Raphael's 'School of Athens' (Scuola di Atene)

Yesterday I had the privilege of eating lunch with Dr. Jerome Wernow. He is a philosopher and bioethicist. Even more importantly, he has proven to be a good friend and mentor. As always our conversations transcend small talk quite quickly moving into subjects that are far beyond my ability to address. Since we are both Christians we bring our religion into the discussion. Yesterday we chatted about language games, evolution and the biblical narrative, the doctrine of regeneration, and what it means to exist in eternity (static perfection or perfecting perfection?). As I said, I know enough to avoid sounding like an idiot.

As a Christian it is difficult to divorce theology from philosophy. When Jerome and I had our nerdy dialogue we were able to address particular philosophers and philosophies briefly without connecting them to Christianity. One can bracket their faith for a time, but like those who do historiographical studies on Scripture it is inevitable that one’s religious commitments will become visible. This leads to today’s discussion if you’re willing to join:

Where does philosophy meet theology and where do they part ways?

In other words, what characterizes these two disciples? 

I would say that one is done within a tradition and one without, but that is misleading. As the postmodernists exposed, western philosophy is not free-thinking rationality. It is not universalized thought. It finds itself within a very specific, eurocentric worldview. It could be argued that one begins with “rationality” and the other “revelation” and that would be an interesting paradigm within which to work, though one thing that makes me nervous is when Christian theologians act as if their thought is pure and free from philosophy. Anyways, let me stop rambling so you can talk!