Time Magazine once called him "America's Best Theologian." Today, the nearly 74-year-old theologian is thinking a lot about "approaching the end."

Time Magazine once called him “America’s Best Theologian.” Today, the nearly 74-year-old Christian is thinking a lot about “approaching the end.”

As his hair grays and thins, Stanley Hauerwas thinks a lot more about the end. Not just the end of his life—though he ponders that, too—but also the end times.

Once named by TIME Magazine as “America’s Best Theologian,” Stanley Hauerwas is now an accomplished 74-year-old whose words grow increasingly prophetic in tone. His book “Approaching the End: Eschatological Reflections on Church, Politics, and Life” teases out some of the ideas on which he’s been ruminating. Thinking about last things, he argues, is essential helping the church negotiate the contemporary world.

Here, we discuss his views on the end times, what he thinks of “Left Behind” theology, and how he hopes to be remembered after he dies.

RNS: The end times prophecy craze has many Christians thinking of “eschatology” as the chronological end. You affirm the time aspect, but “end” has another meaning for you, doesn’t it?

SH: Other than indicating chronology, “end” names the purpose of God’s creation found in Jesus Christ. So eschatology names a Christian presumption that there is a beginning and an end, and we have seen that end in Jesus.

RNS: The “Left Behind” books series has sold more than 60 million copies. What do you think when you hear that so many have been influenced by that brand of eschatological thought? 

SH: My reaction to the “Left Behind” series is one of amusement and pathos. Pathos because so many people have misunderstood Christian eschatological convictions and turned them into speculative accounts of the so-called “rapture.” I take it to be a judgment against the church that that kind of speculation has gained a foothold.

Image courtesy of Eerdmans

Image courtesy of Eerdmans

RNS: You argue that “we may be living during a time when we are watching Protestantism coming to an end.” Some people may look at the hundreds of millions of Protestants in the world and call you crazy. Explain.

SH: My suggestion is meant to be a reminder that Protestantism is a reformed movement. When it becomes an end in itself it becomes unintelligible to itself. Protestants who don’t long for Christian unity are not Protestant. There is also the ongoing problem that Catholics have responded to the Protestant critique in a way that the Protestant critique no longer makes much sense. Accordingly, the question is: why do we continue to be kept apart?

RNS: How does eschatology and thinking about the future shape the way we understanding the suffering that currently swarms our lives?

SH: This is a very complex matter. The attempt to justify suffering by appealing to the future is not a form of Christian pathos. As Christians, we must hold together the truth of living in a fallen world and the suffering that attends that truth without throwing up our hands and waiting for someone else, even God, to make everything all right. That’s not Christian hope. We are called to address sin and to serve those who suffer.

At the same time, the suffering of martyrdom is also constitutive of our faith, and this must also be held onto. But that in no way means we can make martyrs out of those who are suffering when what is commanded is that we feed, clothe, and protect the least of these. When we attend to the suffering in the world we, at times, are able to catch glimpses of the in-breaking of eschatological hope. Christian hope means living into eschatological hope now, not in some distant future.

But this same hope requires that we be a people who know how to be patient and that we become a people who know how to wait upon the Lord. Waiting does not mean inaction. It means prayer and paying attention and joining the Lord in the many ways he is already redeeming the world.

RNS: You turn 74 years old this month. How has approaching your life’s end changed the way you think about the eschatological “end?”

SH: I am not sure how my drawing closer to death has changed how I think about an eschatological end. Eschatology is fundamentally a strong historic claim about a people. How participation in that people is to be expected after death is something I do not speculate about. I do assume, however, that there is some relation between who I am now and who I will be after death because I assume the Lord who draws me to death is the Lord who draws me into life.

RNS: As you look at where the “Church” (insofar as we can speak of a single church) is headed, what most concerns you about the future? What most gives you hope?

SH: I’m quite uncertain where the church is headed. But I am sure the Lord will raise up Christians for the future in a manner that may be quite surprising. Our hope is exactly that trust in God’s work. But how I see that work happening in the West is that he’s making the church leaner and meaner.

RNS: When you pass from this life to the next, how do you hope people will remember Stanley Hauerwas?

SH: When I die, I hope people will think I’ve had a wonderful life because the Lord gave me something wonderful to do. I hope I am not remembered because I’m allegedly famous, but because I have so enjoyed what it means to worship God.

83 Comments

  1. “When we attend to the suffering in the world we, at times, are able to catch glimpses of the in-breaking of eschatological hope.”

    Terrifyingly solipsistic. The suffering of others is helpful for our personal gain?
    How much nihilism, abjection and self-centeredness can exist in one man?

    Such nonsense. Yet we all pay a price for the spread of such evil drivel.
    May the end times of religion hurry along.

    So cruel.

    • Johnny Walker

      Pretty sure you misunderstood him. He’s not saying that we see glimpses of the Kingdom in suffering – as though suffering is our hope for the world. Rather, that when we “attend” to suffering, when we seek to serve those who suffer and alleviate their pain, it is then that we see the nature of our hope. Our hope that one day those in agony will be healed and restored to life.

