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The impulse towards perfection

"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33.3

My favourite living sage is our fish man, Iain. His gem this morning came in the form of a question: What is the largest room in the world? The answer: The room for improvement. No disputing that!

Socrates started all the questioning, driving his fellow Athenians mad in the process. It cost him his life but not before he had inspired his disciple, Plato, to take up the cause of the relentless pursuit of truth.

Plato's sexual ethics may have caused a frisson in Athenian polite society but he was spot-on with regard to his philosophical convictions. In particular, Plato argued that our instinctive appreciation of ultimate standards - whether it be concerning truth, beauty, justice, whatever - must derive from somewhere.

Plato's insight paved the way for theists of all religions. But long before he was a twinkle in his mother's eye, or a handful in the Acropolis play-group, the prophets of the Old Testament were raising the eyes of all who would listen above the horizon of everyday existence. And now we have God's fullest revelation of glory - in the face of his son, our Saviour - who is the very embodiment of truth, beauty, justice and indeed of everything good.


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