Friday, December 19, 2008

myth prepares us for faith

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend that is always so fun to talk with. I love hanging out with her. On my way back home I started feeling hot and cold, nauseous, joint pain, throat pain, and a whopping headache. So weird! I felt none of that during the lunch, but fifteen minutes later I'm dying. I got home and crashed. I had to get up to drop Bernie at violin and pick up Lili from school. I came home again and crashed. I didn't get up again except to mince around downstairs a bit (walking was so painful) and find the Nyquil flu relief. The Nyquil did zippo for me. All night I tossed and turned alternately boiling and freezing, my entire body aching miserably.

It wasn't so bad this morning. Bearable.

But my sudden, violent illness is not the topic of this post. At least, not anymore. When I had lunch with my friend I told her about Shadowlands and also mentioned the awesome book I just heard on CD, The Sea of Trolls. We talked a bit about C.S. Lewis's idea that myth prepares people for belief in Christianity. Lo and behold, I sat down to read the Wall Street Journal just now and found this: OK, Virginia, There's No Santa Claus. But There Is God. This is was very interesting. Some great G.K. Chesterton quotes. Also mentions a man named Richard Dawkins who is "reportedly writing a book examining the pernicious tendency of fantasy tales to promote 'anti-scientific' thinking among children. He suspects that such stories lay the groundwork for religious faith, the inculcation of which, he claims, is a worse form of child abuse than sexual molestation." Right.

There are fantasy writers who are anti-Christian. I wonder what Dawkins thinks of them?

Just today I was reading about the Jaredite prophet Ether: "And it came to pass that Ether did prophesy great and marvelous things unto the people, which they did not believe, because they saw them not." And Moroni's thoughts: "Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12:5-6)


athena said...

hope you're feeling better. sounds like a bout of the flu. or maybe it's a combination of the flu and early pregnancy. :)

i enjoyed reading cs lewis's book on surprised by joy. i didn't realise joy was an actual person. i always thought myths were outlandish tall stories (seeing that we have so many in our culture) but i enjoyed what joseph campbell writes about its purpose and power. dawkins. don't know anything about him but it seems that there'll always be someone out there to debunk everything that is good.

Anonymous said...

There will be many "Richard Dawkins" type books in the future. You can't have such an explosion in the number of scientist in the field of neurology without scraps of intellectual debris finding its way to the public forum. I wished I could stay around long enough to see how well it with play out, after the initial wave.
Hope you recover quickly.

Anonymous said...

I like reading articles like that one particularly articles about perception. But as a Christian, when I read scientific articles about belief I always feel sad because science has to leave out the Holy Ghost and the spirit of Christ which are essentian parts to the equation. The exact beings which (I believe) help children believe because children have a real relationship with them. It becomes a paradox which brings a dead-end to research. How can you reach adaquate results without all parts of the equation? Still, the theory about how open a mind is to fantasy is interesting.

You must have caught a bug. Hope you feel well soon.

Anonymous said...

When I was taking a World History class at UM, I had to write a paper on the similarities of ancient religions. I remember ending the paper with some type of thought expressing that I felt like it was a testiment of the truth of God, that since the begining of civilization, humans have had a need for spirituality. I felt like this was on a cellular level, the mind, body, and spirit intertwind temporarily. Why is it so difficult for some to consider that God intended this? I think that to deny God is to tell your body that it doesn't really breath, or digest food.

Calandria said...

Dad, from what you said I assumed Richard Dawkins to be a brain researcher, but upon googling him I find that he is every bit what I first assumed when I read about his new book in this article. He is one of those atheists who tries to make money off converting people to his way of thinking. He's a preacher man.