A Philosophy of the Christian Religion

Edward John Carnell

Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Subjects: 1. Christianity Philosophy
BT40.C3 ~~ Dewey: 230 ~~ LCCN: 52000804 ~~ OCLC: 2304399 ~~ 523p.

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A Philosophy of the Christian Religion (1952) is presently held by 323 libraries including Stanford University and Azusa Pacific University.

Table of Contents

Back Cover of the Book

PREFACE ... 5

PART I. EMERGENCE OF A PROBLEM ... 13

Chapter I. THE HUMAN VENTURE ... 15

I. Freedom and Values ... 16

A. Reefs and Shoals ... 16

B. Complications ... 20

II. Our Contemporary Peril ... 22

A. The Handbook ... 23

B. Day of Grace ... 24

Chapter II. A FAMILIAR OPTION ... 26

I. Christianity ... 26

A. Point-blank ... 26

B. Mounting Charges ... 28

II. In the Balances ... 39

A. Crux: Perspective ... 39

B. Yes, but ... 42

C. The Bilateral Factors ... 43

PART II. THE LOWER IMMEDIACIES ... 47

Chapter III. THE SIREN VOICE OF PLEASURE ... 49

I. Mirth's Easy Glory ... 49

A. Solomon's Great Experiment ... 49

B. Immediacy 51

C. The Crux ... 53

II. Boredom ... 54

A. Fact ... 54

B. Significance ... 58

III. Frustration ... 59

A. Border Line: Vanity ... 59

B. The Valley of Defeat ... 59

IV. Guilt ... 67

A. Setting ... 67

B. Fruit ... 70

V. Exhaustion ... 77

A. The Feet of Clay ... 77

B. Objection ... 81

Summary ... 82

Chapter IV. BREAD ALONE? ... 83

I. The Two Jews ... 84

A. Zeitgeist ... 84

B. Basic Commodity ... 86

II. Marx States His Case ... 89

A. Rise ... 90

B. Crystallization ... 94

III. Competing Immediacy ... 97

A. Immediacy in Attainment ... 98

B. Frustration in Non-Attainment ... 99

IV. The Problem of Confidence ... 102

A. Why Trust Communism? ... 102

B. Why Trust Communists? ... 106

V. Beware of the Fine Print ... 108

A. The "Simple" Condition ... 109

B. Counting the Cost ... 112

VI. But Why Such Power and Growth? ... 118

A. The Narcotic of Activism ... 120

B. The Flood of Blessing ... 121

C. Egotistic Inflation ... 122

D. Reprisal ... 123

E. Involuntary Blindness ... 125

F. The Lure of Novelty ... 125

Summary ... 126

PART III. THE HIGHER IMMEDIACIES ... 129

Chapter V. SUFFERING FOR A METHOD ... 131

I. The Triumph of Sky Knowledge ... 133

A. The Revolt ... 133

B. Booty

C. New Bondage ... 141

D. Degrees of Servitude ... 143

II. Setting the Wedge ... 144

A. Biography of a Positivist ... 144

B. And Thus — ... 145

III. The Loss of Metaphysics ... 148

A. Legerdemain ... 148

B. Social Confusion ... 152

C. Cosmic Confusion ... 155

IV. The Loss of Ethics ... 162

A. The Uneasy Conscience ... 163

B. Uneasy Civilization ... 168

Summary ... 178

Chapter VI. PHILOSOPHICAL ATARAXIA ... 179

I. Satisfaction Through Reason ... 183

A. The Universality and Necessity of Rationality ... 184

B. Suffering for Rationality ... 188

II. The Contest of Destinies ... 192

A. The Solomonic Lamentation ... 193

B. The Spinozistic Rebuttal ... 196

C. Resolution ... 200

III. Want of Vocation ... 206

A. Suspended Animation ... 206

B. The Surprise Reversal ... 209

IV. Want of Consolation ... 216

A. Admonition to Youth ... 216

B. Rebuttal ... 220

Summary ... 222

PART IV. THRESHOLD OPTIONS ... 225

Chapter VII. DEVOTION TO MAN ... 227

I. Humanism: Contender for Man ... 228

A. Devotion to Science ... 229

B. The Primacy of Human Values ... 232

C. The Balanced Menu ... 236

II. Two Masters ... 240

A. Circumstantial Evidence ... 240

B. Implication ... 241

III. The Issue of Motive ... 243

A. The Problem of Self-love ... 243

B. The Uneasy Conscience of the Humanist ... 246

IV. The Problem of Power ... 250

A. The Failure of the Arm of Flesh ... 251

B. The Failure of the Heart ... 254

V. The Problem of Guilt ... 261

A. The Anatomy of Uneasiness ... 261

B. The Over-ought ... 266

Summary ... 271

Chapter VIII. DEVOTION TO GOD ... 274

I. The God of Physics ... 278

A. The Unmoved Mover ... 279

B. What about Man? ... 283

II. The Problem of Locus ... 285

A. Transcendence without Immanence ... 286

B. Immanence without Transcendence ... 288

