The Philosophy of Religion of Alexander Campbell
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: The University of Tennessee Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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I will never forget my first encounter with W. David Baird, that great Oklahoman dean who recruited me to Pepperdine University in 2007. Toward the end of our negotiations, he squeezed my hand, looked me square in the eye, and with all the gravity in the world said, “Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell are calling you from the grave to come to Pepperdine.” I confess, Baird’s otherworldly intercession ...
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Alexander Campbell (1788–1866) was a man of extraordinary status in his day. His contemporaries would not have been surprised to learn that while traveling on a speaking tour in Europe in 1847, he carried a letter of introduction in which Henry Clay, the former secretary of state, described him as “among the most eminent citizens of the United States, distinguished for his great learning and ability, for ...
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Francis Bacon once famously said that “a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”1 Alexander Campbell held a similar view. He thought that, done poorly, natural theology can push a person toward atheism, or least skepticism; but done properly, natural theology can point you toward the very thing it stands in need of, namely, ...
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In addition to explaining the origin of the idea of God, the revealed-idea argument demonstrated the existence of God, or so Campbell believed. But that, for him, was far from enough. He wanted also to show the truth of Christian theism in par-ticular. In fact, at times he seems to have been even more opposed to simple deism than to atheism. Deists were particularly distasteful to him because they borrowed ...
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Unlike many Christians over the years, Campbell took seriously the philosophical challenges posed by atheists and religious skeptics; he did not think a Christian could simply dismiss or ignore them. Neither did he think that they are easily ad-dressed. It did not surprise him when in 1826, for example, he received a letter from a young skeptic. The letter’s author (“Mr. D” in the published version) wanted to ...
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One of the central and recurring themes in Campbell’s philosophy of religion is the importance of divine revelation. In fact, his reliance on divine revelation is what most distinguished him from the deists and natural religionists of his day. He argued that divine revelation is what gives us the very idea of God in the first place, and, so he thought, explaining the revealed origin of that idea helps demon-...
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Alexander Campbell did something significant. As one of the main figureheads of a religious movement that would eventually attract millions of followers, he stepped up to the task of giving a serious philosophical case for many of the views around which his religious movement sought to promote unity. Although many religious leaders in his day did not attempt to tackle the challenges to faith that ...
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Publication Year: 2013