Monday, December 24, 2007

Philip Pullman is right ...

... about C.S. Lewis: Their Disbelief Is My Strength. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Occasionally, there have been comments posted here asserting that my evident lack of virtue (as perceived by the commenters) contradicts my professed faith. I have been meaning to point out that my profession of faith should not understood as an assertion of holiness. Quite the opposite, in fact. My profession of faith is an admission of my sinfulness. This is something many unbelievers seem to have a hard time grasping.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:47 PM

    It's not the concept that many unbelievers have a hard time grasping - it's the practice. *Every* ideology wants to be judged by its ideals, not by its [many] hypocritical believers. Examples of the use of self-deprecation to point to some "holy" end are legion. Hypocrites will unselfconsciously put on the belief that they are sinners and there is none righteous, no, not one, as a fair-seeming cloak for "objective" judgment.

    I don't know you and am certainly not asserting you are such - only that you shouldn't be surprised that your profession of faith is greeted with skepticism by unbelievers. But even if your belief in sinfulness is self-focused and you are a thoroughly non-judgmental person, nevertheless faith may do harm. To quote one of the most famous unbelievers, "Disgust with dirt can be so great that it prevents us from cleaning ourselves - from 'justifying' ourselves." It can also be used to persuade believers that, e.g., the only way to get to Heaven is with a bomb and allow all kinds of abuse of power to go unchecked. Presumably, you see your faith differently. Just like everyone else.