Some seed falls on hard rocky ground. It grows up fast, but its roots are shallow. When the heat of the sun comes, the plant shrivels and dies.
In previous installments, I have written two blog articles on my observations regarding an interview of Bart Ehrman by Sam Harris on What is Christianity. Bart Ehrman is an agnostic, New Testament scholar at Princeton, and Sam Harris is one of the so-called “new atheists”. In the first article, I relate portions of Ehrman’s story about his “loss of faith”, and I question whether he really had anything but a very shallow idea of faith to begin with. In the second installment, I talk about a certain wooden fundamentalism that continues to be apparent in how Ehrman sees the Bible. It’s a kind of all or nothing approach. Previously, he accepted all of it; now he accepts none of it.
Before moving on to other observations, I want to stop and raise a couple of points related to the portion of the interview already covered. First of all, I want to go back to the comment made by Ehrman about the charismatic youth leader who influenced him in a local Campus Crusade for Christ chapter. Erhman describes the “sinner’s prayer” he recited as an induction. The same youth leader urged him to go to Moody Bible Institute if he wanted to be a “serious Christian”.
Erhman was obviously influenced by this charismatic youth leader. Many of us are similarly influenced by charismatic people that we meet along the way. Some of us are influenced to do things that we might not otherwise do and which have no lasting import to us when we leave the circle of that influence.
Continue reading “Sam Harris Podcast Interview with Bart Ehrman – Part 3 – Withering Sun”
Thoughts and excerpts from Membership, published in the Weight of Glory and other addresses (by Harper One) by CS Lewis.
C. S. Lewis, the 20th Century English Literature professor, author and thinker, wrote Membership as a speech given at Oxford during World War II. In this speech, Lewis addressed the popular societal trend toward collectivism and the concomitant effort to relegate religion to private, individual belief.
His address was meant to be an encouraging call to Christian hope in a world threatened to be torn apart by war. We find ourselves in different circumstances, and the world as changed in many ways. We can no longer assume a Christian ideal as a collective rallying point, but is address remains stubbornly relevant in our modern world.
Lewis found irony in the dichotomy of exalted individualism in Western society that was, at the same time, becoming more collective in its political direction – individual rights and equality for all. In his typical style, he unravels the uneasy tension of this secular dualism at the seams, exposing the inherent incongruities and turning them on their heads, as he contrasts them to Christian paradoxes that, while seemingly inapposite, hold together in a more harmonious tension. Continue reading “C. S. Lewis on Individualism, Equality and the Church”