let our guard down and are assaulted sometimes as a consequent of those ignorant choices we have made. This is why prudence is so important. To be prudent is to be careful and wary of the future in our choices. Sure, we can never completely stop these hardships, but we can protect ourselves from being our own worst enemy in being prudent. This prudence only comes through instruction, especially that which comes the divine source.

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Solomon never shies away from his mission. Simply, it is Solomon’s conviction to teach. Not only on these principles of wisdom, but also on how to understand the words. Further, he desires to provide instruction on prudent behaviors, of which are included moral choices, justice and fairness.

4For giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young- 5let the wise listen and add to their learning and let the discerning get guidance.” –Proverbs 1:4-5

There is an interesting juxtaposition which can be made here. This shows the true extent of the wisdom shared in Proverbs. In verse 4, Solomon mentions the simple and the young. Those who lack knowledge and wisdom. Not only is this book for them, but also, in verse 5, Solomon mentions the wise, the learned and the discerning. This is an ingenious way to basically say that these words will never be irrelevant or untrue, nor is there any end to the wisdom contained within. If the wisdom can apply to both the simple and learned then there is no end to the extent of the wisdom and thus can only be divine in nature. King Solomon is not sharing the wisdom of man, practicality, but the wisdom of the Lord.

6For understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” —Proverbs 1:6-7

First off let me say that the fear of the Lord and what it is exactly is a rather large topic and one I hope to visit further, for as soon as I think I understand it, some other element becomes apparent. Yet, it is interesting to note that elsewhere Solomon mentions the fear of the Lord as being a kind of humility. Being the case, we can see humility as well is the beginning of wisdom or knowledge. Yet, fools are haughty and despise wisdom and instruction, for such things strike against their pride. Again, to my shame I can see this lesson evident in my own life. I have forsaken knowledge and wisdom before for the mere purpose of preserving my pride. How interesting that pride can be more false than it already is.


Galatians 3:16-17, “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say, ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed,’ meaning one person, who is Christ. 17What I mean is this: The law introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.”

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In a previous entry I discussed the righteousness of Abraham, which he was granted by God because of His faith. This was not only due to his belief in God, but his faith that God’s promises were steadfast. In addition, I discussed the “offspring,” promised and made known to Abraham. This offspring was to be a singular person, and through Him the world would be offered the reconciliation unto God. Here, in Galatians, Paul presents the argument of the singular seed that was to come by and through Abraham’s bloodline. As profound as this is, Paul goes further, dipping a bit into history to reveal the true nature of the covenants.

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Within the philosophical and theological boundaries of the Christian “religion,” we tend to separate the covenants of Moses and Jesus, and break the Bible down, in a general sense, into both the Old and New Testaments. Man loves to put things and ideas into categories or groups, that by their division, they may be easily sorted and understood. Concerning the division of the Old and New Testaments, as well as the old and new covenant, I conclude there is nothing specifically wrong with this. However, one stumbling block does arise that I have witnessed, but this is the fault of man. It usually concerns those new in the faith or exploring it. It doesn’t seem too uncommon for those whom Christ is calling to be curious about the differentiation between the God of the Old Testament and the New, rather than looking at it as a complete revelation from and of God.

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We need to remind our brothers and sisters in Christ, and in fact everyone, that the Scriptures represent a singular narrative that explicitly shows God and reveals He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Why the wrath shown in the Old Testament? Paul gives us a clear answer:

“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us . . .” -1 Corinthians 10:11

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So am I saying its wrong to refer to old and new? Not at all! In fact, the Lord Himself declared prior to Christ that a new thing was being done, and a new covenant will be established with Israel. The Book of Jeremiah says in Chapter 31, Verse 31:

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.'”

