Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Question of God

How we live our lives is to a degree determined by how we answer the question, "Is there a God?" as well as further questions for those who do believe in God about who God is and what God expects of us. I just read a book, The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life, which deals with this central question through the lens of two great thinkers and writers of the last century—Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis. Freud represents a secular materialistic worldview while Lewis represents a Christian one.

The book is from Harvard professor and practicing psychiatrist Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr. who has taught a course on the subject for more than 25 years. I hope to offer a class (this fall at King of Peace) on the book using the PBS series on the book as a guide. In the meantime (and for those not at King of Peace) you may want to encounter the book on your own.

As the author says in the prologue
Whether we realize it or not, all of us possess a worldview. A few years after birth, we all gradually formulate our philosophy of life. We make one of two basic assumptions: we view the universe as a result of random events and life on this planet a matter of chance; or we assume an Intelligence beyond the universe who gives the universe order, and life meaning. So each one of us embraces some form of either Freud's secular worldview or Lewis's spiritual worldview....

Are these worldviews merely philosophical speculations with no right or wrong answer? No. One of them begins with the basic premise that God does not exist, the other with the premise that He does. They are, therefore, mutually exclusive—if one is right, the other must be wrong. Does it really make a difference to know which is which? Both Freud and Lewis thought so.
It is an enjoyable and thought provoking read.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church


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