If I say that it is impossible for me to keep quiet because that means disobeying the god, you will not believe me and will think I am being ironical. On the other hand, if I say that it is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life Is not worth living for men, you will believe me even less. (The Apology, 38a)
I love this quote from Plato reportedly said by his hero Socrates during his trial. Why? It reminds me of two things that I also earnestly believe:
- We should desire to speak with people about virtue, or excellent things daily;
- We should examine our lives daily.
That is what I hope to achieve through my writings in In the Word and World. I am Randy Allison and here are some quick facts about me:
- I am a man of faith desperately trying to understand more of what faith is while also striving to understand how we should live as people of faith in today’s world;
- I’m not nearly as smart as I think I am! The older I get, the more I truly understand what Socrates purportedly said, “I know that I don’t know.”
- I love to teach, whether it’s God’s word, religion, philosophy, or whatever! I love that moment when people learn something new for the first time, and hopefully it’s something that can make their lives better and more meaningful;
- I’m a better speaker than writer – hope it’s not too obvious!
- I love reading, especially about the Christian faith, but also anything concerning ethics and philosophy;
- My life went off-track fourteen years ago from my preconceived notions, and I still can’t make sense of it!
- Lastly, I love bullet-points!
IN THE WORD
If I may return to Socrates, I believe he was right but unfortunately also lacking. He was right to seek to converse with people about virtue, or excellence (for instance, how could a human live an excellent life?), but he was lacking in his definition of excellence. I believe excellence begins with Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture and that is what we should seek to talk with people about. And then, each and every day we should examine how we are living, and to make sure our lives match Jesus’ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Consequently, I have three purposes for launching this blog:
- To inspire people to read the Bible daily
- To assist people in understanding the Bible
- To suggest ways of applying God’s truth to their lives
If I can achieve those lofty goals, then we will be talking about excellent things, hopefully with other people, and each will be given the opportunity to examine our lives.
I commit to you I will:
- Post at least three times a week (and hopefully more in 2015!);
- Live what I post (by God’s power and strength);
- Not be boring (life’s too short and I’m too busy!)
To wrap up, let me conclude with a verse from Scripture that declares what I’ve just stressed – that Jesus is the true and excellent One as declared in Scripture:
“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20 NIV)
IN THE WORLD
How would you answer these questions?
- Today we were reminded to discuss excellent things/truth with each other. How much of our conversations with others tend to be about trivial matters? Give a percentage.
- Why is the ‘unexamined life’ not worth living?
- Lastly, take a moment to pray confessing any sins you know of to the Excellent One, and then ask for the power to live life as exemplified by our Savior Jesus.
In the next post, we will begin a study of the book of James. It will be great to have you along for the journey!