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Philosophia

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Written by BGU

Allow me to do a breakdown on the word philosophia for us:

Philo = phileo φιλέω (Koine Greek for love), sophia σοφία (Koine Greek for wisdom). Philosophia means ‘love wisdom’ or better yet ‘the love of wisdom’. These days it is called philosophy, and it’s important for every believer to know that philosophy is actually our friend, not our enemy.

A prime example of philosophy in the Bible is the book of Proverbs, which is far more than a book of good guidelines for your best life now. Proverbs is best summed up in this verse: “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding” (Prov. 2:6 NIV). And so from this epitomic verse of Proverbs, we see the underlying premise of Solomon’s writings: God is the one that gives us our intelligence and ability to understand.

Present-day secular philosophy is, in truth, anti-philosophical. Influenced heavily by the Enlightenment and such men as Immanuel Kant, the modern philosophy one finds in secular universities has the immediate disposition of the rejection of man’s spirituality (naturalism). The stance of naturalism is summed in this sentence: “nature  is all there is, and all basic truths are truths of nature.” Inescapably, it effects our view on the specifics of philosophy such as ontology, epistemology, anthropology, sociology, as well as all its other branches.

The Enlightenment produced a rejection of man’s spirituality, casting a dark shadow of ambiguity over what happens after death. With the rejection of the spirit, the answers to such questions as afterlife, being, morality, and faith are seen as tenuous superstitions. Such questions are now answered with a “no one knows,” attitude because of anti-philosophical influences.

However, the very definition of philosophy is the “rational  investigation  of  the  truths  and  principles  of  being,  knowledge,  or  conduct” (dictionary.com). Philosophy dares to answer all questions about what is true and what is right and what is just. It seeks to define right from wrong, good from evil, and truth from untruth.

It’s the true philosopher that says, “Yes, we can know all the answers”, and it’s the Christian philosopher that says, “God can teach us everything. He is so much bigger than our questions and He is not intimidated by any of them.”

Because wisdom comes from God, and we are called to love what God loves, it is my prayer that we learn to love philosophia.

God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than any other man, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom. (1 Kings 4:29-34 NIV)

For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 KJV)

See also: Proverbs 8 and 1st Corinthians 2:6-16.

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