One of the best aspects of the Moore College programme is that it includes philosophy. A number of seminaries and Bible colleges ditch this part of their programme in favour of what they call “practical” subjects. The trouble with this approach is that it is short sighted: There is simply no way that I can prepare myself for every aspect of ministry. Developing a critical mind that can weigh options, read arguments and behave with a greater level of consistency is of incomparable value. I love philosophy and to hear that it may be under threat in our programme makes me want to cling to it tighter.
But what I don’t think I fully grasped until recently was just how pastoral philosophy can be. Studying philosophy allows me to recognise world-view clashes that lead to tension among people in my care. Studying philosophy allows me to help people see the consequences of their actions with greater clarity. Studying philosophy helps me reach people enveloped in ideology contrary to the true and living Word.
I was privileged today to cram the semester’s philosophy course with about 20 of my friends from college. The big thing that I took away was how fortunate we are to be in Christ. As Christians we have a sure footing in Epistemology, Ontology and Philosophy of Language. As Christians we needn’t worry that our meta-ethical schema is the right one – as long as Yahweh is our absolute standard of goodness, truthfulness and righteousness then deontology, utilitarianism and virtue ethics are redeemable as tools for choosing good. Thanks to everyone who came to my house for study. You were such an encouragement.