This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
The book Between Heaven and Hell by Peter Kreeft is a thought-provoking (and quite entertaining) imaginary dialog between C.S. Lewis, JFK, and Aldous Huxley, who all died within hours of each other. Although it garnered its fair share of negative reviews over on Amazon, most readers (purchasers?) approved of it. (I didn't review it myself, but if I had, I'd have given it 4 stars.) You can buy it used for less than 5 dollars, and is definitely worth a read.Jezu ufam tobie!
It was also a tragic day for another reason.
My copy of Between Heaven and Hell is overdue a re-read. Can't say I recall that much of it, but I always enjoy reading Kreeft. I seem to remember that this is where Kreeft presents an alternative version of the "Trilemma", dividing people into four categories based on the questions: (1) Was this person a sage? and (2) Did this person claim to be God? The question then arises: about how many people is the answer to both questions "yes"?I also recall a lecture Kreeft gave in Cambridge (a the C.S. Lewis Summer Institute, perhaps in 2002 or thereabouts), he's good in person too!
I agree, Steve. It's time I took the book off my shelf and gave it a second reading. (It's been about 2 years since I read it the first time, and haven't looked at the thing since.) The copy I have also contains a "bonus" dialog between a rabbi and a theologically liberal Christian (who does not believe in a literal Resurrection, but regards it only as a symbol), which shows the utter folly of such a "faith" (if it can even be dignified with such a word). Absolute genius on Kreeft's part to have a rabbi present the case against theological liberalism. It's basically a midrash on St. Paul's words in 1st Corinthians: "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain ... If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and ... we are of all men most to be pitied."Jezu ufam tobie!
Today is also the anniversary of the martyrdom in 1927 of Miguel Agustin Pro, Mexican Catholic Priest, by the atheist revolutionary government then in power. Under the leadership of such figures as Tomas Garrido Canabal*, the Catholic Church had been outlawed, hundreds of clergy murdered and thousands more either exiled or driven underground. Despite the reign of terror, Miguel Pro remained in Mexico, clandestinely delivering the sacraments to the faithful until his capture and imprisonment. He was executed on trumped up charges of attempting to assassinate the Mexican President (a charge even the government eventually admitted was completely bogus). His martyrdom was the first in history to be photographed. (Closeup here.)* Canabal (charming name, isn't it?) was a gnu long before the likes of Dawkins and Harris. He named his son Vladimir Lenin, his bull God, his hog Pope, his cow Mary, and his donkey Christ. Calling himself a "Rationalist" (sound familiar?), Canabal closed and ransacked every Catholic church within the territory he controlled, killed or imprisoned every priest he could lay his hands on, and banned all religious worship or even beliefs. Mere possession of a Bible or any other religious artifact was frequently cause for summary execution without trial. Canabal is the face of atheism in power.Jezu ufam tobie!
Bob,I gave "Between Heaven and Hell" to one of my inquisitive high school Sunday school students some years ago. He didn't seem to find the book very interesting, as I recall. He later converted to Roman Catholicism (from my dear Anglican tradition) and is finishing his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Dallas. He, like my sons have outgrown me intellectually. But, they have all made the faith their own. His father remains one of my best friends.Reminds of good times with a pretty rambunctious, challenging, and fun group of high school kids.
"But, they have all made the faith their own."Isn't that everyone's story? My older daughter is Catholic, while my younger is Anglican (probably as a result of her attending a C of E British boarding school in Cheltenham during what would have been her high school years in in the States).
""But, they have all made the faith their own."Isn't that everyone's story?"All good, as long as they accept Jesus, right? ;-)
She was born in November 1963The day Aldous Huxley died...
"as long as they accept Jesus, right?""Accept Jesus" is a Protestant term. Although technically not theologically inaccurate, it is nevertheless terribly misleading and not at all helpful, besides being weighed down with all sorts of unfortunate cultural and historical baggage.I would never use it (although I have "accepted" Him).I put it in there with various other problematic terms, such as inerrancy and the question "Are you saved?". They lead to more misunderstandings than they're worth, and should be avoided.
I speak Protestant. "Accept Jesus" derives from "Receive Christ" which is based on John 1:12, "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God --." The idea was initially intended to amplify and personalize the meaning of "believe." It was in reaction to an institutional type of faith expressed in membership in a church (when this was culturally pragmatic) and an impersonal mental assent to certain doctrines without change of conduct or impassioned service. I witnessed a dilution of the original intent. The phrase and the formulas surrounding it were co-opted by some and used sloppily by others. Instead of increasing the meaning of faith, receiving Christ with a personal commitment to serve him morphed into accepting Christ to get your free grace ticket from hell. This cheap grace version was accompanied by a move away from theology in favor of "relationship." All of these trends can be traced with the same trends in society and were accompanied by a movement away from worship that is God-centered to concert experiences; a tendency to reject discussion of doctrine as divisive; and aversion to judging either the doctrine or behavior of others. The good news is that there is a revival of robust faith. The bad news it has to be terribly confusing to outsiders.
I'm good with the term "accept Jesus." But, it's damn hard to live up to.
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