Tuesday 26 January 2016

Tough minded about Christian idealism

It takes a special kind of tough mindedness to be idealistically focused on spiritual priorities, when we are all vulnerable to shroud-waving of one sort or another.

When the need for Christian conversion, evangelism, revival comes up, there will pretty soon be something about dealing with the real problems, or the implication that this is all escapist stuff, some kind of luxury, which nowadays (with all our problems) we cannot afford.

Yet the reality is that when the chips are down and life is on the line, that is exactly when religion is most wanted, needed and powerful. IN the past when life was harder, in parts of the world where life is hardest, at times of life when life is realist and most existentially focused (childhood and old age)  - these are precisely the times when spiritual matters press upon us.

Then the argument switches to religion being merely a kind of desperate clinging by vulnerable people under stress - grasping at straws... Not a test of realism and hard-headedness when people are suffering - suddenly, only cool, detached comfortable people are (apparently) able to judge the importance of stuff...

Well - which is it?


Anonymous said...

Post by post I'm slowly converting back to Christianity. You have a spectacularly wonderful blog here, Bruce.

Nicholas Fulford said...

Your argument is essentially, "There are no atheists in foxholes."

Bruce Charlton said...

@Joe - Thank you.

@Nicholas - That's half the argument The other half is the way that this agreed fact is interpreted to be evidence *against* Christianity whenever is is used to refute the opposite anti-Christian argument that it is too feeble to achieve anything (due to the particular horrors of modernity - such as worrying about the possibility of anthropogenic global warming).