Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Plato's "Republic" and the Biblical Worldview: Part 2

A few more thoughts on the Republic. At the close of the book, Socrates presents the myth of Er and presents an argument for the immortality of the soul, for judgement and rewards at death, and for the reincarnation of the soul.

For every wrong committed in his life a man is repaid ten times over "while deeds of kindness and a just and sinless life are rewarded in the same measure" (352).

In the end each soul, in turn, chooses the new body his soul will inhabit for his next life. Socrates makes sure to stress that this choice is up to the soul alone and is not forced upon him: "No guardian spirit will cast lots for you, but you shall choose your own destiny…. The blame is his who chooses; Heaven is blameless" (355).

Again we can contrast the Biblical worldview of life and death. Souls are not by nature immortal but created by God. At death one awaits not reincarnation but resurrection, judgement, and just assignment to heaven and hell. But perhaps most key is the Biblical affirmation that we are not autonomous over our destiny. As Psalm 139:16 puts it: "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them."

1 comment:

Cameron Cloud said...

Good thoughts. Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to have a Biblical worldview.