Everett Piper has become one of my favorite newspaper columnists. Why? He takes a logical, reasoned approach to today’s issues, and he is unafraid to reference our Christian heritage as the basis for his arguments. Hence he makes use of that proverb in the figure above.
Think for a moment about what it means. Why iron to sharpen iron? Will a man who is thoughtless and indecisive in word and deed have much effect or influence upon others?
Almost all of us grow up hoping our lives will have some significance, but few of us teach our children the significance of that old proverb. To have an appropriate, positive effect upon others, we must believe the Truth, and we must have a strong faith in the Truth. That requires us to know what we believe and why we believe what we believe. That requires study. Therefore, I beg you. Consider Choosing the right path in contentious times by Everett Piper. Here is how Piper’s column begins.
“Two roads diverged in a wood,
And I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
— Robert Frost
Reflecting on this classic poem by Robert Frost, I can’t help but remember a recent political debate I had with a good friend and fellow Michigan State University Spartan. It was one of those fun conversations. The hours flew by like minutes. The depth of our differences was obvious. We each held strong views that were essentially opposite of one another.
I believed and expressed one ideal with great conviction. He did likewise, but to the opposite effect. I advocated one view. He espoused another. Both of us obviously shared the proverbial hope that “as iron sharpens iron, one man would sharpen the other.”
Yet, while having no intention of ceding the high ground of the argument to the other, both of us tempered our confidence with a good measure of courtesy and mutual respect. Bottom line — We relished the disagreement because we both knew this was the kind of wrestling good education is made of.
As I and my friend both moved from one idea to another, sparring and jockeying for position, it quickly became very obvious that, in the end, all of our arguments basically came down to one key question: Is truth an objective fact or is it merely a subjective construct? In other words, is truth an exclusive reality or is it merely an inclusive narrative. (continued here)
Is there an objective Truth? What is it? What should we teach our children? What path do we want to them to choose? Who should decide what path we teach our children to travel? Their parents? That is what we believe here.