The Sine Qua Non of Enduring Freedom
The Sine Qua Non of Enduring Freedom
Bio for Dr. Robbins can be found on the website (Link below)…but to note here the following: He served as Legislative Assistant (1976, 1979-1981) and Chief of Staff (1981-1985) to a Member of Congress from Texas, Dr. Ron Paul.
BIO ON DR. JOHN ROBBINS: http://www.trinityfoundation.org/whoisjwr.php
”In Adam’s fall we sinned all” was the first line of the first textbook printed in North America, the Puritans’ New England Primer. Russell Kirk, writing in The Roots of American Order (Open Court, 1974), remarked on the position of the Bible in early America:
In colonial America, everyone with the rudiments of schooling knew one book thoroughly: the Bible. And the Old Testament mattered as much as the New, for the American colonies were founded in a time of renewed Hebrew scholarship, and the Calvinistic character of Christian faith in early America emphasized the legacy of Israel (45-46).
Daniel Boorstin, in The Americans: The Colonial Experience (Random House, 1958), pointed out that “For answers to their problems, they [the early Americans] drew as readily on Exodus, Kings, or Romans, [sic] as on the less narrative portions of the Bible” (19).
The Bible was the textbook of early America, as it has been for Christians throughout the centuries. Today, however, it is fashionable and sophisticated to assert that the Bible is not a textbook of biology, or of politics, or of economics, or of whatever discipline the sophisticate happens to be considering. Perhaps, implies the sophisticate, in the ignorant days gone by, the Bible was sufficient for learning, but in our advanced technological age we must turn to other books in order to supplement the Bible. “The Bible is not a textbook of….” is now a cliché that is usually uttered with an air of finality and profundity. The unspoken implication is: Who would be so ignorant or so foolish as to believe that the Bible is a textbook of anything, except, perhaps, of personal piety?
Within its 66 books, the Bible contains a complete system of thought. Paul tells us that “All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ Jesus.íí “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.íí The Bible tells us how we may know truth, what reality is like, how we should think and act, and even what governments should do. Philosophers usually call these studies (1) epistemology: the theory of knowing; (2) metaphysics: the theory of reality; (3) ethics: the theory of conduct; and (4) politics: the theory of government. The first of these, epistemology, is the most important, for it is the most basic.
Gordon H. Clark
Though the Larger Catechism does not address itself directly to the psychological analysis of faith or belief, this problem is one that has merited the attention, not only of Christian theologians, but also of secular philosophers. These secularists, even when they are not so successful as the theologians, have one advantage; to wit, their task is simpler because they do not consider religious complications. Many theological discussions fall into confusion because elements necessary to saving faith are assigned to any belief whatever. Here one must first try to analyze belief as such, and then characterize those beliefs, or that belief, which justifies.
The usual evangelical analysis of belief separates it into three parts: notitia, assensus, and fiducia-or understanding, assent, and trust. Perhaps even theologians who use this analysis might omit fiducia if they confined themselves to belief as such; for in a colloquial manner a person who believes that Columbus discovered America in 1492, or in 1374, is not taken as an example of trust. Yet is he not actually an example of confidence?
Editor’s note: Dr. Gordon Clark gave this lecture titled “The Logos” to the teachers at Chattanooga Christian School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1984, the same year that The Biblical Doctrine of Man was published.
By your gracious invitation I am here this morning to lecture, as it was suggested to me, on the first verse of John’s Gospel, where Christ is called the Logos. I published a small book on The Johannine Logos, and if anything in this short lecture interests you, you will find more complete exposition in that book.
Statistics may not provide the most interesting type of introduction, but it does not burden the brain nor injure the intellect to know that John’s Gospel uses the term Logos forty times. What is more surprising, indeed disconcerting, is that the Greek term logos can be translated by forty different English words. Liddell and Scott’s great lexicon has more than five columns, each ninety lines long, of its various meanings. The word word is hardly ever the correct translation. Liddell and Scott say explicitly that it “rarely means a single word” (page 1058, column 2).
The reason our Bibles translate logos as word is that Jerome, a monk of the early fifth century, mistranslated it as verbum. Jerome’s Vulgate, as it is called, became the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church, and the texts Jerome used have become the mainstay of contemporary liberal versions. The Latin term Verbum became Word in English, though I do not know why it did not become verb, as it actually is in a new Catholic French version, La Bible de Jerusalem. At any rate, Logos hardly ever means a single word. But it has forty or more other meanings.
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