Saturday, October 31, 2009

The following quote by Joseph Joubert I read in an essay by Matthew Arnold. In general the reading is way above my pay grade but this quote struck me. I'm around a lot of new Christians as well as older, dogmatic Christians, the kind that have "wings but no feet"; so this quote, though admittedly by a liberal Christian mind, made me pause to think.
Now I chose this picture of the colorful woman because I see in her face a look of "show me".
I presume she has been around and has heard many great swelling words and arguments of religion, and possibly they have left her unchanged. But when one "makes truth lovely", like in the bottom picture, even the hardest of hearts, those most fond of "picking holes", cannot refute the Christian gem of love.

“May I say it? It is not hard to know God, provided one will not force oneself to define Him.

“Do not bring into the domain of reasoning that which belongs to our innermost feeling. State truths of sentiment, and do not try to prove them. There is a danger in such proofs; for in arguing it is necessary to treat that which is in question as something problematic: now that which we accustom ourselves to treat as problematic ends by appearing to us as really doubtful. In things that are visible and palpable, never prove what is believed already; in things that are certain and mysterious- mysterious by their greatness and by their nature – make people believe them, and do not prove them; in things that are matters of practice and duty, command and do not explain. ‘Fear God,’ has made many men pious; the proofs of the existence of God have made many men atheists. From the defense springs the attack; the advocate begets in his hearer a wish to pick holes; and men are almost always led on, from the desire to contradict the doctor, to the desire to contradict the doctrine. Make truth lovely, and do not try to arm her; mankind will then be far less inclined to contend with her.” Joseph Joubert.

Top photo by Lawrence Paiken, bottom photo by Taci Yuksel.


Danielle&Hannah said...

The Word of God is simple and we too often complicate it. "wings but no feet" makes me think of the scripture.. "clouds without water"

Jesus went to the poor, neglected, hungry, maimed and insignificant.

thanks for the relection :)

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred:)

Very interesting post.

Atheists are people who demand proof. On the other hand we believers have faith without demanding proof. We are not interested in questioning the existence of God but just believe like little children. Of course if we open our eyes and see we will feel God's presence everywhere.

Have a nice day Fred:)

HAINAngel2000 said...

EXACTLY! Probably the reason God says not to argue with a fool. Sometimes its better to back away then to say things that can end up hurting the kingdom of God then to prove a point. Hard lesson for all of us. Awesome post Fred!!