Socrates was a Greek philosopher who lived in the city-state of Athens in the 5th century B.C. Most of what we know about him is due to the writings of his most famous student, Plato. In the Apology, an account of Socrates’s defense against charges of corrupting the Athenian youth, Plato records how Socrates acquired his reputation for wisdom in the first place.
As the story goes, one day a friend of Socrates inquired of the Oracle at Delphi if anyone were wiser than Socrates. The priestess affirmed that there was no one. That puzzled Socrates greatly: he knew that he possessed no great knowledge. He decided, then, that he would go around and question those reputed to be wise in order to test the oracle’s statement.
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me…Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. (Philippians 4:10, 14-16)
Matt Emmons, world class target shooter, had already won gold in the 50m prone event at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Now, going into the final shot of the final round for the overall gold in the 50m 3 rifle positions – kneeling, prone, and standing – he had built an almost insurmountable lead. He did not even need a bullseye to win; if he were merely on target, achieving a score of 8.0 or better, he would take home the gold.
Belief in God can either be a clanging cymbal so noisy that no other noise is heard, or a barely noticed noise that hardly reaches the ear. For some, "belie(f) that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him" (Heb. 11:6) echoes loudly through their entire life. For others, the echo dies quickly and quietly.
This article compares and contrasts the life-impact of belief in God among ancient and modern Christians. What is the "then" that follows the "if" of belief?
Churches of Christ in the United States have produced four truly outstanding Bible scholars. Two of those were active in the 1800s, and two more remain active today. This article is primarily written about a quote from Everett Ferguson, one of our exceptional contemporary Bible authorities, but the following two paragraphs tell a broader story about four men to whom we are much indebted.