The Berean Expositor
Volume 27 - Page 180 of 212
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Empedocles, and the need of a Mediator.
pp. 171 - 173
Before dealing with the next step taken by human wisdom in its attempt to discover
the nature of ultimate reality and the origin of force and life, let us turn to the fountain of
all truth, and read once again with growing wonder the simple facts that two hundred
years of intense thought, from Thales to Heraclitus, had failed to discover:--
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth became
without form and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of
God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was
light" (Gen. 1: 1-3).
These are words of revealed truth that scatter the darkness of human philosophy as the
rising sun scatters the mists of night.
"In the beginning" (Greek: arche).--Over and over again we come across this word
in the writings of the early philosophers.  What is the "first principle", the arche?
According to Thales it must be water. According to Anaximander it cannot be anything
so determinate as water; it must be an unbounded substance like our ether. Then comes
Anaximines, who teaches that it cannot be either, but must be something rarer than water,
and yet not so indeterminate as "infinity"--it must be air. Pythagoras, rejecting all three
theories, discovers that number is the arche, for mathematical relations are found
The Scripture make two definite statements concerning "the beginning" (arche) in the
New Testament:--
"In the beginning was the Word . . . . . all things were made by Him" (John 1: 1-3).
"These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the Beginning of the
Creation of God" (Rev. 3: 14).
Philosophy missed its way because it knew nothing of the personal element that is one
of the chief glories of the true Revelation of God. The beginning of the creation of God
is not merely "time", but Christ Himself. When, therefore, Gen. 1: 1 speaks of "the
beginning", we must understand not only the beginning of time, but that all creation was
created "in Christ".  The problems of philosophy with regard to the apparent
impossibility of absolute unconditioned Being having any point of contact with the
passing and changing creation are fully answered in the Person of Christ, "the Firstborn
of all creation". Later we hope to deal with this teaching more fully; at present we are
still reviewing the wisdom of man.
The subject that seemed to present itself at the juncture in the history of philosophy
which we have now reached was the question of the origin of movement, force, change