Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Many years ago, in college, I read an essay by Matthew Arnold, a British writer, educator and philosopher. His piece was entitled Hellenism vs. Hebraism, and it struck me to the point that I actually read it again, even after it was no longer required reading! Yes, it fascinated me.
The essay discusses two different worldviews, that of the Greeks, and that of the Hebrews. He explained that these worldviews guide our viewpoints on many things in life. The Hellenists looked at things empirically- they tried to see things as they are, and they were open to only rational or logical explanations of their world. They were willing to test and try things with a more open mind, seeking truth through knowledge.
Hebrews, on the other hand, saw things as they should be, under the guidance and order of God. They saw that not everything can be explained by rational thinking and logic, and that there was a mystical part of life that they simply accepted as true, even without proof. They were seeking truth by acknowledging that there was a God who gave that truth, and their job was to follow God’s direction for them.
These are very broad and brief descriptions, but you see where this was going. Two divergent worldviews, both of value, could lead to some serious disagreements on the nature of truth.
Today, we have variants of these worldviews. In some people’s eyes, this has become a “science vs. faith” issue. I believe that science and faith are not mutually exclusive and that both have been given to us by our Creator.
Prayer: Lord, as we explore truth, help us to seek with your guidance, as well as the mind you have given us to reason, Amen.