Fading Faith

America is indeed losing faith, and there are three principle reasons: 1. Extremism. The rigidity of some spurs an equal … Continued

America is indeed losing faith, and there are three principle reasons:

1. Extremism. The rigidity of some spurs an equal and opposite reaction in others. When we are told that we must believe a certain way, something inside of the resilient soul opposes such certitude. There would be less atheism if there was a bit less imperiousness.

2. Science. The conviction that only what one can see, or measure, is real has led many from faith. As Emerson wrote “The first and last lesson of religion, the things that are seen are temporal; the things that are unseen are eternal.” Given the tremendous power of science to manipulate the visible, many have jumped to the conclusion that only the visible is real. Emerson’s words recur in our lives when we recognize that the explanations of the laboratory are limited. The essential questions of life cannot be quantified, and the greatest truths are unmeasurable.

3. Social Science. As we learn about the history and variety of religion, it is harder to believe in the single truth of one’s own. This is one reason that some turn to fanaticism, which is the intellectual equivalent of plugging one’s ears when another is saying something disagreeable. But what it should teach us is that God is bigger than religion. Faith does not depend on the path to God but on the reality of God. There are many ways, and no one person’s footsteps are the sole path in the wilderness.

Is faith fading? The signs of it are apparent in our lives. The ebbing of religious belief in Europe finds some parallel in America. But there is also a robust and thriving religious culture in this land which was always wise enough not to declare an official church. The signs of revival are at least as real as the signs of trouble; faith in America has historically taken new shapes and reinvented itself. We can expect the same will happen in this new, technologically driven age. While God may be unchanging, we are not.

David Wolpe
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  • MGT2

    If by fading faith, you mean the statistical decline of those professing religious faith, I agree with you. Otherwise, I believe that having faith in something is an innate human quality. Having said that, the most important thing you said, which I consider a truism, is “Faith does not depend on the path to God but on the reality of God.”

  • MGT2

    CCNL, My word!You really needs to take a break. And, by the way, broaden your reading list and study the works mainstream scholars and researchers. You just may learn something.

  • ivri5768

    I see we have with us our very own representative from the Church of Clancy, Nussbaum, and Luigi (CCNL).The impending demise of his fellow embryonic stem cells has all but frazzled his potential brain (cell). And we though of a different biostratum, we extend our heartfelt condolences.I see you have either not seen the Sainted Archbishop Luigi of the Lasagna for pastoral counseling or that you have, but need to go again. We hear, however, that the Sainted Archbishop Luigi of the Lasagna may be away on business with the Holy Sauce. If this is the case, ask yourself this question: WWLD? (What would Luigi do?). If he is not away, you can ask him directly, and need not, therefore, ask yourself. Alternatively, you could ask yourself and then go to see His Excellency and ask him. You could then, if you wish, compare answers (yours with his).May you have peace in the name of the Pasta, the Meatballs, and the Lasagna.

  • CCNL

    20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians: 23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php24. JD Crossan’s scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separted into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf25. JD Crossan’s conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years: 26. Common Sayings from Thomas’s Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by title with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection? 29. NT and beyond time line: 30. St. Paul’s Time line with discussion of important events: 31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan’s books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx’s words of wisdom as found in his books.33. The books of the following other On Faith panelists: Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.34. Father Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.35. Luke Timothy Johnson’s book The Real Jesus

  • CCNL

    3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–“The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament.”5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias 9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus 11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission 12. The Jesus Database- newer site: 13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist: 14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus: 16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/17. Diseases in the Bible: 19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:

  • CCNL

    suggested readings:1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm — the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the titles of their over 100 books on the subject. 2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/

  • Freestinker

    “Faith does not depend on the path to God but on the reality of God.”———————————And the reality of God is always in the eye of the beholder.Without beholders (believers), there are no gods.God is a belief that only needs a human host to be real.

  • ivri5768

    CCNL (Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi)We hear again from our representative from the Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi (CCNL).The impending demise of his fellow embryonic stem cells has all but frazzled I see you have either not seen the Sainted Archbishop Luigi of the Lasagna for pastoral counseling or that you have, but need to go again. As you now know, he has returned from his visit with the Holy Sauce. You should not be embarrassed to go again to him for guidance. These are perilous times for you and all your fellow embryonic stem cells. Until you see him, ask yourself WWLD (What would Luigi do?). You can then ask him directly, but do not ask, WWLD, since you are no longer speaking to yourself. Say instead, WSID (What should I do?). If you wish, you can later compare answers (yours with his).Until you see him, why not say the famous Luigian chant, with which you were wont to begin your posts: “Hmmm”May you have peace in the name of the Pasta, the Meatballs, and the Lasagna.Hmmm

