Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Thursday, December 02, 2004  

Jonah Goldberg - Squeamish about God

Jonah wrote a column today detailing his faith in God.

Well, not really. He wrote a column detailing why he doesn't like to talk about his belief in God, because it turns out that he doesn't have faith but a rather vague belief that there is a God; and that morality is what we should fixate upon.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

This passage is often translated that faith is belief in things unseen (unprovable), where belief becomes the operative word of something not factual. I believe the sun will rise tomorrow. I believe that science will discover a cure for psoriasis. I believe my children will be good when I'm not looking.

Jonah appears to be operating under the principle that faith in God is closer to wish fulfillment than fact, a matter of logic and not experience.

But the truth is that faith is based upon a fact of real human experience. I believe in God because I not only acknowledge that he must exist, but that I've met him and I know for a fact that his love for me is absolute, unconditional, and reliable. And I'm not ashamed to say so. Why would I be embarrassed to talk to anyone about my Best Friend, Father, Guide, and Benefactor? How, exactly, is that a private relationship? Well, the intimate details are private to some extent, but how can I not share some of that intimacy with others in public prayer -- in a church?

Faith without religion is like what Jung said, "Confessions made to the self are meaningless." Faith without two or three gathered in God's name is nearly graceless.

And what is faith without private prayer? Where does one learn morality, God's will, except through prayer?

I pity Mr. Goldberg for his reliance is upon works rather than faith and prayer, but without meaningful practice in religion, where does he derive any authority for morality whn his Supreme Moralist is a vague mysterious somebody?

posted by Mark Butterworth | 11:04 AM |