You meet a thousand times in life with those who, in dealing with any religious question, make at once their appeal to reason, and insist on forthwith rejecting aught that lies beyond its sphere, without however being able to render any clear account of the nature and proper limits of the knowledge thus derived, or of the relation in which such knowledge stands to the religious needs of men. I would invite you, therefore, to inquire seriously whether such persons are not really bowing down before an idol of the mind, which, while itself of very questionable worth, demands as much implicit faith from its worshipers as divine revelation itself.
–Theodor Christlieb Modern Doubt and Christian Belief
He enjoys a meal while believing there is no chef.
He reads a book while denying it has an author.
He admires the sunset while asserting there is no sun.
He savors pleasure not knowing from whence it came.
He embarks on a journey without a map.
He travels into a desert where there is no oasis.
He plays on a sports-field that has no goalposts.
He assembles a puzzle with no picture to guide him.
He plays a role in a drama but ignores the play-writer.
He treasures life but ignores the life-giver.
He seeks for joy but dismisses the joy-giver.
He acknowledges laws but denies the law-giver.
When he is in need he has no one to pray to.
When he is grateful he has no one to thank.
He searches for meaning while rejecting its source.
He denies in his head what his heart knows to be true.
It behooves us to pray that the God in whom
he does not believe will come to his aid.
All that is sweet, delightful, and amiable in this world, in the serenity of the air, the fineness of the seasons, the joy of light, the melody of sounds, the beauty of colors, the fragrancy of smells, the splendor of precious stones, is nothing else but Heaven breaking through the veil of this world.
I tended at this stage to think of my Christian faith as a philosophy of life, not a religion. I had grasped something of its intellectual appeal but had yet to discover its imaginative, ethical and spiritual depths. I had a sense of standing on the threshold of something beautiful and amazing, which my reason had tantalizingly only grasped in part. Like Einstein, I realized that nature “shows us only the lions tail,” while hinting at the majesty and grandeur of the magnificent animal to which it is attached—and to which it ultimately leads.
When confronted with the order and beauty of the universe
and the strange coincidences of nature, it’s very tempting
to take the leap of faith from science into religion. I am sure
many physicists want to. I only wish they would admit it.
–Physicist Tony Rothman, Former post-doctoral fellow at Oxford University