And we need all the help we can get.
J. P. Moreland provides an important reminder of the role that Christian philosophy must play as a handmaid to systematic theology and Biblical studies.
In our day, theologians tend either to bog down in the details of exegetical minutiae, keep up with the latest postmodern currents, or maintain a conversation with their peers only, without thinking too much about whether their publications are of any use in making disci-ples, building the Church, and advancing the Kingdom of Christ.
Moreland insists that Christian philosophers could add nuance and perspective to the questions and issues addressed by theologians, but they don’t ever seem to get invited to the table.
He explains four ways in particular that Christian philosophers could help theologians to do better and more edifying work: (1) By helping to properly characterize and understand contemporary issues; (2) providing distinctions and other options – beyond the framework of theological thought – for consideration; (3) bringing into consideration and helping to evaluation factors external to theological issues that might have a bearing on their resolution; and (4) helping theologians to resist the currents of revisionism which seem to be everywhere present in Biblical and systematic theology.
J. P. (we were in college together, he won’t mind) insists, “The West in the in the middle of a vicious worldview struggle for people’s hearts and minds and the goodness of the social structures of Western civilization. At stake is not merely whether or Christianity is true; more basic is whether or not Christian truth claims that constitute a Christian worldview are known to be true” (italics his).
This is a brave and timely article by a careful thinker and an effective apologist. Theologians – and pastors, artists, and poets, for that matter – should listen up.