Monday, November 27, 2006

Christian philosophy

The Constructive Curmudgeon, Douglas Groothuis, writes a eulogy for Dr. Robert T. Herbert, who died recently.
Professor Herbert and I disagreed on many things. In a Philosophy of Religion seminar he was leading, I voiced concerns about a paper in which he argued that believers come down with faith as one comes down with a cold. That is, the faith is neither rational nor irrational. (The paper was subsequently published in Faith and Philosophy.) He asked me to write a response to his paper. I agreed with some hesitation. (Whether I really had a choice, I do not know.) When I received the paper back, it was filled with red ink comments challenging nearly every one of my criticisms. At the bottom of the last page was the grade: A+.
I have been involved in an email discussion recently relating, in effect, to epistemology - that is, the foundation of knowledge, both for Christians and non-Christians. This pointed me in the direction of Cornelius van Til. If you follow this link, you will find his "Credo", at the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics. I was surprised at how closely it fit with my own (less organised!) philosophical thoughts - and I was both gratified and a little disturbed to find this perspective described as "calvinist" - a label I had always shied away from for various reasons.