We say that the most dangerous criminal now is the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Compared to him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men; my heart goes out to them. They accept the essential ideal of man; they merely seek it wrongly. Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it. But philosophers dislike property as property; they wish to destroy the very idea of personal possession. Bigamists respect marriage, or they would not go through the highly ceremonial and even ritualistic formality of bigamy. But philosophers despise marriage as marriage. Murderers respect human life; they merely wish to attain a greater fullness of human life in themselves by the sacrifice of what seems to them to be lesser lives. But philosophers hate life itself, their own as much as other people's … The common criminal is a bad man, but at least he is, as it were, a conditional good man. He says that if only a certain obstacle be removed—say a wealthy uncle—he is then prepared to accept the universe and to praise God. He is a reformer, but not an anarchist. He wishes to cleanse the edifice, but not to destroy it. But the evil philosopher is not trying to alter things, but to annihilate them.1
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Come Reason's Apologetics Notes blog will highlight various news stories or current events and seek to explore them from a thoughtful Christian perspective. Less formal and shorter than the www.comereason.org Web site articles, we hope to give readers points to reflect on concerning topics of the day.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Saturday, January 24, 2015
In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis makes the same point. In speaking of the desires and mental pulls we face (Lewis uses the word "Instinct" with a capital I), he makes a great point that no person follows every desire that strikes him. That would lead to barbarism. We weigh our desires, using reason, logic, and our moral compass to guide us.
This is why while the kleptomaniac may have an overwhelming urge to steal, we don't respond by saying, “Oh, you were born that way!” and throw open the department store doors to let them have their fill. We know that stealing is wrong and we as a society tell the kleptomaniac that while his feelings are real and he may even have been born that way, he needs to seek help for his improper desire. Lewis writes:
Telling us to obey Instinct is like telling us to obey ‘people’. People say different things: so do instincts. Our instincts are at war. If it is held that the instinct for preserving the species should always be obeyed at the expense of other instincts, whence do we derive this rule of precedence? To listen to that instinct speaking in its own cause and deciding it in its own favour would be rather simple-minded. Each instinct, if you listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of all the rest. By the very act of listening to one rather than to others we have already prejudged the case. If we did not bring to the examination of our instincts a knowledge of their comparative dignity we could never learn it from them. And that knowledge cannot itself be instinctive: the judge cannot be one of the parties judged; or, if he is, the decision is worthless and there is no ground for placing the preservation of the species above self-preservation or sexual appetite.1Lewis is right. College men are coming under immense scrutiny right now if they act upon their sexual appetites. The whole “Yes means yes” law implies that a person can overcome strong natural urges to engage in sexual activity. Yet we are told by some of the same advocates that abstinence programs will never work and those with a predisposition to homosexuality should express themselves because of what they feel. How is that consistent?
Image courtesy Noel Hildalgo and licensed by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
In his book Kingdom Triangle, Dr. J.P. Moreland warns that our culture continues to slide towards immaturity through an increasingly "thin" view of the world and the aggrandizement of pleasure over other pursuits. While we have more free time and more entertainment choices than ever before, happiness seems to be more elusive than in previous generations. J.P. blames part of this on the empty self. He writes:
My observations about happiness are not ivory-tower ruminations. I speak here with real gravity. For the first time in history a culture-ours-is filled with what psychologists refer to as the "empty self". The empty self (also called "the false self") is so widespread in Western culture that it is sometimes referred to as a cultural plague. According to psychologist Phillip Cushman:J.P.'s seven characteristics of the empty self are outlined in this brief article. Even though one who desires to be a disciple of Jesus should strive to avoid all of these traits, they are far too prevalent in the church today, let alone the larger world.
