Thursday, November 04, 2010

Along the narrow path of grace

I was born in the middle of high-minded liberal Protestantism - and when it comes to stakes in high-mindedness there are few traditions, if any, to compete with liberal Protestantism. Luckily in my case it was much softened by the mysticism and radical existentialism of Finnish Pietism as high minded and as liberal as it is. It was handed on with love and acceptance (and in this we were luckier than the earlier generations), along, of course, with the unreal beauty and longing of the Pietist folk melodies. One can hardly think of better inheritance or one more at odds with the realities of our human world. Of course, there are many things besides sorrow here, but there is much sorrow - and if that sorrow and homesickness are not seen as an inherent part of our experience in the world, how deep can that experience be? I can well understand the rationalist critics, I share with Dawkins the estimation of the factual odds of a God existing (almost non-existent), but I have never thought that this was the point of the particular tradition that I was born in. It has a deeper point, a more serious point.

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