What Has Philosophy to Do with PLUMBING? (time for a good quote)

13 May

“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing FirefoxScreenSnapz491because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.” (John Gardner)


1.  We are told in the Bible not to beware of philosophy, but of “deceitful philosophy.”  We read in the book of Colossians, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (Col. 2:8).  What are some advantages of good philosophy?

2.  If philosophy is the love of wisdom, why is it that so many philosophers have rejected the Good News about Jesus?  Your thoughts?


Posted by on May 13, 2014 in thinking


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5 responses to “What Has Philosophy to Do with PLUMBING? (time for a good quote)

  1. Tyro

    May 13, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Philosophy is a love of *truth*, and has a long history intertwined throughout with that of religion. There have always been skeptics and apologists among philosophers. (If you’re wondering, I am one of the former.) The answer to your second question should be obvious: Logical deduction and lack of reliable, substantiated evidence.

  2. Dr. Larry Dixon

    May 13, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Tyro: Thank you so much for your comment. If I understand you correctly, you categorize yourself as a skeptic. May I ask what you would accept as reliable evidence in terms of the person of Jesus? Again, thanks for writing.

    • Tyro

      May 13, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      Of the person of Jesus, contemporary accounts of his life which can be reliably dated and placed in context. There are few or none, depending on how skeptical you are of certain sources.

      Of his divinity, verifiable & scientifically testable evidence. Hearsay, especially two thousand year old hearsay riddled with contradictions and written long after the fact, just doesn’t cut it.

  3. Dr. Larry Dixon

    May 20, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Thanks for your comments, Tyro. You might want to look at F.F. Bruce’s “Jesus and Christians Origins Outside the New Testament” for external sources (Suetonius, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Josephus) on the historicity of Jesus. For the reliability of the four gospel accounts (which are not strictly biographies of Jesus, but rather thematic accounts of His life), you might find John Warwick Montgomery’s little book “History and Christianity” helpful. I think he shows that the four gospels pass both internal as well as external tests for historical reliability. On your second question, the divinity of Jesus: If one does not hold to a closed universe (in other words, if one holds that God exists and can act in His creation), the historical accounts of the miracles of the Bible (especially the resurrection of Jesus) give evidence of authenticity. I’ve found Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Faith” as well as “The Case for Christ” helpful here. Blessings. Larry

  4. Jacob

    May 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    As someone pursuing theology/philosophy, I’m glad to hear that not everyone thinks it’s antithetical to faith! 😉

    That being said, I think I’ve shared many of the same problems with faith that the “philosophically inclined” community struggles with. It’s not necessarily that I don’t believe the Gospel, I think that I do. However the Gospel I believe in doesn’t coincide with most conservative evangelicals’ views. The evangelical community has a tendency to play the “you’re in you’re out” game when it comes to belief. It seems like when they ask you what you believe, it’s so they know if you’re an enemy or an ally. I can see how thi would be frustrating to unbelieving philosophers.

    I would also take tyro to task with the idea that philosophy is love of “truth.” How does one know what truth is?


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