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Categories of Philosophy

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Do you see yourself as a philosopher yet? This might sound like a strange question, but it really isn’t. The reality is that we are all philosophers. It is in our DNA from the time of Adam. Whereas the animal kingdom is governed largely by instinct, we have been designed by our Creator to be in His image and likeness. We are creatures of reason and logic with a precondition to learn new and different things. We have a God-given mind that requires feeding. We can feed it with bad input, good input or the best input. What feeds our mind determines how we view life and respond to it. That becomes our philosophy for living.

We all will choose between two opposing philosophical narratives. That decision will define our fellowship with God. An earthly, or human wisdom and a divine wisdom as declared clearly in 1 Corinthians 1:18 through 2:13. I encourage the reading of those scriptures to clarify this subject matter.

Two definitions will help qualify the balance of this post.

Philosophy – System, process of thought, wisdom.

Philosopher – A person who lives and thinks according to a system of philosophy.

As expressed in the above scriptures it is fair to say that human wisdom comes from the character of mankind and divine wisdom comes from the character of God. Character, by Webster’s Dictionary, is the complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person.  Which of the two do you think is worth taking to your grave?

Adam and Eve had to choose the “system” of wisdom that would govern their lives. These opposing philosophies were offered by way of two trees planted in the middle of the Garden of Eden. Why were they placed there? God’s glory expressed in His eternal plan and purpose necessitated man’s free-will choice to obey God or self. The tree of life offered the choice of being governed by a divine philosophy from God and administered by the Holy Spirit. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil offered the choice of being governed by human philosophy from one’s own spirit man who died to the Spirit of God when the forbidden fruit was eaten. This decision required them to be dependent on a restricted philosophy that included the overwhelming influence of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life; see 1 John 2:16.

Adam and Eve were in God’s grace at the moment of creation and through a cloaked temptation they choose to disobey a direct command given to Adam by God. God’s grace departed them leaving them to their own ability.

We have not escaped the predicament of making that same choice in our own life. We can accept the gracious offer from God to receive divine wisdom, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to govern our decisions, or we can certainly hang onto the wisdom we now have. That wisdom does not satisfy in the long-term and ends in the Lake of Fire through the choice we made!

We, being originally outside God’s wonderful grace, due to our own sin, are wooed by the Spirit of Grace to come under that precious gift. By free-will choice to accept the Person of Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected, we are saved by grace through faith.

Please note: Grace means “unmerited favor,” “receiving what we don’t deserve” AND depicts God’s ability working on our behalf!

Allow me to give an example; Eph 2:8-9
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” NASB

This could be read as;
“For by God’s ability you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; NASB

Bless God!

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in You Are A Philosopher

 

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The Decision Is Yours

God’s Word has three distinct ways the word “wisdom” is expressed in the New Testament using the Greek word “sophia.” The previous blog, “P2 Categories of Philosophy,” explored the expression of two of those ways in 1 Corinthians 1:18 thru 2:13. Wisdom, as it is used in the above verses is defining the difference in earthly, or human wisdom (man-centered); and divine, or Godly wisdom (God-centered), presented to us in the Person of Christ Jesus. Referring to 1 Corinthians 1:30: as a Christian, if Jesus is our Righteousness and our Sanctification and our Redemption, then He is also our Wisdom sent to us from God.

Do you live under the influence of human wisdom or Godly wisdom, or a mixture? I am in the mixture class myself as the process of transformation from human to divine wisdom  is a progression involving the renewing of my mind to the ways of God. (See Romans 12:1-2)

James, the half-brother to Jesus, addresses another aspect of divine wisdom in James 1:5-6,

 “5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

This wisdom is the same word “Sophia,” but from the context you can see is a prayer for wisdom for a specific situation or specific circumstances. James was speaking about trials in this passage and decisions we need to make. God would rather we ask Him in place of seeking it from another sources.

 

For further study, I reference the follow excerpt: (from The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament © 1992 by AMG International, Inc. Revised Edition, 1993)_

NT:4678 (Strong’s Concordance numbering system)

4678. sophía; gen. ‎sophías‎, fem. noun from ‎sophós ‎(4680), wise. Wisdom, skill, tact, expertise in any art.

In the NT, it refers to wisdom:

(I) Skill in the affairs of life, practical wisdom, wise management as shown in forming the best plans and selecting the best means, including the idea of sound judgment and good sense (Acts 6:3; 7:10: Col 1:28; 3:16; 4:5). ‎Stóma ‎(4750), mouth, and ‎sophían ‎in Luke 21:15 means wise utterance.  (II) In a higher sense, wisdom, deep knowledge, natural and moral insight, learning, science, implying cultivation of mind and enlightened understanding.

(A) Generally (Matt 12:42; Luke 11:31 [cf. 1 Kings 4:30]; Acts 7:22). Implying learned research (Col 2:23); a knowledge of hidden things, of enigmatic and symbolic language (Rev. 13:18; 17:9; Sept.: Job 11:6; Proverbs 1:2; Dan. 1:17).

(B) Specifically of the learning and philosophy current among the Greeks and Romans in the apostolic age intended to draw away the minds of men from divine truth, and which stood in contrast with the simplicity of the gospel; called by Paul ‎sarkike ‎(4559), fleshly, pertaining to the flesh (2 Cor 1:12); the wisdom of the world (1 Cor 1:20ff.; 3:19ff.); of men (1 Cor 2:5); of the wise (1 Cor 1:19); words of man’s wisdom (1 Cor 2:4,13); the world through wisdom (1 Cor 1:21); not in wisdom of words, meaning not with mere philosophy and rhetoric (1 Cor 1:17; 2:1).

(C) In respect to divine things, wisdom, knowledge, insight, deep understanding, represented everywhere as a divine gift, and including the idea of practical application. It is used metonymically for ‎gnosis ‎(1108), knowledge or theoretical knowledge (Matt 13:54; Mark 6:2; Acts 6:10); divine knowledge (Eph 1:8). ‎Sophía ‎stands for divine wisdom, the ability to regulate one’s relationship with God, and is distinct from ‎phrónesis ‎(5428), prudence, the ability to know and deal with people (1 Cor 12:8; Eph 1:17; Col 1:9: 2 Peter 3:15). Specifically of insight imparted from God in respect to the divine counsels (1 Cor 2:6,7). Metonymically of the author and source of this wisdom (1 Cor 1:30). As conjoined with purity of heart and life (James 1:5; 3:13,15,17). See Luke 2:40,52.

(III) The wisdom of God means the divine wisdom, including the ideas of infinite skill, insight, knowledge, purity (Rom 11:33; 1 Cor 1:21,24; Eph 3:10; Col 2:3; Rev 5:12; 7:12). Of the divine wisdom as revealed and manifested in Christ and His gospel (Matt 11:19; Luke 7:35; 11:49).

(IV) Fear, wisdom, generally the knowledge of how to regulate one’s relationship with God, wisdom which is related with goodness. When one is wise unto God, he is ‎phrónimos ‎(5429), prudent with others and knows how to regulate circumstances.

Deriv.: ‎philósophos ‎(5386), philosopher.

Syn.: ‎sœphrosúne ‎(4997), soundness of mind; ‎súnesis ‎(4907), the capacity for reasoning, intelligence, understanding; ‎phrónesis ‎(5428), prudence, moral insight; ‎epínoia ‎(1963), thought.

 

So, the decision is yours individually as to the resource you use to determine how and who you dedicate your life to, and who you desire to glorify.

 

Bless God!

 

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in You Are A Philosopher

 

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