Philosophy 101

Colossians 2:8
      Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit.

 JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Let us note that it is a foolish study to work hard to confirm what the [Bible] says by the teaching of ancient philosophers. There are people who try to do that.

 JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): Among the multitudes who abandoned idolatry, and embraced the Christian faith, there were several who had borne the specious name of philosophers. Some of these, on the one hand, laboured to retain as many of their favourite sentiments as they could, by any means, reconcile to the views they had formed of the Gospel; and, on the other hand, they endeavoured, if possible, to accommodate the Christian scheme to the taste and prejudices of the times, in hopes thereby to make it more generally acceptable. Thus the doctrines of the Scripture were adulterated by those within the church, and misrepresented to those without.

 MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Philosophy has always been the cause of the church going astray, for philosophy means, ultimately, a trusting to human reason and human understanding…Christian truth is not a matter of reason or of philosophy; it is something which is given. It is of God. It is God’s truth. It is God speaking to man, not man trying to arrive at a knowledge of God, trying to understand his life and world, trying to concoct some proposals for dealing with the difficulties. No, it is the exact opposite. It is something that we receive entirely from God. It is revelation and it is all of grace.

 C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Incarnate Deity is a thought that was never invented by a poet’s mind, nor reasoned out by a philosopher’s skill.

 MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): “This man is God;” or, “This God is man.” Though philosophy cannot grasp it, yet faith can.

 JOHN ANGELL JAMES (1785-1869): It appears to me that something like the same attempts are being made in this day to corrupt the gospel by superstitious additions on the one hand, and by philosophic accommodations on the other, as were carried on in the early days of Christianity.

 JOHN CALVIN: Now those who are so curious as to wish thus to make the philosophers agree with Holy Scriptures think they do great service to the Christian Church when they can say that Gospel-writers have not been the only ones who have spoken thus and that even the pagans have well known such things. It is very apropos! As though one put a veil before clear vision. Behold God who makes Himself clear to us by the doctrine of His Gospel, and we are going to put a veil before it by saying, “Look at this! Your clearness will still be more clear.”

 C. H. SPURGEON: Is it not written, Psalm 94:11, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity? To liken our thoughts to the great thoughts of God, would be a gross absurdity. Would you bring your candle to show the sun?

 THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): In philosophy, man speaketh to us by the evidence of reason; in the Scripture, God speaketh to us by way of sovereign authority…so that you leave the fountain of living water, for the dead puddle of a filthy ditch, if you think the writings of the Heathens will comfort you, and revive you, and neglect the Word of God that brings rest for the soul.

 JOSEPH MILNER (1744-1797): It should ever be remembered that Christian light stands single and unmixed, and will not bear to be kneaded into the same mass with other systems, religious or philosophical.

  MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): The Christian religion is a revealed religion, has its rise in heaven; it is a religion from above, given by inspiration of God, not the learning of philosophers, nor the politics of statesmen.

 TERTULLIAN (160-240): What has Jerusalem to do with Athens? What has the temple to do with the porch and the academy? 

 C. H. SPURGEON: The truth of God we will maintain as the truth of God, and we shall not retain it because the philosophic mind consents to our doing so.

 JOHN CALVIN: Their opinion is regarded as nothing in the account of God.

 TERTULLIAN: The philosophers were the patriarchs of the heretics.

 JOSEPH MILNER: The notions of proud philosophers vary in different ages; but they seldom fail in some form or other to withstand the religion of Jesus… “Beware of philosophy” is a precept which as much calls for our attention now as ever.

 JOHN GILL (1697-1771): In short, the apostle’s meaning is, that philosophy is not to be mixed with the pure Gospel of Christ; it has always been fatal to it; witness the school of Pantaenus in Alexandria, in the early times of Christianity, by which the simplicity of the Gospel was greatly corrupted; and the race of schoolmen a few centuries ago, who introduced the philosophy of Aristotle, Averrois, and others, into all the subjects of divinity.

 MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Beyond any doubt, in the last analysis the greatest single enemy of the Christian faith and Christian truth is philosophy. This is the case because philosophy implies a final confidence in human reason, in the power of man’s mind, in man’s ability to arrive at truth, to comprehend it, and to encompass it…I have no doubt whatsoever in my own mind that the Christian Church is as she is today, very largely because for the last hundred years so much time has been given in the theological colleges and seminaries to the teaching of philosophy.


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