Friday, November 13th, 2009


Aphorisms are everywhere, including Christian circles.  People love aphorisms because they are short and convey truths in a witty, memorable fashion.  The problem with aphorisms is that while they are intended to convey general truths, many people take them to be Gospel truth.  “All we need is God” is a popular Christian aphorism.  There is a lot of truth to this.  We need God more than anything else, and to the extent that this aphorism emphasizes that fact, it should be affirmed as true.  But if “all” is understood literally, so that it comes to mean that we have no need of anything other than God, then the aphorism is patently false.  Indeed, it is unchristian.  While we need God most of all, Scripture is quite clear that we also need people—particularly people of like precious faith.

God created humans as social beings, to be in community with other human beings.  That is why one of the greatest forms of punishment/torture is isolation.  It’s said that people who experience long periods of isolation literally begin to lose their mind.  We need people.  The need for community is not some defect in humanity resulting from the fall, either.  In the beginning, prior to the first act of sin, Adam desired a human companion.  When God presented Eve to him he exclaimed, “At last!” (Genesis 2:23)  Even God Himself concluded that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18).

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What does it mean to say something exists?  What exactly is existence?  How does it differ from non-existence?

Most of us have a common-sense notion of existence, and thus we have never really thought these questions through.  But as with so many other things, we know what existence is until we are asked to define it!  Admittedly I’ve never woken up at 4:00 in the morning in cold sweats trying to figure out what existence is and how it differs from non-existence, but it is fun to think about nonetheless.

What is existence, then?  Does saying something exists mean it located in space and time?  If so God could not exist.  In fact, space and time themselves could not exist because space is not located in space, and time is not located in time.

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