Despite Bad News, Evangelical Philosophy Is Flourishing

And that’s good news, because it helps us pursue goodness, truth, and beauty.

Philosophy is vital for Christians today. It equips us to love God with our hearts and minds. It teaches us to think well and cultivate Christian character. It helps us to understand the history of the faith and the development of foundational doctrines, such as the Trinity and the Incarnation. And it enables us to engage the culture.

As C. S. Lewis put it, “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” I would add that good philosophy must also exist to help us to pursue goodness, truth, and beauty, which are all grounded in the nature of our great God.

My experience studying philosophy at Talbot School of Theology continues to shape me not only as a philosophy professor, but as a member of my local church, husband, father, soccer coach, and friend. Whatever intellectual and moral virtues I possess, I owe in large part to my training in philosophy.

That’s why I was dismayed to hear that Liberty University has dissolved its philosophy department. What terrible news for the five excellent scholars and teachers who will no longer be employed as of June 30; for the students who will miss out on the transformative experience of studying philosophy at a Christian school; and for the American church, which needs more evangelicals trained in philosophy, not fewer.

Any university worthy of the name—especially a Christian one—needs philosophers to do what they do in the classroom and beyond. As Baylor University’s Francis Beckwith put it:

Liberty’s decision reflects something of a trend in higher education. Philosophy and other fields in the humanities aren’t seen by …

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