A young man is having some trouble with belief in God.
The phone rings the other night and it’s a young fellow on the other end. He is having some trouble with belief in God and he heard that I am the foremost authority in the world on the subject. After laughing myself silly, I could hardly resist giving him some of my time. Even with my brain shouting that this categorization is absurd, my ego held me back from denying it with the requisite firmness.
“I was brought up Jewish but I rejected that and became an atheist,” he begins. “This friend of mine is very positive about her religion and now I am beginning to wonder who is right.”
“Well, were your parents knowledgeable about religion?” I asked.
“No, not at all.”
“Did you attend religious school?”
“So you never really rebelled against Judaism. You rebelled against your parents’ attempt to saddle you with a religion without an explanation.”
“I guess you’re right.”
“What it amounts to is that you need to get enough information about the claims of the religion so you can make an informed judgment. The problem is that it’s hard for you to find the time to essentially go back to college and study a new discipline.”
“You’re right. I’m 27 years old and running a successful business. But it would help if you can convince me why I should want to go back to college, as you put it.”
“Well, I start with the assumption that whatever the Biblical life system is it must be smart and its texts must be intellectually engaging. After all, the Jews were locked in their ghettos for centuries and limited to studying their own materials. As soon as the universities admitted them, they went straight to the top in a whole range of academic disciplines.”
“Therefore intellectual curiosity makes a lot of people want to open those books. Once they do, many recognize their genius and invest a lot of energy in that study.”
“But why should I believe those books came from God?”
“A combination of reasons. Some people find the wisdom so powerful they are convinced of its Divine provenance. Then the fact that the entire Jewish nation testified to the world and protected the contents carefully. The fact that the Bible of a tiny nation was so compelling the other major religions accepted its truth as the basis for their systems. The fact that its major predictions have been fulfilled. The fact that its grasp of human nature is so on target.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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