A long time ago, in a far away galaxy – I used to devour philosophical treatises like they were my very food. Since the Lord Jesus has gotten a hold of me, however, all that’s changed. This means that the bookshelves that once such dear classics to me as Critique of Pure Reason, Difference and Repetition, and Writing and Difference are now being filled with Institutes of the Christian Religion, Predestination, Evidence for Christianity, and City of God.
I’ve been trying to clean out the old philosophical junk and move in some good theologians, but an old friend of mine called me some time ago and told me that he had some of my old books and that he wanted me to have them. So he brought them to me. And now…well…now I don’t know what to do with them. I considered half.com or ebay.com, but looking through the books I realized that I had virtually ravaged every margin with tiny seas of criticisms, expletives (remember this was before the Lord found me ;), highlighting and emoticons that served as shorthand symbols for my great and profound thoughts (lol).
I remember enjoying these authors at the time, but now things are different. They really don’t have much to offer me. I see Christ as the knowledge and wisdom of God, in whom are hidden all treasures of knowledge and wisdom. I’ve found that in His physical life, death and resurrection are the concrete answer to all of my previous abstract questions. Christ truly is the Logos, the Reason/Logic/Rationality of God. [Amen]
Therefore, the authors I now have in my possession again don’t really seem to have utility. What use do I have of books like Madness and Civilization, Matter and Memory, Time and Freewill, Creative Evolution, Truth and Existence, “God, Death And Time,” The Blue and Brown Books, Entre Nous: The Thinking of the Other, Hegel (by Raymond Plant), Wittgenstein and Psychoanalysis, and The Democratic Paradox?
I see none.
Do I burn the books as a burnt offering? Or do I read them in light of the truth of the God’s Word and acknowledge their occasional bursts of insight and take notes on their theologically antagonistic aims and speculative forays?
The appearance of these books is timely, as I’m trying to see where the Lord would have me go to school, and what it is He would have me study. And it forces me to really consider a number of practical things related to my decision.
I guess the question at the root of this is: To what extent should we as Christians engage with philosophical discourses?