In the biblical story, God tests his faithful servant Job to see whether Job will stay devoted to God even if God takes everything away from him. Now you don’t lose your family, health and possessions, as Job did, without falling into a terrible funk. It’s possible, then, to understand Job’s story as being about remaining true to God through a devastating depression.
Dear Derek: It’s awfully quiet around the house now that you’re gone. In fact, hardly a day goes by that Mom and I don’t remark on it. I suppose we’ll gradually get more accustomed to it, of course, but I’m not sure we’ll ever really like it.
What if science could demonstrate that original sin is something we inherit from our families either through the genes or our upbringing or both? And if science could show us how we inherit a predisposition toward sin, might science also show us how to heal the soul and harvest fruits of the Spirit? For instance, could the laboratory produce a drug that would do the work of the Holy Spirit?
Living in Alabama, I encounter a lot of intuitive spelling. I am no spelling snob. In fact, a roadside sign for “Bowled Peanuts” can brighten my whole day, as can a hand-painted billboard exhorting me to “Give Your Loved One A Missage For Christmas.” Never, though, have I taken so much pleasure from a spelling exception as the sign at a local health food store. “WE NOW HAVE ST.
In a provocative and erudite essay, Merold Westphal argues that postmodern philosophy contributes to a Christian understanding of the implications of finitude and original sin with respect to knowledge (Blind spots: Christianity and postmodern philosophy, June 14).