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Christian Philosophy

A Systematic and Narrative Introduction

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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 philosophy, the authors tell the story of philosophy from ancient Greece through postmodern times, positioning the philosophers in their historical contexts and providing Christian critique along the way. The authors emphasize the Reformed philosophical tradition without neglecting other historical trajectories and show how philosophical thought relates to contemporary life.


Part 1: Approaching Christian Philosophy
1. Why Philosophy?
2. Faith and Philosophy
Part 2: The Story of Western Philosophy
3. Ancient Pagan Philosophy: The Pre-Socratics to Socrates
4. The High Point of Greek Philosophy: Plato, Aristotle, and Their Legacy
5. Medieval Synthesis Philosophy: Augustine to Abelard
6. The Middle Ages: Aristotle Rediscovered
7. The Renaissance and Reformation
8. Early Modern Philosophy: Bacon to Leibniz
9. Modern Philosophy: Hume to Schleiermacher
10. Modern Philosophy: Romanticism to Gadamer
11. Postmodernism and Philosophy Today
Part 3: Christian Philosophy Today
12. Christian Philosophy Today
13. Reformed Epistemology
14. Reformed Epistemology Applied
15. Reformational Philosophy
Annotated Further Reading List


"Christian Philosophy explains why philosophy is vitally important for all thoughtful Christians who want their faith to engage with the world today and also gives a clear account of what it means to do philosophy as a Christian. This book is full of wisdom and insight; the ideas are powerful, and the writing is clear and engaging. It is must reading for educated Christians."

C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University

"I have greatly appreciated the work of Bartholomew and Goheen and their thoughtful commitment to Scripture's authority. They have proven themselves adept at articulating the truth, beauty, and explanatory power of the biblical worldview. Their application of the biblical worldview to the task of Christian philosophy reflects the richness, nuance, and breadth we have come to expect from these seasoned guides. A wise book indeed!"

Paul Copan, Professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University

"Bartholomew and Goheen have produced a clear, comprehensive, and vibrant case for Christian philosophy. Their book is an ideal text for thoughtful Christians of any age but especially for students or professors in a university context in which Christianity faces serious, sometimes hostile challenges from a secular culture. This book offers a balanced, compelling framework and line of reasoning that bring to light the intellectual power and integrity of Christian philosophy."

Charles Taliaferro, professor of philosophy and chair of the philosophy department, St. Olaf College

The Authors

  1. Craig G. Bartholomew

    Craig G. Bartholomew

    Craig G. Bartholomew (PhD, University of Bristol) is director of the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge, England. He was formerly senior research fellow at the University of Gloucestershire and the H. Evan Runner Professor of...

    Continue reading about Craig G. Bartholomew

  2. Michael W. Goheen

    Michael W. Goheen

    Michael W. Goheen (PhD, University of Utrecht) is professor of missional theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is also professor of missional theology and director of theological education at the Missional Training Center, Phoenix. Goheen is...

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"This interesting, clearly written introduction to Christian philosophy might be particularly helpful as a textbook for undergraduates, but also would be useful for graduate students and others. The authors use a narrative approach that would appeal to undergraduates: in nearly every chapter, two philosophy students correspond via e-mail messages about the ideas they have learned. Yet the book also has a significant level of depth and sophistication, e.g., particularly concerning the ways in which implications of particular philosophical developments are understood in light of a Christian worldview. . . . Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty."

J. Jaeger,


"A reliable and engaging one-volume introduction to the history of philosophy from an orthodox Christian perspective. . . . The book offers a well-balanced, coherent and critical, but charitable, survey of Western intellectual history from a broadly Reformed perspective. The authors' open admission of the authority of Scripture and the need to do philosophy as Christians is refreshing."

James Anderson,

Expository Times

"Bartholomew and Goheen . . . offer stimulating analyses of the relationship of philosophy to faith. Anyone interested in that topic should take account of this book. I have not read an introductory book equal to this in clarity as well as breadth and that also is able to negotiate some of the central topics of tension and interest with respect to the history of--and a Christian approach to--philosophy."

Scott Oliphint,


"A historical step-by-step approach to Christian philosophy. . . . It is written in such a way that the reader does not need to be a philosophy major in order to enjoy and understand it. . . . The book does a good job bringing to the reader the importance of philosophy in understanding faith and its contribution to faith. In addition to understanding, the study of philosophy can provide insights on working with others in the mission field."

Paul L. Whalen,

Asbury Journal

"[The authors] show not only the importance of Christians taking philosophy seriously but also why philosophy is absolutely necessary for real missional engagement with different cultures. . . . This is an important time for Christians to engage in philosophical discussion. Christian Philosophy is a remarkably useful book because it provides a foundational look at some of the most vital philosophical ideas in Western history. . . . The ground is fertile and the time is now for Christians to devote themselves to philosophical teaching. Let Bartholomew and Goheen guide you, and I promise you will not be disappointed."

Matt Manry,

The Gospel Coalition blog

"Bartholomew and Goheen's volume exhibits several notable strengths. Their explanations of difficult concepts and important historical developments were clear. Their selection of material was judicious. They often provide enumerated summaries and critiques of the various philosophies that they discuss. Furthermore, while historical surveys can sometimes oversimplify complex issues, Bartholomew and Goheen demonstrate an ability to provide nuanced treatments of debated topics. . . . Bartholomew and Goheen have provided an impressive introduction to philosophy from their own Neo-Calvinist perspective. They introduce their readers to the major concepts and movements in the history of philosophy and do so from clearly stated Christian presuppositions. For these reasons, their book provides an important voice in the ongoing conversation over the place of philosophy for Christian thought in the twenty-first century."

Luke Stamps,


"Christian Philosophy is a good intro to philosophy for Christians who do not know much about the field, and it is an interesting book for those who do know the field. . . . This work offers many good points and is worth reading."

J. Brian Huffling,

Christian Apologetics Journal

"[A] lively overview of what [the authors] claim is a diminutively Christian perspective on the history of philosophy, hinting at how to create a comprehensive, alternative way of doing the discipline. . . . Very cool, very helpful, and a very good introduction to a significant school of thought, allowing faith to influence even the doing of the history of philosophy."

Byron Borger,

Hearts & Minds Books blog