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The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World [Hardcover]

By R. C. Sproul, Sr. (Author)
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Item description for The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World by R. C. Sproul, Sr....

Studying the history of empirical thought helps us understand the culture in which we live. From Plato and Augustine to Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Sproul's introduction to and analysis of philosophers and their ideas will help you respond as a Christian to the thinking that has shaped your world, for better or worse.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Crossway Books
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.29" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.81"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 30, 2000
ISBN  1581341725  
ISBN13  9781581341720  

Availability  0 units.

More About R. C. Sproul, Sr.

R. C. Sproul Dr. R.C. Sproul is the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian education ministry located near Orlando, Florida. His teaching can be heard on the program Renewing Your Mind, which is broadcast on hundreds of radio outlets in the United States and in 40 countries worldwide. He is the executive editor of Tabletalk magazine, general editor of The Reformation Study Bible, and the author of more than seventy books and scores of articles for national evangelical publications. Dr. Sproul also serves as president of Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies, and Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida. He currently serves as senior minister of preaching and teaching at Saint Andrew's in Sanford, FL.

R. C. Sproul currently resides in Orlando, in the state of Florida. R. C. Sproul was born in 1939.

R. C. Sproul has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Classic Theology
  2. Crucial Questions
  3. R. C. Sproul Library
  4. St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History & Surveys
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( S ) > Sproul, R.C.

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Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Philosophical Theology

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World?

Finally something that makes sense  Jan 7, 2008
I have tired to make sense of this subject several times. My eyes usual cross about the time the author begins talking about reality and non-reality. THIS BOOK makes sense of all of that. If you are like me, you know you should have a working knowledge of philosophy for your job (pastoring a church in my case, but the idea of hitting all those books make you gag. This is the one to read to help you get a grip
book review  Jan 3, 2008
Listen, I was enjoying the book when I came accross missing chapters. Two, I believe. What can you do about this? I would like another book if possible.--Arturo
A brief introduction to an introduction  Mar 20, 2007
As I have suggested in the title, this book appears to me to be a "brief introduction to an introduction." The book is not to be confused with Richard Weaver's classic, "Ideas Have Consequences", in which he (Weaver) provides the reader with a pellucid introduction and overview of Western philosophy and how the Age of Reason gave birth to the decline of true philosophy (the study of wisdom, i.e., sophia/logos), and the birth of rationalism (the exaltation of man's reason over revelation) and the granddaughter, postmodernism, which teaches subjective irrationalism ("What I believe is true, IS True"). Unfortunately, for my money, R.C. Sproul, who is a fine theologian and writer, indeed (I have most of his works) misses the mark in what he propounds to be a basic introduction for the non-philosopher. My reasons are twofold: First, the book barely introduces key concepts and then quickly moves on to the next topic or philosopher; and second, what is explained is not clear enough because of my first point. For example, Sproul points out that Plato was an idealist and that Aristotle was a realist, doing this in one single paragraph, and then moves on. His definition of idealism and realism is incomplete. As I have taught my philosophy students, the two schools are indeed simple enough to understand, but more detail is required. Plato's reality was absorbed in the mind; the reality of truth, justice and aesthetics is found in the reality of the mind, for behind all corporeal things, behind the physical appearances we see each day, exists in a metaphysical sphere the reality of such appearances. The black stallion we see running in the field is an inferior black stallion, a "shadow" of its true reality, for somewhere in the heavens exists the perfect black stallion, and sadly, we must content ourselves with its imperfect image. Plato said that reality is a dream, that what is before us is an illusion (similar to Eastern mysticism), that all physical objects, including humans, are sinful. Thus, when John says in his Gospel that the "Word (divine logos to the Greeks) became flesh," this notion would have been utterly contemptible to many Greeks in the first century. Plato, therefore, was an idealist is that he formulated truth in the mind, and from his most famous work, "The Republic", we see his idealism played out in what he envisioned as a perfect society, a society that "should be," not the realistic society of "what is" taught by his student Aristotle, in his book, "The Politics." Aristotle was a realist in that he believed that inductive and scientific investigation of the real world, as opposed to Plato's unreal cosmology, would lead one to both understand the Prime Mover (God) and how the world worked and could be harnessed. Thanks to Aristotle, who became the prevailing philosopher, the West would launch into detailed investigations that would lead to inventions and the notion of human rights, freedom and autonomy. In my view, Sproul gives scant notice to the fundamental differences between idealism and realism, and does not make applications or logical connections, or in his words, he does not demonstrate the consequences of those ideas. I find it remarkable that he gives no space to Cicero, one who constantly quotes or alludes to Plato in his works. Cicero was a loan voice who hearkened decadent Rome back to the wisdom of the Greeks, and laid a foundation for future understanding of ethics, morals, political responsibility and freedom. Sproul should have shown the clear influences between the philosophers. For example, how Plato deeply influenced St. Augustine who credited Plato with being his teacher; how Augustine influenced Luther and Calvin; how Plato influenced Locke and then Freud; how Aristotle influenced, well, everyone, especially St. Thomas, Calvin, then down to philosophers in our own time. In short, all philosophers since Plato and Aristotle have merely stood on the shoulders of those two giants, and one philosopher even penned that all philosophers since Plato are merely a footnote to Plato himself. Both Plato and Aristotle are quite literally the Fathers of Western Civilization, but that idea has little consequence in the book.

