After this week I will be halfway done with this semester. After this semester I will be halfway done with my time at Oklahoma. Lots of things to which to look forward, but that would also be taking away from the present moment. And there is much worth mentioning, including my recent thinking on how Christians can apply Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.
Next week is our final week of team practices for the fall. It has been a grind, and it has been awesome to get to know this team, which currently consists of 42 guys who want to get better every day. We had a great win at Arkansas a few weeks ago and traveling there with the team was an amazing experience. Last night, I led our first team Bible study for the fall and thoroughly enjoyed discussing the things of God with my teammates. God is so good, and I pray His glory is sought on this team.
My economics courses have been fascinating, and they are much more engaging than my macroeconomics course in high school. However, it is Law and Justice and Roman Religion that deserve the spotlight. Spending a semester reading Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Cicero, and other ancient philosophers and historians has been intellectually stimulating and captivating. I definitely share Kyle Worley’s interest in the history of ideas and loved his thoughts on the topic in an episode of the Knowing Faith podcast’s After the Fact series.
I am currently reading two books, still seeking a mix of creative writing and nonfiction, as I mentioned in a previous post. The Reformation: A History by Diarmaid MacCulloch reads like an encyclopedia and is a challenge but totally worth the insights on Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, the Anabaptists, the Roman Catholic Church, and other important players in the Reformation. The other book, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, is a novel depicting the spiritual realities of our culture and does a great job conveying human emotion, thought, and experience. I look forward to continue reading the story, as Gilead is the first of a trilogy. I am also looking forward to soon reading Robinson’s essays contained in What Are We Doing Here?. Last week I finished Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, which I might consider one of the better books I have ever read.
After wrapping up my 18 months in the Old Testament last month, I have now spent almost a month in the book of Hebrews. The supremacy and glory of Christ flow off the page in each verse, and the book is rich in its biblical theology of Christ. Hebrews 10 has been my favorite chapter so far. Here is just one verse from the author, one that has stuck with me this week:
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (10:23)
I am also currently walking through JP’s Welcome to Adulting Survival Guide, which challenges me and points me more and more toward Jesus.
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in the Christian Life
Recently in my Law and Justice course we learned about Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. In Plato’s Republic, Plato writes through the words of Socrates, who is in dialogue with other characters, such as Glaucon. The allegory is as follows: Socrates says most people go through life like a person who is unknowingly born in chains at the bottom of a cave. Behind them, there is a fire and people walking, making shadows. The people in chains see the shadows dancing on the walls and believe they are perceiving the reality. A person who lives a just life, a philosopher, is one who breaks out of the chains, crawls out of the darkness and comes to freedom/the truth, seeing the sun, the source of real being. He emphasizes the use of the mind and reason to discard falsehoods and pursue the light of truth. He also underscores the significance of education in bringing about this change in circumstances in which one ends up seeing the real sun.
This allegory reminds me of Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians 5. In verse 17, he tells us that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old has passed away; the new has come. In the same way that the person who escapes the cave and experiences true life would not desire to go back in the cave and live a lesser life, we shouldn’t desire to go back in the “cave” of sin. Why live doing what we perceive as satisfying and good when we can live in the light of Christ rather than in the chains of darkness? Plato says virtue is found outside the cave when one has knowledge of the true reality. For us, this assertion rings true. The good life is found outside the domain of darkness when we live for the kingdom of His Son (Col. 1:13).