I call upon You, Lord, God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob and Israel, You who are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of your mercy, was well-pleased towards us so that we may know You, who made heaven and earth, who rules over all, You who are the one and the true God, above whom there is no other God; You who, by our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, give to every one who reads this writing to know You, that You alone are God, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical and godless and impious teaching.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies 3:6:4

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I Mean Historically, Does History Mean Anything?

Ultimately, the problem of the meaning of history revolves around the question: "Who is man himself and what is his origin and his final destination?" Outside of the central biblical revelation of creation, the fall into sin and redemption through Jesus Christ, no real answer is to be found to this question. The conflicts and dialectical tensions which occur in the process of the opening-up process of human cultural life result from the absolutization of what is relative. And every absolutization takes its origin from the spirit of apostasy, from the spirit of the civitas terrena, the kingdom of darkness, as Augustine called it.

There would be no future hope for mankind and for the whole process of man's cultural development if Jesus Christ had not become the spiritual center and his kingdom the ultimate end of world-history. This center and end of world-history is bound neither to the Western nor to any other civilization. But it will lead the new mankind as a whole to its true destination since it has conquered the world by the divine love revealed in its self-sacrifice.

Herman Dooyeweerd, In the Twilight of Western Thought, (Paidia Press, 2012), 75-76.

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