      • @Johnny Walker,

        Attending to the suffering in the world is exactly what we humans should do for each other; to help others at every chance. We need no such permission to do so nor any prodding.

        But to hitch this humanism into a religious context (eschatology) is despicable.

        Would you invite the perpetrator of a tragedy back to the scene of the crime to help bring solace to the victims?

        If a god is tinkering with us, permitting pain and suffering for some eschatological test of our commitment to ‘HIM’ we should all agree to destroy this monster. It is a disgraceful, loveless theory of life and death, and the most nihilistic concept man has ever created.

        • I cannot think of a reason why an atheist would want to act in a way that is not self-serving. If there really is no point to it all, why not be hedonistic?

          • Dave42: If the only reason you are “good” is because you think your god is watching, I wouldn’t want to be around you if you suddenly were overcome by reason and came to understand that your god is imaginary.

          • samuel Johnston

            HI Dave,
            “I cannot think of a reason”. Nice of you to admit that you cannot think.
            Give it a try sometime.

          • @Dave42,

            Hedonism, especially the nasty sort that treads on the rights of others in cruel and selfish ways, is ugly and unwholesome.

            Do you need to believe in talking donkeys
            and people who walk on water to agree with this?

            The garden of flowers is so beautiful.
            What does it add to pretend it was made by fairies?

          • @Dave42

            “If there really is no point to it all, why not be hedonistic?”

            Where are you getting the crazy notion
            that ‘there is no point to it all’ just because there appears to be no god?

            It would change nothing in your life to discover that some of the Bible is untrue. Nor would it change anything in your life if you discovered the entirety of the Bible is manmade nonsense.

            You would still love your girlfriend, wife, children, parents and grandparents.

            You would still keep your job.

            You would still enjoy pizza and beer.

            You would still like good movies.

            You would still enjoy being free – and not in jail.

            Why throw all that away and do something mean
            just because it seems god is a fantasy?
            I don’t understand your logic.

        • Well apart from the fact that you completely misunderstood him and sought to place him into one of your atheist “OK to hate Christians for this” boxes.

          You said:

          “Attending to the suffering in the world is exactly what we humans should do for each other; to help others at every chance. We need no such permission to do so nor any prodding.

          Where then, are all the great atheist hospitals? The great atheist homes for unwed mothers? The great atheist projects to feed the starving?

          • samuel Johnston

            Hi Bernard,
            Let us try a bit of logic.
            1) One is either a theist or not (at any given time).
            2) If not, then all activities of the “nots” are atheists activities
            3) Therefore all hospitals, charitable activities, etc. are to be credited to
            atheism unless they are to be credited to theism.
            Does that seem a bit unfair to you? It is simply you argument put negatively.

          • Religion is cynicism.:

            The idea of God is the biggest personal cop-out a person can claim.

            “God says I must…” – removes my responsibility.

            “God says I can’t..” – removes my responsibility.

            “Dear God, please..” – removes my responsibility.

            “God says He will…” – removes my responsibility.
            
“God wills it…” – removes my responsibility.

            “God did it..” – removes my responsibility.


            “I must do it because He says God wants me to…” – hands my personal responsibility to another person!

            Atheists believe in personal responsibility.

            We own our lives and behave accordingly, which is why so many Atheists avoid prison.

            We are 10% of the overall population but make up only .05% of the prison population.
            Instead, the prisons are full of Christians who have abdicated their personal responsibility.

            Atheists are not cynical.
            The vast majority of us happen believe in humanity.
            Most Atheists are humanists.

          • This is another false claim of religion – that God gives us morality.

            But a much better case could be made that religion is a cause of IMMORALITY.

            Look at the world of Atheists. Why are they so good? :

            95% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences
            are Atheists.
 That is about 3,000 people.


            55% of the doctors working for Doctors Without Borders
            are Atheists (22,000 members worldwide working for free every day)


            100% of American Association of Atheists (50,000)
            has the lowest crime statistics of any group in the country.

            If morality comes from Jesus, God or Allah,
            one would expect these Atheists to be stealing,
            raping, murdering and deeply unwelcome everywhere.

            Instead, ATHEISTS are the most stable, peaceful,
            productive, generous individuals in society.

            Billionaires who happen to be Atheists are among the most generous people in our society:
            Warren Buffett
            
Bill Gates

            Jeff Bezos

            Carl Icahn
            Mark Zuckerberg

            Meanwhile, The religious BILLIONAIRES are power mad:
            The Koch Brothers
            
Rupert Murdoch
            AL-WALID BIN TALAAL
            Abdulla Bin Aziz

            Meanwhile, Atheists are almost never arrested.


            Atheist numbers in prison are so small that it is statistically zero (PEW)
Atheists almost never end up in jail.


            Atheists (non-believers) make up 9% of the American population.