To be brief is fine, but to be vastly incomplete could mean that the reader is not getting a necessary foundation in order to understand other philosophers. For example, Sproul takes barely two pages to explain Hegel's theory of thesis/antithesis. He explains that for Hegel, one begins with a thesis from which one derives an antithesis, from which one formulates a synthesis; then the synthesis becomes a new thesis. For the layperson in philosophy, I would (I can only) imagine that this construct would be confusing. Sproul never posits a thesis and antithesis for clarification, but merely provides a graduating graph. The reader is left clueless. On this point, Francis Schaeffer in his book, "Escape from Reason", is a little more helpful.

Why Sproul left John Dewey as a footnote in the last chapter is a mystery to me, as it was John Dewey who nearly single handedly presided over the death of American public education, slowly from the 1920's and 30's to this death in 1965. The Pragmatism philosophy invented by John Dewey is clearly connected to the Existentialism of Hegel, Kierkegaard, Camus and Sartre, and has profoundly influenced American society, particularly the free fall of ethics and morals beginning in the 1960s to the present day. It was Dewey in his 1941 book, "Theory of the Moral Life", maintained that there are two enemies of his beloved "Progressive" Education movement in America, i.e., first, religion in general, and the church in particular with its outmoded creeds, and secondly, parents. He envisioned a society where, in order for students to progress intellectually, that social engineering (public education) will free young people from both religious negative influences and the negative influences of parents. For a brilliant discussion of John Dewey, George Counts and others Doctors of Intellectual Death, read Diane Ravitch's book, "Left Back: A Century of Failed Education Reform." Every parent should own Ravitch's book.

Unfortunately, because Sproul opted for brevity in his introduction to an introduction, the reader is given a fragmented portrait of the history of ideas, their consequences, and their logical outcomes.

I give the book three stars because R.C. Sproul is the author, and a fine one indeed, but I must subtract two stars because the several ideas within are incomplete, and not applied. Stephen Gruber, Ph.D. Prof. Philosophy and History.
Philosophy Can Be Loved Without Becoming an Idol  Dec 3, 2006
I felt the need to join my review to the list of glowing reports about this gem of a volume. Dr. Sproul's review of philosophy from the Greeks to the present era builds around selected philosophers who have "shaped our world"(phrase taken from the subtitle of the book). In this respect it is different from the more technical work by Prof. Clark, From Thales to Dewey, (also an excellent book) that provides detailed reviews of arguments of different philosophers in the area of epistemology from the Greeks to the present. This work does not need an extensive background in philosophy; rather, a well-educated layman or laywoman will find this text readable and edifying.
One thing Dr. Sproul does very well and in this volume and in all his books is give respect to "the opposition." Although only Augustine and Acquinas of the philosophers covered could be considered "Christian," Dr. Sproul patiently reveals what each is getting at, and one gets a sense of the power of their ideas. At the same time, he reveals in each case the limitations of their thinking in light of Christ and theology without belaboring his points. It is a perfect kind of book for me. I have a lifelong love for philosophy and many Christians might wonder what I see in that "junk" now that I am saved and know "the truth." On the other hand, philosophers undoubtedly see little to dialogue about with theology types since theology and philosophy seem to have gone their separate ways a few hundred years ago. Dr. Sproul shows that as a Christian theologian he is not a "second class citizen" in the world of philosophy, and that fittingness of expression re-establishes a connection that should never have been broken.
excellent intro to philosophy!!!  Sep 17, 2006
this "primer" on philosophy is a great introduction to some of the main touch points of philosophical inquiry over the ages. Really makes some crisp and clear points. A real treat that will make many philosophical highlights make sense. Don't miss this one! A real keeper!!

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