Review: Dan Brown’s Origin – Or, Here We Go Again

The bestselling novelist, Dan Brown, has decided to slay yet one more dragon.

Previously, he was busy destroying Jesus, Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church, saints, sanctity. This time, he has far bigger fish to fry…Move over Nietzsche!

In Origin, Brown wants to kill off God, by way of science, because religion is all “a hodgepodge of ancient fictions, fables, and myths,” which science can oh-so easily take apart and sweep into the dustbin of superstition.

This is such a 19th-century argument which keeps getting recycled.

The argument itself is impossible to sustain in the light of history, let alone philosophy, but that has never stopped people like Dan Brown.

The idea that modern-day Christianity is a hangover from simpler times – when people were, well, simple-minded enough to believe all those “fictions” cobbled together from ancient myths – was developed by men such as Hermann Usener, Gerald Massey, and James Frazer.

Of course, by “religion,” Brown really means Christianity. It is highly doubtful that he will ever write any novels that will seek to destroy…say…Allah, Mohammad, Islam…As is common knowledge, Christians and Christianity are an easy target, so let’s have at it – there’s serious money to be made!

But to say, as Brown does, that science will kill off God is being terribly simple-minded – because “religion” and “science” are contrived and monolithic constructs designed by hucksters to elicit the “correct” response – that the former is false and the latter is true.

To set God and science against each other is nothing but a rhetorical trick meant only to benefit Brown’s novel. God and science have never been mutually exclusive, as is often, but wrongly, assumed. Rather, science and God complement each other.

It is in fact Brown’s novels, including Origin, which are “a hodgepodge of ancient fictions, fables, and myths.”

But we should not forget that he’s in the money-making business, and slander and stereotypes pay quite well.

On his way to the bank, however, he will corrupt many minds and waylay many souls with his piffle, as he proselytizes for his own god (Science) and his own religion (Scientism)

To say that science is the only explanation of everything is to diminish science and humanity. Science understands its limits, for it can only serve humanity in a particular way.

Thus, science knows that love is far more than a chemically-induced function of the brain. To say science negates God is to say that mankind needs finite answers that are good forever.

What a terrible wish for the future! As with so much of our culture today, Brown is content drowning in the roils of Presentism – that the past is eternally wrong (because it was not progressive), and the present is eternally right (because we have benefited from progress and thus have achieved all the right answers forever, so what we determine is good and right – is good and right forever).

Here it is important to note that religion has never sought to kill off science, while ever since the Enlightenment, science has always seen itself as a rival of God and has sought all kinds of ways to get rid of him. Here, we should not trundle out old Galileo. The reality of what actually happened is far different than what is popularly repeated, including in Brown’s Origin.

The modern-age is marked by countless attempts to delete God from the memory of man, because God is decried as being harmful, while science is proclaimed to be beneficial – hence the justification that atheism is the true future of mankind – because science is eternally right and God is eternally wrong.

But in the various attempts at this deletion lie endless cruelties and tragedies. Thus, by promoting this narrative of deletion, Brown includes himself in those horrors, because without God he cannot say why they were wrong.

Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao were not Godly men – but they were deeply and profoundly scientific men who sought to create a materialist paradise.

Indeed, Brown’s entire writing career has depended upon offering various arguments for precisely a “better” world without God, and so his arguments are finely aligned with those of Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and so many others.

Further, to say that science alone best serves humanity is to establish tyranny. History is littered with scientific societies that sought to make life better for mankind, but ended in total murder.

It is estimated that in the last century communism (the ultimate commitment to life lived by the dictates of science) killed nearly a 100 million people. That statistic alone should stop the purveyors of scientism, like Brown, dead in their tracks. But it never does.

Origin is thus a hodgepodge of the wildest conspiracy theories, made plausible by the guise of fiction. It’s a clever marketing ploy, really – make people think they’re being “intellectual,” as they wallow in distorted and dumbed-down history, so they can then get through life “enlightened” and scientific.

A little learning is a dangerous thing, Alexander Pope once observed.

Now, let’s dispense with the plot (spoiler alert).

Robert Langdon (Brown’s ubiquitous hero) is invited to attend a lavish premiere of a video presentation in Spain.

This video will cure the world of God, and humanity will at last be free to put all its trust in science. In other words, humans don’t need God any more – everyone is too grown up now to actually believe in such fairy tales (see Usener, Massey, Frazer above).

The creator of this earth-shattering revelation is Langdon’s former student, the fabulously rich and brilliant computer geek, Edmond Kirsch.

