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In this issue of Solid Ground I continue with my collection of short vignettes I have collected over the years.
There’s a lesson to be learned from using vignettes like these. Sometimes all it takes is a short reflection or a briefly explained insight to put a stone in someone’s shoe...
The billboards read: “No God? No Problem. Be Good for Goodness’ Sake,” and “Are You Good without God? Millions Are.” The point was clear: Morality in no way depends on belief in God. And why should it? Atheists can be good, too. New atheist Christopher Hitchens regularly challenged his religious opponents to suggest a single act of goodness they could perform that he, the atheist, could not accomplish with equal success.
The images are sadly familiar. Buildings ripped from their foundations. Corpses mingled with debris. Parents and friends grieving for lost loved ones. Flowers and candles and makeshift memorials. New Orleans, Newtown, New York, Littleton. In one sense tragedies like these will never be old news. And when new disasters inevitably arrive, the question on the lips of so many is an age old query: “Where was God?” One Wrong Answer
Three years ago I sat on a short bench in a small stone church on the outskirts of Oxford. In a tiny graveyard outside was a flat tombstone with the name “Clive Staples Lewis” etched into the granite. The pew my wife and I were sitting in was the same place C.S. Lewis occupied with his brother Warnie every Sunday morning for decades as they worshipped together at Trinity Church.
If you “just take Christianity on faith” you may be in trouble…
Is Jesus of the Gospels simply recycled ancient myths? There is a reason the ancient historical accounts of the life of Jesus of Nazareth do not start with the phrase, “Once upon a time….” On the face of it, the authors did not appear to be writing fairytales for future generations, but rather detailed accounts of the extraordinary events in the life of a particular Jewish carpenter who actually changed the course of history.
For some, ethics is nothing more than a social contract to insure survival. Compliance is the highest good, breaking ranks the greatest evil, regardless of the issue. This may make sense on television, but it doesn’t work in the real world.
“Everyone loves a conspiracy.” — Robert Langdon, Harvard Religious Symbologist, The Da Vinci Code I never thought it would happen. There I was, at a dead standstill in the middle of the 405 in Los Angeles traffic, and I didn’t care. The gridlock could continue all day as far as I was concerned.
Tolerance, one of America’s noblest virtues, has been so distorted it’s become a vice. There is one word that can stop a follower of Christ in his tracks as he seeks to “give an account for the hope” that is in him. That word is “tolerance.” Tolerant people do not “force” their personal views on others. They are impartial, non-judgmental, and neutral. Each person is permitted to decide for himself. No “forcing” personal views.