In their excellent text How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren wrote that after reading any non-fiction or expository book analytically, one must ask this important question: What of it? Or, so what?
I agree with all of Lewis’s arguments. I think the existence of a Moral Law does point to the existence of a Mind behind the Law — a Moral Law Giver. I also agree that this Mind is the Christian God — He revealed Himself in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus wasn’t a liar or lunatic. He wasn’t merely a wise teacher. He was who He claimed Himself to be — God incarnate. I also agree that God is “three-Personal”, that He is timeless, and so on. Now what?
Adler and Van Doren explained that we must take books seriously. If we agree with the arguments put forth by the author, we must change our beliefs and order our lives accordingly. What does it mean for me that God exists and is three-Personal?
Well, since God exists and is the Mind behind the Moral Law, He must be morally perfect. So, I must live my life constantly aware that He cares about my every action, my every decision. He cares that I act justly toward others. He cares that I listen to and obey my conscience. He cares that I live a moral life and exercise the virtues. He cares that I acknowledge Jesus as His revelation on earth, and that He is a member of the Trinity. He cares that I practice my faith, and not merely give intellectual assent to Christianity’s truth claims.
But really it all boils down to this: I should take my Christian faith seriously. That’s it. The ultimate reality is God, not matter or the universe, not randomness or nothingness, so I must order my thoughts and every aspect of my life according to the truth of His existence and according to His will, in so far as I am able to discern it in Scripture and the Church. I must not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk.
Please pray for me.
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Date Read: August 8, 2011 – June 11, 2012