But, true to form, the video is never shown, because Kirsch is killed by a navy admiral who heads a sinister cabal of arch-Catholics (Catholic-bashing never goes out of style for Brown), who have made it their life mission to keep people ignorant and therefore in the pews. It’s all up to Langdon once again.

The narrative moves all over Spain, with many long-winded, and mistaken, explanations of intellectual stuff, until Langdon finally gets the job done.

As for God, well, it seems that Kirsch’s video revealed that life on earth is not the result of some designing, eternal mind (God), but came about through natural laws.

That’s all?! This is the earth-shattering revelation?! The word, “bathos” comes to mind. This is supposed to kill God and finally haul ignorant humanity into the bright, clear truth of science? The Pre-Socratics were saying this back in the 6th-century BC!

But, wait. Aren’t laws designs? When we say life happened because of laws, then we are admitting life is actually designed. The Pre-Socratics had figured this out as well.

Now, this is where things get interesting.

Brown’s character, Kirsch, has based his God-defeating argument on the work of a physics professor at MIT, named Jeremy England.

Brown summarizes England’s work in this way – that the “physical principle” responsible for creating life (aka, natural laws) makes God useless. (See comment above about dumbing things down).

At this point, fiction segues into reality – because, in fact, there really is a scientist named, Jeremy England, and he has spoken up and written a very elegant refutation of Brown’s presumptions, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal. The title of this refutation says it all – “Dan Brown Can’t Cite Me to Disprove God.”

The real Professor England, at MIT, does indeed teach physics – and (the ultimate take-down) does indeed believe, not only in God, but in the God of the Bible.

And the supposed “brilliance” of Edmond Kirsch is destroyed by the real Professor England (who truly is brilliant) by one simple observation: “There’s no real science in the book to argue over.”

This raises another obvious question – do people really read Brown’s half-baked musings as actual fact? They must. (The education system has a lot of explaining to do).

But let’s not rush into things…the words of H.L. Mencken come to mind, “No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”

In actual fact, science offers glimpses into the never-ending complexity of the natural world and the cosmos.

Such complexity fulfills a purpose, for at the minutest level of each cell, there is encoded information that determines what each tiny component in the vast web of creation must do. Information can only be designed – it cannot be mindless.

To reduce everything down to the level of “science” vs. God is to vastly misunderstand science and God, and sledgehammer both into great globs of dull-wittedness to amuse the hapless.

Professor England then proceeds to mirror Ludwig Wittgenstein when he describes the true nature of scientific inquiry (a description far more compelling than anything Brown can come up with in his entire novel).

England tells us that scientific explanation is about a choice of language – what words, what register, to use in order to describe, quantify, and analyze.

Then England waxes wonderfully Wittgensteinian: “The language of physics can be extremely useful in talking about the world, but it can never address everything that needs to be said about human life.”

Let’s recall Wittgenstein in the Tractus: “…even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all.”

Humans live not by quantification and description – they live by morality, which alone can meet the problems and challenges of life. Science is mindless when it comes to morality. It’s like asking a lawnmower to create a majestic wedding cake.

The problem with science is that it can never answer the question, “Why?” When people like Brown force it to answer this question, science disappears and Scientism enters in – this is better than that – secularism is better than God – half a loaf is better than Heaven. And thus tyranny begins.

Rather, “Why” – is the search for the good, it is the cry of the conscience – it is not the quest for comprehension.

“Why” – is the search for moral clarity, which is that quiet strength, urging us to compassion and love.

Science knows nothing about living, because it cannot understand why we must live.

Currently, the West is possessed by a suicidal hunger. Its itching ears yearn to hear the siren-song of “progress” and “science,” which will lead to some brave new utopia.

Only the return of morality shall exorcize the West and perhaps yet save its soul.

At the heart of Brown’s novel is a frightening worldview – for to be Godless is to be machine-like.

A “science-run” society is nothing other than control by an elite, a priestly class of scientists who always know better than we do, and therefore can tell us how to live and what to think.

Scientism also emboldens the state to legislate behavior and implant, through relentless propaganda, state-sanctioned agendas, which people become used to and then demand as their natural preference.

It was Jacques Ellul who pointed out that propaganda does not flow down from the top. Rather, propaganda is what the people themselves demand. This is the truly frightening aspect of science – people demanding their own enslavement because they’ve been conditioned to think such bondage is the path to a bright future.

In a Godless world, only the Marquis de Sade makes sense – the perpetual satisfaction of all urges, no matter what the cost. In fact, de Sade is the only man in history who fearlessly explored what it truly means to live in this world without God. Even Nietzsche, in the end, balked at that,

To live by the logic of science is not liberty, not progress, not life. Rather, it is submission to the worst form of slavery, namely, a life “beyond good and evil.”

