Category Archives: Meaning

Words & the World

“The thickness and consistency of this original world was underwritten by the trustworthiness and faithfulness of the divine speaker, but it remained to be seen if the first human creatures would choose to remain within it and to commit themselves obediently to the divine command. It is no wonder, then, that the enemy began to try to unmake this first world by playing with words and specifically by intimating that God’s words might actually be less than wholly trustworthy.”

~ Craig Gay, Dialogue, Catalogue & Monologue (Vancouver, BC; Regent College Publishing, 2008), 49.

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

God, Evil & Justice

“It’s always interesting to watch what happens when people who insist that God would never judge them come face to face with undeniable evil. Confronted with some truly horrific evil, then they want a God of justice — and they want him now. They want God to overlook their own sin, but not the terrorist’s. ‘Forgive me,’ they say, ‘but don’t you dare forgive him!’ You see, nobody wants a God who declines to deal with evil. they just want a God who declines to deal with their evil.”

~ Greg Gilbert, What Is the Gospel? (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2010), 44.

How The West Lost Its Story

“The entire project of the Enlightenment was to maintain realist faith while declaring disallegiance from the God who was that faith’s object. . . . Modernity was defined by the attempt to live in a universal story without a universal storyteller.”

– Robert W. Jenson, “How The World Lost Its Story,” First Things (October 1993).

The Point of The Story Has Been Disclosed

“All telling of history is, of course, selective. No history is written except on the basis of judgments about what is significant. No ‘facts of history’ exist, except in so far as what happened was judged significant. The recorded facts will vary according to the judgement of what is significant, and that in turn depends upon what the ‘point’ of the story is. Normally we do not see the point of a story until the end. But we are not in a position to see the end of the cosmic story. The Christian faith is the faith that the point of the story has been disclosed: the ‘end’ has been revealed in the middle. The point of the story is not the triumph of human technology over nature, nor the cyclical rise and fall of civilizations. There is one human family and it has one centre, Jesus Christ, one history, the history of the making of faithful relationships with its maker. To accept that means to live as part of a potentially universal community, looking towards a consummation whose character has been revealed in Jesus Christ, and of which we have already a foretaste in his risen Body.”

~ Lesslie Newbigin, “Our Missionary Responsibility In The Crisis Of Western Culture”

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.

Atheism & Human Significance

Here’s a candid statement from the famous US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes on the inability to infer human significance from an atheistic presupposition. He wrote these chilling words:

I see no reason for attributing to man a significance different in kind from that which belongs to a baboon or a grain of sand.

~ quoted in Time “The Nation: A Clearer Voice?” (Sept 21, 1953)