Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
- Genesis 11:1-9
I said, “In the prime of my life
must I go through the gates of death
and be robbed of the rest of my years?”
I said, “I will not again see the Lord himself
in the land of the living;
no longer will I look on my fellow man,
or be with those who now dwell in this world.
- Isaiah 38:10-11
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
- Romans 12:1-2
“Conversing with history Gadamer sees the process of understanding our lives and our selves as similar to having a ‘conversation with history.’ As we read historical texts that have existed for centuries, the differences in their traditions and assumptions reveal our own cultural norms and prejudices, leading us to broaden and deepen our understanding of our own lives in the present. For instance, if I pick up a book by Plato, and read it carefully, I might ﬁnd not only that I am deepening my understanding of Plato, but also that my own prejudices and biases become clear, and perhaps begin to shift. Not only am l reading Plato, but Plato is reading me. Through this dialogue, or what Gadamer calls ‘the fusion of horizons’, my understanding of the world reaches a deeper, richer level.”
- Sam Atkinson (senior editor), The Philosophy Book, Big Ideas Simply Explained
As for the Scriptures, the first is the scrambling of language. Gadamer’s interpretation is of history instead of language, but without context, history can become gibberish. The second Scripture is the beginning of Hezekiah’s prayer, pleading to God to be healed, lamenting the leaving of this world too soon. Alas, Hezekiah made some very bad mistakes, at least one big one, during the extra fifteen years that he was granted in this world. And the third Scripture is about being transformed into a new creature, one that does not conform to this world or its standards.
Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002) is a philosopher where I have had a mental block. Without seeing his name printed, I have heard people quote him for the past 50 years, and instead of hearing the quote and learning something, I have been thinking, ‘Wash your mouth out with soap, you potty-mouthed person!’
And it is sad. He lived in Heidelberg, West Germany, when my wife and I were just a few kilometers away in Karlsruhe. But alas, we never met.
But now I can see why the secular progressives are rewriting the history books of old. They are barring the next generation from learning the “true” history, only a woke marred fantasy version of history, deserving of a different genre entirely. Gadamer wrote that in all things we cannot understand without employing our prejudices and biases. So, when we read a history book that was written in the 1950s about World War II, that history book would read differently than a history book about the same events thirty years later. But to understand the prejudices and biases, thus the thinking process of those who fought in the war, we must go to the book written closest to that era.
By rewriting the history of the world with the woke agenda of today, they erase the true motivation of the day in which the events occurred. Good people in history then become barbaric, and the characters of the fringe, that had no influence in the history of the day, suddenly become center stage, the oppressed that could have changed history but were oppressed. In other words, we lose the motivations of the day. We lose the ability to learn from Plato and have Plato read into us. And what do we get in return? A fictional tale based on what could have been, but never really happened. Did we make mistakes? Yes, but we can learn from those mistakes only if we see the mistake in the context of the time of that mistake.
Many of the woke proponents are wishing to change history because Christians wrote that history and we all know that Christians have a certain prejudice and bias. Yes, everyone, if they are honest and sane, has many prejudices and biases, but in every age, and in every person of that age, you get a personal prejudice and bias on each topic. Then, we get to the concept that there is no objective truth because your bias is different than mine.
But throwing the Christian perspective to the curb destroys the continuum. A true Christian is going to have a Biblical perspective based on a changeless God. Those prejudices and biases will remain unchanged throughout time. It is the one measure that remains the same. Without it, we are in a sea of crashing waves that pound from every side. We shall be tossed and thrown as each new generation rewrites the history of the previous generation based on prejudices and biases that did not exist when the events occurred.
A sign should read, “Nothing to Learn Here. The Lessons Have Already Been Lost.”
Say it is not so. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is the only constant in a sea of endless change (endless for the moment, until Christ Jesus returns).
If you like these Tuesday morning essays about philosophy and other “heavy topics,” but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Tuesday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.