In general, why is philosophy a problem for many people of faith?

That is a good question. I would say that, in general,
philosophy does not pose a big problem for people of faith. It is for
people who do not have deep faith in God and in the Bible that philosophy
poses a big problem.

1 Corinthians describes the fact that “Jews look for miracles,
but Greeks look for wisdom.” Intellectually-oriented people (such as the
ancient Greeks in general) are attracted toward what seems logical or
reasonable. Our human pride demands that God be reasonable by our own
definition. The temptation of those who are attracted to intellectual
pursuits is to make God into the image that is philosophically attractive
to them.

This is where philosophy can be a problem. If the God of the
Bible appears to be in conflict with what may appear to be reasonable,
according to some human philosopher, then the intellectually oriented
person who does not have a deep, underlying faith in God will be very
tempted to reject the God of the Bible in favor of what appeals to them
based on their philosophy. They may reject religion entirely, professing
atheism, or, more commonly, they may adapt religion to their own concept
of what God ought to be.

One very common example of this is found in the vast majority
of theology as practiced today in colleges and universities, and even in
divinity schools. A very great majority of the materials put out by
theologians is produced, not to explain the Bible, but to explain away the
Bible. It is not intellectually appealing, and it does not appeal to our
intellectual pride to simply accept what God says in the Bible at face
value. You would be hard pressed to find a single theologian who accepts
the reality of future judgment and hell. This does not appeal to our
intellect as reasonable, yet it is the truth according to the Bible.

So to summarize, I would say that those who have a deeply
rooted faith in God, philosophy is rarely a problem. It is those who have
a shallow faith in God, but are attracted to intellectual ideas who are
most tempted toward philosophy and away from the God of the Bible.

John Oakes

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