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Seeking the Good

Written by JT Phillips
Seeking the Good

Growing up, I was fascinated by history and literature. In large part, this was due to the literature I had been steeped in from an early age: Augustine and Ambrose, Suetonius and Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Through these books I was able to enter a wardrobe opening into past times and foreign places, introducing me to the wonder and logic of history.

The older I get, the more I see the way studying history, theology, and philosophy have given me context for my developing interests and the quest for vocation. Throughout history, man has struggled to determine a uniform, agreeable, and universal definition of perfection or, as philosophers call it, the good life. Outside of man’s fallen nature itself, the inability to arrive at total agreement and unity has been one of the greatest causes of human conflict and havoc throughout time. Human nature, after all, feeds on antithesis. That said, there are constants and realities reflecting the very character of God which even the fallen nature of man cannot escape, directing us to the eternal truth mankind seeks after. The Athenian philosopher Plato sought to answer the question of what man’s purpose and pursuit should be in life. His answer was that man is to ever seek to know (or pursue) the good. “The good” was personified in the triad of truth, goodness, and beauty.

While Plato’s philosophy was ultimately rooted in human knowledge and fell short of pointing to the True Creator, Plato had correctly identified the fingerprint of the Creator in creation. While reading the great works of antiquity, the connection between truth, goodness, and beauty fascinated me and the reality of the image of God, irrevocably stamped on the pagan philosophers, served as an encouraging reminder of the timelessness of God’s truth built into creation. While in undergrad at Reformation Bible College (RBC), a school rooted in the classical Christian tradition, I had fallen in love with the study of the good, the true, and the beautiful...and shortly thereafter fell in love with a beautiful girl full of truth and goodness named Delaney. Though we had known each other for years, our love came as a surprising gift to me, and this past September, we got married.

My passion for history and deep appreciation for the legacies of the past continue to feed my love of learning and the desire to pursue the knowledge of God. This journey has brought me many places, introduced me to new friends, opportunities, and the love of my life. Most recently, it has brought us to Pennsylvania, in my new role as Service Manager at Veritas Press, where I am excited to be a part of the process of encouraging students in their love of learning. Growing up heavily involved in homeschooling, and then attending RBC, this transition has been very exciting for me and brings my love for history and literature full circle.

The reality is that there are few things as exciting as getting to explain something you love to another person, especially when it prepares for the future by pursuing knowledge which points us back to God and God’s work in us and around us. Ultimately, the pursuit of true knowledge is the pursuit of the good, and the highest good is God. May we ever continue to pursue the good, the true, and the beautiful in our lives, never ceasing to grow in knowledge of The Good.

Joshua Titus “JT” Phillips is the Service Manager at Veritas Press, where he began in May 2017 after working several years with Ligonier Ministries. He grew up involved in the homeschooling movement, and worked in a number of different fields after high school including writing, film, and photography. His interests are history, photography, and travel. JT received his Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies from Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida. He is married to his beautiful bride, Delaney.