Enlightenment

Miracles and the Enlightenment

Photography © by Andy Coan

Did Jesus really raise the daughter of Jairus and perform other miracles? The Deists, including several American founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson, said no, and their Enlightenment skepticism still influences us today. This post focuses on the raising of the daughter of Jairus, miracles, expectant faith and the Enlightenment religion of Thomas Jefferson and many American founding fathers.  It serves […]

Are We too Enlightened to Believe?

"Raising of Jairus' Daughter" (detail) by Ilya Repin

In the days when states were still “the colonies” and men wore powdered wigs, a new way of thinking captured the intelligentsia of the western world. One might have believed: “The miracle stories in the Bible and the lives of the saints may be quaint, entertaining, and even have symbolic meaning.  But certainly we should not take them literally!  Oh, […]

Origins of today’s “God is Dead” Morality: Machiavelli

Portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito

Finally, it is over, and about time too! Canadians last week elected a new Prime Minister after a historically long eleven week campaign, or seventy-eight days to be exact. This campaign, initiated by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, was twice as long as the usual thirty-seven-day campaign. Unfortunately for him it was probably too long as he and his […]

Today’s “God is Dead” Morality: Opening Act — Martin Luther

All Saints' Church (Schlosskirche), Wittenberg

A few years ago I found myself in the doctor’s office lamenting over a growing list of aches, pains and other ailments. I asked the doctor why this was happening to me all of a sudden and he simply said “eventually your past catches up to you.” My good doctor began to ask me questions about my activities when I […]

Too Enlightened To Believe?

"Raising of Jairus' Daughter" (detail) by Ilya Repin

In the days when states of the United States were still “the colonies” and men wore powdered wigs, a new way of thinking captured the intelligentsia of the western world. “The miracle stories in the Bible and the lives of the saints may be quaint, entertaining, and even have symbolic meaning. But certainly we should not take them literally! Oh, […]

Pope Benedict as a Witness to God

Over a period of about 15 years, in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the German journalist Peter Seewald conducted a number of interviews with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, then the prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. The edited conversations appeared as two rather lengthy books, The Salt of the Earth and God and the World. Seewald’s pointed […]