Monthly Archives: June 16, 2014

The Pain of a Parent – May God give Strength to the Parents of Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar

In his classic work Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy describes Levin’s reaction to the birth of his first child. While those around him repeatedly extolled the baby’s beauty, Levin himself felt only squeamishness and pity – feelings he had not expected upon holding his child for the first time. But then the baby suddenly sneezed, and Levin began to smile, hardly able to hold back his tears:

By |June 16, 2014|

Where Proof has no Place

 “I never took my religious instruction seriously… because it was delivered in the language of reason.  I asked everyone you can imagine, from the nuns when I was a child, to bishops, philosophers, and theologians later, why do you speak of God in the language of reason?  And they said it was because God has burdened those who believe in Him with the inability to prove His existence except in the language of His enemies, which is a language in which you cannot prove His existence.  Why bother? I asked…  Can you see a group of people on a beach in a storm, deafened by the surf, their hair blown back from their foreheads, their eyes tearing, trying to prove the existence of the wind and the sea?”  (Mark Helprin, A Soldier of the Great War, 691)”
Historically, the attempt to rationally prove the existence of God was largely the province of the Catholic Church.  Thinkers like Anselm of Canterbury, father of the ontological proof of God, and Thomas Aquinas, who developed the “Five Ways” to demonstrate God’s existence, immersed themselves in logical arguments and rational proofs for the existence of God.
Martin Luther, the seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation, argued vehemently against the Catholic Church’s use of reason to promote religious belief.  For reason can, quite easily, become the antagonist of faith: “Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it struggles against the divine word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.  The Virgin birth was unreasonable; so was the Resurrection; so were the Gospels, the sacraments, the pontifical prerogatives, and the promise of life everlasting.” (Martin Luther, cited in William Manchester, A World Lit only by Fire, 112).  True believers should […]

By |June 10, 2014|