(*… 1 is from a contemporary perspective, narrative, 2 will be a blend of politics and religiousness, 3 has to do with philology [thoughts on thinking… and the use of philosophy] and current events [the Las Vegas shooting], and 4 will be limited to a Christian perspective only.)
Fallow is shallow
and it defrays life itself
of lasting, Press On!
The question throughout the course of the last three articles (bearing similarity by title) is,”How has philosophy helped mankind- humanity?” To fully gain from this question one must first distinguish what premise one starts from. The beginnings of thought tend to set the tone… we might listen to the tuning fork calibrated to correspond with the conditioning we have been exposed to over the content of any argument presented- no matter how sound it could or might be.
For Christians… the answer comes easy but for those not believing, already, Jesus Christ was God incarnate- to understand God was, is and is to come… this (though it sounds easy to comprehend) is an elusive concept to many. Knowing there is a God… a real and personal God is where we find hope, and the hope we come to know is in turn fulfilling. Let me set the stage to the displeasure of some and the agreement of others (those believers in Jesus Christ) with an abstract taken on ‘Philosophy’ from a Biblical perspective. See below…
The limitations of human reason, especially in light of the moral degeneracy in humans, requires God’s help in resolving philosophical questions.
The Apostle Paul gives us this to ponder on…
In Colossians, Paul contrasts arrogant, earthly, speculative philosophy with humble, transcendental, and righteous philosophy derived from God.
When knowledge becomes action is where the rubber hits the road, and hope is found in the actions one takes without desperation leading to fatality or nihilism (or Absurdism… to laugh at the condition of man or to mock actions taken to deal with it). To seek God is to realize we cannot do it on our own achievements… our own merits. Here is where Paul throws us a puzzling statement… see below.
Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
What did he mean by work out your own salvation? Did he mean we can do it on our own? I don’t think so; furthermore, the Bible tells us…
Judges 17:6 KJV
6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
Can we assume to be masters of our own lives if we do not follow Jesus… Yes, profoundly ‘Yes’. Along with this is the weight of burden we will have to support on our own. What I mean is this, thinking we can do it on our own… are good enough in our own person… and have no need for a Savior- when scripture tells us otherwise.
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
As far as I can possibly go, as it comes to philosophy… for my own personal belief system, is to see everything (all inclusively) as coming from but one source- God Himself. To realize there is nothing we can do to justify ourselves!
[An abstract of philosophy from Benjamin Whichcote is seen below.]
He held that moral principles are immutable absolutes which exist independently of human minds and institutions, and that virtuous conduct is grounded in reason.
An example of this type of conduct is seen below…
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
; therefore, to find fulfillment we find we need God’s love, more today than at any time in human history, to not simply exist to our own pleasures but to do that which is found to be pleasing to God Himself. This is possible! It does not mean we will do it perfectly and even if we fail (fall down from our efforts) we shall get back up and continue to do that which is right. How we do this is seen below.
2 John 1:6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
To walk in obedience is in truth the actions we take throughout our lives. Let it not be said one man’s God is the same as another… for no other God has set forth the love given to man as the Hebrew God has done. No other God has freely given of Himself to pay a debt man could not pay back (never could) and sought to preserve life through His chosen people, as the example of how we should be toward one another, to be measured and treasured so strongly by this same love. If love begats love… then love for our Brothers and Sisters is the high mark and standard we should also use.
If someone does you wrong, forgive them… to forgive them is to release them from stopping you in your loving them enough to see we need God’s love most of all. The kingdom of God is at hand, and we need to be found doing the will of Him who holds the keys to justice- tried and true. This is when and how mankind will have worked out our salvation, as Paul has told us, amelioration to fulfillment comes in satisfying the love God grants to us… one and the same as we, in turn, shall show to others. His will be done!
17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
Can it be no other way than to be fulfilled by the Spirit Himself (where baptized once but filled many times [plural] over and over) to become enabled to do that which we’ve been designed to do- to give glory to God and to glorify God in our actions? Let’s look to scripture, found in Ephesians 5:13-18 is this…
Ephesians 5:13-18 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,
A Prayer for the Ephesians
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 5:8-10 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
Is this not the ‘way’ and the ’truth’ of the fulfillment mankind has sought since we first realized we exist- if we are ever to become anything at all but pleasing to God Himself?