C. Too Little or Too Much ... 290

III. The Problem of Power ... 294

A. Tertium Quid: The Finite God ... 296

B. The Caution of the Existing Individual ... 303

C. The Probe ... 304

D. Probe Continued ... 312

E. Probe Concluded .... 319

Summary ... 328

PART V. KINGDOM CLARIFICATIONS ... 331

Chapter IX. JUSTICE AND MERCY ... 333

I. The Case for Universalism ... 336

A. The Negative Argument for Universalism ... 337

B. The Affirmative Argument for Universalism ... 343

II. The Problem of Intrinsic Objection ... 352

A. Decorum ... 353

B. Problems of Justice ... 356

C. The Ratio of Mercy and Humility ... 357

D. Indolence ... 359

III. What Am I Left With: Option One ... 361

A. Loss of Faith in the Person of Christ ... 362

B. Loss of Faith in the Person of the Father ... 364

IV. What Am I Left With: Option Two ... 373

A. Preparation: Reminder of the Two Genera ... 373

B. The Lamb of God ... 376

C. He Descended into Hell ... 379

D. Peacefulness in Submission ... 384

Summary ... 389

Chapter X. THE PRIMACY OF AN INSTITUTION ... 391

1. The Plausibility of Roman Catholic Authority ... 392

A. The Natural Step ... 393

B. The Step Made Easy ... 395

II. The Real Issue ... 400

A. Independent Research ... 401

B. Research Continued ... 404

III. Catholic Perfection ... 417

A. The Root of Perfection ... 417

B. The Fruit of Perfection ... 429

IV. From Sympathy to Righteous Indignation ... 436

A. The Supreme Example: Jesus Christ ... 436

B. Application ... 442

Summary ... 445

Chapter XI. THE LOCI OF TRUTH ... 449

I. The Third Locus of Truth ... 450

A. The Limitations of Philosophy ... 450

B. The Balance of the Loci ... 453

II. Fountainhead: Soren Kierkegaard ... 455

A. Kierkegaard's Vocation in Life ... 456

B. Kierkegaard's Anthropology ... 457

C. Stages on Life's Way ... 459

D. Truth and Decision ... 463

E. Kierkegaard's Break from Reason ... 466

III. The Initial Difficulty ... 473

A. Faith and Reason in Daily Life ... 474

B. The Controversial Exception ... 475

IV. The Problem of Error ... 480

A. Kierkegaard and the Problem of Error ... 481

B. Contemporary Dialectical Theology ... 489

C. The Truth about Faith ... 494

V. The Self Is Lost Altogether ... 495

A. The Argument for Atheism ... 496

B. The Peril of Morals ... 500

C. Conclusion ... 504

Summary ... 505

PART VI. TO WHOM SHALL WE TURN? ... 509

Chapter XII. THE SUM OF THE MATTER ... 511

I. Biblical Christianity ... 511

II. Terminal Responsibility ... 514

Back Cover of the Book

The author has been hailed as "one of the leaders in the intellectual awakening of conservative evangelicalism after World War II" (Bruce L. Shelley) and as "one of the great evangelical theologians of our time" (John A. Sims). And this volume has been described as "the major attempt of an evangelical to display the completeness of Christianity's values, as against the incompleteness of values in other options: (Gordon R. Lewis).

Carnell covers a wide range of topics. Beginning with Part I, "Emergence of a Problem," he proceeds to a step-by-step analysis of the intellectual choices available to modern man.

"The purpose of this volume," writes Carnell, "is to trace through a set of typical value options in life. Reasons will be suggested in each case why one must move on from the lower to the higher on the one hand, and from the higher to faith in the person of Christ on the other. Christianity is a coherent religion. It never asks the heart to trust values which the reason is obliged to discard as contradictory. No value commitment is completely satisfying until the complete man is satisfied."

Edward John Carnell (19191967) was a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary from 1948 until his death and was president of that school from 1954 to 1959. He earned doctorates from both Harvard and Boston universities.

To that company of humble pastors and missionaries who labor faithfully in the forgotten places of the Kingdom, this volume is affectionately dedicated. Unsung and undecorated, they yet are the true heroes.

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