The Will of God

202. When faced with cruelty or suffering, the strength of a person or a culture is measured by how readily it invokes the ‘will of God’ rather than attempting an explanation of its own. An even healthier culture credits its happiness and success to the ‘will of God.’

204. “Everything happens for a reason” has replaced “It was God’s will” as a response to suffering. The weakness of the former, an appeal to an explanation that has not yet been made, versus the stolid acceptance that puts an end to reasoning and the compulsion to explain.

208. A less robust culture is one built upon a foundation of explanation. The extreme vanity of the West consists in its refusal to accept any sort of mystery, to accept that explanation must come to an end. And where the sacred might still have a place, Western man explains: “Science just hasn’t solved that yet.”

209. To construct a culture upon the ideas of rationality and objectivity is to construct a fortress upon a flood plain. Though it may prove impregnable to other men, eventually comes the great flood to wash it away. 'The will of God', by contrast, is absolute and enduring safety.

220. In the presence of mystery men are made strong.

224. The 'will of God' has its opposite in the vanity of men. To accept mystery and the sacred over theory and the laws of nature arguably makes for stronger men (e.g. Muslims).*

239. The decline of Rome produced a Dark Age. What might a decline of the West produce? The West is significantly more reliant upon systems, and significantly less religious.
* It is today something of a pragmatic choice for a Western man to be religious. But there is no element of pragmatism or choice in the religious life of the Muslim. Hence their religiosity, their strength.

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