the empty self is filled up with consumer goods, calories, experiences, 'politicians, romantic partners, and empathetic therapists .... [The empty self] experiences a significant absence of community, tradition, and shared meaning ... a lack of personal conviction and worth, and it embodies the absences as a chronic, undifferentiated emotional hunger.Most of us would recognize characteristics of the empty self among adolescents, and it would be wonderful if the problem left when teenagers became old enough to vote. Unfortunately, that is not the case. People continue to manifest features of the empty self well into middle age. It does not take a rocket scientist to observe that the features of the empty self simply make spiritual growth impossible. The path of discipleship and the life of an empty self mix like oil and water.1
Saturday, January 10, 2015
It is very important to understand that in justifying the task of Christian apologetics throughout the history of the church, it was Jesus himself who set the stage. He did this not by writing apologetic tracts and treatises but by creating what I shall call here an "ethos of demonstration" among his followers. Jesus demonstrated the truth of his message and his identity over and over again using nearly every method at his disposal, including miracle, prophecy, godly style of life, authoritative teaching and reasoned argumentation' And although Jesus clearly authorized the apologetic ethos for his followers by living it out himself, it is also important to note that he did not create this approach ex nihilo during his three years of ministry. Indeed, Jesus was really just reaffirming an ages-old ethos of demonstration that had been well established in the Old Testament tradition. From the miracles of Moses in Pharaoh's court (Ex 7) to Elijah's contest with the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18) to God himself calling for his opponents to "present your case ... set forth your arguments" (Is 41:21), a divine pattern was already fixed by the time Jesus came on the scene.1.
Saturday, January 03, 2015
In this short quote below, J. Budziszewski explains just what virtue is:
If I said, “The excellence of a knife is its sharpness,” you would know what I meant: sharpness is the specific quality that enables a knife not just to cut, but to cut excellently. Another word for excellence is virtue. So you would also know what I meant if I said the virtue of an eye is clearness or that the virtue of a racehorse is swiftness. Clearness is what enables an eye to see excellently, swiftness is what enables a racehorse to race excellently. Once again we have a formula. A virtue or excellence of a thing (there may be more than one) is the specific quality that enables it to perform its function or proper work excellently and so achieve its highest good.Virtue is lost in our society because we no longer look at the entire person and his purpose for existence. Modern culture has elevated feeling above reason; the action or critique is wrong because it makes someone feel bad or it stifles his desire. Instead, one must understand what it means to be an excellent human being, which encompasses both intellectual and moral excellence. To not approach human excellence holistically turns tolerance into a vice, not a virtue.
Like our last formula, this one too can be applied to mankind. How do we know whether a particular human quality, such as courage or ruthlessness, is a virtue or not? The proper work of a human soul is using and following reason. So the quality is a virtue only if it helps it to do so excellently. For instance, one virtue is theoretical wisdom, the discipline of mind which helps us reason our way to truth while avoiding error; another is practical wisdom, the discipline of mind which helps us reason our way to good choices while avoiding evil.
But here we run into a problem. It looks at first as though the only true virtues are intellectual ones. What about moral virtues, such as courage, justice, self-control and friendliness? Isn't there a place for them? Yes, for two main reasons. To understand the first one, remember that more than one thing is active in the human soul: not only the power of reasoning itself but also the power of feeling and the power of desiring. … Just as the intellectual virtues discipline the thoughts, the moral virtues discipline the feelings and desires. An example of moral virtue that disciplines the feelings is courage, whereas an example of moral virtue that disciplines the desires is self-control.
To sum up, the main reason the intellectual virtues are not the only virtues is that different virtues are needed to put each of the different powers of the soul in rational order. The second main reason is that different virtues bring the soul into rational order in different respects.1
Saturday, December 27, 2014
From Ganssle, Gregory E. Thinking about God: First Steps in Philosophy. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004. Print. 16.
There are other reasons to think about God besides trying to figure out if there is such a person. What you believe and think about God affects nearly every area of your life. Many of the big and deep questions that shape how each of us sees the world are very closely related to questions about God. For example, it is a big and important question whether life has any meaning or purpose other than whatever meaning we give it ourselves. If we push this question very far, we will wind up thinking about God. If there is a God who created us and knows us, then whatever purpose we have will probably be related to whatever purpose he has for us. Another big and important question has to do with the nature of moral reality. Are there things that are right or wrong regardless of the opinions of others? Again, if God has a purpose for us, it might be that his purpose involves our living up to or reflecting moral reality. You can see that the question of God is a central question. If we want to think well about our lives, we will want to do some of our best thinking about God.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Merry Christmas! I hope you have a chance to celebrate the day today. It's easy to see all the commercialism, the merchandising of a sacred remembrance, and resent buying gifts or gathering to spend time with extended family. It's even easy to think that the trees, presents, and decorations distract us from the real reason for Christmas, that is the coming of Jesus. But that isn't true. Just as the solemnity of bonding two people together is followed by a celebration, so to should the joining of holy God with human flesh be recognized. That isn't my idea; Saint Augustine preached on it over 1500 years ago:1
That day is called the birthday of the Lord on which the Wisdom of God manifested Himself as a speechless Child and the Word of God wordlessly uttered the sound of a human voice. His divinity, although hidden, was revealed by heavenly witness to the Magi and was announced to the shepherds by angelic voices. With yearly ceremony, therefore, we celebrate this day which saw the fulfillment of the prophecy:So, give voice to the joy that we have in the Savior's arrival. Enjoy your holiday and I wish you a very Merry Christmas!
