Wednesday, January 04, 2006

God in the Dock

The ancient man approached God as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man the roles are reversed. He is judge; God is in the dock.
C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock
From CNN:
I started this lawsuit because I wanted to deal the final blow against the Church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression...
So says the plaintiff in a new Italian court case set to decide whether Jesus Christ really existed and whether the Catholic Church could be criminally culpable for teaching that He did.

My mind is reeling a bit too much from the stupidity of this case to really parse the whole article. The plaintiff, a militant atheist named Luigi Cascioli, sounds like a real nutjob. He has apparently written a book called The Fable of Christ which I'm half tempted to pick up.

The article makes it sound like the case is pretty much an open-shut one. The judge has apparently tried to dismiss it several times already, and it is in a process of appeals.

I'm only blogging it because when I heard it, the essay by CS Lewis whose title is the namesake of this post leapt into my mind. It's a good read, and a short one, in a collection of many other fine works. Another popular quote from the essay, which came to mind, is this one:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
The "dictatorship of relativism" is a reality. Things done even in this nation in the name of "plurality" and equality, the entire bent of modern society, is to relativise and dilute truth until it can't even be said to exist. As Chesterton points out, a person who says that there are no dogmas is the worst kind and least forgiving of all dogmatists. And that is the way our world is headed. Tyranically, the leaders we elect try to make it so that everyone can be right, with the ultimate effect that no one can be.

Of course, we know that the Church stands outside of this system. But we're on the opposite front in a war. We are the bearer and guardian of Revelation, it is an exclusive type of Revelation, like it or not. Our truth is the only truth. It is the fullness of the truth. Others may have bits and pieces. But none have anything that we do not; all lack something that we have. This is controversial... it is a "hard saying." But there is no one else to whom one may go. And it is the Church's job to proclaim this saying, no matter what the effect. This current case in a Western nation might still be radical and improbable; but wait a few decades. There may come a time when into the West trickles the lethal doctrine that doctrine is lethal. And then the Church may be a sign of contradiction in a criminal sense, and God literally may be in the dock.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/5/06, 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I can see the catacombs from here," he panted as they ran through the summer grass, down the hill, avoiding the rocks and the gopher holes. They tried not to lose one another on the way --reaching out, holding each the other's hand. They bent over, gasping and seeking rest in the shade. It was a tree that was their shelter. A tree... -- Ged.

1/6/06, 9:11 PM  
Blogger Joey G. said...

I seem to recognize it Ged, but I can't recall where it's from... enlighten me?

1/6/06, 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Joe;
To my knowledge, it's original; but my knowledge is seldom adequate to the task. May we find rest in the shade of the tree of Calvary too. -- Ged.

1/7/06, 11:47 AM  

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