July 23, 2010

Quotes on Philosophy and Christianity

The difference between Christian thinking and the non-Christian philosopher has always been at this point. The non-Christian philosopher has always said that man is normal now, but biblical Christianity says he is abnormal now.

- Francis Schaeffer

Nowhere is salvation conceived of as a flight from history as in Greek thought; it is always the coming of God to man in history. Man does not ascend to God; God descends to man.

- George Eldon Ladd
The Last Things (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans: 1978) 43

A little philosophy inclineth a man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.

- Francis Bacon

Unfaith turns Christianity into only a philosophy. Of course, Christianity is a philosophy -- though not a rationalistic one because we have not worked it out from ourselves. Rather, God has told us the answers. In this sense it is the true philosophy, for it gives the right answers to man's philosophic and intellectual questions. However, while it is the true philosophy, our Father in heaven did not mean it to be only theoretical or abstract. He meant it to tell us about Himself -- how we can get to heaven, but equally, how we can live right now in the universe as it is with both the seen and the unseen portions standing in equal reality. If Christians just use Christianity as a matter of mental assent between conversion and death, if they only use it to answer intellectual questions, it is like using a silver spoon for a screw driver. I can believe that a silver spoon makes a good screw driver at certain times. But it is made for something else. To take the silver spoon that's meant to feed you, moment by moment, and keep it in your tool box to use only as a screw driver is silly.

- Francis Schaeffer
Death in the City (Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press: 1969) 139-40

It is terrible to find how little progress one's philosophy and charity have made when they are brought to the test of domestic life.

- C.S. Lewis

When we listen to the religion that is largely preached in our generation, we hear the same thing the unbelieving philosophers and sociologists are saying. The only difference is that theological language is used. But, God says, "It will not do. This brings you under My judgment."

- Francis Schaeffer
Death in the City (Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press: 1969) 53

There is a philosophy which is a noble exercise of our reasonable faculties, and highly serviceable to religion, such a study of the works of God as leads us to the knowledge of God and confirms our faith in him. But there is a philosophy which is vain and deceitful, which is prejudicial to religion, and sets up the wisdom of man in competition with the wisdom of God, and while it pleases men's fancies ruins their faith; as nice and curious speculations about things above us, or of no use and concern to us; or a care of words and terms of art, which have only an empty and often a cheating appearance of knowledge.

- Matthew Henry

Writers like Aldous Huxley and George Orwell have imagined the sort of scientific utopia which is coming to pass, but already their nightmare fancies are hopelessly out of date. A vast, air-conditioned, neon-lighted, glass-and-chromium broiler-house begins to take shape, in which geneticists select the best stocks to fertilise, and watch over the developing embryo to ensure that all possibilities of error and distortion are eliminated.

- Malcolm Muggeridge

Our calling is to enjoy God as well as glorify Him. Real fulfillment relates to the purpose for which we were made, to be in reference to God, to be in personal relationship with Him, to be fulfilled by Him, and thus to have an affirmation of life. Christianity should never give any onlooker the right to conclude that Christianity believes in the negation of life. Christianity is able to make a real affirmation because we affirm that it is possible to be in personal relationship to the personal God who is there and who is the final environment of all He created. All else but God is dependent, but being in the image of God, man can be in personal relationship to that which is ultimate and has always been. We can be fulfilled in the highest level of our personality and in all the parts and portions of life... There is nothing Platonic in Christianity... The whole man is to be fulfilled; there is to be an affirmation of life that is filled with joy.

- Francis Schaeffer
Death in the City (Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press: 1969) 26

Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.

- C.S. Lewis

To be a Professor of Theology is to have crucified Christ.

- Soren Kierkegaard

The secular humanist, although he would never dream of committing the social faux pas of calling a black man a negro, feels perfectly free to castigate Christians and their leaders in any way he likes.

- Franky Schaeffer

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.

- C.S. Lewis

Marx and Freud are the two great destroyers of Christian civilization, the first replacing the gospel of love by the gospel of hate, the other undermining the essential concept of human responsibility.

- Malcolm Muggeridge

If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.

- A.W. Tozer

Our generation has nobody home in the universe, nobody at all. Eventually, let us understand this: only a personal comforter can comfort man who is personal, and only one Comforter is great enough, the infinite-personal God who exists, that is the God of Judeo-Christian Scripture. Only He is the sufficient Comforter.

- Francis Schaeffer
Death in the City (Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press: 1969) 27