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Posts Tagged / faith

  • Jan 06 / 2012
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Where Does Joy Come From?

Where does it come from? How is it to be explained? Certainly, there are many factors at work here. But in my view, the crucial one is this certainty, based on faith: I am wanted; I have a task in history; I am accepted, I am loved. Josef Pieper, in his book on love, has shown that man can only accept himself if he is accepted by another. He needs the others presence, saying to him, with more than words: it is good that you exist. Only from the You can the I come into itself. Only if it is accepted, can it accept itself. Those who are unloved cannot even love themselves. This sense of being accepted comes in the first instance from other human beings. But all human acceptance is fragile. Ultimately we need a sense of being accepted unconditionally. Only if God accepts me, and I become convinced of this, do I know definitively: it is good that I exist. It is good to be a human being. If ever man’s sense of being accepted and loved by God is lost, then there is no longer any answer to the question whether to be a human being is good at all. Doubt concerning human existence becomes more and more insurmountable. Where doubt over God becomes prevalent, then doubt over humanity follows inevitably. We see today how widely this doubt is spreading. We see it in the joylessness, in the inner sadness, that can be read on so many human faces today. Only faith gives me the conviction: it is good that I exist. It is good to be a human being, even in hard times. Faith makes one happy from deep within. – Benedict XVI

  • Jul 20 / 2011
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Believe What You Will

In a new book called Faith of the Fatherless, [Paul] Vitz examines the psychology of atheism and concludes that the unwillingness of such noted figures as Voltaire, Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Bertrand Russell to believe in a personal, loving God can be traced to defective relationships with their own fathers. — F.R. Duplantier, Behind The Headlines, 1999

skeptics1From 1995 to 2001, I wrote a nationally syndicated daily radio and newspaper commentary called “Behind The Headlines,” applying the principles of free enterprise, limited government, and traditional morality to the issues of the day. It was the best job I ever had. My boss was Phyllis Schlafly, the best boss I ever had.

I frequently devoted commentaries to the latest, most provocative books coming out of the new conservative publishing houses (and imprints) that were popping up all over back then. One such book was Paul Vitz’s Faith of the Fatherless, to which I devoted two commentaries: the one excerpted above, and a second. I subsequently had the opportunity to interview Vitz when I sat in for Phyllis on her Saturday morning radio show, “Phyllis Schlafly Live.”

J. Budziszewski admits that his nihilism was motivated in part by his desire to “get back” at God “for the various things which predictably went wrong in my life after I had lost hold of Him.” He confesses, as well, that he “had come to confuse science with a certain world view . . . that nothing is real but matter.” Budziszewski emphasizes, however, that “the main reason” for his nihilism was “sheer, mulish pride. I didn’t want God to be God; I wanted J. Budziszewski to be God.” — F.R. Duplantier, “Behind The Headlines,” 2000

nihilistsThe Revenge of Conscience by J. Budziszewski was another of the books I featured in a “Behind The Headlines” commentary, Budziszewski another of the authors I got to interview as a guest host on Phyllis Schlafly’s Saturday morning radio program. Like Paul Vitz, author of Faith of the Fatherless, Budziszewski went through an extended period of doubt and disbelief before regaining the faith of his childhood. Like Chesterton, Budziszewski has a gift for turning phrases, and his book is full of great lines. My favorite is this one: “Not many of us doubt God’s existence and then start sinning. Most of us sin and then start doubting. . . .”

Secular humanists are committed to the use of reason and science to understand the world. We also believe it’s necessary to develop a new morality appropriate to the present needs. I believe in the use of reason to build a good life on this planet without the illusion of salvation or immortality. — Paul Kurtz, Prometheus Press

In 1987 I published a lengthy article entitled “Free to Serve,” about Paul Kurtz and his Prometheus Press, and in 1998 recycled a small portion of it as a “Behind The Headlines” commentary. I never had the opportunity to interview Kurtz, nor wanted it. What sort of man persists in espousing a philosophy that led to the murder of 200 million people by socialist governments in the 20th Century? What wisdom can such a person possibly offer? What’s to be gained from a conversation with the devil?atheists

  • Apr 21 / 2011
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Doubts About Skeptics

In a new book called Faith of the Fatherless, [Paul] Vitz examines the psychology of atheism and concludes that the unwillingness of such noted figures as Voltaire, Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Bertrand Russell to believe in a personal, loving God can be traced to defective relationships with their own fathers. — F.R. Duplantier, Behind The Headlines, 1999


skeptics1From 1995 to 2001, I wrote a nationally syndicated daily radio and newspaper commentary called “Behind The Headlines,” applying the principles of free enterprise, limited government, and traditional morality to the issues of the day. It was the best job I ever had. My boss was Phyllis Schlafly, the best boss I ever had.

I frequently devoted commentaries to the latest, most provocative books coming out of the new conservative publishing houses (and imprints) that were popping up all over back then. One such book was Paul Vitz’s Faith of the Fatherless, to which I devoted two commentaries: the one excerpted above, and a second. I subsequently had the opportunity to interview Vitz when I sat in for Phyllis on her Saturday morning radio show, “Phyllis Schlafly Live.”

