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The Love of Wisdom: A Christian Introduction to Philosophy [Kindle Edition]

James Spiegel , Steven Cowan
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Philosophy is defined as the love of wisdom, and college students will certainly admire this Bible-informed introductory level textbook’s fun approach to an often heady subject. The Love of Wisdom is made distinct in its engaging style that includes humor and copious popular culture illustrations to heighten reader interest and clarify important concepts. The book even addresses two key topics often omitted by other texts: political philosophy and aesthetics (beauty and the arts). Students and teachers can also make great use of the study questions for each chapter, a glossary of terms, and further reading suggestions

“Well-written, well-argued and highly accessible, The Love of Wisdom is a marvelous example of what an introductory philosophy text should be. Not only do Cowan and Spiegel provide an up-to-date map of the often perplexing philosophical landscape, but they do so in a way which encourages readers to take every thought captive for Christ.”

—Doug Blount, Professor in Theological Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

“Cowan and Spiegel provide a thorough, yet accessible, overview of important philosophical themes from a biblical point of view while engaging non-Christian perspectives . . . an instructive, even-handed guide that sets forth fairly the relevant philosophical range of orthodox Christian views. A fine resource!”

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

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steven Cowan is associate professor and advisor of Philosophy and Apologetics at Southeastern Bible College as well as associate director of the Apologetics Resource Center and editor of its Areopagus Journal in Birmingham, Alabama. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. Steve and his wife have one son.

James Spiegel is professor of Philosophy at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. He holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University and is also the author of How to Be Good in a World Gone Bad which won a 2005 Award of Merit from Christianity Today. James and his wife have four children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1401 KB
  • Print Length: 483 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0805447709
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (April 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004OA62NG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,453 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
There are only a few books available on philosophy from a Christian point of view. Examples include Craig's and Moreland's premier and through 654 pgs work entitled "Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview." Then there is Paul Copan's fairly short 224 pgs, "Loving Wisdom" and now there is a new addition, "The Love of Wisdom" by James S. Spiegel and Steven Cowan which has 466 pgs.

Which is better?

And how good is the Love of Wisdom?

To answer the first question, one must ask which is better a car, a ship or a plane?

It all depends on what you're looking for.

If you want a detailed analysis filled with words and notions such as epiphenomenalism, then stick with Craig and Moreland tome. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview is the most in-depth. This book has more than 200 pages than that of the Love of Wisdom. As the dimension of the book is about 20% larger in length and width (not to mention weight). So this book is a real textbook and for all the detail it sacrifices some readability.

Now "Loving Wisdom" reads like a paperback book, it feels like a book you would take out to the beach to enjoy! It may sound strange, that a philosophy book may be readable but Copan does an excellent job of making it so. This method means some concessions there is no section on logic, fallacious arguments, etc.

While The Love of Wisdom is an excellent middle compromise of some sorts. I say of some sorts because this book is readable itself, so much so that one could just as easily substitute loving wisdom for the love of wisdom, although the latter is more formal in its structure. Am I overstating this book's case?
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The world of academic philosophy can be confusing considering the numerous debates in the fields of epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. Add to the confusion that on many of these matters even Christians are divided on some seemingly critical points. The Love of Wisdom: A Christian Introduction to Philosophy by Steven B. Cowan and James S. Spiegel addresses the need for a singular text to lay out the landscape of philosophical debates from a Christian perspective. It is perhaps worth repeating clearly that this is not an introduction to religious philosophy (God's existence, pluralism, evil), but a Christian introduction to the entire realm of philosophical enquiry.

The Love of Wisdom is broken up into 3 parts, dealing with epistemology (knowledge), metaphysics (being) and ethics (value). Each part is three chapters, so the book has a total of nine chapters, plus the introduction which looks broadly at philosophy and worldviews. At the beginning of each chapter is an outline and list of glossary terms (the definitions are mentioned in the course of the chapter and a full list is in the back of the book). Given that each chapter averages about fifty pages, the sections of the chapters are likely easier to digest for most readers.

