- How did I get here?
- Why am I here?
- Where am I going?
The goal of human philosophy is to answer those questions while leaving God out of the equation. Our English word philosophy comes from the Greek philosophia which is a compound word: phileo (to love), and sophia (wisdom). Philosophy is the love of wisdom; namely, human wisdom.
Of this Paul issued a warning, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
In this passage Paul pointed out four errors of philosophy. First, it is hollow and deceptive. Philosophy promises truth, but delivers lies. Second, it depends on human traditions. Philosophy is not established on the eternal truths of God’s Word, but on faulty human reasoning.
Third, it is according to the elemental spiritual forces of this world. The Greek word translated “elemental” speaks of things in a row, or things in a column like ABC/123. It refers to the basic teaching a child would receive. To abandon biblical revelation for human speculation is foolish. And fourth, it is not according to Christ. Human philosophy has nothing to do with Jesus.
As one person observed, “Philosophy is like a blind man looking in a dark room for a black cat that isn’t there.” Human philosophy is about as helpful as a trap door in a canoe. To attempt to answer the great questions of life without God is an exercise in futility.
God Himself is the creator of life (Genesis 2:7). He is our life (Acts 17:28). The meaning and purpose of life are found in Him (John 17:3). And He is the final goal and destination of life (Revelation 21:7). Life is all about God!
I like the way Billy Graham stated it, “Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point!” Attempting to explain or live life without God is, in the words of Solomon, vanity. It’s like trying to grasp the wind. It cannot be done.
The great questions of life can only be answered by God Himself. So the next time you or someone you know are looking for answers, turn to God’s Word. Unlike philosophy, the Bible will always tell you the truth. As the writer testified, “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal” (Psalm 119:160).
Pastor Todd Weston