            But they cause almost NONE OF THE CRIME.
            Less than .05% of the prison population is Atheist.

            The huge majority in prison are Christian, Muslim and
other religions.
            To whom shall we credit such profound immorality?

            Atheists are not only good without god, they are statistically the best behaving members of society.


            Norway,
            Japan,
            Sweden,
            Denmark,
            Netherlands,
            Australia
            New Zealand

            are simultaneously the most peaceful, successful
and most ATHEISTIC countries in the world.

            Meanwhile, where RELIGION IS STRONG
            
you find:

            Dramatic inequality of wealth: (Latin America, North America),
            High tolerance for fascism
 (Italy, Greece, Spain, Texas)
            High of repression of women’s rights: 
(Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Texas)
And high use of the Death penalty.
            Morality seems to be better handled by Atheists.

            And before you rebut my argument
            by bringing up the usual suspects:
            Pol Pot, Hirohito, Hitler, Stalin and Kim il sun – Be aware
            that I will point with conclusive evidence that these straw men
            are ALL RELIGIONISTS with strong unfounded beliefs and convictions at the core of their rule. They are not examples of atheism.

            Only the US Constitution remains Godless. May it ever be so.

          • to atheist max- The idea of God is the biggest personal cop-out a person can claim. How about-
            Athiest Max says I must…” – removes my responsibility.
 “Athiest max says I can’t..” – removes my responsibility.
 “Dear Athiest Max, please..” – removes my responsibility.
 “Athiest Max says He will…” – removes my responsibility. 
“ Athiest Max wills it…” – removes my responsibility.
 “ Athiest Max did it..” – removes my responsibility – why not just say what you want for yourself and leave Christians alone? God is good, if you want to re be considered good, than stop worrying about what Christians believe and get on with your own life. Happy Saint Benedict’s Day

          • Tanya,

            I would like to leave Christians to their beliefs. But unfortunately Christians, and Muslims, are forcing their way into my life every day by destroying my secular laws, forcing my female relatives into second class citizen status, denying access to prescriptions which are none of their business! Threatening doctors with murder (South Dakota, Louisiana) and removing SCIENCE from our nation’s classrooms!

            As long as religious people insist on shoving their crazy ideas on my life they will hear from millions of Atheists (Non-believers) and we will speak more loudly.

            It would be no problem if religious people would just keep their beliefs to themselves and argue in favor of their beliefs on the public square without FORCING IT DOWN EVERYBODY ELSES THROATS!

            Jesus is nonsense. And America pays a huge price for being so backwards.

      • Theology = study of an imaginary realm and the logic within it.

        Or how to invent a good video game.

        Believer = sucker who thinks the game is real.

        • atheist max- -”Christians, and Muslims, are forcing their way into my life every day by destroying “my secular laws” this is a pluralistic society, the laws need to protect as many as possible. “forcing my female relatives into second class citizen status, denying access to prescriptions which are none of their business.”- absolutely it is everyone’s business- contraception is a powerful hormonal drug that is being dumped into our water supply, causing cancers in the users, and causing cancers in the uninformed users as well. The water contamination is a serious problem, and you can do the scientific research. “Threatening doctors with murder (South Dakota, Louisiana) and removing SCIENCE from our nation’s classrooms!” that sounds like your own take on what’s happening in the schools. As far as the murderous threats are concerned, I don’t think a bonafide Christian would be threatening like that. “As long as religious people insist on shoving their crazy ideas on my life they will hear from millions of Atheists (Non-believers) and we will speak more loudly” I guess it’s a free country, so it applies to Christians too, we can speak out loudly, proclaiming what we believe is true. “It would be no problem if religious people would just keep their beliefs to themselves and argue in favor of their beliefs on the public square without FORCING IT DOWN EVERYBODY ELSES THROATS!” You come here, what do you truly expect? This is a public site to be sure, but no one is forcing anything onto anyone. The one who seems forceful is you. “Jesus is nonsense. And America pays a huge price for being so backwards.” that is your own opinion, I have a view that it is because people have become unbelieving that this country is suffering. How about the question posed by Pilate to Jesus “What is Truth” I think I’ll side with the Lord instead of atheist Max since Jesus Christ makes more sense. Peace of Christ be with you now and forever, Amen

          • @Tanya,

            You are completely wrong. And how dare you analyze me as ‘hurting’! What sort of childish nonsense is that?

            You religious people are so caught up in delusions you don’t even know anything about what life is like for normal people like me!

            Activist Christians and Muslims are shoving this religious stuff down our (non-believers) throats and shoving it in our faces everywhere in our society.

            I am not talking about having it shoved at me in a comment section! Good grief. I’m talking about your evil beliefs being shoved into my life and it is NOT welcome!

            I wish I could ignore you religion folks 
but apparently your churches can’t keep out of our laws. And we Atheists really can’t let you keep doing that without a challenge.


            This is amounting to Christian Sharia Law.

