From Socrates to Shakespeare, or There and Back Again

⳩ “Reflecting on Faith & Culture by Re-integrating Reason, Revelation, Mystery & Imagination to Exhort Biblical Truths in a Disenchanted World.”

libri magni

Looking back through the annals of time we can observe the men and women who stood up for the Truth and the Way, inspired by hope, impacting their culture through transcendental writings of philosophy, theology, poetry, and narrative.

Consider the classical works of the A-Team: Aristotle, Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. Or the Works of the Poets, the Story-Tellers, and the Artists of the Great and Classical Christian Tradition. Under the same umbrella are the Imaginative Literary Giants of the 20th century (such as G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien) who stand out as witnesses to this philosophical/cultural tradition in which reason, revelation, mystery, and imagination all speak to a unified worldview… all under the Lordship and Light of Christ and His Kingdom.

Some have called this, “The Great Conversation.” Others may call it “The Western Tradition.” Here, I call it The Fellowship (in honor of The Inklings mentioned above) The task set before us in joining them is to reconcile Faith, Reason, Imagination, Mystery and Revelation in the pursuit of what is True, what is Good, and what is Beautiful; to approach the pre-Enlightenment tradition knowing that all truth is God’s Truth.

Today, we join The Fellowship to recapture the wisdom that lies in the works of its greatest thinkers, appreciating how God has used the sharpest minds and noblest ideas of the past 2,500 years to point to timeless gospel truth. Here, I seek to join in this Great Conversation observing those who wrote in this classical tradition seeing its highest elevation in the Medieval period, seeking their God-given wisdom to impact the culture of today, ultimately for the cause of Christ and His gospel message.

My Purposes for Writing Here Are:

  1. To Fellowship with the Great Thinkers of the Past through the Great Books

  2. To Explore the Wisdom, Wonder, & Reality of the Biblical Worldview

  3. To Exhort Gospel Truth to a Disenchanted World

  4. To Rescue People from the un-Enlightenment of Modernity

  5. To Engage with the Heroes of the Great Classical & Christian Traditions

novus saeculum obscurum

The Enlightenment (or better said, “Endarkening”)

Until modern times no thinker of the first rank ever doubted that our judgements of value were rational judgements or that what they discovered was objective. It was taken for granted that in temptation passion was opposed, not to some sentiment, but to reason..    - C. S. Lewis

Ideas have consequences. Just ask Pandora, Isildur, or better yet, Eve.  For Pandora, the idea of knowing what was inside the mysterious box vexed her. For Isildur, the lure of ultimate power seduced him. For Eve, the idea of the wisdom of God tempted her to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen 3:1-6).  Some consequences, are disastrous. Consider the great absence of transcendence in the Western culture.

The Enlightenment is Pandora’s box (Kant’s philosophical box). All manner of hopeless philosophies entered the world through it. (Read more about the “un-Enlightenment” cave here). But there is a a hope and it is found in the universal worldview that is distinctly Christian.

When Pandora opened her box all manner of atrocities entered reality. But the very last thing to exit was hope. When Ilsidur lost the ring, it would pass through Gollum to an unlikely hero offering hope from the least capable of beings. And in our world, when all creation was cursed as Adam and Eve fell into temptation a glimmer of hope arises in the protoevangelium of Genesis 3:15 when God announced that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the seed of the serpent.

At the center of all things, the grounding for all good things, is Jesus ChristLight of the world, the Way for Life, and Truth Incarnate. The Incarnation is the very center of history, and through it, we can apprehend the proper telos for all thinking, acting, feeling, and living of lifeHe Alone is the fulfillment of our purpose and function. In Him, we live, move, and have our being…. He has made away for us towards the hope spoken to in the great tradition, through his life, death, and Resurrection….

This site is my attempt… to honor God, do justice, advocate for a Biblical worldview, and seek the wisdom of the Scriptures… to examine how ideas have spread through the culture; to speak to the heart, mind, and imagination, testing what is good and discarding the rest… to polemically challenge the crises of our broken western culture and its acceptance of a modern/postmodern dualistic epistemology, and to seek the wisdom & wonder of the Classical & Christian literary traditions. It is a rescue mission, beckoning you to come out of Plato’s cave and into the light.

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