A Prolegomena To Metaphysics: A Christian View -- By: Thomas A. Provenzola

Journal: Michigan Theological Journal
Volume: MTJ 01:2 (Fall 1990)
Article: A Prolegomena To Metaphysics: A Christian View
Author: Thomas A. Provenzola


A Prolegomena To Metaphysics: A Christian View

Thomas A. Provenzola

The basis of a Christian view of metaphysics is that it begins with justifiable starting points. These justifiable starting points are open to validation in that they find their correspondence in reality. It is through the basic laws of thought that we are able to detennine the true nature of this reality, a nature that is biblically theistic and argues for the Christian theistic world view.

The Interface Of Knowledge And Reality

There is hardly a volume on the subject of metaphysics which does not in some way explore the study’s history or its possibility of being a meaningful endeavor somewhere within the scope of systematic theology, philosophy, or philosophy of religion. There is certainly a need to deal adequately with David Hume’s rejection of the discipline as something “worthy only of the flames,” as well as Immanuel Kant’s revisions of the basic presuppositions of metaphysics based on his understanding of Hume’s distinctions between a priori and a posteriori knowledge.1 It is no less essential to deal with the objections brought

against the possibility of metaphysics by the logical positivism of such men as Ludwig Wittgenstein and A. J. Ayer, whose aim it was to rid the world of philosophy or, more specifically, metaphysics all together.2 The purpose of a prolegomena, how—

ever, is to establish a starting point. It sets forth the basic principles necessary before one attempts a detailed study of a given discipline.3 In this case it is the study of metaphysics, but not all the possibilities in metaphysics, or even all the fundamental principles involved in the exploration of the study.

In dealing with the function of a prolegomena, Winfried Corduan clarified of the subject that its main objective is “not to reach final conclusions, but by its very nature it may delimit the extent and kinds of conclusions that can be reached.”4 Knowing the kinds of conclusions that can legitimately be reached in a given discipline is especially important in light of the variety of ideas and concepts that often come into view when one contemplates the subject of metaphysics, even from a theistic perspective. Commenting on this point, Norman Geisler notes:

To the novice in philosophy, metaphysics at first seems the most mysterious and foreboding of all thebranches of philosophy. The name al...

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