Noah is born

(15) Then God spoke to Noah, saying, (16) Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. (17) Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”(18) So Noah went out…

Genesis 8: 15-18

A year and a half after Katrina destroyed the coastal counties of Mississippi and the Louisiana low-country south of New Orleans, a year and a half after the media hysterically passed on rumors about people shooting at helicopters, mass murder and rape in the Superdome, TV-stealing looters, and other bogus reports that frightened people but helped none, medical science helped a miracle happen.

A frozen embroyo that survived the flood in New Orleans was in danger of thawing, and was since implanted in his mother’s womb. On Tuesday Noah went out.

Noah Benton Markham was born on Tuesday in St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington, Louisiana, a hospital spokeswoman said on Wednesday. He weighed 8 pounds, 6-1/2 ounces (3.8 kg), and was delivered by Caesarean section with no complications, the spokeswoman said.

How about that?

This amazing recovery from nature is possible only because of science, which is only possible because of reason, which has thrived in Europe because Christianity has always embraced reason (to some degree). There was ever since Paul, with his Greek education, a stream of interpretation, reinterpretation, and commentary on Church Tradition and scripture that depended on reason as well as faith. But it was Clement and later Augustine who made it the mainstream.

It was Clement of Alexandria (c.150-220) who brought reason to the support of faith by trying to make Christianity more intellectually respectable. As Clement once wrote in his Stromata (Miscellanies), “thus philosophy acted as a schoolmaster to the Greek, preparing them for Christ, as the laws of the Jews prepared them for Christ.”

Using the language and techniques of Greek philosophy, Christian intellectuals changed Christianity from a simple ethical creed into a theoretical system. From this “Hellenization of Christianity,” theology was born. Christ was depicted as the divine Logos (reason) in human form. Roman Stoicism was incorporated into the belief that all are equal and united in Christ. (source)

The earliest Christians spoke Greek and thought in Greek terms, including the use of Greek formal logic. Peter and Andrew are Greek names, as are Philip and Paul, and the titles “apostle” and “Christ” are from the Greek. From its beginning, Christianity appealed to both Jews, using Hebraic tradition, and gentiles, expressing Christian theology in the terms of Greek philosophy. The fusion of Greek thought with Christianity was natural and right.

Two hundred years after Clement, Augustine became the Bishop of Hippo in Egypt. His masterpiece, which has to a large degree set the stage for all Christian thought to follow, was The City of God.

In The City of God, Augustine brings together the sacred history of the Jewish people, the pagan history of the Greeks and Romans, and the Christian expectation of future salvation. He quotes Herodotus, Plato, Cicero, Tacitus, Aristotle, the Old Testament, the New Testament as well as the interpretations and commentaries of the Church Fathers.

The City of God contrasts two cities: the City of God and the City of Man. He taught that the City of Man — that is, Rome — was evil and destined to decline and fall. Augustine saw this with his own eyes. In other words, he was not looking back into history, he was looking at his own present. The City of God was invisible — it was not of this earth. It was otherworldly. The chosen or the elect — the true Christian — should recognize that earthly existence was little more than an illusion. Furthermore, there was a higher reality beyond Rome. That higher reality was the City of God. It was only in the City of God that the chosen would find their final resting place. If any of this sounds like Plato and the Allegory of the Cave, then you are on the right track. Augustine studied Plato — he was a neo-Platonist. He combined Christianity with Plato’s higher reality of Ideas and Forms. In the end, what Augustine accomplished was nothing less than a synthesis of Christianity and classical humanism. (source)

Augustine laid the groundwork for the universal concept of the City of God, an ideal city that would guide the vision of men who wished to build a human civilization that contributed to the glory of God and the good of men and women. This is the civilization that we in the West share. This is the civilization that gave us everything we have. Our civilization blazes like the Sun casting light in every shadowed, barbaric corner of the world. In those corners lurk monsters. They do not love the light. And they wish to put out the Sun of our civilization.

This Christian civilization played a key part in the birth of Noah. We must defend it, so that more Noahs can be born. We must glory in it. We must empower it, fortify it, defend it so Noah has a future.

Update: Edited for flow.

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