  • ivri5768

    CCNL (Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi)We hear again from our representative from the Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi (CCNL).The impending demise of his fellow embryonic stem cells has all but frazzledI see you have either not seen the Sainted Archbishop Luigi of the Lasagna for pastoral counseling or that you have, but need to go again.As you now know, he has returned from his visit with the Holy Sauce.You should not be embarrassed to go again to him for guidance. These are perilous times for you and all your fellow embryonic stem cells.Until you see him, ask yourself WWLD (What would Luigi do?). You can then ask him directly, but do not ask, WWLD, since you are no longer speaking to yourself. Say instead, WSID (What should I do?). If you wish, you can later compare answers (yours with his).Until you see him, why not say the famous Luigian chant, with which you were wont to begin your posts: “Hmmm”May you have peace in the name of the Pasta, the Meatballs, and the Lasagna.Hmmm

  • CCNL

    Again, most of us skip anything written by Farnaz, the Jewish atheist, since she continues to lie about who she is by using at least five aliases i.e. Farnaz2 aka Observer12 aka Observer31 aka Yael1 aka ivri5678 aka Billy8.Do Jewish atheists follow the Ten Commandments in any respect? Farnaz constantly violates #8.

  • CCNL

    Most of us skip anything written by Farnaz, the Jewish atheist, since she continues to lie about who she is by using at least five aliases i.e. Farnaz2 aka Observer12 aka Observer31 aka Yael1 aka ivri5678 aka Billy8.Such violations of the Eighth Commandment are a disgrace to her heritage!!!

  • CCNL

    Most of us skip anything written by Farnaz, the Jewish atheist, since she continues to lie about who she is by using at least five aliases i.e. Farnaz2 aka Observer12 aka Observer31 aka Yael1 aka ivri5678 aka Billy8.Do Jewish atheists follow the Ten Commandments in any respect? Farnaz constantly violates #8.

  • ivri5768

    March 21, 2009 11:37 PMCCNL (Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi)We hear again from our representative from the Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi (CCNL).The impending demise of his fellow embryonic stem cells has all but frazzledI see you have either not seen the Sainted Archbishop Luigi of the Lasagna for pastoral counseling or that you have, but need to go again.As you now know, he has returned from his visit with the Holy Sauce.You should not be embarrassed to go again to him for guidance. These are perilous times for you and all your fellow embryonic stem cells.Until you see him, ask yourself WWLD (What would Luigi do?). You can then ask him directly, but do not ask, WWLD, since you are no longer speaking to yourself. Say instead, WSID (What should I do?). If you wish, you can later compare answers (yours with his).Until you see him, why not say the famous Luigian chant, with which you were wont to begin your posts: “Hmmm”May you have peace in the name of the Pasta, the Meatballs, and the Lasagna.Hmmm

  • CCNL

    Again, most of us skip anything written by Farnaz, the Jewish atheist, since she continues to lie about who she is by using at least five aliases i.e. Farnaz2 aka Observer12 aka Observer31 aka Yael1 aka ivri5678 aka Billy8.Her lying 24/7 is a constant embarrassment to her Jewish heritage!!!

  • CCNL

    Again, most of us skip anything written by Farnaz, the Jewish atheist, since she continues to lie about who she is by using at least five aliases i.e. Farnaz2 aka Observer12 aka Observer31 aka Yael1 aka ivri5678 aka Billy8.Her lying 24/7 is a constant embarrassment to her Jewish heritage!!!

  • ivri5768

    CCNL (Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi)We hear again from our representative from the Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi (CCNL).The impending demise of his fellow embryonic stem cells has all but frazzledI see you have either not seen the Sainted Archbishop Luigi of the Lasagna for pastoral counseling or that you have, but need to go again.As you now know, he has returned from his visit with the Holy Sauce.You should not be embarrassed to go again to him for guidance. These are perilous times for you and all your fellow embryonic stem cells.Until you see him, ask yourself WWLD (What would Luigi do?). You can then ask him directly, but do not ask, WWLD, since you are no longer speaking to yourself. Say instead, WSID (What should I do?). If you wish, you can later compare answers (yours with his).Until you see him, why not say the famous Luigian chant, with which you were wont to begin your posts: “Hmmm”May you have peace in the name of the Pasta, the Meatballs, and the Lasagna.Hmmm

  • CCNL

    It is obvious by now that Farnaz is not going to apologize for her lying so thererfore skip anything written by her since she continues to lie about who she is by using at least five aliases i.e. Farnaz2 aka Observer12 aka Observer31 aka Yael1 aka ivri5678 aka Billy8.Her constant lying is an embarrassment to her relatives and her Jewish heritage.

