Who am I? Where did I come from? What is the significance of my existence? Though not all people would verbalize such questions, there is nonetheless a nearly universal desire to discover some purpose in life. This is why it is so very important that we find the solution to these human longings.
Of course there are many who claim the ability to decipher the human condition. From philosophers and psychological specialists to the man or woman on the street, there is not a lack of those who promote various theories and belief systems. Still, whatever value some of these may have, the only sure way to "know thyself"-if indeed such a goal is attainable-is by first knowing what our Maker has to say about us.
This portion of "Truth & Things" will seek to unfold the Creatorís viewpoint on these matters. An accurate appraisal of "self" will point us toward God, even as the knowledge of God leads us to a proper self-perception. As a result, it is hoped that we will not only capture a glimpse of what we are, but what we might, in Godís good grace, become.
Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom consists in two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.
John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion
What a chimera is man! What a novelty? What a monster, what a chaos, what a contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, imbecile worm of the earth; depository of truth, sink of uncertainty and error; the pride and refuse of the universe!
Ultimately, the only human beings we know are people who have been created to please God and build shalom but who, to a greater or lesser degree, mysteriously live against the purpose of their existence.
Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
[The] heart wants what it wants. That's as far as we get. That's the conversation stopper. The imperial self overrules all. Inquiring into the causes of sin take us back, again and again, to the intractable human will and to the hearts desire that stiffens the will against all competing considerations. Like a neurotic and therapeutically shelf-worn little god, the human heart keeps ending discussions by insisting that it wants what it wants.
Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him.
C. S. Lewis
To be made in the "image of God" means that man has an essential likeness and/or similarity in a finite, relative manner to the infinite self-existing God.
Ronald B. Mayers
The knowledge of God without that of man's misery causes pride. The knowledge of man's misery without that of God causes despair. The knowledge of Jesus Christ constitutes the middle course, because in Him we find both God and our misery.