Monday, April 17, 2017
Five minutes pass in silence. It’s cold in here, and I’m already feeling uneasy. There is something unsettling about liberal Christianity, and at moments like this you feel it: the crepuscular gloom, the all-pervading feeling of desperate but resigned optimism, the hope against hope for something ineffable. You find it in Bultmann, in John Robinson’s absurd—and in their way moving—books, on the lips of Iris Murdoch’s faithless priests. It’s not just sadness; it’s also fear. When Tillich says that “Our ultimate concern is that which determines our being or not-being,” he wants us to choose being. The alternative, I guess, is to let yourself be devoured by whatever might be lurking in the gray and black rectangles of half-gloom spreading over the empty pews behind me.
Not that this fear is a reason to believe, but surely it's a reason not to sit in the space in between belief and non-belief.