Introduction to Philosophy: Christianity and the Big Questions
Asking "big questions" is fundamental to our humanity. What is the meaning and purpose of life? What is truth? How do we know what we claim to know? What is justice? What happens after death? Veteran teachers Steve Wilkens and...
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Asking "big questions" is fundamental to our humanity. What is the meaning and purpose of life? What is truth? How do we know what we claim to know? What is justice? What happens after death? Veteran teachers Steve Wilkens and Alan Padgett guide readers to wrestle with twelve of the most foundational, philosophical questions facing humanity, and they reflect on these big questions with a lens rooted in faith. Christians, according to Wilkens and Padgett, should embrace their ability to probe these questions that have occupied some of the most brilliant minds in history. Instead of avoiding hard questions, a Christian approach to philosophy begins with the conviction that God invested humanity with a restless mind. From an early age, we are riddled with curiosity about the world, our place in it, and how the whole of it fits together. As Wilkens and Padgett show, questions about the inner world of our being are tied to the outer world that includes the entire created cosmos and God. Like all good gifts, the gift of questions comes with a challenge--of responsibility and hard thinking. We have a spiritual duty to pursue life's deepest queries with virtue, fairness, reason and, above all, a sense of worship and gratitude. Introduction to Philosophy: Christianity and the Big Questions is a perfect primer for students of philosophy and anyone interested in a Christian perspective on the timeless and universal perplexities of human existence.
Alan G. Padgett (D.Phil., University of Oxford) is professor of systematic theology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Formerly he taught theology and philosophy at Azusa Pacific University. He is the author of God, Eternity and the Nature of Time (Wipf & Stock, 2000); Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 2 & Volume 3 (with Steve Wilkens); God and Time: Four Views and the editor of Reason and the Christian Religion (Oxford University Press, 1994). Most recently he has produced As Christ Submits to the Church: A Biblical Understanding of Leadership and Mutual Submission (Baker; 2011)
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Steve Wilkens (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of theology and ethics at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. He has also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Mount San Antonio College, Glendale Community College, Fuller Theological Seminary and Azusa Pacific University's C. P. Haggard Graduate School of Theology.
His books include Good Ideas from Questionable Christians and Outright Pagans (2004), Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 2: Faith and Reason in the Nineteenth Century (co-authored with Alan Padgett, 2000); Beyond Bumper Sticker Ethics (1995) and Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 3: Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century. He is also coeditor with Paul Shrier and Ralph P. Martin of Christian Calling, Christian College: Higher Education in the Service of the Church (2005).