Chapter sections each have an introduction to the topic as well as "Questions for Reflection" at the end. So for example, Chapter Five is "Human Nature: What Am I?" The first section is "5.1 Do We Have Souls?" The fourteen page section summarizes the major views as well as arguments for and against each view. In the end some thought is given to the theological aspects of the debate and what most Christians have believed about it. Throughout the book, verses from the Bible are provided as they are relevant to the discussions.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wide and deep May 4, 2010
I have had the opportunity to go through this book on a semi-casual basis and also with the rigor of someone trying to master the information for an "A" in my philosophy class. We used The Love of Wisdom as our main text last fall in Seminary. Due to the course being an introduction, I was not expecting the depth of concept I found in this book. Previous studies had given me a serviceable grasp of philosophical basics but not a systematic way to understand how all those concepts work together as a whole. This book brought all the loose ends together for me. The Love of Wisdom covers topics that range from metaphysics to epistemology and aesthetics with a clarity that I have rarely encountered in an introductory text. The material is accessible without giving the reader the impression that he is being "talked down to." It was more material than could be covered in a single semester but the wide selection of topics should fit any professors' need for curriculum in an introductory class. The serious non-academic will also find solid intellectual nourishment in these pages if he/she is willing to put the effort in. This would be the first book I would recommend for those who seek to build a respectable philosophical library.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introductory Text From Great Authors October 23, 2010
I had the opportunity to have Professor Cowan as my adviser and philosophy professor in undergrad, so I am a bit biased. But I am also now a grad student at Yale, so he didn't do a half bad job. When I took an intro philosophy class with Dr. Cowan we used this book, at the time in its final manuscript form before printing. The book is extremely readable but also supplies sufficient enough detail to make you very well acquainted with the various topics discussed. It is charitable to opinions its authors do not agree with, which is extremely helpful for students just beginning to sort through the sometimes confusing world of philosophy. That charity is reflective of the spirit of the authors. Speaking primarily of my experience with Dr. Cowan, I know that on many issues he and I sat on opposite sides of the fence, leading to some very lively class discussions. Yet he was also a professor who very strongly encouraged his students to think for themselves, and this book reflects that. You will know where the authors stand and what views they find problematic and for what reasons. You will also know what motivates others to take up those positions and you will get all of that presented to you very fairly and accurately. Overall its a great book for people just beginning to study philosophy who want to do so from a Christian perspective. Enjoy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very helpful book.
Published 1 month ago by T. Kerr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very nice intro to philosophy. Well written and logically presented, fundamental principles are clearly understood.
Published 2 months ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an easy to read (for the most part) book on philosophy ...
This is an easy to read (for the most part) book on philosophy from a Christian perspective. I love that it tells the pros and cons of every belief system.
Published 3 months ago by Lytepoet
5.0 out of 5 stars I am very pleased with the information I have been able to get ...
This resource is very descriptive and, at times, a little difficult for a beginner philosopher. However, I am very pleased with the information I have been able to get from it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kimi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great shape, like new
Published 8 months ago by Belicia
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Can really help you get an handle of philosophy. I used it for a philosophy intro class and enjoyed it greatly.
Published 12 months ago by Alfred W. Vaughan
4.0 out of 5 stars An insightful primer
Execellent introduction to the philosophy of the philosophical methodology. Presented through the lense of a strictly Christian, theistic, and biblical worldview.
Published 19 months ago by Elijah D Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars very good book
it is simple and understandable guide to the world of philosophy. I enjoy it. recommend
try the sample and you will see for yourself
Published 20 months ago by Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy Can Be Enjoyable?
Starting off this semester, I thought I'd hate philosophy class, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was my favorite class of the semester! Read more
Published on December 23, 2012 by Fiera.Leigh
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro/Overview from Christian Perspective
Most likely if you're looking at this book, you're in some sort of academic environment. I needed the book for Philosophy 101. Read more
Published on October 8, 2011 by paulregent.blogspot
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