Re: Post More Often!

Wow! A great response from [Dad McMains->], who has clearly thought through these issues more deeply and thoroughly than I have:

OK, I’ll jump in-
I had an interesting discusssion with my room mate on the India trip in March. He was a scientist from England who had worked on some intellectually challenging stuff like figuring out the DNA helix. His observation was that the more intellectual, scientific folk in England tended to be believers while US scientists semed to be more atheistic. We considered several possible reasons for this phenomenon including: the pragmatic, materialistic, and relativistic rationism that are unquestions assumptions of our intellectualism; the narcicssistic, ego-oriented psychology that is basic to our country’s character (better known as radical individualism); and the fact that the US has not experienced the limits of our own power the same way that Europe has, so we have not ever really believed that we needed others or anything outside ourselves (how about that war in Iraq?).
Dallas Willard argues in the Divine Conspiracy that our materialism has divorced God and the spiritual from our intellectual communities to the point that there are no professional training/education that seriously tries to integrate the spiritual reality/competence into their program. This is a reflection of our philosophical and political assumptions. We seperate church and state and we assume that the spiritual is not real. Materialistic assumptions about purposeless and meaninglessness are interesting but in and of themselves are just that, assumptions. There is no way to prove them. However, they do have consequences for our political, economic, education and political systems as well as our spiritual life.and in our society they lead to atheism.
I have a friend who is a minister who was asked when she was new in the ministry if she had lived long enough to suffer enough to know what grace was. At the time she did not know. When I talked with her, she had just lost her thirty-eight year-old husband to cancer and had two young children to raise by herself. She was ccertainly understanding the finiteness of the human condition and the need for grace, then.
In the Transforming Moment, James Loder argues that each of us have life defiining/changing moments in which we look into the pit ( when we are facing death for one reason or another) and have to decide if we can do it on our own or if we need something beyond ourselves to live for. Otherwise, Camus is right when he says that the only real philosophical question is why not commit suicide. Intellectually competent people, in my experience, often face their transforming moment later than others and they tend to live in their heads where the illusion of  self sufficiency and control is easier to maintain than in the real world. 
The reason that there are no atheists in foxholes is the same as the reason that ground zero is Holy Ground. War and 911 force us to look directly into the pit and to struggle with the meaning and purpose of life. The ultimate question opens us to the possibility that our self sufficiency is not enough and that the eternal/God might be needed to live at all, never mind to live well.
 A few thoughts from : Dad M