<<viewpoint, basic or guiding principles>>

This is the study of ideas about knowledge, truth, the meaning of life, morals and other issues, most often from a purely human perspective without any acknowledgement of God (Col 2:8). This set of ideas, beliefs and values determines or guides us how we live. It is the filter, through which we view life. Before salvation, it substitutes submission to God with a humanistic ‘love of wisdom’ endeavouring to reason things out by self-realisation. New Age philosophy considers humanity, not Christ, as the answer to life’s problems, relying on man’s thoughts, ideas and analysis rather than accepting what God’s Word says. Thus while philosophy is a useful tool to arrive at a clearer understanding of matters it should not be relied on entirely. Satan shrewdly overcame Adam and Eve with words and thoughts, corrupting their way of thinking (Gen 3:1-5).

Without Christ, it is being wise in one’s own eyes doing what seems right yet this will not lead to eternal life (Jdg 17: 6; Prov 14:12). This human wisdom will perish along will all who do not submit to God, for although they claim to be wise they make foolish choices (Rom 1:22,23; 1 Cor 1:19,20). The book of Ecclesiastes states repeatedly that life is futile without God in the equation, concluding the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep His commands (Eccl 12:13). In our natural state and without recognising God we can never arrive at the truth of the gospel, instead we must rely on Him (Prov 3:5,6; 1 Cor 2:14-16). The Bible says, "And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" with Jesus stating "I am...the truth" (Jn 8:32, 14:6). But it is only the truth we know and act on that sets us free.

We have been given the ability to reason and it is wonderful to discover insights, yet the Bible warns us to turn away from what is falsely called knowledge (Prov 25:2; 1 Tim 6:20). Philosophy is not truth itself but is a means to find it. The Bible declares real wisdom begins with a righteous fear

Respect God and keep His commands – Ecclesiastes 12:13

of God (Prov 9:10). Christianity, as a system of divinely revealed truth and wisdom, is itself the highest philosophy, far superior to anything humanity can attain to (1 Cor 2:6,7, 3:19,20). There are many things our finite human minds can’t comprehend and so we need to accept them in faith. There are also secrets that belong to God and we should not try to unravel their mysteries (Deut 29:29). Rather than trying to go beyond the boundaries He has established, endeavour to live out what He has clearly revealed in His Word. Our faith in God and in the gospel are grounded in reality as portrayed in the Bible and historical evidence and the transformed lives of believers.

See also: debate, fear (holy), humanism, New Age, reason, thinking/thoughts, truth, viewpoint, wisdom/wise.