eternal recurrence

Borrowing, unfairly may I add, a categorical theme from my dear old German grand-soul, Nietzsche, I’d like to make a few comments about the cyclical nature of the history of thought.

Recently I completed a class on the philosophical motifs of the renaissance and enlightenment. In a nutshell, man, as autonomous, is the starting point (that is, the atomic ontological unit), the measure (that is, his mind in reference to reality is the overarching methodology) and the ethical goal (either societal or individual pleasure is the greatest achievement and the inherent good).

What strikes me anew this time around is the recurring nature of autonomous, man centered, thought. We Christians are often accused of circular reasoning, begging the question, or presumption. Yet the history of modern philosophy, at its zenith, when people still believed in at least the hope of objectivity, does nothing but recycle ancient thoughts in new categorical jargon.

The point is simply this, by way of encouragement, that our God has provided us with the very pre-conditions of all knowledge. Where deductive rationalism ends in arbitrary and diverse dream philosophies and inductive empiricism in the skepticism of Hume, the Christian God accounts for, makes measurable, and ethically under girds both the reasoned and the observed.

Recently, on a rampage to find a great deal on a new road bike, I ended up talking with a guy at a bike shop about ‘what I do.’ Although I was unable to spill out the entire gospel, we got a chance to chat about life, meaning, and the possibility of God. Its in these brief moments with real people that I’m reminded of the importance of setting apart Christ as Lord, in our hearts, our thoughts and our actions. May God get glory and may much fruit be reaped as a result of his unchanging nature and the unshaken foundation we have to stand upon.

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One response to “eternal recurrence

  1. christopherlake

    Greg, I’m curious– as a reader of Van Til, in what sense do you think that non-Christians have absolutely no ground on which to stand for any of their assumptions? Could logic have evolved, simply through naturalistic processes? I’m not saying that I believe that (I definitely do not), but I am thinking of conversations that I have had with non-Christians in the past, and how I might have better answers to their questions in the future. How is it, in your view, that the Christian Gospel alone provides answers to man’s questions, without making nonsense of logic, meaning, history, science, etc.? I have read (and am still reading) Van Til and Bahnsen, but I’m not sure that I’ve found a definite, clear answer to that question yet. If I have, maybe I was just too dense to understand it! 🙂

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