Talbot School of Theology
Four Thinkers Who Shape Your World
Learn how the Gospel answers the major influences that have shaped our current intellectual landscape.
Four Thinkers Who Shape Your World
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$14.996 LessonsWorkshop
Overview

It is common to describe the recent intellectual landscape as involving a major shift from Modernism to Postmodernism. This description is overly simplistic. In this course we will investigate four intellectual currents that make up the contemporary mind. 

Featuring teaching from Dr. Greg Ganssle, Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, this course provides video lectures, quizzes, and reflection questions that will help you see the origins of our current intellectual climate more clearly.

Note: This version of the course is designed for individual study. If you would like to use this material in an in-person small group setting, please explore the Small Group Curriculum for this course.

What You Earn
What People Are Saying

I loved how the clarity the professor brought in connecting these philosophies with the Gospel and how it responds to them. It was a great insight into the exposition of what the Gospel does in front of any culture or philosophical system. (Angela B.)

Instructor
Greg Ganssle
Talbot School of Theology

Dr. Greg Ganssle has been thinking about the intersection of Christian faith and contemporary scholarship for over thirty years. He began as an undergraduate by skipping his classes and reading C.S. Lewis. After graduating from the University of Maryland in 1978, he worked in campus ministry on a variety of campuses. Hundreds of conversations with students from a wide variety of religious and philosophical perspectives drove him to a sustained self-study program. Eventually, it occurred to him that he was reading philosophy. Since he had escaped college without taking a philosophy course, he decided to begin with Philosophy 101 at the age of 25. Within weeks he was hooked. Continuing to juggle his full-time campus ministry responsibilities, he earned a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Rhode Island in 1990. He then went full time and earned his doctorate in philosophy from Syracuse University in 1995, where his dissertation on God's relation to time won a Syracuse University Dissertation Award. In addition to publishing nearly three dozen articles, chapters and reviews, Greg has edited two books, God and Time: Four Views (IVP, 2001) and God and Time: Essays on the Divine Nature (Oxford, 2002 – with David M. Woodruff). Greg is also the author of Our Deepest Desires: How the Christian Story Fulfills Human Aspirations (IVP, 2017), Thinking about God: First Steps in Philosophy (IVP, 2004) and A Reasonable God: Engaging the New Face of Atheism (Baylor University Press, 2009). Greg was a part-time lecturer in the philosophy department at Yale for nine years and a senior fellow at the Rivendell Institute at Yale. Greg's research interests lie in contemporary philosophy of religion and history of philosophy. Greg has been married to Jeanie since 1985. They have three children, none of whom are philosophers. Although happily married, Greg has a secret crush on Jane Austen.

Talbot School of Theology is a theologically conservative, evangelical seminary in Southern California near Los Angeles. With over a 60-year heritage of biblical fidelity, the seminary couples solid evangelical scholarship with spiritual formation to prepare students for a lifetime of relevant, effective ministry. The seminary's master's degree programs and doctoral degree programs are led by a faculty of nationally renowned, widely-published and actively engaged ministry leaders.

Get more information about Talbot's online degree programs

Syllabus

In this lesson, we set the stage by giving an...
Overview
Setting the Stage Part 1
Video
Setting the Stage Part 2
Video
Setting the Stage Part 3
Video
Lesson 1 - Quiz
Quiz
Setting the Stage Reflection 1
Reflection
Setting the Stage Reflection 2
Reflection
In this session we will explore Descartes’...
Overview
Descartes and Mechanism Part 1
Video
Descartes and Mechanism Part 2
Video
Lesson 2 - Quiz
Quiz
Descartes and Mechanism Reflection 1
Reflection
Descartes and Mechanism Reflection 2
Reflection
David Hume is a classic empiricist. He thinks...
Overview
Hume and Empiricism Part 1
Video
Hume and Empiricism Part 2
Video
Lesson 3 - Quiz
Quiz
Hume and Empiricism Reflection 1
Reflection
Hume and Empiricism Reflection 2
Reflection
Kant argued that, in our knowledge, the mind...
Overview
Kant and Constructivism Part 1
Video
Kant and Constructivism Part 2
Video
Lesson 4 - Quiz
Quiz
Kant and Constructivism Reflection 1
Reflection
Kant and Constructivism Reflection 2
Reflection
Nietzsche argued that traditional morality,...
Overview
Nietzsche and Postmodernism Part 1
Video
Nietzsche and Postmodernism Part 2
Video
Nietzsche and Postmodernism Part 3
Video
Lesson 5 - Quiz
Quiz
Nietzsche and Postmodernism Reflection 1
Reflection
Nietzsche and Postmodernism Reflection 2
Reflection
Each of the thinkers or movements we have...
Overview
The Gospel as Good News Part 1
Video
The Gospel as Good News Part 2
Video
Lesson 6 - Quiz
Quiz
The Gospel as Good News Reflection 1
Reflection
The Gospel as Good News Reflection 2
Reflection
Summary: A Method for Engaging with Different Worldviews
Misc
Recommended Resources
Misc
Course Evaluation
Misc

Course FAQ

Each lesson is designed to take approximately 1-2 hours, depending on how deeply you engage the reflection questions. Since this is a self-paced course, the time it will take you to complete it will depend on the speed with which you want to progress through the course.

No. The course contains everything you need to successfully complete the course. There are resources recommended at the end of the course that you are free to purchase if you wish to pursue further study on the course topic.

Since this course is designed as a completely self-paced experience, you will not have any interaction with the professor during the course.