I use philosophy all the time. It helps with clear thinking. It brings problems out front with ideas and beliefs and values one has. I most often apply it to theology.
Today, I remind the evangelical of a few problems facing the ideas that:
1) The unforgivable sin is unbelief.
2) Belief, and believing the right things, is required for salvation.
3) God can do other than love.
The first two entail the same consideration. No one can choose to believe anything. Whatever seems to be the case is unavoidably what we think the case actually is. At best, we change our minds only in so far as we expose ourselves to new information and new ideas and new experiences. However, we cannot simply decide to believe other than we do about some state of affairs. So if the “sin of unbelief” is some ultimate sin or any sin at all, it’s incredibly unclear as to how the unbeliever is culpable; particularly when what is to be believed is utterly unbelievable.
The second falls prey to the same problems as the first, but here, the evangelical often takes the ignorant interpretation of James and Paul, thinking that “salvation cannot be earned”. Well, belief is a commitment to act and James is entirely ahead of his time in noting so. Other than Paul not speaking about propositional attitudes (ie. belief, in modern usage) one cannot be said to believe if one isn’t willing to act accordingly. “I know I shouldn’t smoke” is a suspect belief when spoken by a person who then takes a drag. Too, if belief is treated as a choice, then we’re being told either that one can’t earn salvation through actions and this includes the choice to believe, or, one does earn salvation through their actions and the only action for salvation is the choice to believe. That would be a special case fallacy, or, contradictory. Instead, belief is a commitment to act, a motivation among many others to do one thing rather than another. Actions indeed are required for salvation but this doesn’t entail to earning anything, which is a false dichotomy to begin with.
Is God consistent? Is God’s nature love? If God is consistent and His nature is love, then can God do anything but love? If God can’t do anything but love, God is impassible! God cannot respond to you in any way but with love. That means that nothing you can do can be said to anger God, disappoint God, sadden, gladden, or enliven God in any way. Of course our behaviors certainly may, but there is no difference that makes a difference in claiming God is angry but loves anyway because he can’t do anything else, and claiming God cannot be moved to anger at all as evidenced by His unfailing love toward us. That’s because the only way we could know would be through His actions toward us. But, those actions are always loving!
If God is merely consistent, then God’s love isn’t His nature and His actions would be genuine choices. But as consistent, God can’t be said to be making choices at all, any more than a computer algorithm will suddenly start interpreting “1 == 1” as false. In other words, inconsistency is how we tell genuine choice exists. If God isn’t a choice-maker because He is consistent, then God is identical to an involitional principle, because “will” implies “choice” implies “being” while “nature” and “consistency” imply “non being” and “principle”.
If God is a being, then God is imperfect because He is inconsistent and His love is a genuine choice.
Theology must change in response to logical implications philosophy presents to otherwise unthoughtful theologies of God.