Monday, December 5, 2016

Untried and untested

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried ... The world is full of these unfulfilled ideas, these uncompleted temples. History doesn't consist of crumbling ruins. Rather, it consists of half-built villas abandoned by a bankrupt builder. This world is more like an unfinished suburb than a deserted cemetery." (G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With the World?, chapter 6)

I don't often put "profound" quotes on here, especially from things I've been reading because a) I think it's a bit wanky and, b) all too often the quotes are taken out of context.

But, I was struck by the quote above - cited by John Dickson on his Facebook page - since it, as John pointed out, speaks loudly to the all-too-common attitude of post-modernity.

We don't try.

Not really.

Not with jobs.
Not with dreams.
Not with church.
Not with faith.

We also don't test.

At least not long enough to reach an informed conclusion.

We give it a half-assed attempt, see that it doesn't instantly cure all our ills or deliver on all it's promises, and then move on to the next new thing.

Someone on the Facebook theme pointed out that this is used apologetically.

While I think this might somewhat fit, I, frankly, don't think that it's identified as a reason for faith's decline.

In order for that to happen, you'd have to be able to stop yourself, consider the culture around you, and have the guts to identify it out loud.

And... most don't have time for that...

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