Of what use is existence to the creature if it cannot know its creator?

“When God Almighty was creating humanity through his Word, he realized that, on account of limitations of their nature, they could not by themselves have any knowledge of their creator. He therefore too pity on them, and did not leave them lacking any knowledge of himself, in case their existence should prove purposeless. For of what use is existence to the creature if it cannot know its creator? How could humanity be reasonable if they had no knowledge of the Word and Reason of the Father, through whom they had received their being? They would be no better than animals, having no knowledge except of earthly things. So why would God have made humanity at all, if he had not intended them to know him?” Athanasius (d.373)

Evangelical Thought Leaders and Twitter

As I keep up with the GOP convention thru Twitter I am absolutely stunned by the absolute bludgeoning Evangelical thought leaders dish out. It’s high school all over again! T

heir journal and blog articles are so reasoned, erudite, engaging. But all of a sudden on Twitter they act as if they have rabies, baring teeth, foaming at the mouth, stalking prey, and biting every step of the way. It really is unseemly.

Perhaps it’s the nature of Twitter which is more conversational, immediate, and by its limit of 140 characters encouragings jab and punch. Still, I would expect these thought leaders to rein in the emotionally launched missiles with a bit more self-control. Alas, it isn’t so.

I don’t think I can read their books and articles the same way, having some idea of what lurks beneath.

We Are A Commercial Republic

The Founders placed the moral qualities required for successful commerce at the center of its social life. In this sense the US could be called a “commercial republic.”

The prospering that comes through free commerce was made to be more central to the purposes of the state than in any other form of civic order. Commerce enhances the cooperative spirit since much that must be done in business cannot be done by one alone. It increases attention to law. It singles out self-determination of the individual as the main source of social energy. It places limits on the state. It incites imagination and industriousness. It disciplines all to common sense. It teaches respect for small savings and small gains. It requires many of those virtues at which religion aims-loyalty, trust, hard work, promptness, meticulousness, honesty, stability, vision, hope, etc. It is proportioned to man as he is, not as dreams would have him. 

Remove the centrality of the marketplace and the essential arena for the development of virtue evaporates. Additionally, greater freedom is enhanced because the work of producing wealth increases choices and opportunities. Deny people the marketplace and you deny them the truly virtuous life. 

The statements above are rephrasing of Michale Novak from The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism. 

They make clear that one of the reasons why our current level of unemployment and our subsidy of life without work through the welfare state is so damaging.