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Christian Philosophy: A Systematic and Narrative Introduction

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  21 reviews
This third book in a series of successful introductory textbooks by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen builds on their previous projects, The Drama of Scripture and Living at the Crossroads, to offer a comprehensive narrative of philosophical thought from a distinctly Christian perspective.

After exploring the interaction among Scripture, worldview, theology, and philoso

Paperback, 302 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Baker Academic
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May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
In terms of Christian introductions to philosophy, I think this is the best I’ve found so far. Most books either try to oversimplify things, whereas more “serious” gateways to understanding philosophy or philosophical movements operate with a certain level of understanding before coming to the text.

By contrast, Bartholomew and Goheen write to a specifically Christian undergraduate / graduate level. They explain every major philosophical movement in the West, define terms where definitions are n
Sangita Takhur
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book on narrative philosophy.
Samuel Bierig
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a worthwhile little introduction to philosophy. Bartholomew's range, comprehension, and productivity in so many different fields and disciplines is totes incredible. ...more
Matt Manry
What a great book! This is a must read for anyone interested in Reformed Philosophy.

Check out my review at The Gospel Coalition -
Brian Watson
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
(Finished 1/3/19.)

This is a very fine introduction to philosophy from a Christian perspective. The intended audience is probably undergraduates at Christian colleges and universities, judging by the device that Bartholomew and Goheen use frequently at either the beginning or end of each chapter, which is an ongoing email dialogue between two Christians, one attending a secular university and another attending a Christian college. (I would prefer if that dialogue were removed from the book.)

Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book begins with a startling claim: "Philosophy is a vital part of the church's mission." Philosophy is defined as "the attempt to discern the structure or order of of creation, and to describe systematically what is subject to that order." (3)

Overall, it is a helpful introduction to the intersection of faith and philosophy in the Reformed philosophical tradition. After an introduction to the topic, it goes through the history of Western philosophy with a focus on matters of faith. This is
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a very good introduction to the history of philosophy. The book's format is easy to follow and the authors did not shy away from showing their Christian commitments.

My only gripe is that there is an uneven amount of discussion (of Dooyeweerd in particular) in the last few chapters. The summary of what both Reformed epistemology and Reformational philosophy offer left me hanging though it is enough to whet one's appetite to read more. The list of recommended reading at the end is of great
Richard Gunton
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A really helpful overview of the Western tradition of philosophical thought, from the Pre-Socratics to the 21st century. The Christian perspective on this tradition offered by Bartholomew and Goheen will go a long way to helping undergraduates - and others - appreciate the different stories that may be told about the development of Western theoretical thought. For Christian (or sympathetic) thinkers, the final chapters on Reformed Epistemology and Reformational Philosophy will provide an invalua ...more
Laurent Dv
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Good introduction to philosophy from a neocalvinist view (main idea of philosophy, a survey of the history of philosophy and evaluation of two modern philosophical christian trends : Reformational philosphy (Herman Dooyeweerd, D. H. Vollenhoven) = continental ; Reformed epistemology (Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff) = analytical.
Laura Icardi
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I learned SO MUCH and underlined so much in this book. Criticisms: sometimes a little dry, and occasionally used big words that the average non-philosophy major is not familiar with. I wrote my own little glossary in the back, and referred to it often.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a narrative introduction to philosophy written from the perspective of a Christian commitment. I have some difficulty when the word 'Christian' is used as an adjective as in the title of this book. This book is not just concerned for philosophy done by Christians although it does include some of that. I think the book must have been written as a text for use at a Christian college or university. Written in three parts; Approaching Christian Philosophy, the Story of Western Philosophy and ...more
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I hope that this book makes its way into the intro to philosophy classes at Christian colleges. Home schooling parents should use it during high school. The authors are Reformed in the Dutch Reformed ("Reformational") philosophical tradition and at times it shows, especially in their frequent critical mentioning of "dualism" in the history of Christian philosophy. As one who has dualism-phobia as well I didn't mind it. In fact, I wish they pointed out clearly the dualisms of Kant and others in m ...more
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Four stars, only because their treatments of several philosophers were not very helpful. Still a great survey of Western philosophy combined with an excellent section on contemporary Christian philosophy. The summaries of Wolterstorff, Plantinga, and Dooyeweerd are invaluable.

Part of the strength of this book is that both authors come from a Dutch Reformed background. Few, if any, traditions in Christianity interact, critique, and comment as well with culture, science, technology, government, p
Nov 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, dnf, reviewed
I received a free copy from the publisher in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

This book covers the history of philosophy from a Christian perspective. I tried reading it straight through over the course of a few months and found it to be a bit overwhelming. Instead I am going to use it as a reference work.

Any serious student of philosophy would get a lot out of it. An average reader like me (college educated but in a completely different field) would probably have a hard time sticking with it al
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
A concise introduction to philosophy itself and also Reformational Christian philosophy. The authors did well at reporting on various philosophers but little in the way of their own work, so to speak. I found their summaries helpful, the language somewhat biased, and their "Reformational philosophy" less helpful. Useful book, though, overall. ...more
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: seminary
I have a difficult time with philosophy. This book did a good job of helping me understand some of the basics, though there were parts where I felt it leaned too heavily on "philosopheze" (philosophical language that is not part of the average person's language) and so had difficulty understanding the worldviews being presented. ...more
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review
Very interesting and easy to read. I will be returning to this to reference all of the historical aspects and to re-read on Reformational Philosophy. I was already slightly familiar with Reformed Epistemology b/c of Plantinga, but this book added much and encourage me to read even more. Great book.
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read this in a couple of sittings. I found it a really helpful overview of the history of philosophical thought from a Christian perspective. Additionally, I think it is a good companion to the other works by this author written with Michael Goheen.
Jason Brubaker
Good content but had to push through.

Great overview of major philosophers and movements but dry at times. If you enjoy this subject and looking for introductory info in this area you'll love this book. More than a survey but not exhaustive.
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
A descent history of western philosophy and Christian thought. Surprisingly comprehensive for its moderate size.
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Seth Winterhalter
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Jul 15, 2014
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Craig G. Bartholomew (PhD, University of Bristol) is the H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, and the principal of the Paideia Centre for Public Theology. He founded the internationally recognized Scripture and Hermeneutics seminar and is coauthor of Living at the Crossroads and Christian Philosophy.

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