For whose benefit did such unparalleled greatness come in such lowliness? Certainly for no personal advantage, but definitely for our great good, if only we believe. Arouse yourself, O man; for you God has become man. "Awake, sleeper, and arise from among the dead, and Christ will enlighten thee."3 For you, I repeat, God has become man.
- "Truth is sprung out of the earth: and justice hath looked down from heaven." 2
- Truth, eternally existing in the bosom of the Father, has sprung from the earth so that He might exist also in the bosom of a mother.
- Truth, holding the world in place, has sprung from the earth so that He might be carried in the hands of a woman.
- Truth, incorruptibly nourishing the happiness of the angels, has sprung from the earth in order to be fed by human milk.
- Truth, whom the heavens cannot contain, has sprung from the earth so that He might be placed in a manger.
Let us joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festal day on which the great and timeless One came from the great and timeless day to this brief span of our day.
- If He had not thus been born in time, you would have been dead for all eternity.
- Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, if He had not taken upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh.
- Everlasting misery would have engulfed you, if He had not taken this merciful form.
- You would not have been restored to life, had He not submitted to your death; you would have fallen, had He not succored you; you would have perished, had He not come.
2. Ps. 84.12
3. Eph. 5.14.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Often, it seems to me, we see and hear his deeds and words, but we don't think of him as one who knew how to do what he did or who really had logical insight into the things he said. We don't automatically think of him as a very competent person.Willard sums up Jesus'value of the intellect thusly:
He multiplied the loaves and fishes and walked on water, for example—but, perhaps, he didn't know how to do it, he just used mindless incantations or prayers. Or he taught on how to be a really good person, but he did not have moral insight and understanding. He just mindlessly rattled off words that were piped in to him and through him. Really?
There is in our culture an uneasy relation between Jesus and intelligence, and I have actually heard Christians respond to my statement that Jesus is the most intelligent man who ever lived by saying that it is an oxymoron. Today we automatically position him away from (or even in opposition to) the intellect and intellectual life. Almost no one would consider him to be a thinker, addressing the same issues as, say, Aristotle, Kant, Heidegger or Wittgenstein, and with the same logical method.
We need to understand that Jesus is a thinker, that this is not a dirty word but an essential work, and that his other attributes do not preclude thought, but only insure that he is certainly the greatest thinker of the human race: "the most intelligent person who ever lived on earth." He constantly uses the power of logical insight to enable people to come to the truth about themselves and about God from the inside of their own heart and mind. Quite certainly it also played a role in his own growth in "wisdom." (Luke 2:52)
Sunday, December 14, 2014
The history of the resurrection of Christ is a part of the evidence of Christianity: but I do not know whether the proper strength of this passage of the Christian history, or wherein its peculiar value, as a head of evidence, consists, be generally understood. It is not that, as a miracle, the resurrection ought to be accounted a more decisive proof of supernatural agency than other miracles are; it is not that as it stands in the Gospels, it is better attested than some others; it is not, for either of these reasons, that more weight belongs to it than to other miracles, but for the following, viz. That it is completely certain that the apostles of Christ, and the first teachers of Christianity, asserted the fact. And this would have been certain, if the four Gospels had been lost, or never written. Every piece of Scripture recognizes the resurrection. Every epistle of every apostle, every author contemporary with the apostles, of the age immediately succeeding the apostles, every writing from that age to the present, genuine or spurious, on the side of Christianity or against it, concur in representing the resurrection of Christ as an article of his history, received without doubt or disagreement by all who called themselves Christians, as alleged from the beginning by the propagators of the institution, and alleged as the center of their testimony. Nothing I apprehend which a man does not himself see or hear can be more certain to him than this point. (Emphasis added.)
