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Thursday, 17 April 2014

"A Man Who Rocked 1st Century Jerusalem To Its Very Core"

I once played, (this will come as a shock to anyone who knows what I look like, but this was in younger days.... I digress,) Louise in Gypsy, that is, I played Miss Gypsy Rose Lee, who according to her monstrous mother, "reads book reviews like they was books."
That's actually something I have in common with the character, a tendency to be satsified with secondary sources, when I'm in want of information, not in need of evidence.
I digress again, but only a bit, bear with me.
A little Holy Week reading, I was surfing a bit about atheism, actually, because some talking head on TV had been bloviating, and Himself asked, "Why are so many atheists so nasty?"
I quickly came up with Carl Sagan as a contradictory example, but in general, it does seem to be true, doesn't it?
And I know I've mentioned that my interest in the Extraordinary Form was first piqued by the hatefulness of so many post-VC II types who... well, hate it.
And it seems the God-haters have the same effect on people. Richard Dawkins is a prime example, (although I'm sure IRL on other topics, he is kind and charming.)
But you know, I've never read his Big Book, (just articles, and other people's fawning critiques of his work.)

Anyway, h/t to Damian Thompson for this fascinating example of how God can draw straight with crooked lines. (I am also, of course, gratified that it is my favorite Future Doctor of the Church who "closed the loop" of  faith and reason for the writer.)
[My daughter] recommended I read Richard Dawkins’, The God Delusion... I immediately bought it and began reading. Well, I barely made it through a third of the book....
I found the book a waste of my time as it afforded me no cogent arguments concerning the existence or non-existence of God. In fact, not only was Dawkins disrespectful of opinions other than his own, I found his statements about Jesus to be so ill-informed (and, mind you, I was no fount of scholarly information myself) that I resolved to actually learn something about Jesus Christ....
My sense of The God Delusion is that it is written as a testimony to Dawkins’ belief system (which I call fundamentalist atheism) and that the author cherry picks convenient quotes to bolster his opinion that esteemed scientists (such as Einstein) couldn’t possibly be ignorant enough to actually believe in a supernatural God, no matter what they may have said to the contrary. ... Dawkins is no different than the many Christian authors who write in a similar manner. There is a pre-judgment that whoever disagrees with the premise of the book is, essentially, an idiot! ...
Who was this mysterious figure of Jesus? Obviously, he was a man who rocked 1st century Jerusalem to its very core. Something of great significance happened back then....
And that was the beginning of the last leg of my journey to conversion to Catholicism. In reading to refute Dawkins as well as educate myself and find answers to questions, I discovered the God-man Jesus Christ. Not only did the Catholic view resonate with me emotionally, but perhaps more importantly for me, it was intellectually honest. The Protestant view seemed watered down (maybe part of the reason I left the Lutheran Church to pursue exploration of Judaism).
But my question remained … how did the 1st century world view Jesus Christ?
My search ultimately led me to Pope Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth and that closed the loop. Not an easy read, but it made sense. The essential belief of the Catholic Church – belief in a supernatural God who condescended to come to Earth in the form of Jesus Christ the God-man to atone for our sins in fulfillment of salvation history – cannot be proven by the scientific method (hence Dawkins’ atheism … although one has to wonder how he can justify proof of God’s non-existence).

Oh, in your charity, please say a prayer for Mr. Dawkins.

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