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Existentialism: A Christian Response - Gavin Ortlund

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Video from Truth Unites

Existentialism: A Christian Response

"In this video I offer a Christian response to existentialism, especially focusing on the writings of Albert Camus. Truth Unites is a mixture of apologetics and theology, with an irenic focus. Gavin Ortlund (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) serves as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Ojai.' from video introduction.

"One of the many unique features of Conciliar Post is the Ask function that allows readers to pose questions to the Conciliar Post community. One of our readers has posed the following question: “Is the movement called Christian existentialism biblical or unbiblical? Can a true Christian also be an existentialist, or does the bible prohibit it?”

This is a great question, if I do say so myself. Don’t worry if you don’t know what existentialism is. I’ll explain as we go along.

To begin, let’s talk about our feelings.


The core emotion or mood for existentialists is angst (often translated “anxiety” or “anguish”). The primary task of an existentialist is to figure angst out. This involves exploring what it is, why everyone has it, why some people claim they don’t have it, and what we should do about it.

In exploring these issues, existentialists often come to the following general conclusion. Humans experience angst because we have a fundamental need for meaning—a need for our lives and world to make sense and have purpose. However, meaning, sense, and purpose seem to be missing, so our need goes unmet.1

Existentialists then try to figure out how we got into our angst-inducing predicament. They often trace angst back to the fact that being free is a huge responsibility. Even if a god handed us life’s meaning on a silver platter, for example, we would still be responsible for whether we chose to accept or reject it. We cannot push off responsibility for how we live onto anyone or anything else. And that’s a lot of weight to bear..." from the article: IS CHRISTIAN EXISTENTIALISM UNBIBLICAL?

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