Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Plato

Sharing That Which You Believe

Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who lived during the Age of Enlightenment.  This time period spanned from 1685 to 1815.  As Plato once illustrated in a painting known as the School of Athens, philosophers stopped looking up to the heavens for answers to life, to God above.  Rather, scholars began to look within, replacing God with science by relying on minds to direct and guide future beliefs.  Before his death in 1804, Kant once said, “There are many things that I believe that I shall never say. But I shall never say the things that I do not believe.”

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame, 1 Peter 3:15-16.

This quote from Immanuel Kant applies to today’s political climate in America as candidates seek to persuade undecided voters.  Kant realized that sharing everything that he believed openly would hinder his ability to convince skeptics to embrace his philosophical position.  Subsequently, Kant only shared the things he believed, strengthening his message.  Sharing too much information can confuse your listeners.  As long as you focus on your main points, audiences can be persuaded to change their mind.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him, Hebrews 11:6.

When making any argument, its important to possess confidence.  The Greek word εμπιστοσύνη refers to individuals who are confident, faithful, reliable and trusting.  Whenever you share what you believe, if you aren’t a credible source, living out your convictions, no one will believe you.  Therefore, its essential to demonstrate faith before you share what you believe.  The more confidence oozes out of your soul, the living Word of God, Hebrews 4:12, will pierce and persuade hearts to follow Jesus Christ, Romans 10:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

 

Advertisements

A Lost Art or a Ceased Power

When you study history, centuries are remembered by the movements within each age.  Whether you are talking about the Renaissance, Industrial Revolution or Nuclear Age, culture. technology and trends shape the next generation.  As philosophers like Plato once proclaimed, these shifts have caused human beings to turn their faith from above to within.

Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you, 1 Timothy 4:14.

During periods of spiritual Dark Ages, individuals wandered away from the truth.  As access to the Bible was limited to priests and spiritual leaders, saints were unable to fully practice the apostles teachings.  Thus, the notion of laying hands on individuals was likely a foreign concept.  It wasn’t until the 15th century when Johan Gutenberg’s printing press provided Bibles for the masses, making sure there no excuses from here on out.

Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress, 1 Timothy 4:15.

Within one of the apostle Paul’s letters is an interesting concept, spiritual gifts are conceived following the laying on of hands by elders of a church.  In fact in the next verse, spiritual progress is attributed applying spiritual gifts and laying hands on needy people.  This leads me to ponder, is this a lost art or a ceased power limited to the Pentecost generation?  While theologians will tend to lean toward the latter, perhaps this lost art is the difference between a dying church to one on the verge of revival.  Whatever you believe, the next time you have an opportunity to reach out, say a prayer and release the power of the Holy Spirit, just do it!

by Jay Mankus

 

The Cleansing of the Soul

The Greek philosopher Plato referred to the soul as a psyche with 3 parts: reason, high spirited and appetite.  Modern definitions suggest the soul is the essence of who you are, personification or something connected to the heart and mind.  However you envision the soul, one thing is clear, sooner or later a cleansing will be necessary.

If a car needs their cooling system flushed every 50,000 to 75,000 miles, then why would individuals go years without cleansing their soul.  The Message Bible provides a modern illustration of what it means to be purge your soul from the stresses of life.  Listen to Jesus as he addresses wounded souls:   28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

An Old Testament prophet recounts a similar procedure within Isaiah 1:12-20.  The situation recorded takes us behind the scenes to God’s perspective.  Exposing the flaws of mankind, impure motives abound, preventing the Lord from answering prayers for forgiveness.  Yet, when honest lips take the initiative, the cleansing process can commence.  Nonetheless, words are meaningless unless acts of contrition follow.  Therefore, if you truly want transgressions of the past flushed out of your body, practice the words of Isaiah 1:16-18 and you too can experience a cleansing of your soul.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Look Up; Not Within!

As a coach and teacher, the me, me, me mindset can become tiring.  Former NFL running back Ricky Watters became infamous in Philadelphia following his post game comments, “For who, for what?”  More concerned about his own health than stretching out to make a play, a generation of professional athletes have adopted this motto.  Yet, Psalm 123 provides a different philosophy, looking beyond yourself.

While professional athletes do have a shorter shelf life than blue collared workers, it is the Lord who preserves one’s life, Psalm 123:2.  Although free will does exist, the Lord is ultimately in control, ushering his angels to protect God’s people.  On the other side of the spectrum, naturalism claims truth comes from within.  The attractiveness of this worldview has led many into relying on science and knowledge.

The famous painting known as The School of Athens created by Raphael in the early 16th century articulates this internal battle.  As Plato points toward heaven, affirming the principles of the Bible, Socrates seeks gnosis, a secret wisdom from within.  Today, this debates continues, with public opinion slanting things in Socrates favor.  However, I still believe in the God above, whom calls people to look up, not within!

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: