I read an article in a secular publication this morning about “10 Reasons for the Existence of God” and all 10 reasons were from a philosophical point of view. But there are great differences between philosophy and belief in God.
Christianity is not a philosophy even though many want it to be. There are many philosophies in the world, almost everyone has one, and each philosophy is personal; it touches the emotions, defines the world we live in and so forth. But a philosophy is an invention, man-made by our own foibles, feelings, and what we decide are facts. It may be our buy-in to some thoughts others have bought into or our additions to what other philosophies have inspired in us.
A philosophy is a belief of sorts, a belief in things we have dreamed about or imagined or decided and they are beliefs that guide our living to a certain extent. (A friend told me of a time when he was in the dentist’s chair after receiving the “laughing gas” that sedated him for a tooth problem. He said after the gas was administered he was conscious but in a mind-expanded way and suddenly he saw into the world beyond the natural realm and, in a moment, he knew the answers for all the world’s problems! He remembers planning to write everything down on paper just as soon as he left the dentist’s office but when he got to a place where he could write, the gas had worn off and he couldn’t remember any of all the amazing insights he had experienced under the influence of the gas!)
Philosophies are ideas expanded upon in the mind. They are influenced by all sorts of things and, thus, are as varied as there are people with ideas. Christianity is not an idea, it is the revelation of all things, and all things as they are in relation to Jesus Christ. It does not exist as a philosophy but as a relationship between believers and the Creator. It calls us to a way of life, as does a philosophy, but it is a way of life into which God intervenes in His relationship with us as He leads us to grow in faith.
Philosophy doesn’t intervene except in the existential sense of trial and error changing the way we live. Philosophy is based in the realm of thoughts and reasoning, Christianity is based in the realm of the reality of God and His self-revelation in Jesus Christ. It is far beyond any philosophy man has ever conceived and, in fact, cannot be believed without the intervention of the Spirit of God giving us the power to believe.
People have tried to force Christianity into the small hole of a philosophy so that it can be more easily handled, but it won’t work! The origin of all philosophy is the mind of man, the origin of all that is real is the mind of God and He has revealed it to us in the man Jesus Christ.
Therein is the difference!