8.12.03

"Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian. And as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked how men expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet he restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth."
--- Final paragraph from G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy

Chesterton's picture of orthodoxy, his explanation of why he believes, is inspiring. He follows a convaluted path to it, but gives good explanation of it. He believes for the same reasons that most people don't believe; for all the little things that just keep adding up, keep pointing in the same direction. He believes becuase he finds it to be reasonable exactly to the end the of reason; that is, it is not less than reasonable, but it is more than it. It is unreasonable exactly where being unreasonable is Good. Chesterton points out that if there is any virtue in hope, it becomes such when we hope right at the point where it would be reasonable to give in to despair. If there is any virtue in love, it is in loving those that we have no reason to. And so on, finding at each junction where reason fails the same figure: Jesus, standing stronger than ever.

Last night Pastor CS, my young adults pastor, said something I found very interesting. "I know God is not possible, I have accepted that. But I am sure glad that he is there anyway." A lot of us want to know if God exists, but the arguement never ends. Its like it only depends on who is the smarter one in the room at any given moment. Maybe it doesn't work like that. CS gave the analogy that maybe asking for proof before you try anything or start really searching is like asking to see a girl naked before your first date.

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