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Yet, if it was shared with Abraham, what is it that makes it new? Simply, it is new in human, temporal terms. It is not as if man, who is subservient to God, caught God unaware and He had to hatch a new plan to save man. Rather, God’s plan was destined from the beginning. God, let it be known that it is a new covenant, because this is truly what it is in the context of time. Time has no bearing on God, for God controls time, and since time is under God’s belt, to God it is already finished. If anyone believes differently, then one cannot believe in the omniscience of God, for God would be subservient to time. Furthermore, if He is subservient to time, He could not be God, and our faith would be meaningless, for by and out of God came Christ. Yet, to God, it is time that has no meaning. The breadth of its meaninglessness is shown by eternity. We usually think of eternity as it corresponds to time, that time will stretch forever, but in actuality, eternity is a place where time doesn’t exist. The extent of the meaninglessness of time to God is made clear in 2 Peter 3:8:

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

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Therefore, according to time, which we all are subservient, the law came before, and Christ after, and in temporal terms it is new, or more recent. Yet, that’s not all, by this new covenant it gave the law unto the hearts of man, and revealed God unto the world, so that no man or woman is without excuse. Yet, God did promise the new covenant unto Jeremiah and Abraham, and because He refers to it as “new” to Jeremiah, we see that though the promise was made known, and though the revelation of Christ to come preexisted some 430 years prior to the Law, it doesn’t negate the temporal relativity of the coming of Christ and the Spirit. In addition, as Paul says, the two don’t cancel each other out, but instead, they compliment each other to such perfection, they become united and fulfilled in Christ.

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It is not necessarily disrespectful or wrong to conclude that the two covenants, outside time, represent one great covenant, where man can be saved through faith, as Abraham was. This, I would argue, when approaching this issue in human linguistics, that the covenants represent old and new revelations, through which God’s attributes and power were proclaimed to man. First, His nature, commandments, and wrath. Secondly, His grace, love, and peace.

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The plan of God was singular, but we can differentiate between the covenants, because of what they revealed to man and by the manifestations of God. Under the old covenant, God spoke through the prophets, yet in the new, God came to earth, became man, taught to a multitude, was crucified, and rose again. By this, man does not need to turn to a prophet to know God, but now, His Son and Sprit dwell within our hearts, upon which the law is now written.

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“I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.” -Romans 1:4

1 Corinthians 1:22 – “Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom.”

Much of philosophy, the liberal arts, and indeed the western tradition can be credited to the Greeks. Great philosophers like Aristotle and Plato offered up theories about the cosmos, thought and metaphysics that are still with us today. In fact, Greek philosophers were the first to suggest a theory of evolution, though it wouldn’t become known as “evolution,” until Darwin. A couple philosophers known for writing theories similar to Darwin’s are, Thales and Lucretius, some 2,300 years prior.

Now it is true that Greeks, especially the Athenians, were considered very intelligent, though their philosophical writing as a whole is made up of treatises both for and against the existence of God. Yet, their own personal belief structure was wildly polytheistic, as were the Romans.

Paul’s meaning in verse 14 is two fold, at least. First and foremost, the message is that Paul’s mission is to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. The second is, because he mentioned the Greeks specifically, that he is to preach the gospel to not only the wise, but the foolish as well. Though, it should be mentioned what’s wise and what’s foolish differ much in the eyes of the Lord than before the eyes of the world.

I myself am a student of philosophy, but I read and present it through a Christian perspective. I agree this probably isn’t for everyone, if not for any more reason than the angry writings you have to read blatantly attacking God and those who follow Him. However, I am analytical by nature and delve deeply into topics, sometimes, honestly, too much. Yet, though it has fault, I believe it is also good in some ways, and again, I utmost try and use my analytical thought to glorify God.


That being said this verse strikes me in another way. Paul and the Romans to whom he was writing would have been more than aware of the significance of this, and not of just the importance of preaching to Gentiles, which was made already apparent by Paul writing them in the first place, but that he was obligated to preach to the most brilliant minds of the time.

Now, I have heard much concerning the debate of how much the mind has a part to play in our relationship with God. Let me just say, so nobody gets the wrong impression, I consider the fact I have all these questions, and that I always have had to seek an answer, to be a lower spiritual condition, if you will, than pure faith. Indeed, it’s been something I have been accused of lacking, simply because I ask questions. Much to their credit, those who have told me this, their motives are pure and feel that it can be a stumbling block, so I don’t regard such criticisms to rude in anyway, though I do disagree that its an absolute stumbling block.

It comes down to a kind of dualism. The freedom our Lord gave us was opportunity for man to either use things the right way, or the wrong way. The scriptures aren’t opposed to the mind. I feel Paul was an amazing example of this, for when one reads his epistles, and one even has a little philosophical background, it’s apparent that Paul was exercising his spirit and his mind. The scriptures give examples of how he “reasoned,” with Gentiles concerning the Lord’s existence and the Gospel. God does not do anything arbitrarily. He gave us a mind for a reason and though I hold those who have a faith beyond questions to a higher esteem than myself, I feel there is a right way to exercise the mind pursuing God that is not only beneficial for my relationship with the Lord, but to those the Lord may place in my path. May He be Praised.