William Paley, quoted in A New Edition of Archdeacon Paley's View Of The Evidences Of Christianity Comprising The Text Of Paley, Verbatim. Cambridge: W. Metcalfe, 1831. 339-340.e-book available at https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=Dx1eAAAAcAAJ&rdid=book-Dx1eAAAAcAAJ&rdot=1
Sunday, November 09, 2014
Truth and reality do not adapt to us. It is up to us to adapt to them. A four thousand year old tradition does not become truer as the years go by. If it is false or wrong, it simply continues to be a long-standing error. If it is popular, it is widespread. If adopted by the powerful, it is authoritative. But it is still wrong. Acceptance of its right to exist in a pluralistic society does not make it any more correct, and will be of no help to those following it when they finally run into reality.
Some of my intellectual friends say that this is true in the domain of "fact," but that religion is the realm of "faith." They are victims of the unfortunate delusion of current culture that "fact" is limited to what is sense-perceptible. Hence they say that whether past or current living species where created by God or not, for example, is a matter of "faith." The implication is that for faith things are, somehow, as you think them to be. Much of what is now written in support of pluralism or "inclusivism" in religion assumes that there is no "way things are" with God, or at least that we cannot know how they are. Hence all views of God are said to be equally true because all are equally in the dark--an astonishingly fallacious inference.
— Dallas Willard, "Being a Christian in a Pluralistic Society"
Saturday, November 08, 2014
People turned to the articles on the Apologetics Notes blog 21,799 times last month. One key piece that generated our second-highest traffic of all time focused on the recent Hillsong controversy. While I've written before about the importance of holding to natural marriage as the only legitimate form of marriage, I took a different tack with Hillsong, calling them out for their unbiblical Word-Faith teachings. The post really resonated and generated a lot of talk on social media. Here then are the top five posts for October:
Saturday, November 01, 2014
Principle 3: A religion's diagnosis of and solution for the human condition should be more profound than its rivals.
A student of mine came from India to study at Talbot School of Theology. Having been raised a Hindu, he began an intense search for religious truth as a teenager. His search led him to study the religious texts of the world's leading religions. His search also led him to Jesus Christ. Why? He said that, by comparison, the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament towered over the others for their depth, profundity and power. While all religions have some truths in them, one should choose a religion that does the best job of diagnosing what is wrong with human beings and how their condition can be solved.
When one does a cross-cultural study of the human condition, one finds the following universal human experiences and desires: All humans (1) experience threefold alienation — they feel alienated from God, from other people (including those they love), and from themselves; (2) experience deep and abiding shame and guilt; (3) desire personal life after death in which their loves and ideals may continue to be a part of their experience; (4) desire that their individual lives have meaning and purpose; (5) desire a life of beauty and drama, to be a part of something big and important, to be part of the struggle between good and evil; and (6) experience the need for help and empowerment to live a life of virtue and character.
I believe that if one carefully compares the New Testament with other religious approaches (including atheism), like my student, one will discover that the religion of Jesus of Nazareth provides the deepest, most penetrating analysis of these six factors, along with the richest solution to these longings of the human heart.
Principle 3 points straight to Christianity.You may read the entire article on J.P.'s web site here.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
One popular answer today among those who do not believe in Jesus as God is that the belief evolved over a period of centuries. They suggest that the earliest Christians, who were Jews, thought of Jesus as simply a rabbi or a prophet, a holy and wise man. They theorize that as Christianity spread outward and became more and more dominated by Gentile (that is, non-Jewish) believers, those Gentiles, accustomed to assigning divine honors to their heroes, did the same for Jesus.' Eventually, a form of Christianity emerged that explained the divinity of Jesus as a unique incarnation of God and dismissed all alternative views of Jesus as heresy. Some critics of the doctrine that Jesus is God claim that this belief did not appear until well after all of the apostles had died-perhaps, some say, as late as the fourth century Council of Nicea.
