I began seminary today with summer Greek. I’m not completely freaked out, but I’m sufficiently motivated. I’ve been studying flash cards I’ve made with vocabulary and the Greek alphabet, so I figured I’d take a few moments to look at a Jonathan Edwards dissertation concerning The End for which God Created the World. It was recommended to me by a fellow Greek student, so I thought I’d give it a look. I’m reading out of the 1860 printing of the 1834 edition. It’s a rewarding experience to read a classic in an older edition, but for the sake of my notes, I’ll be paraphrasing most of what I read.
By the way…none of what follows is to insult your intelligence. Most of what I’ve written so far, if not all, is news to me. I was, after all, public-school educated.
Edwards begins by differentiating between chief ends and ultimate ends, pointing out that
- every chief end is an ultimate end
- but not every ultimate end is a chief end.
Also, a chief end is opposite to an inferior end; an ultimate end is opposite to a subordinate end.
Subordinate ends can be explained this way: if you’re sick and need to run to the drugstore for medicine, then your going to get the meds is a subordinate end. The meds themselves are not the point–getting better is the point. The meds get you to your further point.
A notable example of an utter confusion over this point in our own day is the common notion that the journey is more important than the destination. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?