In Shadowlands, the movie about the courtship and marriage of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman Gresham, C. S. Lewis is quoted as saying “We read to know we are not alone”. I have found multitudes of citations where people quote Lewis as having said this in those very words, but have so far found no specific source, no book, no article, no lecture, for this remark. But even if Lewis did not say it, he should have. For in my own personal experience, there have been instances too abundant to count where this proved to be the case with uncanny timeliness. The following examples do not even scratch the surface. But in virtually all cases of where I have been reminded that I am not alone, this reminder also amounted to a revelation of what I myself thought even at times when I was not aware
Back in late March, just before Easter, I published a “Skeptic’s Collection” column in which I posed the following question that generated quite a bit of (civil, moderate, thoughtful, and sophisticated) reaction on the part of my readers, to wit:
The Christian belief that Jesus Christ is the full Incarnation of the God of the Hebrew Bible (Col. 2:9) logically entails the consequence that, in addition to being a Baby in a manger and a Man Who loves playing with little kids, Jesus Christ, as God’s full Incarnation (Heb. 1:3), necessarily means that the Person of Jesus also incorporates the Hebrew God’s tendencies toward vindictiveness, violence, vanity, and abusiveness.
If we take the latter seriously as actual attributes of God qua God and not as mere human projections, then we al
… you can’t say you weren’t warned.
I will only say two things at the outset in my defense: (1) being Skeptic-In-Residence, like being a member of SEAL Team 6, makes it impossible to always sing Kumbaya and "play nice with others," founding Skeptics John the Baptist and Jesus having set the precedent by calling people, respectively, “Generation of snakes” and “Sons of your father, the Devil”; and (2) crucial parts of this column are phrased, not as declarative sentences, but as questions, i.e., as issues to be ruminated upon without necessarily being resolved … and therefore, not as diktats, but as invitations to reflection on the part of religious believers. So with that in mind …
The God of the Hebrew Bible is said to have had a sporadically violent temper, so much so that var