Hearing a woman moan or scream “Oh, God” repeatedly in a Meg Ryan sequence isn’t a reason to believe, but it is solid word of mouth advertising. There are just certain times when people are stronger net prompters of the big guy (Him, not me), and those times seem to be at the edges of our experience: the ecstasy and the empty.
Just like the sharp commentary that pierces this space when I go on a political rant (a mention of pantsuits seems to draw the most ire, but I guess that’s slamming my inferred sexism, not loony-left positions) writing about God draws crowds like those gathered to see if the guy is going to leave the ledge or not. My “Living in the New Year” post of a couple days ago drew more comments than I’ve seen in quite some time. Even Sophocles left a comment. That was cool. Like politics, religion is extremely polarizing in a world where inhabitants are screaming away from each other toward the coldest extremes. For example, in the domestic political realm, has the liberal-conservative invective ever been so bitter?
Wading into Timothy Keller’s “The Reason for God” last night, the author contends a polarizing phenomena is occurring with masses growing at both ends: believers and skeptics. Being at one end, I can tell you it looks like quite a journey to get to the other. And how does one get there if they choose to? One (of many) reasons for my doubt is that the journey of many “born again” Christians I know began with them hitting some bottom in their life and God became a crutch to help lift them up. I’ve observed this several times with people in my life and wonder if my bottom or some catastrophic event would push me there. Again, I doubt it. Why don’t people find God after they win the lottery? Or do they?
Not to say that the “born again” crowd is all inclusive of the faithful. It seems there are as many degrees of faith as there are people. One guy I know is very strong in his Catholic faith, still goes to church, yet has been married for over 20 years to a woman who doesn’t really share his conviction. The faith of that gentleman and other very smart people who are in, or have passed through my life, have me asking the questions. If these smart people, who I greatly respect, have faith, isn’t it worth another look, even if only to understand our differences? I understand faith transcends the mind, but I need to first understand the intellectual credibility of God before I can walk further. Right now I’m stepping tentatively like Bob Wiley. The first words in the book’s introduction grabbed me like a tractor beam, so I’m allowing myself to be sucked in…
“I find your lack of faith – disturbing.” – Darth Vader
Seriously…read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. He was an investigative journalist for the Chicago Tribune or something, and an atheist married to an atheist. His wife became a born again Christian after many years of marriage and he could not fathom how this bright savvy woman could fall for the fairy-tale…she asked him to apply is investigative skills to Christ…and he did…he went to Jerusalem, he interviewed a ton of theologists and historians…it is a great thinking man's read…you are a perfect fit for this book.
Believe only to find out there is nothing vs. not believing and finding there is …
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
It is a fascinating subject. Thanks MJ Burke for the book tip – looks like an interesting read.