The Stubborn Reality of God

GodMan can certainly keep on lying (and he does so); but he cannot make truth falsehood. He can certainly rebel (he does so); but he can accomplish nothing which abolishes the choice of God. He can certainly flee from God (he does so) ; but he cannot escape Him. He can certainly hate God and be hateful to God (he does and is so) ; but he cannot change into its opposite the eternal love of God which triumphs even in His hate. He can certainly give himself to isolation (he does so — he thinks, wills and behaves godlessly, and is godless) ; but even in his isolation he must demonstrate that which he wishes to controvert — the impossibility of playing the “individual” over against God. He may let go of God, but God does not let go of him.

–Karl Barth

Clearing away the rubble

aleksandr-solzhenitsyn_2-tOver a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

―Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Russian novelist and historian