  • Apr 20 / 2011
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Pray for Faith

Maybe you don’t believe in the power of prayer. If you’ve lost your faith, or never had it, but would like a convincing demonstration of the power of prayer, then this challenge is for you. Find today’s date on the calendar. Flip six months ahead and mark that date. Now, starting today, pray for faith. Pray for faith every day, at least once a day, for six months. Pray sincerely, pray with all your heart, and one day — on or before the date you’ve marked — you’ll suddenly notice that all your doubts have vanished. In their place you’ll find an abiding faith, and you’ll never question again the power of prayer. — F.R. Duplantier

I actually did this in my mid-twenties. Having convinced myself that I didn’t need a “crutch,” I stopped going to church when I was 15 and began a lengthy period of unconscious moral decline — which culminated, fortunately, in an epiphany in which I recognized, and summoned the courage to admit, that I had become a moral cripple. I did need a crutch, after all. The seemingly insurmountable problem was that I no longer had any faith. I wasn’t a staunch unbeliever, merely an agnostic (never have understood how anyone could affirm God’s nonexistence), but the unquestioning faith I’d known as a child was utterly gone. How could I get it back?

The solution was paradoxical: I would pray for it. It seemed like a crazy idea, especially for an intensely logical person like me. How could I pray when I didn’t really believe in God, much less the efficacy of prayer? Why would God listen to the prayers of a faithless person like me? It was illogical, it didn’t make any sense, but I didn’t know what else to do. So I prayed.

It wasn’t much of a prayer, either, for I’d forgotten how to pray. I just asked for my faith back. Please, God, let me believe again.

I did that every day, several times a day, for weeks or months — I’m not sure how long, because I have no idea exactly when my faith was restored. I never could pinpoint the precise moment, because it came back quite unobtrusively. I just happened to notice one day that the doubt was gone, completely gone, never to return. Where the emptiness had been, there was fullness. It was a nice feeling.

Five more years passed before I actually ventured into a church again, but I had begun the journey home.

  • Nov 14 / 2009
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All Roads Lead to Rome

Vittorio Messori, author of The Jesus Hypothesis, is the first journalist in history to publish a book-length interview with a Pope, the best-selling Crossing the Threshold of Hope. He also published The Ratzinger Report, based on an interview with then-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. In this two-part interview, Messori talks about his latest book, Por qué creo [Why I Believe].

Part One

Part Two

My Own Conversion Story

  • Mar 07 / 2009
  • 3
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Atheists Haven’t Got a Prayer

Secular humanists are committed to the use of reason and science to understand the world. We also believe it’s necessary to develop a new morality appropriate to the present needs. I believe in the use of reason to build a good life on this planet without the illusion of salvation or immortality. — Paul Kurtz, Prometheus Press

In 1987 I published a lengthy article entitled “Free to Serve,” about Paul Kurtz and his Prometheus Press, and in 1998 recycled a small portion of it as a “Behind The Headlines” commentary. I never had the opportunity to interview Kurtz, nor wanted it. What sort of man persists in espousing a philosophy that led to the murder of 200 million people  by socialist governments in the 20th Century? What wisdom can such a person possibly offer? What’s to be gained from a conversation with the devil?atheists

  • Mar 05 / 2009
  • 1
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I Have My Doubts About Skeptics

In a new book called Faith of the Fatherless, [Paul] Vitz examines the psychology of atheism and concludes that the unwillingness of such noted figures as Voltaire, Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Bertrand Russell to believe in a personal, loving God can be traced to defective relationships with their own fathers. — F.R. Duplantier, Behind The Headlines, 1999


skeptics1From 1995 to 2001, I wrote a nationally syndicated daily radio and newspaper commentary called “Behind The Headlines,” applying the principles of free enterprise, limited government, and traditional morality to the issues of the day. It was the best job I ever had. My boss was Phyllis Schlafly, the best boss I ever had.

I frequently devoted commentaries to the latest, most provocative books coming out of the new conservative publishing houses (and imprints) that were popping up all over back then. One such book was Paul Vitz’s Faith of the Fatherless, to which I devoted two commentaries: the one excerpted above, and a  second. I subsequently had the opportunity to interview Vitz when I sat in for Phyllis on her Saturday morning radio show, “Phyllis Schlafly Live.”

  • Dec 19 / 2008
  • 1
Uncategorized

Pray for Faith

Maybe you don’t believe in the power of prayer. If you’ve lost your faith, or never had it, but would like a convincing demonstration of the power of prayer, then this challenge is for you. Find today’s date on the calendar. Flip six months ahead and mark that date. Now, starting today, pray for faith. Pray for faith every day, at least once a day, for six months. Pray sincerely, pray with all your heart, and one day — on or before the date you’ve marked — you’ll suddenly notice that all your doubts have vanished. In their place you’ll find an abiding faith, and you’ll never question again the power of prayer. — F.R. Duplantier

I actually did this in my mid-twenties. Having convinced myself that I didn’t need a “crutch,” I stopped going to church when I was 15 and began a lengthy period of unconscious moral decline — which culminated, fortunately, in an epiphany in which I recognized, and summoned the courage to admit, that I had become a moral cripple. I did need a crutch, after all. The seemingly insurmountable problem was that I no longer had any faith. I wasn’t a staunch unbeliever, merely an agnostic (never have understood how anyone could affirm God’s nonexistence), but the unquestioning faith I’d known as a child was utterly gone. How could I get it back?

The solution was paradoxical: I would pray for it. It seemed like a crazy idea, especially for an intensely logical person like me. How could I pray when I didn’t really believe in God, much less the efficacy of prayer? Why would God listen to the prayers of a faithless person like me? It was illogical, it didn’t make any sense, but I didn’t know what else to do. So I prayed.

It wasn’t much of a prayer, either, for I’d forgotten how to pray. I just asked for my faith back. Please, God, let me believe again.

I did that every day, several times a day, for weeks or months — I’m not sure how long,  because I have no idea exactly when my faith was restored. I never could pinpoint the precise moment, because it came back quite unobtrusively. I just happened to notice one day that the doubt was gone, completely gone, never to return. Where the emptiness had been, there was fullness. It was a nice feeling.

Five more years passed before I actually ventured into a church again, but I had begun the journey home.

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