The Logos – a person to be learned

By Dave Henning / February 18, 2024

“Christians believe that Jesus is the Logos that the Greeks intuited — the meaning behind the universe, the reason for life.  But unlike the philosophers, Christians believe that the Logos is not a concept to be learned but a person to be known.  And therefore we don’t believe in a meaning we must go out and discover but in a Meaning that came into the world to find us.”- Timothy Keller

Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 3 of Making Sense of God as he talks about what Terry Eagleton refers to as a capitalist modernity.  It turns everything into a private commodity.  As a result, you measure, price, and consume private choices.  All according to your tastes and convenience.  Thus, Eagleton wryly observes, this places the meaning of life question “in the hands of . . . the technologists of piped contentment and the chiropractors of the psyche.”

Ironically, those claiming the freedom to create their own meaning might be less liberated and more captive than they think.  And in this worldview, secular people must find their main meaning within this life.

Hence, life must go well in order to live a life filled with meaning.  However, when suffering disrupts this goal, you may be left radically vulnerable to the realities of life.

Yet, one finds richness in the Christian life. Above all, that richness lies in the ways Christianity gives Meaning.  In ways distinct from secular thought as well as other religions.  For example, unlike:

  • ancient fatalism (Greek Stoics) or shame-and-honor cultures, Christianity finds nothing particularly noble about suffering; don’t welcome it.
  • secularism, the Christian faith teaches that one can find meaning in suffering; that it can make you great.

In conclusion, Richard Schweder, a secular anthropologist, explains:

“For the man of antiquity . . . the external world was happy and joyous, but the world’s core was deeply sad and dark.  Behind the cheerful surface of the world of so-called merry antiquity there loomed ‘chance’ and ‘fate.’  For the Christian, the external world is dark and full of suffering, but its core is nothing other than pure bliss and delight.”

Today’s question: What does it mean to you that Jesus came into the world to find us?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the February Short Meditation, “The storm through Jesus’ eyes”

About the author

Dave Henning

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