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Lighten our darkness

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24.32

In contrast to Thomas Reid's three First Principles, David Hume and his acolytes allow just two: that of the experience of the person in question, such as the reality of the screen you are reading this on, or the coherent relationship between ideas, as in scientific laws or mathematical formulae. This may explain the story about Hume being observed by one of his pupils scurrying along a street in Edinburgh to attend an evangelistic rally addressed by the great 18th century preacher, George Whitfield.

"Surely you don't believe what George Whitfield is peddling?" asked the scandalised student. "No", replied Hume, "but Whitfield does!"

The trouble with Hume's two principles is that they are subjective and impersonal and therefore they pave the way for relativism, allowing us to keep each other at arms length. By contrast, Reid insists that, because we all inhabit a world which is governed by his three First Principles, we all have something constructive to say to each other. How liberating! Indeed we can learn so much from others, even if their beliefs differ from our own. And, in our conviction that the truth about Jesus is universal, what have we to fear? All genuine searching will eventually lead to him, so why not make ours a generous pilgrimage - inviting others to join us...



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