Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,705 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

the party you wish to speak to is unavailable at this time

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 09, 2005

Touchstone's David Mills has some on-target words about in-yo-face literary atheism:

And there is also the fact that atheism has its uses for any fallen human being. I've read enough about the lives of some of these writers to suspect that they would find real belief in God, or even facing the possibility that God exists and has a plan for their life, rather threatening. If they believed in God, really believed in God, they'd have to become one of those people they make fun of in their novels.

The Christian recognizes that the choice to believe or reject God is at least as much moral and spiritual as intellectual. When a man says "God is unbelievable," he means, whether he knows it or not, "I can't believe in God." He may, perhaps, be unable to believe from real intellectual conviction, or he may be unable to believe because he's a creature of pride or a practiced liar or an adulterer or a glutton or because he's repeatedly compromised his conscience to get where he is and knows it.

I would gloss Mills's "I can't believe in God" as "I can't summon the will (energy, desire, courage) to face the demands that God would make on me." C.S. Lewis has an excellent and astringent passage on the subject, one that disturbs the complacency of us bead-rattlers as well:

The man who remains an unbeliever for such reasons is not in a state of honest error. He is in a state of dishonest error, and that dishonesty will spread through all his thoughts and actions: a certain shiftiness, a vague worry in the background, a blunting of his whole mental edge, will result. He has lost his intellectual virginity. Honest rejection of Christ, however mistaken, will be forgiven and healed -- "Whoso shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him" [Lk 12:10]. But to evade the Son of Man, to look the other way, to pretend you haven't noticed, to become suddenly absorbed in something on the other side of the street, to leave the receiver off the telephone because it might be He who was ringing up, to leave unopened certain letters in a strange handwriting because they might be from Him -- that is a different matter.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($126,198 to go):
$150,000.00 $23,801.70
84% 16%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Sep. 09, 2005 5:14 PM ET USA

    "Anyone who makes up his mind to evade the uncertainty of belief will have to experience the uncertainty of unbelief, which can never finally eliminate for certain the possibility that belief may after all be the truth. It is not until belief is rejected that its unrejectability becomes evident." Benedict XVI, then Cdl. Ratzinger in Introduction to Christianity

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Synod: It's a Wrap! 10 hours ago
A chaotic synod? Not in its results 11 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat 16 hours ago
When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics October 20
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6