Romans 1:2, “On Mind and Faith”


“The Gospel He promised beforehand through His Prophets in The Holy Scriptures.” -Romans 1:2


Often times even Christians themselves along with unbelievers differentiate between both the Old and New Testaments in a way that belittles the narrative as a whole. The reason why, I feel, is the somewhat troubling paradoxes that arise when juxtaposing the two. Yet, when one approaches such paradox on a individual basis we can plainly see the resolution of those supposed contradictions. Each scripture, no matter how mundane it seems, contains untold depths of wisdom and knowledge, from the long lists of genealogies to the regulations which the Almighty beseeched His people, the Jews, to follow. The gospel itself is foreshadowed in the events of the Old Testament, both explicitly and implicitly, and its fulfillment within the New Testament gives insight into that infinite glory that is the Lord’s and His alone.

The letters of Paul are important in that he addresses the world, a world increasingly relying on science, philosophy and reason. Today’s world is much of the same, but has advanced in the liberal arts and sciences to such a degree that there seems no room for God in academia. Yet, just as Paul reasoned with the Romans, we too can use reason to make a case for God, even in these scientific laden times, God’s glory is apparent.

Where does faith fit in? There is a reconciliation between faith and reason which Paul, the first, in my view, Christian philosopher, understood and preached. This does not negate the need for faith, indeed, I feel those who have a pure faith without question to be revered above all else in my view, but the wonderful thing is God in His perfection did not leave our mind to want and doubt, but put clear answers out there, in the scriptures and in the world. Glory be to Him forever and ever. Amen.


“And who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” -Romans 1:4


When one embarks on discourse with another “Christian,” it is not uncommon to come to some disagreement concerning the divinity of Christ. The prominent confusion rests in the union between the three separate supposed parts as one, the Father, Son and Spirit. We have physical laws all around us, like Pauli’s Exclusion Principle, which states that two forms of matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time. In addition, there are metaphysical laws like the law of identity, which when combined with physical laws, such as the Exclusion Principle, are assumed, by some, to prove the absurdity of such a claim as the complete union of what is known as the Holy Trinity. Though the Trinity isn’t an explicit doctrine in the bible, the Triune God is an implicit theme throughout the scriptures.


Does this concept, like some believe, necessarily lead to an absurdity though? It would if, and only if, God were a physical being bound by physical laws. However, if this were the case, He would not be God at all, for something, namely physicality, would transcend Him.

St. Anselm of Canterbury, in his famous Ontological Argument, provided, in my mind, the best philosophical, “secular definition” of God, when he said God was, “that-than-which-a-greater-cannot-be-thought.” Therefore, if God is bound by physicality, then He would be, “that-than-which-a-greater-can-be-thought,” explicitly contradicting who God is and must be. This being the case, it shows us, that a being that is not bound by physicality can be three-in-one without reaching any necessary absurdity.

St. Anselm had set out to prove by his Ontological Argument the existence of God by using the mere conception of God alone. He said:

“Even the fool, then, is forced to agree that something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought exists in the mind, since he understand this when he hears it, and whatever is understood is in the mind. An surely that-than-which-a-greater-cannot-be-thought cannot exist in the mind alone. For if it exists solely in the mind, it can be thought to exist in reality also, which is greater. If then that-than-which-a-greater-cannot-be-thought exists in the mind alone, this same that-than-which-a-greater-cannot-be-thought is that-than-which-a-greater-can-be-thought. But this is obviously impossible. Therefore there is absolutely no doubt that something-than-which-a-greater-cannot-be-thought exists both in the mind and reality. And certainly this being so truly exists that it cannot be even thought not to exist.”

I myself happen to have some reservations about St. Anselm’s theory, though it certainly does have its uses when trying to approach God using the mind. Yet, I feel St. Anselm’s argument to be a little too esoteric to convince the non-believer, though this is a rarity, someone coming to the Lord using the mind alone. I find other arguments such as the Cosmological Argument, from St. Thomas Aquinas and Samuel Clarke, and the Teleological Argument by William Paley, to be more convincing concerning God’s existence. In addition to the previous two arguments I mentioned, if one was to conjoin them with “Pascal’s Wager,” by Blaise Pascal, it provides a great argument, not only for the existence of God, but also for the existence of faith.

