Thursday, April 27, 2006

Thoughts on what really matters

It may be a little late from a seasonal perspective to link to an Easter essay, but new White House Press Secretary Tony Snow's essay on the resurrection is good reading any time of year. Here's a sample:

Such is the challenge of faith in a roiled world. Easter is the most extraordinary of religious holidays because it dares believers to step up and embrace the impossible: the declaration that Jesus of Nazareth died, was buried and rose on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.

This proclamation admits of no middle ground. You can't argue, as have some theologians and Gnostics, that Jesus died "metaphorically" or that his death merely served to liberate his spirit from the coarse confines of the material world.

Jesus shut off those lines when he predicted his own death and resurrection -- a fact that prompted G.K. Chesterton to observe that the Christ was either a liar, a lunatic or the Lord. It may be possible to half-believe in some creeds, but not this one: Either you're in or out; either Easter changed history, or Jesus was just another dust-coated Levantine huckster.

Such a stark challenge has a delicious way of pinning Modernity to the wall. If there is a defining characteristic to the age, it is petulant hubris. We believe in miracle diets, but not miracles; politicians declare their faith in the perfectibility of government, but not the perfection of the Almighty.

Delicious indeed (Hat tip:


Blogger Bill Gnade said...

I like it. But I wonder: Was it Chesterton or Lewis who came up with the "liar, lunatic, or Lord" argument? I thought it was Lewis. Perhaps not.



3:14 PM, April 28, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Good question. Both of them may have used it. I have some vague memory of Chesterton using it in Orthodoxy. Lewis, being of the next generation and an admirer of Chesterton, may have used it, too (In Mere Christianity perhaps?).

9:53 PM, April 28, 2006  
Blogger Vicki said...

Wow, that was good. I've got some catching up to do here.

11:23 PM, May 01, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Isn't it, though? Thanks for your visit and your comments, Vicki. Peace.

3:22 PM, May 02, 2006  

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