Saturday, December 20, 2008

God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand. If you understand, you have failed.
-Saint Augustine

A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.
-C. S. Lewis

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I swore to myself I would not post anything about my religious beliefs because (1) it would offend people and (2) it is very stupid to post about something I have not studied in depth. For months I have leaned towards atheism, without fully letting go of my Catholicism. But there were situations and people (alive AND dead) which and who unknowingly urged me to trash the fear of criticism and step out of the box a little bit further.

After taking up Religion, Psychology, and doing an analysis of Flannery O'Connor's stories for my Composition subject, and a further push from St. Thomas Aquinas, I was convinced to try and seek again.

* * *

All credits are due to Gottle of Geer from CAF. :)

Where is John Grisham in his books ? His characters wouldn't find him, so they might become aGrishamites. Only a pious Grishamite would realise that Grisham, though not himself in his books, exists "beyond" them - outside the events of the stories; not isolated from them, but as sovereignly free of the limitations they impose on those within them.
An orthodox & systematic Grishamite would believe (thanks to the labours of generations of Grishamologians & saintly Grishamites):

* that Grisham is omnipresent in his novels
* that he is contained by none of them
* and is present in all by his authorial power in all & each simultaneously
* that he is "past searching out"
* that there is a world inaccessible to created nature which is the dwelling place of Grisham alone
* that there is but one Grisham
* that he is not limited by any of his works, & cannot be
* that there is a world "below" the world accessible to Grishamites & aGrishamites alike
* that it is filled with mysteries named "print", "paragraphs", "grammar", "plot" & others
* that coming to the end of the court case is not the end; but is instead the beginning of the true life of the Grishamite
* that it is by grace, not by Grishaman nature, that some have some insight into their author.

And so on.

An aGrishamite could object that there is no reason to believe any of this, & that the Grishamite has mistaken his own fantasies for reality. To which part of the answer could be, that observed reality, though real in its way, can be an expression of realities unobserved by aGrishamite - simply because aGrishamite thought is founded on ideas that exclude the possibility of this.

An even more graced Grishamite would add that Grisham, though powerful, is not ultimate - he is himself the work of a greater author; or rather, Author; Who is alone adequate to be described as Grisham has been. And this Author is of such inconceivable Excellence that He alone can make Himself known. Which He has done.

Even if our knowledge of the universe were complete, perfect & error-free, God would still be God, & all creatures, us included, would still need Him as much as ever. Christian faith is not an explanatory hypothesis to account for things by postulating something called God - that is closer to how scientific knowledge is gained. Faith in God is not the same sort of experience of truth as science: any more than a cheese is a sort of dog. The universe is designed to give room for both faith & science, each in the way appropriate to its nature.

and the following are credited to cargau from CAF too. :)

If you are determined to say that God does not exist, no amount of evidence will ever convince you. Some people still doubt that man ever set foot on the moon. I could show you pictures, moon rocks and they will still remain steadfast in their doubt.

Newton had three such laws that are universally accepted as fact. The first law states that a body remains at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. The second says that a body remains in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.

What outside force got the first object moving? And what outside force stopped the first moving object?

And what about life. Pasteur said that life can never come from "unlife". So, where did the first life come from?

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I would post my own thoughts about this subject, but since I lack sufficient theistic education, I doubt if what my brain throws would even make a difference. :p