In our culture, there’s an increasing amount of those incorporating secular ideas and philosophy into their “spiritual” beliefs. In regards to that, I was recently reminded of an amazing tidbit:
In the city of Ephesus around the year 500 BC a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus started teaching an idea about a “unified ordering principle”. The concept was that all things related to physics, mathematics, reason, morality etc. were tied back and rooted in this cosmic “unified ordering principle”. Later the Stoic philosophers added their thoughts and referred to the “unified ordering principle” as a “divine animating”.
Interestingly, John the Apostle was exiled for a period of years on an island near Ephesus called Patmos, where he received the Revelation. He’s also credited with 3 epistles bearing his name and ultimately a gospel. After the exile on Patmos, John ministered in the city of Ephesus. It’s in that historical context, that John wrote his personal account of the Christ.
By the way, Heraclitus used a name for which he referred to his idea of a “unified ordering principle”, he called it “Logos” or “The Word”. For centuries, philosophers and students had contemplated the depth of what Heraclitus called “Logos”. Then John, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit took pen in hand and boldly articulated the true meaning:
“In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word (Logos) was with God, and the Word (Logos) was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” – John 1:1-5 NKJV
So, in truth, “what’s new” is something very old. Trying to explain the cosmos, life, morality, etc. with logic or abstract ideas has been around a long time. It’s in this context that we live and the answer is still the same; “In the beginning was the Word…”