Start by asking them if they know of any situations where they have been or have seen people afraid to act because they don’t know who is on their side and who is against them. Obviuosly you’ll want to simplify and you may want to begin with stories they’ve read (say, David in the Bible).
Yesterday launched the greatest week in human history. It was Palm Sunday and the children lined the streets with their palm branches and people sang, "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord," while our Lord passed between them.
This is the week He is glorified.
This is the week He conquers death.
This is the week He enters the Holy of Holies and sprinkles His own blood on the heavenly altar.
I don't like to travel without an interesting compelling time-filling book, and I'm driving up to PA tomorrow in what is still called a car because that is what the people over at Hertz call it - a bright cool air-conditioned chamber with the windows all closed because as a man I realize that hot air prevents coolness from spreading and the open window will let more heat than cool in - so I was glancing over my office qua study bookcase covered with
We think to determine three things: whether something is true, whether something should be done, and whether something commands our appreciation. In other words, we think to know truth, goodness, and beauty.
I suppose it must be theoretically possible to create an ethic without God or a god, but historically in the west it's been a problem.
The great argument of the "new atheism," as of most atheisms of the old stripe, seems to be that "you can't prove the existence of God."
In other words, using the tools of science, you can't prove the existence of something that transcends science.
The absence of God is evident in many ways in our culture. For example, we are not a praying culture and in fact our government is formally opposed to identifying with any particular groups prayers. We take the wisdom of this for granted, but a historical sense shows how unnervingly rarely we find parallel states.
One place I find the absence of God a little surprising, though, is in modern translations of the Bible. Let me give an example.
In Luke 1:41, we read in the older versions something like this:
Like everybody else, I love words. I love the way I can have a vague sense of something I want to say or think about and as soon as I attach a word that fits the thought comes alive and starts to run around on me.
I love the way another person can possess an amazing insight in his own soul and, by embodying it in a collection of sound-signs (what we call words), he can give me eyes to see the same thing: at least, if I am ready.
First Things has published an amazing and wonderful essay by Alan Jacbos called "Auden and the Limits of Poetry" which, being limited, discovers its immense value.
Auden uses poetry to remind us of what poetry can never give us. But, in the end, this assigns poetry a genuine and important role, as it points always beyond itself in a strangely mute witness to that of which it is unable definitively to speak. As Auden wrote in one of his later poem,