Full strides and half measures

[A sermon based on Galatians 5 preached Sunday November 8 at First Mennonite Church in Winnipeg]

I clearly remember my first encounter with what I guess could be called proper philosophy. In high school I was taught an ancient Greek story in which Achilles is running a race. As the race was going on one philosopher said to another, Surely before Achilles finishes the race he must pass the halfway point? There was of course agreement. The philosopher went on, and surely he will then encounter the halfway mark of that distance. Again, agreement.

But you can see where this is going. The question finally comes out, How can Achilles finish a race without first accomplishing the infinite task of passing through these half-measures? Now you might think this is the worst sort of abstract philosophizing and perhaps this explains something about my preaching but this story stuck with me and I think it is in fact quite telling.

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