The Necessity of Doubt: Alec Vidler

The distinguished church historian Alec Vidler believed that science and religion were compatible, and that Christians needed to embrace a scientific type of doubting. The highest intellectual standards should apply to religion as to science. Many Christians failed to comprehend the necessity to doubt. All belief was founded upon preliminary doubt. As Vidler said: “If in this or any other time there is to be a renewal of Christian belief, of faith in a living God, it will be in part the outcome of searching and rigorous doubting” [Vidler, Christian Belief, 1954, p 15].

At One with the Universe and Pure Being: Muggeridge

Malcolm Muggeridge describes a mystical experience he had in the late 1930s:

“The first intimation is, quite simply that time stops, or rather one escapes from time. Then all creation is seen in its oneness; with each part of it, from the tiniest insect or blade of grass, to the vastnesses of space, with its stars and comets riding through them, visibly related to every other part. One sublime harmony, with no place for the discordances of hatred and the ego’s shrill demands, the death of death, since each note in the harmony exists harmoniously for ever.. Peace that is no one else’s strife, sufficiency that is no one else’s famine, well-being that is no one else’s sickness. Flesh still, leaving the soul free to experience the inconceivable joy of seeing beyond the Iron Gates, to where the Creator watches over his creation” [Chronicles of Wasted Time, vol 2, p. 68 ].

“Jolly Jack” Priestley on our Meaningless Lives and Death

For millions “the thought of the inevitable end, the ‘big sleep’, has helped to take the savour out of living… They feel it is all meaningless. We are here by accident. Any idea of purpose, of supernal design, has vanished… But nothing worth bothering about takes the place of that load of rubbish: they face a blank there. It is this state of mind that creates the legions of the apathetic, unresponsive to any reasonable appeal, only roused to action by the screams and commands of madmen. (We have already watched it happen)”.

[J. B. Priestley, Over the High Wall, 1972]