            Christians feel the need to push others around.

            Evangelicals are spending millions of dollars a year on faith-based intrusions like these:

            State Legalized Murder of Doctors – South Dakota


            Mandatory Trans-vaginal probes – Virginia Legislature



            Preaching the Bible in public schools – funded by Hobby Lobby


            Prayer at Government meetings
            Blocking people from family planning – Texas, 5 other states.


            Obstruction of prescriptions – Illinois, Washington



            Discrimination as religious choice -Arizona (SB-1062)



            Anti-Gay laws – Texas
 & elsewhere


            Anti-women’s rights laws – Texas, Louisina, Virginia



            Biased Counseling laws – South Dakota


            Creationism to replace Science Education: 12 States
            “Intelligent Design” to replace Scientific theories

            We are currently throwing away science in our classrooms
            JUST TO FILL YOUR DELUSIONAL NEEDS!

            So as long as you are funding these faith-based programs among others
            
I will have to challenge you.

            Don’t be angry that your Jesus can’t seem to function without all these government programs. But we won’t let this go!

            I wish Christians could figure out how Jesus might help them without tampering with our public laws.

            Keep your Jesus at home, with your families and at church. Pray in public as long as you like – no problem.

            JUST DON”T INCLUDE ME and we will get along fine.

            Thanks.

          • Max, you are a poor soul, and it is apparent you are hurting, by your ranting against Christians (and Muslims), what about Jews? no rant there. I guess you must’ve forgotten about them. In any case, you are really a pathetic human, and I mean that not wishing to sound condescending . You continue on and on as though you have something to offer folks, but yours is an angry and bitter example, and people don’t want that. Christian have hope, and they have faith in something which is completely remarkable. Jesus Christ is the same today , as yesterday and forever. I hope and pray that you will have the faith that most Christians have. I think science is wonderful, and life is wonderful, but they are God given. Our Father is giving you lots of chances, I hope you come to your senses soon. always with peace and Christian affection, tanya

          • As far as funding is concerned, why must I pay to have women poison their bodies, and the water system with their beloved hormones? Why must I tolerate anything which is antilife? Who gives you the right to say ? let me know who gives you the right to say and perhaps I’ll listen. If it is only you and a handful of others who hate life and human dignity, then forget it. You’ve then set yourself up as a god, and that is not for me. I believe in the true God, and He is greater than you and your allies in hatred. May God’s peace pervade you so that you may have some joy. Something has happened to Max, and God knows, and you know, and you cannot come to grips with the reality. I have sorrow for you and I’ll offer prayers for you and your soul.

  2. Faith is a gift from God is nothing that you are entitled to it. Rightfully you call yourself Atheist Max and is because you never ask God for the gift of Faith . If only out of curiosity one day you’ll try… Maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    • samuel Johnston

      Hi MFB,
      “Faith is a gift from God”.
      Curiosity, is a gift from God.
      Reason, is a gift from God.
      Life, is a gift from God.
      Suffering, is a gift from God.
      Staying awake in church, is a gift from God.
      Being a fool, is a gift from God.
      Wait- being a fool is your own fault!
      (re: Christian Theology 101)

        • samuel Johnston

          MB,
          You have never bothered yourself to read Max many posts. Like me, he was once a believer. We (if I may speak for Max) were disgusted with Christian morality (dishonesty). Those who create supernatural entities and then pretend that they have some inside track on reality, are mentally and morally challenged.
          Socrates claimed to be the most ignorant man in Athens. He further claimed that his opponents were equally ignorant, but that he had the advantage of knowing that he was ignorant. Jesus (according to the Bible) claimed : “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 New International Version)
          As a young teenager (and preacher’s son), I discovered Socrates and abandoned religion for Philosophy. I am now seventy and consider myself very lucky.

          • @Samuel Johnston,

            Exactly. That is the truth.
            Only when discovers that we are in a godless world do we arrive at true compassion and empathy. Not only for ourselves but for everyone around us.

            We are united in our dilemmas and our burdens and if only we could confront this directly would truly be able to lighten each other’s load.

            Religion is the divider, the deceiver and the poison of our culture.

        • to Athiest max and his friend Samuel -really? Well if I’d end up like you 2 guys, I’ll stay Christian for sure. Blessings and the peace of Jesus Christ be with you when you decide it’s time.

          • @Tanya,

            The Peace of Jesus?
            That is where you are so very wrong.

            “I am so impatient to bring fire to the world. Peace? No.. I come not to bring Peace…but division.” – Jesus

          • @Tanya,

            There is a reason why Jesus
            has led to so much killing.

            “EXECUTE THEM IN FRONT OF ME” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

            AT least 800 MILLION people have been murdered
            thanks to Jesus.

            Christians say ‘how can you be against Jesus? how can you be against love’?
            But I am not against love!

            If love was the true message of Jesus do you really think he would have led so many millions to be killed? Religion is a blunder. And your rejection of reason, education and skepticism is part of the problem sweeping the world.

