Non-Fiction: How Firm a Foundation
The age in which we live could well be called, not the Atomic Age, but rather the Intellectual Age. Modern man is so completely governed and dominated by the burning desire to gain more knowledge that this knowledge has completely replaced his wisdom. No task is so great, and no thought so deep, that he cannot in some way, however small, add constructively to it. Then too, he must fully understand all that he knows or else reject it as untrue. Traditional truths are questioned doubtfully, and frequently even discarded as being “old-fashioned.” In defense of this idea we often hear the statement that “Tradition is not truth.” True as this may be, it does not mean that “Truth is not Traditional,” for the truth has been handed down from generation to generation without ever becoming old-fashioned. Discard it we may never do – but develop it we must. If this is done, then the truths established by our forefathers through blood and tears cannot be cast aside by some intellectual idiot simply because he cannot fully comprehend them. Knowledge may never replace wisdom, for as Solomon says, “Wisdom is the principal thing.” Knowledge alone puffeth up and is harmful, but knowledge together with wisdom will provide great understanding. With this understanding we must not only develop the truth, but also defend it.
This development, I think, can rightly be compared to the building of a pyramid. First to be built is the broad base or foundation, which is then built upon until the final block is placed and the construction becomes complete. Our pyramid of truth must progress in the same way. First came the development of the foundation by the apostles, using Christ as the cornerstone. Added to this was the work of the early church and men like Augustine, Luther, and Calvin. The work becomes more difficult as we get closer to the top, but, if the pinnacle is ever to be reached, it must never cease completely. However, while striving for our final goal, we must be sure that our foundation is not growing weak, but rather that it shall always remain solid and strong. If the foundation is gone, then there is no longer anything to support the rest of the building and it too will topple.
The evidence for this can readily be seen in the modern church world of today. They have disregarded the words of Solomon when he says, “My father taught me and said unto me, ‘Let thine heart retain my words’,” and in doing this, they have let the foundation crumble until nothing remains to support their “truth.” We must never let this happen to us, therefore, we must use our intellectualism to defend the truth of our fathers as well as to build upon it.
While developing, we must also defend – while growing we must also guard, so that nothing can damage our foundation. When that is gone, so is the whole basis of our Reformed faith.
As many of the second and third place winners as possible will be printed in the February issue. The remainder, along with some honorable mentions, will appear later.