Worldview of Christian Humanism (Part 1)

Zach —  April 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

Hello and welcome back!

Now that we’ve finished the secular humanism overview, let’s turn our attention towards another worldview that is prominent today.  This worldview is the 21st century version of Christian humanism.  As we discover the background of many of these different 21st century worldviews, I want to inform you that many of them will possibly unsettle you.

The concept of worldview — or how we view the world around us — allows us to have a window into the thinking and beliefs of others.  Without this basic understanding of what others are about is the basis of unfruitful argumentation and is the foundation of misunderstanding which is never fruitful.  Therefore, our investigation into the different mainline worldviews provides the opportunity to understand what others believe regardless of whether we see eye to eye with their beliefs or not.

History of Christian Humanism

The history of Christian humanism is almost as old as Christianity.  In fact, the second century church father, Justin Martyr, is credited by some to be the father of Christian humanism based on his use of classical (Greek secular knowledge) teachings into teaching non-Christians of the day about Christianity.

Christian humanism has continued from these beginnings throughout history.  In the 12th century, Peter Abelard, a French scholastic philosopher, brought logic to theology that was touted as correcting contradictions of the early church fathers.

This thinking was instrumental in bringing a new theological discipline of combining philosophy with Christianity which was heavily disputed by the 12th century church.

Thomas Aquinas was able to make a case for Aristotelian philosophy being utilized in forming Christian theology.  Throughout the renaissance, the reformation, and up to the Enlightenment—Christianity and classical philosophy influenced one another.

The United States Constitution is said to be an influence of Christian humanism brought about by John Locke, an English philosopher who expressed the idea of God-given rights above any government authority.

The above historical overview is a mere skimming of the complexity of the subject of Christian humanism but provides a snapshot of how classical Greek philosophy and Christian thought developed together from the 2nd century to the Enlightenment.

The Enlightenment was the beginning of the split between traditional Christianity and Christian humanism.  Christian humanism is credited with the Biblical criticisms and the liberalism that is now rampant in Christianity today.

Next post, we will complete our investigation into Christian humanism in the 21st century and move on to the next worldview.

My book, 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose will expand on the history as well as provide excellent references for further study and investigation of the many worldviews presented within its pages.

If you are interested in further research into Christian humanism before the book is available, please make a request in the comments section below for this blog post.

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:  What are your thoughts about Christian humanism?

Zach

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Zach Malott is a pastor, counselor, life coach, author, and publisher. He resides in Ruidoso, NM. Zach holds a BS in Religion, finishing a MA in Professional Counseling, completing Christian apologetics at Biola, and and completing certification as an Apologetics Instructor with NAMB.