  • ivri5768

    CCNL (Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi)We hear again from our representative from the Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi (CCNL).The impending demise of his fellow embryonic stem cells has all but frazzledI see you have either not seen the Sainted Archbishop Luigi of the Lasagna for pastoral counseling or that you have, but need to go again.As you now know, he has returned from his visit with the Holy Sauce.You should not be embarrassed to return to him for guidance. These are perilous times for you and all your fellow embryonic stem cells.Until you see him, ask yourself WWLD (What would Luigi do?). You can then ask him directly, but do not ask, WWLD, since you are no longer speaking to yourself. Say instead, WSID (What should I do?). If you wish, you can later compare answers (yours with his).Until you see him, why not say the famous Luigian chant, with which you were wont to begin your posts: “Hmmm”May you have peace in the name of the Pasta, the Meatballs, and the Lasagna.Hmmm

  • ivri5768

    CCNL (Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi)writes to Paganplace:”Hmmm, to reiterate, there is nothing wrong with masturbation.”We are delighted that CCNL is once again intoning the famous Luigian chant with which he was wont to begin his posts: “Hmmm”His confession to Paganplace shows he has seen the Sainted Archbishop Luigi of the Lasagna, who has advised him to masturbate (in vivo, not only in cyberspace as he’s always done). CCNL is here to spread the good err news.Understandably, he has been close to despair over the impending demise of his fellow Embryonic Stem Cells, they who form the congregation of his Church.I did not know that Embryonic Stem Cells could masturbate, nor was I aware that the activity could bring them peace.I’m not much of a masturbater myself, but to each his own, and who am I to criticize the Embryonic Stem Cell Faith? Especially, in such perilous times.CCNL, we all wish you peace in the name of Pasta, the Meatballs, and the Lasagna.In solidarity,Hmmm

  • CCNL

    It is again apparent that Farnaz is not going to apologize for her lies so please skip anything written by Farnaz, the Jewish atheist, since she continues to lie about who she is by using at least five aliases i.e. Farnaz2 aka Observer12 aka Observer31 aka Yael1 aka ivri5678 aka Billy8.Her constant lying is an embarrassment to her relatives and her Jewish heritage.

  • ivri5768

    UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATECCNL (Church of Clancy, Nusbaum, and Luigi)writes to Paganplace:”Hmmm, to reiterate, there is nothing wrong with masturbation.”We are delighted that CCNL is once again intoning the famous Luigian chant with which he was wont to begin his posts: “Hmmm”His confession to Paganplace shows he has seen the Sainted Archbishop Luigi of the Lasagna, who has advised him to masturbate (in vivo, not only in cyberspace as he’s always done). CCNL is here to spread the good err news.Understandably, he has been close to despair over the impending demise of his fellow Embryonic Stem Cells, they who form the congregation of his Church.I did not know that Embryonic Stem Cells could masturbate, nor was I aware that the activity could bring them peace.I’m not much of a masturbater myself, but to each his own, and who am I to criticize the Embryonic Stem Cell Faith? Especially, in such perilous times.CCNL, we all wish you peace in the name of Pasta, the Meatballs, and the Lasagna.In solidarity,Hmmm

  • CCNL

    It is apparent that Farnaz is not going to apologize for her lies so please skip anything written by Farnaz, the Jewish atheist, since she continues to lie about who she is by using at least five aliases i.e. Farnaz2 aka Observer12 aka Observer31 aka Yael1 aka ivri5678 aka Billy8.Her constant lying is an embarrassment to herself, her relatives and her Jewish heritage.

  • ivri5768

    UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE”Hmmm, to reiterate, there is nothing wrong with masturbation.”We are delighted that CCNL is once again intoning the famous Luigian chant with which he was wont to begin his posts: “Hmmm”His confession to Paganplace shows he has seen the Sainted Archbishop Luigi of the Lasagna, who has advised him to masturbate (in vivo, not only in cyberspace as he’s always done). CCNL is here to spread the good err news.Understandably, he has been close to despair over the impending demise of his fellow Embryonic Stem Cells, they who form the congregation of his Church.I did not know that Embryonic Stem Cells could masturbate, nor was I aware that the activity could bring them peace.I’m not much of a masturbater myself, but to each his own, and who am I to criticize the Embryonic Stem Cell Faith? Especially, in such perilous times.We wish him peace in the name of Pasta, the Meatballs, and the Lasagna.In solidarity,Hmmm