Is it okay for Christians to study philosophy?

by Matt Slick

Yes, it is okay for Christians to study philosophy. But we must be careful to not become deceived by the philosophies of men. The Bible says in Colossians 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” The verse does not say we can’t study philosophy. It warns against being held captive by its empty deception.

When studying the cults, it is necessary to study their material in order to know what they teach. This way, Christians will be better able to give an answer to their false teachings. Likewise, it is worth studying philosophy in order to give counter-arguments to the secular ideas that are offered by philosophers. Also, philosophy helps sharpen the mind, develop logic skills, and aids in articulating ideas. It can be quite useful if done properly.

Also, we might want to note that Paul the apostle quoted two philosophers in his witness to the unbelievers:

  • Epimenides in Titus 1:12, “One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”
  • Aratus in Acts 17:28, “for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.'”

So, we can see that even Paul the Apostle used his studies of philosophy for the furthering of the gospel of Christ. So can we.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.