Sunday, April 18, 2010

No One Sees God

In the introduction to Michael Novak's No One Sees God: The dark night of atheists and believers there is an arresting comment. It is something I have long thought - probably from Lewis - but have not seen put so succinctly.
Gathering force over many years, one discovery has hit me with the force of a law: If you make mistakes about your own nature, you will find as many mistakes about God, and quite properly then, reject what your inquiries put before you.
I have seen this in Christian school faculty, in pastors, in a great many popular Christian writers, and certainly in myself.

But it is most glaring in nonbelievers and half-hearted believers; in the religiously-raised who believe they see (or see through) what they have understood only superficially. Their own need to kick their parents, or to fit in with new friends, or prove their superior morality or cynical wisdom fairly screams at those of us who nod, dumbly and sympathetically, to their threadbare explanations.

The Self, not in an abstract sense of being human and having an identity, but the particular self we have each constructed, is the greatest obstacle to knowing God. The most ruthlessly honest of even the eastern mystics grasped the beginnings of this. The serpent of

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