The facts are very much otherwise. The practice of giving Jesus divine honors—of religious, spiritual devotion to Jesus—was an established, characteristic feature of the Christian movement within the first two decades of its existence. Larry Hurtado, professor of New Testament at the University of Edinburgh, described the emergence of devotion to Jesus as "a veritable 'big bang: an explosively rapid and impressively substantial development in the earliest stage of the Christian movement'? According to Martin Hengel, a New Testament scholar at Tubingen University in Germany, more happened in the development of Christian beliefs about Jesus in the twenty years between his death and Paul's earliest epistles "than in the whole subsequent seven hundred years of church history:')
The apostles and other early Jewish Christians did not just lavish high praises on Jesus. They accorded him honors that in Jewish teaching, as authoritatively set forth in their Scriptures, were due to the Lord God of Israel and no one else…
It was in this context of exclusive religious devotion to one God, the Lord, that the early Jewish followers of Jesus were expressing the same sort of devotion to Jesus. They worshiped him, sang hymns to him, prayed to him, and revered him in a way that believers in Judaism insisted was reserved for the Lord God alone. To make matters worse, the Christians agreed that such honors were rightly given only to God—and then proceeded to give them to Jesus anyway!
— Robert M. Bowman, Jr. and Ed Komoszewski. Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ.
Grand Rapids: Kregel Books, 2007. 29-30.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
The Christian faith is an objective faith; therefore, it must have an object. The Christian concept of "saving" faith is a faith that establishes one's relationship with Jesus Christ (the object), and is diametrically opposed to the average "philosophical" use of the term faith in the classroom today. One cliché that is to be rejected is, "It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you believe it enough."
Let me illustrate.
I had a debate with the head of the philosophy department of a Midwestern university. In answering a question, I happened to mention the importance of the resurrection. At this point, my Opponent interrupted and rather sarcastically said, "Come on, McDowell, the key issue is not whether the resurrection took place or not; it is 'do you believe it took place?'" What he was hinting at (actually boldly asserting) is that my believing was the most important thing. I retorted immediately, "Sir, it does matter what I as a Christian believe, because the value of Christian faith is not in the one believing, but in the one who is believed in, its object." I continued that "if anyone can demonstrate to me that Christ was not raised from the dead, I would not have the right to my Christian faith" (I Corinthians 15: 14).
The Christian faith is faith in Christ. Its value or worth is not in the one believing, but in the one believed — not in the one trusting, but in the one trusted.
—Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict.
San Bernardino, CA. Here;s Life Pub. 1979. Print. 4.
Sunday, October 05, 2014
The rapid spread of relativism shouldn't surprise us. While relativism grows out of the heady freethinking of some of our culture's brightest minds, it feeds on the collapse of everyday norms. It results from the breakdown of the family brought on by divorce, illegitimacy, and the neglect of children happening in all strata of our society. The instability and insecurity our youngest generations have experienced have severely affected their ability to loveand to work—and, I believe—to appreciate the existence of objective truth.One young woman, a punk rocker, depressingly expressed this reality when she said, "I belong to the Blank Generation". I have no beliefs, I belong to no community, tradition, or anything like that. I'm lost in this vast, vast world. I belong nowhere. I have absolutely no identity.
—Paul Copan, True For You , But Not For Me. (Minn: Bethany House Pub., 1998)
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Personally, I find it on any showing quite ludicrous to suppose that, for nineteen of Christendom's twenty centuries, Christians were credulous idiots ready to believe any tomfoolery the Bible fostered, and that then, with the coming of Darwinism and all that followed therefrom, the scales fell from their eyes, and they realised that the Biblical truths they had been induced to accept were largely fraudulent and absurd. For one thing, it would seem to me that our twentieth century, far from being notable for scientific scepticism, is one of the most credulous eras in all history. It is not that people believe in nothing — which would be bad enough — but that they believe in anything — which is really terrible. Recoiling, as they do, from accepting the validity of miracles, and priding themselves on seeing the Incarnation as a transcendental con-trick, they will accept at its face value any proposition, however nonsensical, that is presented in scientific or sociological jargon — for instance, the existence of a population explosion, which has been so expertly and decisively demolished by Professor Colin Clark of Monash University. Could any mediaeval schoolman, I ask myself, sit through a universally applauded television series like Bronowski's Ascent of Man without a smile of derision at such infantile acceptance of unproven and unprovable assertions? Not to mention television advertisements, on a basis of which the most expensively educated populations in the western world alter their dietary and sartorial habits, puff happily at lethal cigarettes recommended as being conducive to romantic encounters by burbling waterfalls or on golden beaches washed by azure seas, and generally follow every whim and fancy wished upon them by the tellymasters.1
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Television personality and journalist Malcom Muggeridge had a prescient understanding of the power of media. When addressing the National Religious Broadcasters, he spoke on how Christ may be communicated in a media-driven culture, one that Muggeridge characterized as "increasingly given over to fantasy." In this quote, he makes clear just why drawing one's worldview from popular media is dangerous.
