Category Archives: Anthropology

Teaching, Thinking & Important Questions

“The really hard part about teaching is the thinking. Because if you want to help people as an educator, you have to know what people are for, why they exist, what it would mean for them to be fulfilled, and what Good their existence is ordered toward. Suddenly, you are up to your chin in the most important philosophical questions that can ever be asked.”

~ Fred Sanders, review of “Education for Human Flourishing

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The Deep Meaning of Happiness

“If God is the proper reference point for all aspects and things in life, then God gives them their true meaning and puts them in the proper order in our lives. This grand union of God, ourselves, and the whole cosmos in a sacred synthesis of rightly ordered love constitutes the deep meaning of happiness.”

~ David Naugle, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives (Grand Rapids, Mi.; Eerdmans, 2008), 23.

A Blind and Eager Pursuit

“There is not any thing in this world, perhaps, that is more talked of, and less understood, than the business of a happy life. It is every person’s wish and design; and yet not one in a thousand . . . knows wherein that happiness consists. We live, however, in a blind and eager pursuit of it; and the more haste we make in a wrong way, the further we are from our journey’s end.”

~ Seneca (3 BC – 65 AD), quoted by David Naugle in Reordered Love, Reordered Lives (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eermands, 2008), 9.

The Pursuit of Happiness

“If we pay attention to our lives and observe the lives of others, we will soon discern that a desire for happiness of one kind or another is the conscious, subconscious, or unconscious motivation for just about everything we do. Most of our daily lives and activities are aimed at the goal of experiencing and enhancing some measure of well-being and delight, even if such intentions are in the unacknowledged background of our minds.”

~ David Naugle, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives (Grand Rapids, Mi.; Eerdmans, 2008), 4.

Knowing: from Lordship to Fellowship

“The motive that impels modern reason to know must be described as the desire to conquer and to dominate. For the Greek philosophers and the Fathers of the church, knowing meant something different: it meant knowing in wonder. By knowing or perceiving one participates in the life of the other. Here knowing does not transform the counterpart into the property of the knower; the knower does not appropriate what he knows. On the contrary, he is transformed through sympathy, becoming a participant in what he perceives. Knowledge confers fellowship. That is why knowing, perception, only goes as far as love, sympathy and participation reach. Where the theological perception of God and history is concerned, there will be a modern discovery of Trinitarian thinking when there is at the same time a fundamental change in modern reason — a change from lordship to fellowship, from conquest to participation, from production to receptivity.”

~ Jurgen Moltmann, “The Trinity and the Kingdom of God: The Doctrine of God” quoted by Craig Gay in The Way of the (Modern) World, (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1998), 272.

Eugenics by Abortion

John Piper helps us face the tragic and terrifying consequences of where technological advancement can take us when we lack a basis for recognizing the intrinsic value and dignity of a human being.

With the development of prenatal genetic diagnosis, the drive toward eugenics has returned with a vengeance. Americans may heartily cheer participants in the Special Olympics, but we abort some 90 percent of all gestating infants diagnosed with genetic disabilities such as Down Syndrome, dwarfism, and spina bifida.

Read the whole message: “Born Blind for the Glory of God

Progress and Procreation

“Remarkably, one of the defining features of the modern era is that the most modern individuals are not having enough children to sustain their societies from one generation to the next. Communities defined by their ancient faith continue to have children in high numbers, believing they have something sacred to sustain in the flesh and rearing of the young. But those most immersed in the pleasures and possibilities of modern life seem least driven to raise up a generation to follow in their footsteps. Societies defined by the forward march of progress are failing to bring life forward in the most fundamental sense. What faith, we are left to wonder, does modern man have in the cosmic significance of modern, individualist, technological life? If procreation is the deepest form of fidelity to one’s civilization, then what does modern man’s infidelity say about the relative greatness (or goodness) of the modern age? Is progress really progress?”

~ Eric Cohen, In the Shadow of Progress: Being Human in the Age of Technology (New York, NY: New Atlantis Books, 2008), 2.