Historical Reprints Religion Religious Perplexities and Mad Shepherds

Religious Perplexities and Mad Shepherds

Religious Perplexities and Mad Shepherds
Catalog # SKU3279
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Principal L. P. Jacks
ISBN 10: 1610336356
ISBN 13: 9781610336352


Religious Perplexities
Mad Shepherds

2 Books in 1 Volume
Large Print

Principal L. P. Jacks

The first and greatest of religious perplexities, the source of all the rest, arises in the mysterious fact of our existence as individual souls. Our perplexities spring from the very root of life. Why are we here at all?

--New Edition, large 15 point font



Did we but know the purpose for which we are present in the world, should we not have in our hands the key to all the questions we raise about God, freedom, duty and immortality? But if we know not why we are here how can we hope to answer these other questions?

Or again, if we were forced to acknowledge that our existence has no purpose at all, would it not be futile to embark on inquiries concerning God, freedom, duty and immortality? What meaning could these terms have for beings who had learnt that their own existence was purposeless?

The Westminster Confession affirms that the true end of man is "To glorify God and to enjoy him for ever." A splendid saying! But might not God be better glorified, and more fully enjoyed, if the particular soul inhabiting my own body, with all its errors and defects, had not been suffered to appear upon the scene? Might not another soul, sent into the universe instead of mine, have played that part infinitely better than I can ever hope to do? Why, then, among the host of possibilities, did the lot fall upon me? Why me? Why you?

Why should God need to be glorified, or enjoyed, by you, by me, by anyone? Why should he need anything? If, as some affirm, the universe is the dwelling-place of the All Perfect, what reason can be given for the existence, side by side with that All Perfect one, or within him, of a multitude of imperfect images of his Perfection-like you and me? In the presence of One who has all purposes already fulfilled in himself what purpose can be served by our introduction into the scheme of things? If you and I, and all such, were to be blotted out forthwith and the All Perfect left in sole possession of the universe, where would be the loss? You and I are apparently superfluous.

Philosophers, both ancient and modern, have addressed themselves to this problem, not altogether, I think, without success, and yet not quite successfully. Their arguments have not removed but greatly deepened the mystery of our existence, bringing it to a critical point where we must either accept it or run away from life and its perils-to the point, in fact, where we must choose between life and death. If we choose life we accept the risk that its burden may prove too heavy for us. If death, we escape the perils of life but forfeit our share in its victories.

The former is the heroic choice; the latter the cowardly. As Carlyle was never tired of repeating, the ultimate question which every man has to face and answer for himself is this: "Wilt thou be a hero or a coward?" No philosophy can relieve us from the responsibility of having to make that choice. All that philosophy can do, and it is a great thing to accomplish even this, is to bring us to the point where we see that the choice has to be made. This it does by forcing us to raise the question: "Why am I here? For what end have I been sent into the world?"

But let us inquire more closely what philosophers have done by way of bringing us to this point-the point where a final decision between heroism and cowardice becomes inevitable.

276 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover
ISBN-10: 1610336356
ISBN-13: 9781610336352

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