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Friday, February 01, 2008

Master Mentor #5

Friday – February 1, 2008 – Chapter 4
In chapter 4, CS does a great job of laying out the two views, which he later corrects as three views, of how the universe came to be. This to me is a fascinating argument that he does incredibly well at. He sets it up as two views… one where things randomly show up by chance… and another where there is a creator behind it. In setting it up, he does so to show that in fact, there is a creator/designer because we have this tendency toward the “moral law,” that thing that causes us to do what is “right” and makes us feel guilty when we do something “wrong.”
But what I really liked most about this chapter is the note at the end. The note states that in this chapter, to keep it short, he only included those two views. But in fact, he recognizes that there are three views… what he calls the “In-Between view.” And this is the view where most people find themselves most of the time. This is the view that takes a little from each side.
On one hand, when things are going great and life is happening the way that it is supposed to happen, its nice to think that there is a “god” or “life force” out there that is carrying you along on the crest of the happenings. But when you want to do something “shabby” (CS’s terminology), since it is only force it doesn’t have any thoughts or feelings and so it won’t disapprove of your behavior like that “troublesome God we learned about when we were children.”
I love the way that he concludes this section: “The Life-Force is a sort of tame God. You can switch it on when you want, but it will not bother you. All the thrills of religion and none of the cost. Is the Life-Force the greatest achievement of wishful thinking the world has seen yet?” (pg. 35). To which I answer ‘YES!’
And we see it all the time in church. Mother’s Day rolls around and it’s a great holiday, but what happens… Mom goes to church and since we’re honoring moms, everyone feels the need to go to church. When many of those who show up haven’t been to church since Easter… which was the last time that they showed up. And previous to that, they were present at Christmas time. It’s this relationship with God that makes them feel good when they show up but that that God doesn’t leave the doors of the church. Its almost like many have the opinion of God that he is an “old nursing home confined grandparent.” You can go and see him when you want… but when you are ready to go home, you just have to walk out the door… He says behind and doesn’t know what you are doing until you come back and see him again… when you are ready of course.
Many in our culture have that opinion. And many students have that same opinion, if they have any opinion about God whatsoever. He is great when things are going great… but when you want to live or act a certain way that you know He wouldn’t approve of, it’s easy to adapt your thinking. And create a God who really doesn’t get it.
But the scary thing for them… although they don’t know it yet… God does get it.

Jim

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