Simone Weil wrote: "Nothing is so beautiful, nothing is so continually fresh and surprising, so full of sweet and perpetual ecstasy, as the good, and no desert so dreary and monotonous and boring as evil. But with fantasy it is the other way around. Fictional good is boring and flat, while fictional evil is varied, intriguing, attractive, and full of charm."
Now the media, as it seems to me, strikingly bear out Simone Weil's contention. In their offerings it is almost invariably eros, rather than agape, that provides all the excitement; success and celebrity rather than a broken and a contrite heart that are made to seem desirable; and Jesus Christ Superstar rather than Jesus Christ on the cross who gets a folk hero's billing. Good and evil, after all, constitute the essential theme of our mortal existence. In this sense they may be compared with the positive and negative points that generate an electric current. Transpose the points, and the current fails. The lights go out. Darkness falls and all is confusion. It seems to me clear, beyond any shadow of doubt, that the darkness that is falling on our civilization is due precisely to such a transposition of good and evil, and that the media in furthering the transposition are a powerful influence—perhaps the most powerful in furthering the consequences.1
Accessed online. http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/21/21-3/21-3-pp193-198_JETS.pdf 195.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Portion taken from Prof. John C. Lennox. "BBC Lent Talks 2012." http://glenabbeymedia.org/bookletpdfs/bbc2.pdf Accesses 4/25/2014
Melvin Calvin, Nobel Prize-winner in biochemistry, finds the origin of the conviction, basic to science, that nature is ordered in the basic notion: "that the universe is governed by a single God, and is not the product of the whims of many gods, each governing his own province according to his own laws. This monotheistic view seems to be the historical foundation for modern science."
Far from belief in God hindering science, it was the motor that drove it. Isaac Newton, when he discovered the law of gravitation, did not make the common mistake of saying: "now I have a law of gravity, I don't need God." Instead, he wrote Principia Mathematica, the most famous book in the history of science, expressing the hope that it would persuade the thinking man to believe in a Creator.
Newton could see, what sadly many people nowadays seem unable to see, that God and science are not alternative explanations. God is the agent who designed and upholds the universe; science tells us about how the universe works and about the laws that govern its behaviour. God no more conflicts with science as an explanation for the universe than Sir Frank Whittle conflicts with the laws and mechanisms of jet propulsion as an explanation for the jet engine. The existence of mechanisms and laws is not an argument for the absence of an agent who set those laws and mechanisms in place. On the contrary, their very sophistication, down to the fine-tuning of the universe, is evidence for the Creator's genius. For Kepler: "The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order which has been imposed on it by God and which he revealed to us in the language of mathematics."
As I scientist then, I am not ashamed or embarrassed to be a Christian. After all, Christianity played a large part in giving me my subject.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Dr. N.T. Wright on the importance of Holy Saturday in the Resurrection Week:
After Good Friday comes Holy Saturday, the day of waiting, waiting without hope, without knowing what will come next. Go down deep into Holy Saturday, because once again you are called away from the public arena – extroverts in particular find this hard – and into the stillness where you don’t understand, you don’t have an agenda to work on, you don’t know what it is you want or expect God to do. Without the still, dark privacy of Holy Saturday, the new kind of public message which is the resurrection of Jesus could turn simply into a shallow or angry response to the taunts and violence of Good Friday, answering the world in its own terms. The church is sometimes tempted to do that, to huff and puff and charge off to 'defend' God and the gospel. Holy Saturday commands us to lay down our swords and wait: wait without thought, says Eliot, for you are not yet ready for thought.
http://ntwrightpage.com/sermons/MaundyThurs08.htm 20 March 2008 Accessed: 4/19/2014
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