Is philosophy in conflict with Christianity? At its heart, philosophy is a love for wisdom that uses the mind with its reason as well as the heart to understand big ideas of reality. Who is God, who am I, and what is this world? These are questions that, universally, humans have asked from the very beginning. The Bible is asking and answering the same questions. Therefore, philosophy is not to be separated from the study of theology since the sacred scripture itself is a work of ancient philosophy. The New Testament is implanted within the culture of Greek ideas and both Jesus and his apostles engage with these ideas to present a coherent picture of both the Creator and his world. We must dismiss that modern, artificial tension between philosophy and Christianity if we are to reclaim the vision of the good, the true, and the beautiful presented to us by Jesus himself, the greatest of philosophers.
In this episode, Jonathan Pennington joins Matthew Barrett to discuss what wisdom, philosophy, and human flourishing have to do with the Christian life. In doing so, they make a compelling case for why we should consider Jesus the greatest philosopher of all time.
Jonathan T. Pennington is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Pennington is the author of The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing, Reading the Gospels Wisely, and Heaven and Earth In the Gospel of Matthew. He is also on the preaching staff at Sojourn East in Louisville, Kentucky.
Matthew Barrett is the author of Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Baker). He is the founder and executive editor of Credo Magazine and host of the Credo podcast. He is associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.