This is an idea I’ve been stewing over for a few years now, not really knowing how to put my exact thoughts into words sufficient to convey my meaning. I was thrilled to come across some 100-year-old words this week that could not be more appropriate to my thoughts.
In my Essential Christian Doctrine class, I’ve been plowing through required reading from Shedd’s Dogmatic Theology. In a section concerned with the nature of theology as a science, Shedd says this:
No idea so impresses universal man as the idea of God. Neither space nor time, neither matter nor mind, neither life nor death, not sun, moon or stars, so influence the immediate consciousness of man in every clime, and in all his generations, as does that presence that in Wordsworth’s phrase “is not to be put by.” This idea of ideas overhangs human existence like the firmament, and though clouds and darkness obscure it in many zones, while in others it is crystalline and clear, all human beings must live beneath it and cannot possibly get from under its all-embracing arch. The very denial of divine existence evinces by its eagerness and effort the firmness with which the idea of God is entrenched in man’s constitution. A chimera or a nonentity would never evoke such a passionate antagonism as is expressed in the reasonings of atheism. Were there no God, absolute indifference toward the notion would be the mood of all mankind, and no arguments either for or against it would be constructed.