    • I’ve often wondered why some have faith in a god—any god—and others do not. We are not born with faith in a god. That means it has to be taught. And who teaches us? Those whom we consider to be authorities on the subject, mostly our parents and clergy. But where did they get their faith? From their parents and clergy. Does anyone ever ask what makes them authorities on the subject? Those with religious faith learned from authorities must first have faith in the authorities.
      As for an atheist asking God for the gift of faith, he can’t ask someone or something for something he doesn’t believe exists. It would be as though you, MFB, asked the Easter Bunny for all blue eggs.

      • NEUROLOGISTS HAVE FOUND THAT EVOLUTION EXPLAINS THE CHILD’S DESIRE TO FIND A PARENT!

        Neurologists are doing a better job explaining God than the Priests are.
        God is just Dad & Mom.

        We are biologically ‘programmed’ by evolution
        to look for our parents when we are born
        and this infantile feature would die off – like baby teeth – if we allowed it.

        Preachers simply keep this infantilism alive…
        and it is a huge industry.

        The joy one feels in prayer is real – it is not unlike “knowing your parent will always protect you”. It is the “confidence” that you will be safe.
        A child without this program running in the brain would die.

        So what we call GOD truly is a delusion.
        The impulse to find GOD is the constant, ongoing search for a parent.

        And it isn’t good for you as an adult to have a part of your brain still believing childishly that a parent is looking over you and protecting you and reading your thoughts.

        Just like explaining baby teeth falling out, baby hair and belly buttons, THIS NEUROLOGICAL SCIENCE will be standard high school science education someday soon –

        ….and that will be the final blow to religion.

        God is a delusion.
        It is important that we get rid of this nonsense.

        • Neurologists are still completely baffled by “miracles”…..immediate cures of completely hopeless (by their standards) conditions. And the honest ones, trusted ones, admit the complete lack of scientific reasons for such.

          You seem to be another one of those who accomplish nothing because you refuse to admit that which challenges your purposes and mainly just enjoy hearing yourself “think” while assuming that others do as well!

          • samuel Johnston

            Come on Kris! Just because some phenomenon is not understood, does not mean that it is the work of divine intervention!
            The universe is so terribly big and we are such feeble beings – all huddled together on the surface of a small world. The unknown, the unknowable, the misunderstood, always surround us.
            I often joke that I am a mono-miraclist. The miracle is that we are having this conversation.

          • @Kris,

            You are being willfully ignorant.
            God never once ‘cured’ an Amputee no matter how much faith they claimed to have. Wishing for things is for children not adults.

            Starfish and salamander regrow their limbs naturally thanks to evolution – yet these animals have no faith!
            God is a foolish delusion indeed.

            Wish for god all you want but don’t argue against science because that is where your silly religion does real damage.

    • @MFB,

      I was a Churchgoing Catholic for 44 years. I’ve said more Rosaries than you can count and more prayers to the ‘Blessed Mother’ than you could imagine.

      “Before I lay me down to sleep
      I pray dear Lord my soul to keep
      If I should die before I wake
      I pray dear Lord my soul to take.”

      What a horrible, sinister ditty for a child to say – yet I did so for my first 10 years. Amazing I survived it!

      It is a wondrous thing to discover reality. I wish it on everyone
      but suspect only a few of you will be so lucky.

      • You “said more Rosaries than you can count and more prayers to the ‘Blessed Mother’ than you could imagine” but now you see the light with ” It is a wondrous thing to discover reality. I wish it on everyone but suspect only a few of you will be so lucky”. Believe in the devil? Believe in one who lays his snares for the arrogant and the proud, the elitists? Or, in your mind and that of your buddy, is this another imaginary concoction of the religionists?

        • @John,

          This cannot be real:

          “I became my own son. Then I came to earth and torture him, made sure he bled to death and after he was dead I was finally able to come and save humanity. The blood had to be spilled though.
          If you do not believe me, I will do much worse things to you.” – Yahweh God

          It is too ridiculous.

          • You have faith in many things you do not understand: electricity, yet you flip the switch to obtain light; internal combustion, yet you get into your vehicle to get to your destination and many, many other things you take advantage of without having a scintilla of understanding of how or why they work. Yet you scoff at those who have faith in things that are inexplicable to the human mind but are revealed as truth by God. This God you will meet one day, irregardless of your current understanding.

          • @John,

            Wrong. I have no ‘faith’ in anything at all.

            I have degrees of CONFIDENCE – because of previous evidence.
            I have REASONS to believe – where there is previous evidence.
            and I have TRUST – which has been earned – because of previous evidence.

            I have confidence in myself and others who have been reliable.
            I have trust in my wife because she has earned it.
            I have reasons to believe because the evidence exists.

            BUT NEVER FAITH! Faith is just nonsense.

