Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Spiders and Angry Gods No More

The Times does an article on an ABC Barbara Walters special tonight:
"Unfortunately, indeed. The program says nearly 90 percent of Americans believe heaven exists; most of them, presumably, think they have a shot at it. It's a nice idea. As Mr. Albom, the best-selling author of 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven,' says, the idea alone can make life on earth better, sprinkling a little stardust on the drudgery and meaninglessness of daily life.

Mr. Albom goes on to describe the dysphoria of being ordinary: 'If you're not a celebrity, you can start to feel like you don't matter.'
So that's it. The implication is clear. In the American creed - the one articulated on network news programs like this one - heaven is a place where we all get to be celebrities. At last."

We've come a long way from Jonathan Edwards' sermon on sinners in the hands of an angry God, with the image of God dangling the sinner's soul over an open fire, with only his grace keeping the sinner from eternal torment. Then the default position was hell, now it's heaven.

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