Groothuis, Douglas. Philosophy in Seven Sentences: A Small Introduction to a Vast Topic. Downers Grove, 2016. 160 pp. $16.00. Purchase at Amazon and for Kindle for much less.
I have reviewed one other book by Dr. Douglas Groothuis here at Christian Book Notes. It was what I consider his magnum opus work on Christian Apologetics. It is such a large, sweeping resource that I reviewed it in two parts. You can read the first part here (there is a link to the second part there as well). Dr. Groothuis continues to serve as professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary.
Appropriately, the book is divided into seven chapters with an introduction and conclusion. Each chapter looks at a particular philosopher from history. The chapters, and the accompanying sentences are:
- Protagoras – Man is the measure of all things.
- Socrates – The unexamined life is not worth living.
- Aristotle – All men by nature desire to know.
- Augustine – You have made us for yourself, and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in you.
- Descartes – I think, therefore I am.
- Pascal – The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.
- Kierkegaard – The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all.
This work is obviously written from a Christian perspective which is to be greatly commended. For many today believe that Christian theology and philosophy are diametrically opposed to one another. Once again, Dr. Groothuis sounds the bell of clear thinking for the modern Christian wrestling with the world as it is. His biblical worldview is fully on display in this short little work.
When I first read of this project, I recall thinking it an impossible task. I mean, how can you offer a succinct overview of philosophy in a mere seven sentences?! What really makes this book invaluable is his willingness to delve deep but not too deep. Hence, the subtitle “a small introduction to a vast topic.”
One may call this book an open door to a new universe. Each chapter can serve as an introduction to a lifetime of study on one particular philosopher. Groothuis shows how they all relate to one another and, whether intentional or not, how they all influenced one another and influence us today.
I was impressed with Dr. Groothuis’ ability to keep it short and simple. He has done a great service (once again) to the Christian philosophical community with the publication of Philosophy in Seven Sentences. I heartily commend this book to all Christians – especially those studying philosophy either at an introductory level or even as a discipline.