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Many philosophers have tried to disprove St. Anselm, but the argument is incredibly steadfast, which may suggest its overall credibility. One of these concerns if the particular “greater” can be used with existence, and that existence truly is a great making quality. Regardless, it is respected by both those of faith and also atheists. Even the atheist philosopher William L. Rowe conceded:

“If (my critique) is correct, Anselm’s argument fails as a proof of the existence of God. This is not to say, however, that the argument is not a work of genius. Perhaps no other argument in the history of thought has raised so many basic philosophical questions and stimulated so much hard thought. Even if it fails as a proof of the existence of God, it will remain as one of the high achievements of the human intellect.”

Romans 1:4 alone contains many references to the Trinity. These include, “Spirit,” “Son,” “God,” “Jesus Christ,” and “Lord.” The phrase, “through the Spirit of holiness,” is especially profound because it does not refer to some state of being or of mind on Christ’s part, but rather the Spirit itself, due to its capitalization. According to the verse, it was by this Spirit, who is declared to have immense power, which proclaimed Christ to be the Son of God. There are numerous reasons why the Trinity must be, but I will save those for another time.

In Genesis, the Bible gives us a large clue concerning the Lord’s triune nature. In fact, some of these occur right in the creation story itself. Though there are more than a couple examples I could mention, there is one, in my mind, that stands out above the rest when contemplating the Trinity. This may be an important thing to remember for those who struggle with the concept of the Trinity.


Genesis 1:26 (See my note, “On an Early Representation of The Trinity”) tells us we were created in the image and likeness of God. Thus, we are an abstract representation of the Lord’s being. Every one of us has a mind, a body, and a soul, yet we are individuals. Three in one. Given that God is “that-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought,” are we to suppose He doesn’t transcend our being? This very same verse in Genesis indicates the existence of the Trinity by saying, “Let us make man in our image.” The words, “us,” and, “our,” indicate a plurality before the creation of man, suggesting that the Holy Trinity is indeed true.

It’s amazing but some of the best evidence concerning the trinity, or our triune Lord, is not so far away where we need to seek high and low for it. We don’t need to over analyze scriptures or seek out and search obscure places, rather, it is immediately seen and resides directly within each and every one of us.

"The Creation of Man," by Luca Giordano. fresco, c. 1684-1686


“We love because he first loved us.” -1 John 4:19


Such a short simple verse provides us with deep philosophical insight. Empiricism is the school of thought which says that all knowledge is based on experience. Though this is certainly the case to some degree, there is the question if any prior knowledge exists in an idealistic fashion.

The philosophical terms for these are, “a priori,” meaning something that exists in the mind independently of experience and, “a posteriori,” meaning those things that are derived from experience. Though the latter can clearly be seen, that we do indeed learn and gain knowledge from experience, there is a debate whether or not the former actually exists at all. For Christians, this verse provides the answer.


Things exist because they were with God first. Love is in the world and able to be expressed and experienced by man, because the Lord first loved us.

Much like creation itself, there has to be an explanation for everything. This is called the, “Principle of Sufficient Reason,” or “PSR.” It simply states that there needs be a cause or reason for anything that is deemed to exist. As William L Rowe put it in his treatise concerning the Cosmological Argument:

“If we come upon a man in a room, PSR implies that there must be an explanation of the fact that that particular man exists. A moment’s reflection, however, reveals that there are many facts about the man other than the mere fact that he exists. There is the fact that the man in question is in the room he’s in, rather than somewhere else, the fact that he is in good health, and the fact that he is at the moment thinking of Paris, rather than, say London.”

Although, PSR is most often applied to the creation, of how things came to be, and what was the initial cause of being, it can also be applied to abstract concepts, like love. Again, the Bible tells us that such things come from God, and indeed if one tries to regress by means of a mental exercise the reasons such things exist, one reaches God, rather than some initial plane of nothingness, substance, or ether.

The fact that love exists, or a baby barely with any experience can conceive of happiness, suggests an a priori truth that can only be found in the Lord Almighty. In addition, because He loves, love was manifest in the earth and in the beings that were formed in His image and likeness.

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