What are you going to do with THAT?

Invariably, when people heard that I was working on my bachelor’s degree in philosophy, they asked what I was planning to do with it. Usually the question was asked with a bit of skepticism regarding the usefulness of such a degree.

That is a tricky question…and one I’m never quite sure how to answer.

 A friend’s father asked me recently what philosophers do. My response? “They write, teach…and think.” My response elicited a bit of a chuckle from him, but it’s true. Well-known philosophers can support themselves by writing, speaking, teaching, and thinking…but philosophy students…not so much.

Why did I choose to study philosophy?

The short answer…because I enjoy philosophy.

The longer answer…because I want to learn to think correctly and biblically. As I look at the Christian church today, I notice a decided lack of Christians who have the ability to think about all of life biblically. It’s easy to view spiritual issues through the lens of Scripture but what about other areas of life? As Christians, we should be thinking about everything (work, school, problems) from a biblical point of view.

Studying Christian philosophy at Whitefield College allowed me to learn from godly men what it means to think about every area of life critically and biblically. At least, that is the goal my teachers set before my eyes and it is something I want to strive toward.

I love studying Christian philosophy because it challenges me to develop a consistent, biblical worldview. It challenges me to evaluate everything about my life (my ethics, morals, my beliefs about men and God, my view of society and government – everything) in light of Scripture.

I also enjoy studying secular philosophy. Even men who were non-Christians had interesting, and sometimes valuable, insights into the world in which we live. While I may not agree with their conclusions, again their philosophies challenge me to think about what I believe and why I believe it.

I believe God has called every Christian to a thoughtful Christian life. He hasn’t called everyone to study philosophy…but He has called each and every Christian to live consistent Christian lives.

That’s why I chose and continue to choose to study philosophy.

It helps me develop a critical eye for examining what I believe and why I believe it.

As a side note, I don’t plan to make a career out of philosophy. The only “career” I want to have is the one of being a wife, mother, and keeper of my home. If God so blesses me one day, I believe the training I had at Whitefield College will help in raising children to have consistent, biblical worldviews. Until that time, I am excited about helping the students I come in contact with to begin approaching their work and studies from a biblical perspective.

~ Melinda ~

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One Response to What are you going to do with THAT?

  1. Jamie says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this! What an excellent explanation. I do feel that most view the “point” of a college education to be employment, so that is likely why you get this question so frequently.
    But yes, education that fills your mind is a great thing and I’m glad you found an area of study that enabled you to do that.

    In regards to writing, I have found that it takes courage, guts, to be a writer. It is easy for us to have our thoughts inside of our minds, but so much harder to put it out there for others to read and perhaps argue with. This is why I have never been a true writer. I still lack the guts.

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