Journey/ChristianPhilosophicalJourney.pdf . Link to the book.
1. Answer these questions following the format described in step four:
a. Which of the 4 approaches do you favor or use in life? Are they all valid? Why or
b. Does real freedom really exist? Or are all our choices limited in some way? What
is the difference between “free will” and “free choice” theologically (this impacts
our philosophical stance)?
c. What is the main differences between a Calvinist-Reformed and a Wesleyan-
Arminian way of thinking on these points?
d. Write a 150-200 word description (3-4 paragraphs or at least 5 observations)
about the understanding of freedom in philosophy (and theology). Remember: use
the four-step methodology of understanding, analysis, evaluation and application!
You may use the Bible for illustrations in application, but not final proof (we
want to avoid “proof-texting”) You may also want to try to do the step called
‘synthesis,’ by coming up with your own new paradigm for these concept (along
with your own illustrations).
2. Explain the validity each type of human interaction (social, economic, political), and the
value of each.
a. Write a 150-200 word description (3-4 paragraphs, or at least 5 observations)
about the contrast between ‘social construct’ (broader and implicit) vs. ‘social
contract’ (narrower and either implicit or explicit). Answer these questions:
b. How do rate the levels at which we relate as humans? Rank them in their order of
importance to you.
c. Why do we need social or political (even economic) contracts to get along in a
free society? (one assumes without freedom in society, there is no choice on how
to proceed, people are just under forced compliance). Is there room for a ‘spiritual
contract’ of sorts (like a covenant), where theocracy is an option that people live
by? Give examples of a theocracy both in the past and now. What are the benefits
or dangers? Remember: use the four-step methodology of understanding, analysis,
evaluation and application! You may also want to try to do the step called
synthesis, by coming up with your own new paradigm for these concepts (and
your own illustration)
3. Read Worldview Question #6 on page 6 of the CPJ, How should I live in the world? Are
there rules that everyone must follow? Do other individuals count when making
decisions? What is a fulfilled life? These questions relate to ethics, a branch of axiology.
and answer the questions there about the description of ethics. In addition, ask yourself
this: Are ethics necessary to live together, or does freedom mean the ability to do
whatever we want (regardless of harm to others or consequences to ourselves)? Do you
have to value something before you can treat it accordingly (right)? Where do
ethics/values come from?
4. Read Worldview Question #7 on page 6 of the CPJ, How do humans best live together in
the world? Should we have no ruler but simply follow God’s law? Should we have a
king? Should materials be owned privately or shared in common? These are the topics of
social and political philosophy, including economic theory. and answer the questions
listed there about the description of living in society with recognized rules/law. In
addition, ask yourself this: What is the rule of law? How do rules and laws benefit us?
Can they ever oppress people? Should laws be centered around the “common good?”
Should we use the Bible as law in society, or is this only for Christians?
5. 1. What do you make of the claim that many who are generationally poor or who are in
abuse situations are not free to will themselves out of that situation? Would this idea
change your attitudes toward such individuals?
2. Which of the following positions best fits your sense of human freedom: hard
determinist, compatibilist, free will libertarian, or indeterminist? Why?
3. Take a position in the Calvinist-Arminian debate and argue for it biblically and
philosophically. Evaluate the author’s argument that the apostle Paul’s predestination
language was after-the-fact language. What do you make of the author’s argument that
foreknowledge need not imply predestination?
4. Are you consistent in your view of predestination and free will? Do you think your
sense of punishment and discipline or your sense of government and legislating ethics fit
together? Defend your position.
1. Toward which of the three main ethical approaches (duty based, consequence based
[utilitarian], virtue based) do you most lean? To what extent are you egoist in your
approach to life?
2. What do you see as the normal “scope” of ethical duties? Do you think most ethical
duties are absolutes, universal with exceptions, relative, or not really a matter of right and
wrong at all (adiaphora)? Can you think of one issue on which your position falls into
each of these categories? If so, describe.
3. Create a list of your “hierarchy of values.” If “saving a life” and “telling the truth”
come into conflict, which is higher on your list of priorities, for example? Compare your
list with someone else’s.
4. Look at your own life. Are there any patterns of behavior that you recognize as vices?
Strategize how you might turn this area of your life into a virtue by forming the right
habits. Do you believe that virtue can be a habit?
5. Is there anything in this chapter about which you have serious questions or to which
you take major exception? Investigate it and discuss it with others.
1. In the light of this chapter, what do you think the ideal form of government would be?
Would it be different for a Christian than it would be for someone who is not a Christian?
2. What do you make of the relationship between a person as a Christian and a person as
a citizen? Do you agree with Richard Niebuhr’s categorization of the different options?
Which one of the options—or one of your own making—do you favor? What do you see
as the proper relationship between church and state?
3. How do fundamental Christian or human values impact a person’s sense of how
economic theories should play out in a society? Critique both capitalism and communism
from a Christian perspective. Critique both from a utilitarian perspective.
4. In what ways should we take into account the difference between the way economies
worked at the time of Christ and the way our economies work today? How do these
differences influence the way Christians apply biblical thinking and instructions about
money and wealth?