He Is There and He Is Not Silent Part I: Philosophy’s Metaphysical Problem as Answered in the Existence of the Infinite-Personal, Triune God -- By: Francis A. Schaeffer
Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 128:510 (Apr 1971)
Article: He Is There and He Is Not Silent Part I: Philosophy’s Metaphysical Problem as Answered in the Existence of the Infinite-Personal, Triune God
Author: Francis A. Schaeffer
BSac 128:510 (Apr 71) p. 99
He Is There and He Is Not Silent
Philosophy’s Metaphysical Problem as Answered in the Existence of the Infinite-Personal, Triune God
[Francis A. Schaeffer, Director, L’Abri Fellowship, Huemoz, Switzerland.]
[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of articles entitled “He Is There and He Is Not Silent,” which were the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectures given by Dr. Francis Schaeffer at Dallas Theological Seminary on February 23–26, 1971. Similar but expanded material under the same title will be released in book form in the fall of 1971 by Tyndale House.]
Philosophy and religion deal with the same basic questions, and we as Christians, especially evangelical Christians, have tended to forget this. Although philosophy and religion use different terms, they do not deal with different questions. The basic questions are the same. (When I use the term religion here I mean it in the wide sense of religion but including Christianity.) The basic questions of philosophy and religion are the questions of Being, that is, what exists (metaphysics), and man and his dilemma, that is, morals. These are the central questions that are dealt with by both philosophy and religion, including evangelical or orthodox Christianity.
The word philosophy can have two meanings which must be kept absolutely separate or we will get confused. The first meaning of the word philosophy is a discipline in the university or wherever philosophy is studied as an academic subject. That is what we usually think of as philosophy. This is a highly technical study which only a few people pursue, and in this sense, few people are philosophers. But there is a second meaning to the word philosophy that we must not miss if we are really going to understand our dilemma of preaching the gospel into the twentieth century world.
BSac 128:510 (Apr 71) p. 100
That is, 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 for the philosopher in the university. Everyone has a world view.
One of the things that has been a dilemma with evangelical, orthodox Christianity is that it has despised philosophy. We have been proud in despising philosophy, and we have tended to be exceedingly proud in despising the intellectual. But we must not despise philosophy, because all men are philosophers in the second sense that all men have a world view. No man can live without a world view. In this sense, philosophy is universal in scope as there is no man who is not a philosopher. So if you think that this has nothing to do with a practical ministry, you are...
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