            You brought up a truckload of things
            for which I have lots of REASONS to believe:

            1. Electricity – NOT FAITH because It worked before! there is REASON to believe it will work again. I know what electricity is, why it works and I know the light switch will work very well if the electricity is on. Electrons are very reliable!

            2. Internal Combustion – NOT FAITH because I KNOW what it is and WHY it works and I have REASON to believe it will work again. I can TRUST that if I put gas in the car the engine will work. I KNOW that if there is no gasoline it will not work.
            Nor does it run on faith – it runs on gasoline.

            3. Airplanes, Maps, Trucks, etc… HAVE WORKED BEFORE SO I have every REASON to BELIEVE they will work again. I am CONFIDENT that if I get into a plane it will take me to my destination. I have TRUST in the pilot because he has earned my trust thanks to his many previous flights.

            NONE of this is FAITH.

            Faith is the act of pretending
            evidence exists and pretending there are reasons – when nothing of the sort is available.

            Faith is an insult to human dignity
            and an insult to human intelligence.
            Faith only operates from empty assertions and claims handed down by self-appointed Authority figures.

            This is why Muslims needlessly exhaust themselves with 5 foolish prayers a day and why Christians mindlessly flock like lemmings to churches on Sunday.

            All of it is based on the same thing: nonsense.

          • @JOHN,

            You endorse “Faith” which is absolutely identical
            to the action of a suicide bomber just before
            they pull the grenade.

            The have faith in Allah – but NO evidence.

            The suicide bombers have done NO research about Allah.
            They never questioned Allah and wondered if it is true or based on anything real. They took it on authority of an Imam that they must MINDLESSLY HAVE FAITH.

            YOU endorse this abject horror and nonsense – and you dare to think you are civilized. Even more civilized than ME?

            You claim you are going to be rewarded in heaven for your ‘faith’
            but that I should somehow be afraid of this god of yours after I die?

            Yet you have no evidence for one tiny piece of this drivel.

            How dare you?

      • the Most Holy Mother will come to your recue when you need it because of your rosaries. That will be a great day and you will really be “lucky”. Holy Mary mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

        • @Tanya,

          Those rosaries were pointless. Religious Delusions are comfortable and trance-like. But the price is way too high – People almost never wake up to reality for as long as they live. It is a waste of life.

          Don’t fall for it.

          • atheist max, you a somehow hurting, and your posts reveal much more than a distaste for religion. Nobody is forcing anything on you. that’s where you are being defensive, or do you not think that your reactions are defensive? Why do you insist on posting on a religious site? Since you are here, you are picking a posters fight with everyone who believes in God, and the Trinity and the Holy Mother Mary. I will continue to wish you blessings, and hope that you won’t react as if I’m the worst person in the entire universe for doing so. I also hope you find some peace, because it is apparent your missing some of that too. Peace be to you in Christ Jesus the Lord and may you be healed in His Holy name, Amen. ps, the rosaries are your hope.

  3. Suffering is redemptive, you can offer any suffering, your crosses, small and large to God in prayer. Please do it. Our Lord can apply your offering to your life and salvation, for your loved ones and strangers.

    The end-times, Protestant and Catholic prophecy says God is going to divinely unite Christianity and bring non-believers to the Faith. Free will, it still is going to be your choice.

    Believe it or not right now, Jesus is speaking of the most Holy Eucharist to
    Protestant prophets. He doesn’t use the word Eucharist for disbelief but He says it. “Eat of Me.”

    • samuel Johnston

      “Our Lord” “Free will””the most Holy Eucharist” “Eat of Me.”

      Really Mary. Have you really done anything so evil and serious that you need to be “redeemed”? Does a loving God want/need you to suffer?
      Do not fear. We are all just animals who live out our genetic programs. We often feel lonely and isolated. Get out and get involved with some group activity that you enjoy. Try to be of use to others and you may find purpose and belonging in the here and now.

      • @Samuel Johnston,

        You are such a voice of reason.
        May all the Atheists and Agnostics climb out of their closets and speak up.

        We must abandon religion while we are still free to do so!

        If the Christians continue with their Theocratic push (as in the Hobby Lobby case) without some
        sensible, calm resistance from our side they will think they own the country.

      • Samuel,

        Thanks for replying. If only I could convince you.

        We are NOT “all just animals.” We all have a soul, the animals do not.
        Jesus’ suffered and He is sinless. Believe in God, His plan. Joy and suffering are a win, win then.

        I have a devotion to prophecy. Prophecy has been saying for a long time, the worldwide divine “awakening” (Rev 6:15-17, 1 Cor 3:13 is soon. So by Heaven’s “soon” and our “soon” this gift of God to save souls is closer.

        There will be a celestial event to get the world’s attention AND you will
        see Our Lord’s cross in the sky.

        • @Mary,

          All of the evidence is clear. We are animals and nothing more.
          We do not ‘have’ bodies – we ARE bodies.

          You said, “Jesus’ suffered and He is sinless.”

