The Decline of Religion in Modern Society, Wednesday Wisdom

“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion – its message becomes meaningless.”  — Abraham Joshua Heschel

The above quote comes from chapter 1 in Heschel’s masterpiece God in Search of Man.  In most modern churches the attempt is made to teach people how to leave earth and go to heaven, but the Bible seems to tell the story of a God that wants to come down here and be with people.  In any case, if I had to take one book to a deserted island with me, God in Search of Man would be that book.

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