How Much Do You Really Love Truth, and Hate ‘Alternative Facts?’

“The person involved in the struggle against sin understands that each day is filled with moral occasions. I once met an employer who asks each job applicant, “Describe a time when you told the truth and it hurt you.” He is essentially asking those people if they have their loves in the right order, if they would put love of truth above love of career.” -David Brooks, The Road to Character

Unsatisfying

There is no excuse for this, as Martin Seligman underlined:

You have to be blinded by ideology not to see that almost everything is better in every wealthy nation than it was fifty years ago: we now have about three times more actual purchasing power in the United States. The average house has doubled in size from 1,200 square feet to 2,500 square feet. In 1950 there was one car for every two drivers; now there are more cars than licensed drivers. One out of five children went on to post–high school education; now one out of two children does. Clothes—and even people—seem to look more physically attractive. Progress has not been limited to the material: there is more music, more women’s rights, less racism, more entertainment, and more books. If you had told my parents, living in a 1,200-square-foot house with me and Beth, my older sister, that all this would obtain in only fifty years, they would have said, “That will be paradise.”

And yet “the average American, Japanese, and Australian is no more satisfied with life than fifty years ago, and the average Brit and German is less satisfied.” -David Murray, The Happy Christian

‘All’ Isn’t Really All Unless It Includes Him

“We ‘have all we want’ is a terrible saying when ‘all’ does not include God. We find God an interruption. As St Augustine says somewhere, ‘God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full—there’s nowhere for Him to put it.’ Or as a friend of mine said, ‘We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; its there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.’” -C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Some More Dangerous Than Others (But Not the Ones You Think)?

“The dangers of apparent self-sufficiency explain why Our Lord regards the vices of the feckless and dissipated so much more leniently than the vices that lead to worldly success. Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God: the proud, the avaricious, the self-righteous, are in that danger.” -C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

BTW NOTE: Is this true? Isn’t it possible that Jesus doesn’t talk about “the vices of the feckless and dissipated” because it was a ‘given’ in that society that those were wrong, but the vices associated with worldly success were not ‘givens’ and thus needed exposition by Jesus.

Earthly Happiness: Inns, But Not Home

“The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.” -C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Cultural Observation: Unrealistic Expectations

“We live in an age of unreasonable expectations. Ours is a world where promises are cheaply made, easily broken and where hyperbole is the lingua franca. Advertisers tells us that a different shampoo will make us more attractive to the opposite sex. Alcohol will lubricate our relationships. Purchasing the right care will be a gateway to adventure. These pitchmen promise to do far more than enhance our lives. They are peddling ultimate fulfillment.” -John Koessler, The Surprising Grace of Disappointment