An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

New and recent books from Reformational scholars

There are a number of excellent books that have recently been published or are about to be published by Reformational scholars. These include:

Lambert Zuidervaart 2016. Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation: Essays in Reformational Philosophy. McGill-Queen's University Press.

Craig Bartholomew 2017. Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction. IVP Academic

Robert Sweetman 2016. Tracing the Lines: Spiritual Exercise and the Gesture of Christian Scholarship (Currents in Reformational Thought). Wipf and Stock

Mike Wagenam 2016. Together for the World: The Book of Acts. Lexham Press.

Craig Bartholomew 2016. Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics: A Comprehensive Framework for Hearing God in Scripture. Baker Academic.

Craig Bartholomew 2016. Revealing the Heart of Prayer: The Gospel of Luke. Lexhmam Press.

Maarten J Verkerk, Jan Hoogland, Jan van der Stoep, Marc J. de Vries 2016. Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction for Technology and Business Students. Routledge.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The history of the Reformational movement in the UK - part II

The second part of my paper on the history of the Reformational movement in the UK has now been published in the journal Koers.

Bishop, S., 2016. "A History of the Reformational Movement in Britain. II: The Post-World-War II Years to the end of the Twentieth Century". KOERS — Bulletin for Christian Scholarship, 81(1). Available at: http:// KOERS.81.1.2251

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Copan's Little Book for New Philosophers

A Little Book for New Philosophers
Why and How to Study Philosophy
Paul Copan
Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2016
128 pp; pbk; £6.99
ISBN: 9780830851478
Publisher’s website here

This may be a little book but it tackles a large task: examining how and why Christians should study philosophy. Philosophy has been more than a little denigrated in the church, it has become a byword for worldly thinking or at best a tool for theology. So Copan’s task is an important one. 

Copan’s aim is ‘that this small book will offer new material for some, reminders for others and, hopefully, reinforcement for all to look afresh at the implications of doing philosophy under the lordship of Christ’ (9). The need to do philosophy under the lordship of Christ is crucial. For those beginning to study philosophy will find this book a helpful guide.

Copan sees a number of important roles for philosophy. These include sharpening our minds, helping us see that ideas have consequences, to isolate and deal with sloppy thinking. These are all crucial roles and not just for Christians. In addition he for Christians he sees philosophy as being able to strengthen theology. Though we need to be careful to see philosophy as the handmaiden of theology. Philosophy should not be a naturalistic tool, as Copan puts it: ‘If God is the originator of the universe, why can’t he also be at work within it? Why must the Christian bow to naturalistic demands and assumptions?’ (90).

What is perhaps most surprising is that one of the foremost Christian philosophers, one who has done much to establish Christian philosophy, Herman Dooyeweerd is not mentioned in this book. Nevertheless, this book will help philosophy students see that philosophy can be a much a Christian calling as doing theology, and as such it is a welcome addition to this new series of ‘Little Books’. As Copan has it:
‘Ultimately, our philosophizing—as with our eating, drinking or whatever we do—should be done to the glory of God. Undertaking the study of philosophy should be an act of worship, and thus we devote our mental exertions, our research and our reading to God. Our philosophy should be undertaken in a spirit of prayer and dependence on God for understanding, insight and wisdom about what projects to undertake’ (119-120) 

Amen to that!


Why Study Philosophy?
1. Philosophy and Baking Bread 
2. Philosophy as Loving Wisdom 
3. Faith, Philosophy and Scripture 
4. Thinking About God

How To Study Philosophy
5. Virtuous Philosophy
6. Philosophy and Community 
7. Doubting Wisely
8. Considering Philosophy

Name and Subject Index 
Scripture Index