Unpublished 234. Review of A Philosophical Study of Religion (typed)

[1964. Review of A Philosophical Study of Religion, by David Hugh Freeman. Christianity Today 23 Oct.]


A Philosophical Study of Religion, by David Hugh Freeman (Craig Press [Box 13, Nutley, N.J.], 1964, 267 pp., $3.75), is reviewed by Gordon H. Clark, professor of philosophy, Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Titles similar to this cover so much ground that a reader unaware of what a particular book includes and omits could easily and unjustly be disappointed. This volume has a minimum on the classical proofs of God’s existence: twenty pages cover Anselm, Aquinas, Hume, and Kant.

On the other hand, well-written sections on Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism provide, not only interesting information to Westerners who know little of the East, but also philosophic contrasts with Christianity that might not otherwise be so clearly noted.

The main philosophic content of the book deals with the definition of religion, the problem of revelation, and, in two solid chapters, the most pertinent modern objections to revealed religion. It is quite clear that the author does not reduce religious language to Ayer’s unverifiable nonsense; nor does he attempt to develop the concept of God out of sensory images, as Mascall does; nor will he allow the gullible college student to rest at ease in a superficial scientism. Positively he argues that God has revealed information that can be rationally understood, with which a philosophy of religion must deal, and without which a true religion cannot exist.