Thursday, February 19, 2009

We 'Go All Trembly'

Religious fear, or awe, is an essential ingredient of all true religion, yet it has been systematically exiled from modern, "psychologically correct" religion. What irony! - the thing the Bible calls the "beginning of wisdom" is the experience modern religious educators and liturgists deliberately remove or try to remove from our souls: fear and trembling, adoration and worship, the bent knee and the prone heart. The modern God is "something I can feel comfortable with". The God of the Bible, in contrast, is a "consuming fire". (See Psalm 103[104]:4 and Hebrews 12:29....

Of course God and his angels are good. But "good" does not mean "comfortable". "Aslan is not a tame lion." When you meet him, you "go all trembly".

And of course "fear" does not mean "craven fear" or "fear of an evil tyrant". It means awe. But this is much more than "respect", which is how the biblical term fearis usually interpreted today. No. You don't just "respect" God. You "respect" the value of money, or the power of an internal combustion engine, or the conventions of politeness, or a handicap. You smile politely and take account of it. Only a fool does that to God. Refusal to fall flat on your face proves that the God you have met is simply not the real God.

Peter Kreeft, Angels (and Demons). pp.62-3


  1. Anastasia Theodoridis said...

    We do that in certain Orthodox services, too; fall flat on our faces, I mean.