Satisfying our deepest hungers and transforming our lives.
THE HAPPY PAGAN is wrapped up in the belief that this world and the success it affords are the greatest pursuits in life. He or she feels no need for anything transcendent. Life has been reduced to temporal pursuits disconnected from all the other disciplines necessary for life to be meaningfully engaged.
Some are completely unreflective; they don’t think enough to know they have no “right” to be happy. They borrow on capital they don’t have. Many of these people, though, are sophisticated thinkers in their fields: scientists, mathematicians, computer engineers. And yet they are specialists with a glaring weakness: they do not ask the deeper questions of life itself.
Unfortunately in contrast, the questions of today’s average young person, who is the product of America’s intellectual bastions, have been virtually left unaddressed by the church. Rather, we give them a catalogue of do’s and don’ts and expect this to prepare them for the temptations they face. As such, the gospel is not intellectually credible to them, and they encounter situations they are unprepared to meet.
And yet, we are all on a search for something beyond the routine and the normal. Even seekers of pleasure long to know they matter and latch on to what they hope will deliver fulfillment, if even for the moment. And into this setting, when all the verbiage is narrowed down, that’s what this ministry is called to do: to cut through the seductions and artificial answers our culture gives and to articulate the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who alone can satisfy our deepest hungers and transform our lives. As Alister McGrath argues so brilliantly, this is the true task of apologetics: to remove the barriers so that the individual is able to encounter Jesus, who is compelling, all-engaging, and worthy of our deepest pursuits and affections.
“You make known to me the path of life,” wrote King David. “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). Here indeed is life abundant. As the psalmist resounded, “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34: 8, NLT).