          Why would it matter that he suffered?
          And if original sin is real, how could he have been sinless? Jesus was supposedly born of a human mother who would have had original sin – so the sin was believed to have been inherited.

          You are swept up in a delusion taught to you by priests and parents who gave absolutely no thought to this.

          Jesus certainly sinned according to the Bible.
          In fact there are so many sins that it is difficult to list them all.

    • “I wanted to save you but first I had to shoot my son
      and watch him suffer, bleed terribly and die.” – Yahweh

      “If you don’t believe me I’ll do worse things to you.” – Yahweh

  4. Hauerwas states: “There is also the ongoing problem that Catholics have responded to the Protestant critique in a way that the Protestant critique no longer makes much sense. Accordingly, the question is: why do we continue to be kept apart?”

    I wonder why, then, he doesn’t cross the Tiber?

    Despite the minimal differences between Catholics and, for example, the Orthodox, one of the reasons for the lack of union, I believe, is the subtle but palatable anti-Catholic sentiment that poisons any thought of reconciliation. Rome’s arms are open, the Orthodox and others need only take a step toward her.

    • samuel Johnston

      “Rome’s arms are open”. Like the beak of a female spider.
      Really Xopher! It is now, and always has been, about who is in charge.
      God may play some small part, but the real authority rests with the Pope and those loyal to him. Try reading a little history written by those who are independent of the Church.

  5. Johnson I understand your point .Yes there is a big difference between a religious who abandon his Faith and an atheist who never knew God. But if I’m not mistaken the voluntary rejection of our Christian faith it’s called heresy, of course for the unbelievers that concept means nothing. For me means everything.

    • samuel Johnston

      A heretic is merely what the winners call the losers in the great game of religion.The very first heretic was a high ranking believer named Marcion of Sinope, excommunicated in 144 C.E.
      Marcion opposed the incorporation of the Old Testament into Christianity and objected to claims that the Jewish God and the Christian God were the same.
      Like the Gnostics, he argued that Jesus was essentially a divine spirit appearing to men in the shape of a human form, and not someone in a true physical body. His church lasted for perhaps as long as a thousand years, or about twice as long as Protestantism has to date.

  6. Science tells me there is a Devine Planner. We call this Devine Planner God.
    Forgive me for not remembering all the details…
    A bony eye socket has been found in the fossil history of a mammal that has been dated millions of years earlier than the eye itself appeared.
    Random evolution? Not remotely plausible.
    Sounds like a remarkable and beautiful plan to me.
    By a remarkable and beautiful planner.
    God.

    • samuel Johnston

      “Science tells us” no such thing. Darwin explains the evolution of the eye in “On The Origin of Species” and also why there was no creator necessary.
      Your ignorance is really on exhibit when you say “a mammal that has been dated millions of years earlier than the eye itself appeared.”

      • Samuel,
        Darwin’s own brother said fake it when they come with questions about
        evolution.

        A species can evolve but NEVER one species to another. Give God credit,
        He can keep His creation ordered.

        And, very important, proof, Mary most holy, Our Lord’s mother did not come from the apes.

        God bless you,

        • @Mary,

          “Proof” ?

          I’m sure you think you are being very nice.

          But I’m just saying it is not nice to tell lies.
          We have no evidence, NO proof of Mary, Jesus or any other claimed deity. And if they did exist they most certainly had human genes – WHICH ARE PRIMATE GENES.

          These are ancient, ridiculous myths.
          You are free to believe them – but don’t spread lies.
          Spreading lies and unfounded claims is what bad people do, not nice people.

          EVOLUTION IS A FACT.
          Whether or not you believe in it doesn’t alter the fact that it is true.
          DNA alone proves the fact of evolution.
          These childish, anti-scientific, solipsistic Religious denials must end.

        • samuel Johnston

          Mary,
          Please do not repeat vicious gossip like “Darwin’s own brother said fake it when they come with questions about evolution.” It is mean spirited and morally wrong. Darwin was among the most virtuous of all men. He was a model son, brother, father, and husband. He served on the local Church board for decades. As a wealthy landowner, he felt it his duty. Long after he was reposted, the local Rector, with whom Darwin often disagreed, defended his character against all who would speak against him.

      • Max, why don’t you go hang out in the comments section on Edward Feser’s blog and get your ass handed to you there? Your brand of scientism doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, and there are plenty of smart people over there who’d be glad to show you how paltry a system of belief it is.

  7. samuel Johnston

    I have a question for Jonathan Merritt. We (the minority of Americans who are unbelievers (I like that term) try and figure out what motivates religionists, and why they are so angry (revengeful) towards those outside their “tribe” who do them no injury. Certainly we unbelievers include as many thieves and knaves, so that is a red herring.
    Christians are taught to condemn our sort to divine punishment -not for bad behavior- but simply because we do not “believe” (a huge can of worms).
    I (we) are certainly capable of error of thought and deed, but that is not why we are despised. So – why the asymmetry? Why the aggressive behavior of those who are otherwise mild? My best answer so far: “Everywhere good people do good things, and bad people do bad things. But to get good people to do bad things, you need religion.”

