Daily Riches: The Collective Arrogance of the Herd (Thomas Merton, Tim Keller, and Augustine of Hippo)

“There grows in me an immense dissatisfaction with all that is merely passively accepted as truth, without struggle and without examination. Faith, surely, is not passive, and not an evasion. And today, more than ever, the things we believe, I mean especially the things we accept on human faith – reported matters of ‘fact,’ questions of history, of policy, of interpretation, of wants – they should be very few. …I am still able to hope that a civil exchange of ideas can take place between two persons — that we have not yet reached the stage where we are all hermetically sealed, each one in the collective arrogance and despair of his own herd.” Thomas Merton

“A faith without some doubts is like a human body with no antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask the hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection.” Timothy Keller

“Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth. Let us seek it together as something which is known to neither of us. For then only may we seek it, lovingly and tranquilly, if there be no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed.”  Augustine

“…what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Does your faith make room for “doubt … only discarded after long reflection?” If you need to be able to explain everything, where does that come from?
  • Arrogance renders one ineffectual in reaching, correcting, learning from and loving others. No wonder the Lord wants us to “walk humbly” instead (“seeking the truth together”) when we disagree with others. Even though this is “required”, do you see it as a sign or weakness or compromise?
  • “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” As you’ve matured, does this resonate with you?

Abba, teach me humility before you and others.

For More: Raids on the Unspeakable by Thomas Merton

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: The Collective Arrogance of the Herd (Thomas Merton, Tim Keller, and Augustine of Hippo)

“There grows in me an immense dissatisfaction with all that is merely passively accepted as truth, without struggle and without examination. Faith, surely, is not passive, and not an evasion. And today, more than ever, the things we believe, I mean especially the things we accept on human faith – reported matters of ‘fact,’ questions of history, of policy, of interpretation, of wants – they should be very few. …I am still able to hope that a civil exchange of ideas can take place between two persons — that we have not yet reached the stage where we are all hermetically sealed, each one in the collective arrogance and despair of his own herd.” Thomas Merton

“A faith without some doubts is like a human body with no antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask the hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection.” Timothy Keller

“Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth. Let us seek it together as something which is known to neither of us. For then only may we seek it, lovingly and tranquilly, if there be no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed.”  Augustine

“…what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Does your faith make room for “doubt … only discarded after long reflection?” If you need to be able to explain everything, where does that come from?
  • Arrogance renders one ineffectual in reaching, correcting, learning from and loving others. No wonder the Lord wants us to “walk humbly” instead (“seeking the truth together”) when we disagree with others. Even though this is “required”, do you see it as a sign or weakness or compromise?
  • “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” As you’ve matured, does this resonate with you?

Abba, teach me humility before you and others.

For More: Raids on the Unspeakable by Thomas Merton

_________________________________________________

These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Bringing Our Anxiety to Worship (Augustine)

“Let us sing alleluia here on earth, while we still live in anxiety…. Why do we now live in anxiety? Can you expect me not to feel anxious when I read: Is not man’s life on earth a time of trial? …when the words still ring in my ears: Watch and pray that you will not be put to the test? …when there are so many temptations here below that prayer itself reminds us of them…? Do you want me to feel secure when I am daily asking pardon for my sins, and requesting help in time of trial? Because of my past sins I pray: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and then, because of the perils still before me, I immediately go on to add: Lead us not into temptation. How can all be well with people who are crying out with me: Deliver us from evil? And yet, brothers, while we are still in the midst of this evil, let us sing alleluia to the good God who delivers us from evil. … God’s praises are sung both [in heaven] and here, but here they are sung by those destined to die, there, by those destined to live for ever; here they are sung in hope, there, in hope’s fulfillment; here they are sung by wayfarers, there, by those living in their own country.  …sing as wayfarers do – sing, but continue your journey.” Augustine

 “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.”  1 Chronicles 16:23

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • As Christians, we have tasted of security, peace and eternal life, but they are not yet fully ours. Even so, we sing to remind ourselves that a better day is coming. Do you sense that you’re “not yet” what you should be? At the same time, have you experienced the “already” – that foretaste of what’s to come?
  • Does your worship express “hope” that looks forward to the day when there will be no more “not yet?”
  • Will you determine to be one who “sings then, but keeps on going” – living faithfully “as wayfarers do” in this time of waiting?

Abba, in worship encourage us as we wait for the salvation of all things.

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For More: Augustine of Hippo – Selected Writings

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Thanks for reading!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)