Friday, December 21, 2012

Beyond overreach

“No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable—and we believe they can do it again.”—President John F. Kennedy, June 10, 1963, commencement address at American University.

    It is not unusual for politicians give vent to puffy, silly, overblown exaggerations of otherwise simple observations of truth. The above quotation, for instance, can be summarized as “Some people have solved hard problems before, and we think that some people can do so in the future.” But this example reaches well beyond the usual level of hubris. In fact, all problems of human destiny are beyond human beings; human beings have made no progress at all on this front, and there is no apparent prospect their for doing so.
    All issues of human destiny have been reserved by God.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The dreadful tragedy

    About the Newtown event itself, there is little else to be said. The bewildered newspapers propose the "search for answers" (all the while, milking profits from the tragedy). The trouble with this kind of event is that it comes close to representing the problem of evil in a very pure form. So, what is the answer we are looking for? Must it fit on an index card? Must it satisfy all? What answer would we believe?
    In the reference frame of common culture, there is no answer. That is why it is so troubling to us. Only a cosmology that includes sovereign God holds any hope for a true answer to the problem of evil. This is why we need the tablets and why the tablets must be divine. We keep trying to discard them, but the absence of the written Law does not banish evil.