Friday, June 11, 2021

We've lost the question

The most serious obstacle which we encounter in entering a discussion about revelation, however, does not arise from our doubts whether the accounts of the prophets about their experiences are authentic; the most critical vindication of these accounts, even if it were possible, would be of little relevance. The most serious obstacle is the absence of the problem. An answer, to be meaningful, presupposes the awareness of a question, but the climate in which we live today is not genial to the growth of questions which have taken centuries to bloom. The Bible is an answer to the supreme question: What does God demand of us? Yet the question has gone out of the world. God is portrayed as a mass of vagueness behind a veil of enigmas, and His voice has become alien to our minds, to our hearts, to our souls. We have learned to listen to every ego except the “I” of God. The man of our time may proudly declare: Nothing animal is alien to me, but everything divine is. This is the status of the Bible in modern life: it is a great answer, but we do not know the question anymore, Unless we recover the question, there is no hope of understanding the Bible.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 186

<idle musing>
Indeed! That's one reason apologetics is basically worthless in our society. You can prove all you want that God exists and scripture is correct, etc. But it won't matter, because "this people's hearts have become hardened" to the point where they are unable to see beyond themselves. The results are all around us in the individualism that no longer says, "As long as it doesn't hurt someone it's ok." It now says "I can do whatever I want, when I want, in the way that I want—and screw you if you try to stop me."

Sorry to be the one to tell you, but life doesn't work that way…
</idle musing>

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