Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Francis Schaeffer moment

I recently read Schaeffer's The God Who Is There, where he deals with the issue of despair in modern liberal thought. Basically, either you accept that God is real and communicates in a meaningful fashion with His creation, or you cast off that idea in favor of some substitute which ultimately leads to atheistic nihilism, or an illogical leap necessary to bridge the rejection of revealed religion with the reality of the soul and spirit.

It came back to me with force at a recent motivational meeting featuring a film about football coach Lou Holtz. It was encouraging and all, but on reflection it rang very, very hollow. The editing on the film did a downright expurgation of anything which looked like religion in submission to a holy God -- even when showing Holtz at Notre Dame. Honestly -- there was one tightly edited clip of Holtz sending the team off from a pep talk (supposedly), but if you were alert, you might just barely catch the delayed ending of one player making the sign of the cross. Aha -- this wasn't rah-rah, it was team prayer ... but we can't show that, can we.

It's like the speakers who smile and talk about the value of Faith but never its subject. Faith in what? Or whom? Does it matter, in your world view? It had better, because there are serious consequences to choosing the wrong answer.

As Calvin Thomas wrote about secularized Thanksgiving, some people seem to be praying "To Whom It May Concern." Or trying to harvest fruit without planting a tree. All is vanity and a striving after wind, says the preacher.

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