A subtler God

There was a time when asking a question about the purpose of life was simpler than it is now because the answer never changed. Whatever existed and happened, we knew, was the eternal will and calculated design of the God who had made things. Our one purpose in life was to keep a set of basically intractable but ultimately fundamental rules until we had managed to negotiate this world well enough to escape it to a better one.

We learned that God had a particular function or role for each of us: male and female, clergy and lay, slave and free, ruler and ruled. In that schema the purpose of life was certain, however obscure the project itself.

Until Charles came along.

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The unfolding of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and the launch, ironically, of the priest Georges Lemaître’s big bang theory -- you can imagine how popular that made him in the church -- changed everything.

Read the full column here: The God who beckons


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