“What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” What has philosophy to do with theology? This is like asking, “what has butter to do with toast?” You could try to do theology without the tools of critical thinking, the problems suggested with the possible answers, as well as the tomes of conversations that are a part of the philosophical tradition, but it would be like eating toast without butter. You will find it dry, dull, and it will cut the roof of your mouth. Actually, it would be like trying to make the toast without a toaster, but instead just using the sun. You are going to end up with stale or moldy bread before you have a good slice of toast. Actually, it is like eating breakfast cereal without milk. Or it is like drinking freshly squeezed orange juice that you produce by hand. Maybe I should have had breakfast this morning…
The point is, good theology, well articulated, well thought-out, well reasoned theology relies on philosophy for input, guidance, and direction. The problems that people like Kant, Hume, Wittgenstein, and others have worked on should have a good and strong influence on theology and can help one to think theologically in a good and critical fashion. In many ways the two are very closely related and are almost impossible to separate.
Philosophy asks questions of why, and considers what matters. These are questions that easily fall into the realm of theology. A good theologian will rely on good philosophy for guidance and assistance.
On the other hand, a theologian who does not use philosophy (or does not use it well) usually ends up churning out feel-good, light, sticky-sweet crap. And no one wants to eat crap.
Ferguson, Ferguson, Ferguson. Jonathan starts with a rant about assumed rage that people are “supposed” to have about the whole mess. Scott just goes from there with a rage that speaks truth to power and facts to stupidity. On top of that, they use the ideas of Rene Girard as tools of social analysis. Pretty smart, huh.
These are Andover Newton Theological School alums – they don’t need no stinkin’ scriptures (actually, Jonathan had to take a child to tuba lessons, and they didn’t have time for scripture… isn’t that sad?)
Jonathan is enjoying the podcast, Harmonia Early Music – as if he wasn’t nerdy enough
Scott is into the roll playing game Savage Worlds – Deadlands – not as nerdy, but still kinda
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Next episode: Reading the Bible and Comic Books with Wesley Sun