I Exist, Perhaps You Do Too!

But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out (Ecclesiastes 12:12, NLT).

I started Bible college in the Fall of 1972.  

My first class was a 2-hour, 7 a.m. class on Philosophy. To add the proverbial insult to injury, I had to get up at 3:30 a.m. to drive 86 miles from Springfield, Ohio, to Cincinnati Bible College, arriving 10 minutes early (the professor insisted) for my class.

This explains why my ruminations on philosophy might seem to originate from someone who is sleepwalking.

I think it was 7:32 a.m. one morning when I first heard this phrase, “Cogito, ergo sum.” It’s a Latin phrase meaning “I think, therefore I am,” which is a summary statement on life’s success by the French philosopher Rene Descartes.

Yep, all of this by 7:45 a.m.

I remember my professor saying that Descartes was dealing with skepticism about whether we could know if anything actually existed. My professor said that one day Descartes concluded, “Well, the very act of doubting my existence must prove that I exist.”

Descartes now had a starting point – he existed or Cogito, ergo sum. I believe that I exist too, but I’m not sure about you.

And all of this by 8:01 a.m.

We might laugh at Descartes, but many very intelligent minds take him seriously. The question must be asked, “How do we know anything exists? Can’t it all be an illusion?”

God realizes the legitimacy of the “existence” problem, which explains why He spoke through the burning bush to Moses, describing Himself as…

I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you (Exodus 3:14).

Now it’s 8:31 a.m., and just 29 minutes left until the Philosophy class ends, so let’s keep at it in this Interruption.

If we read Descartes’ book Principles of Philosophy (probably best later in the morning), we will note that there are many summations using the pronoun “I.” Rene’s thinking is extremely individualistic, and his “I” and only “I” philosophy undergirds our culture today.

What I find fascinating is that Descartes’ principle to overcome skepticism by focusing on his ability to say “I am” has created a society in which our individualistic self-thinking has caused exponentially increasing skepticism, doubt, and resultant anxiety.

Rene Descartes’ philosophy doesn’t work, and neither do any of the other of the “wisdom of man” philosophies of this world.

Fortunately, in John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6, NLT).

This is the Jesus version of Cogito Ergo Sum!

When we stop being the “I am” of our life and turn to the great “I Am,” we will find peace.

All of this by 9 a.m.

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