There are books and there are books. For the Christian who wishes to understand the world around him/her it is important to get a handle on both the history and the philosophy of the past that has contributed to where we are at. Then the Christian can respond to the world around him/her in a Biblical fashion. This list will grow over time and the recommended reading will continue to take the Christian to this goal.
Our world today, the Western world that is, finds its function in Hegel’s understanding of what it means to be “free.” But how he defines freedom is something that will challenge the Christian. I will leave it to you to read the book, see his definition, and to insert the weight of that definition into the term each time he uses it.
The fruit of Hegel’s work can be found in subsequent thought. Jacques Barzun outlines some of that history for us. But prior to Hegel there were other ideas at work which J F Hurst has outlined.
Students in school, both in the grades and in college, are confronted with the problem of naturalism and the various questions of science. In the anthology of Philosophy of Science the student can get a good handle on what is scientific, what is not, and how the ideas of the past have influenced how science is done today.
Add to these an apologetic that takes the offensive approach that places revelation above all else so that persuasion is most effective. Van Til’s approach will lead you in that direction.
At times you will hear people attribute a very Christian moral position to the works of Marx. But how does Marx, in actually, stack up against Biblical teaching? Klaus Bockmuehl covered that theological question in his work. It’s a necessary read especially for Christians who engage political concerns and social need.
While the evangelical is commonly a political conservative, this movement that we are part of may not be understood as well as it needs to be. Reading Russell Kirk one sees the theological heritage of conservatism but can raise some questions about where conservatism is today with respect to its Christian (and evangelical) heritage. Those whose politic is theologically informed should read Kirk in that light.
|“What Is To Be Done”
V I Lenin (pdf)
There is Bible study and there is the most thorough Bible study you can do. If you want to get your hands on the history of specific words and all of the nuances of the language, TDNT (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament) is for you. This is the “gold standard” for investigative study.
While Hegel described the situation we are in, the functions of how things actually work was defined by V. I. Lenin. In What Is to be Done” you see his program for revolution and change. You will also see some interesting similarities to the left’s behavior today. If there is political theater then there are no coincidences.