I am going to try something new. Throughout the week I will think of what I have read that has surprised, inspired, convicted and/or stuck with me for some reason. Hopefully it will do the same for you.
This quote comes from Francis Schaeffer’s Escape From Reason (ch 7), and displays a depth of knowledge and profound compassion for people.
The Bible teaches that though man is hopelessly lost, he is not nothing. Man is lost because he is separated from God, his true reference point, by true moral guilt. But he will never be nothing. Therein lies the horror of his lostness. For man to be lost, in all his uniqueness and wonder, is tragic.
We must not belittle man’s achievements. In science, for instance, man’s achievements demonstrate that he is not junk, though the ends to which he often puts them show how lost he is. Our forefathers, though they believed man was lost had no problem concerning man’s significance. Man can influence history, including his own eternity and that of others. This view sees man, as man, as something wonderful.
In contrast to this there is the rationalist who has determinedly put himself at the center of the universe and insists on beginning autonomously with only the knowledge he can gather, and has ended up finding himself quite meaningless. It comes to the same thing as Zen Buddhism, which expresses so accurately the view of modern man: “Man enters the water and causes no ripple.” The Bible says he causes ripples that never end. As a sinner, man cannot be selective in his significance, so he leaves behind bad as well as good marks in history,; but certainly he is not a zero.