  8. I so wish everyone would believe God can bring us together, unite Christianity.
    He is THE Shepherd who is going out after the lost, separated sheep.

    He is going to bring them home, the Orthodox and our non-Catholic brothers
    and sisters to the Faith. Do not be fooled when you see Roman Catholicism
    attacked and changed as never before. God doesn’t change so you know
    where these prophesied changes will be coming from…

    BEFORE this happens, the miraculous, “Illumination of Conscience.” and
    God’s warning of the anti-Christ. God’s mercy and love to save souls.
    The Day of the Lord in this the 6th Day of the God.

    For disbelieves, atheists, agnostics, a short message from Our Lord, He would say this…

    Take A Step of Faith Today

    MAKE ME THE FOCAL POINT of your search for security. In your private thoughts, you are still trying to order your world so that it is predictable and feels safe. Not only is this an impossible goal, but it is also counterproductive to spiritual growth. When your private world feels unsteady and you grip My hand for support, you are living in conscious dependence on Me.

    Instead of yearning for a problem-free life, rejoice that trouble can highlight your awareness of My Presence. In the darkness of adversity, you are able to see more clearly the radiance of My Face. Accept the value of problems in this life, considering them pure joy. Remember that you have an eternity of trouble-free living awaiting you in heaven.

    “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” —ISAIAH 41:10

    Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. —PSALM 139:10

    Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. -—JAMES 1:2

    from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young p.360

    Past Daily Thoughts: http://ymlp263.net/archive_gubbemsgjgu.php Website: www.thegraceofpentecost.com

    • @Mary,

      And to those who you are addressing I would say:

      Don’t fall for the snake oil – the price is WAY TOO HIGH.
      However tempting it is to turn off your brain
      and trade your critical faculties for a solipsistic, abject delusion don’t do it.

      If would be great if there were evidence that humanity is in the good and loving hands of a benevolent force – but it isn’t true.

      Mary’s biblical version of life is the irresponsible Hippie equivalent of TURN OFF, AND TUNE OUT and TURN ON!

      And falling for this con game is exactly what is destroying and dumbing down our culture from the ground up: Sarah Palin, Fox News, Religion in Politics, Hobby Lobby ruling, etc.

      Religion is despicable. It is the cause of most of the irresponsible and selfish behavior in the world.

      God’s role in world affairs it non-existent. For a reason.
      Don’t fall for this nonsense. A better, more fulfilling life awaits the Atheist.

    • @Mary,

      “I so wish everyone would believe God can bring us together, unite Christianity. He is THE Shepherd who is going out after the lost, separated sheep.”

      Every religion says this about their God.
      And wishing is not good for people.
      That is why this nonsense must end.

      Your request for peace is a request for war – but you don’t seem to get that.

      ‘bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

      To Jesus ‘unity’ only means ‘united in thought’.
      That should scare you to death.

      • Atheist Max,

        Remember, the “awakening” is not far off. Give your “yes” to God, still
        will be your free will choice. He loves you more than any human person
        can. He loved you first, He mad you.

        Do not isolate Scripture verses to try and give your private judgment of them, read them in CONTEXT.
        + + +

        ‘bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” – Jesus (Luke 19:27) –

        Luke 19:27 does NOT stand alone. It is part of a parable that starts at verse 11. One has to read the whole parable (Lk. 19:11-28) to understand the message Jesus wants to transmit in the final verse (vs. 27).

        1) The parable uses the example of two earthly classes- nobleman and servants. It shows the wealth and authority of the nobleman over the servants. That relationship is to be compared to the relationship between God/Jesus and men.

        2) The parable includes the earthly situation of the nobleman entrusting his servant with earthly wealth. We are meant to see this as a worldly example of what takes place spiritually when God bestows graces and talent on each of us.

        3) The parable concludes with the nobleman returning to judge the servant according to how he used the earthly wealth given to him. The ruler condemns him to earthly death for not even attempting to use it, to increase it; especially since he knew what his nobleman was like and would desire.

        Jesus will return to judge us on how we have put to use the graces bestowed on us. If one has “buried” them, NOT used them (equivalent to rejecting them), this means eternal death — hell (exclusion from eternal life with God in heaven).

        Max, rejecting God, your choice, rejecting God is the loss of Him who is
        the source of all good and holiness. Who would wish to live? This is the
        “death” Jesus is talking about. To freely choose to reject God, see….
        there is no good from it, I would rather be dead.

        God bless you and you can change, pray, talk to God, He will give you a sign,

  9. I left the letter “e” off, sorry, CORRECTION….

    Referring to God…

    “He loves you more than any human person can. He loved you first, He MADE you.”

  10. Atheist Max,

    Where are you? Come back dear one.

    p.s. for the person who signed on using Our Lord’s name, yes to “love
    unconditionally.” Lose that word, please do not use the -f- word.

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