John Mark Reynolds, 2004.
I am at a meeting in Dallas, Texas where very thoughtful Christians are dealing with issues related to religion and science. Led by one of California’s brightest citizens, Phillip E. Johnson of UC Berkeley. Too often the stereotype of thoughtful Christians is that they are bound by dogma, unable to engage in the dialectic. But wait: we are starting with academic jargon already! What is the dialectic? My entire life has been transformed by two books: the Bible and the Republic. The Republic taught me a lesson I could have learned from the Bible. However, if you grow up in the United States it is sometimes hard to hear the Bible as the intellectually stimulating document that it really is. The Republic taught me that we everybody has questions. Most of us never really pursue these questions. Life tends to get in the way. Mortgage. Kids. We think Big Questions are best left for late night beer and pizza sessions in college. We “outgrow” the questions and settle on “answers.” Perhaps at forty, I should confess to never having grown up, if this is growing up. The Republic presented me with Socrates who grew older, but not old. He followed the discussion where it led. . . the pathway I now think of with the Greek word for “word” or discussion: the logos. This life under the microscope, the examined life, has made me a very traditional Christian. It led me by hard labor and with many sins on my part to Jesus Christ. Of course, my parents. . . who also have always asked hard questions and never stopped growing. . . could have told me this long ago. That depresses me in a sense, but as usual Plato helped me. Socrates once stretched out his hand and encouraged one of his followers to seek for themselves. Jesus Christ also allowed His followers to seek for themselves, even to the point of rejecting him. So I shall go on following the logos, that I now believe to be the Logos, where it leads me.