Good Ideas from Questionable Christians and Outright Pagans
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An Introduction to Key Thinkers and Philosophies
by Steve Wilkens
"What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the church?" (Tertullian, 3rd century). Such skepticism about the place of philosophy in the life of Christians persists down through the ages. As a student, author Steve Wilkens had deep reservations about studying the works of "pagans" or even "questionable Christians." Now a teacher at a Christian university, Wilkens has developed a deep appreciation for teaching and studying philosophy. In fact, he believes that the life of faith can be enriched by good philosophical reflection.
In this book Wilkens helps you begin the same journey. Using generous quotations from the original sources, Wilkens provides an introduction to the study of philosophy by exploring a single key issue from each of the following philosophers: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche and Sartre. The questions considered include Wilkens encourages you not to be a mere spectator but to actively and critically engage the questions and ideas these philosophers raise. Here is a book for beginning students, thoughtful Christians or anyone who wants to explore life's deepest questions.
Table of Contents:
Introduction: What's a Nice Christian Like You Doing in a Place Like Athens?
1. Socrates I: Why Ask Why?
2. Socrates II: Are Beliefs Worth Living (and Dying) For?
3. Plato: Is a Just Society Possible?
4. Aristotle: Do You Want to be Happy?
5. Augustine: Is God Responsible for Evil?
6. Aquinas: Can Nature Lead Us to God?
7. Descartes: Can I Be Certain of Anything?
8. Kierkegaard: Are Faith and Ethics Related?
9. Marx: Does Money Determine Our Beliefs?
10. Nietzsche: Is Morality All About Power?
11. Sartre: Do You Really Want to Be Free?
Epilogue: The Examined Life
Steve Wilkens (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of philosophy 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.