As for God, here is Professor England’s profound observation, which brilliantly destroys Brown’s agenda: “To me, the idea that physics could prove that the God of Abraham is not the creator and ruler of the world reflects a serious misunderstanding – of both the scientific method and the function of the biblical text.”

Brown’s currency is pedalling in falsehoods. How much longer are we going to put up with such privileged elite, who live in their mansions and still have the need to tell us how to live – and even what to believe?

Perhaps in answer, Professor England, asks a far better question: “Do we need to keep learning about God? For my part, in light of everything I know, I am certain that we do.”


The photo shows, “An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump,” by Joseph Wright of Derby, painted, 1768.

The Cathedral And The Icon: The Theology Of Light

Christian culture exists not only in modes of life and in the realm of ethics and morality, but it is also deeply intertwined with the artist expression of the West.

Whether that expression reifies Christian teachings, or even actively goes against it, the fact remains that the principle that informs western culture is Christianity.

One of the highest expressions of Christian culture occurred in the Gothic age, which is also known as the “Age of Cathedrals,” for it was in this era that most of Europe’s cathedrals were built.

Of course, cathedrals were not only grand buildings, they were also embodiments of faith, and places of sanctity wherein the divine mystery of God could be felt.

The prototype of the Gothic cathedral is the abbey church of St. Denis, just outside of Paris.

This monastery was under the direct control of the French kings and served as their burial place.

Around the middle of the twelfth-century, the abbot of St. Denis, Suger, undertook to rebuild the abbey. In effect, the Gothic cathedral is the invention of Abbot Suger.

Given their grandeur,  Gothic cathedrals came to dominate the medieval landscape.

The tall spires of the churches served as beacons to travelers and led them to the shrines enclosed within the church.

The bells rang out and regulated the lives of the people who lived within listening range. These same bells tolled for weddings and funerals, and announced the time of prayer and for work.

Thus, cathedrals were places where the divine was brought into presence, and as such, cathedrals shaped the destiny of the faithful.

Cathedrals were also places that brought together in a visible sense all that the earth provides and offers, from plants and animals, to saints and the intervention of God in history, through Jesus Christ.

Thus, primarily, cathedrals were places of iconographic representation. It is important therefore that the patron of the arts was the Virgin Mary, and each and every French cathedral therefore was dedicated to her; she was the Notre Dame (Our Lady).

The cathedral was not only a spiritual center, but also a geographical center for the faithful. This in turn was a reflection of the theology of the day, which placed God in the middle of all life, for nothing could exist outside of God.

Therefore, a cathedral is a mirror to nature, a mirror to instruction, a mirror to history, and a mirror to morality.

The mirror to nature is seen in the plant and animal forms that are represented in a comprehensive fashion.

Instruction is present in the personification of the seven liberal arts and the branches of learning taught in the universities of the day, often housed in churches and cathedrals.

History was found in the story of humanity from Adam and Eve to the Last Judgment.

And morality was seen in the figures depicting virtue and vice, the wise and foolish virgins, the saved and the damned in the Last Judgment, and in the hovering saints and angels and fleeing gargoyles and devils.

Here is the important point which is often neglected – the medieval mind was an allegorical mind (a way of thinking we have entirely lost in our literalist age).

The stress on representation in medieval art and architecture is on allegory, where all that is shown, created and depicted by human hands is read as great and vast examples of the redemptive qualities of God’s mercy.

Gothic interiors are also flooded with light streaming through the stained glass.

There is an important transformation taking place in this sacred environment: Ordinary light is transformed and changed into something miraculously colorful and sublime.

This mirrors the process that the soul itself follows, for it too is transformed by holiness into something miraculous.

As well, the flow of colored light makes the entire cathedral ethereal and otherworldly.

We must see these stained glass windows within the context of a world where such display was rare. It was only in a cathedral that people could see the magical transformation of light taking place.

More importantly, this play of light suggested the mystery of God in that the ordinary light of day became prismatic, revealing colors that are ordinarily never seen.

This transformed light activated and animated the interior space of a cathedral, making the voids and the empty spaces into holy displays. Ordinary sunlight becomes sacred light, the holy light of God, which fuses the material with the immaterial into a harmonious whole.

Just as the material body contains the immaterial soul, thus, the cathedral is like the body, and the holy light within it is the soul, or spirit, or even the emblem of the Holy Ghost.

This light therefore is mystical, an example of God’s divine light, which could change the mundane into the colorful and miraculous.

Further, stained glass offered patterns of pure color and geometrical designs, thus promoting the illusion of infinite space.

It is always a mistake to explain medieval stained glass windows as images for illiterate peasants to look at, since they could not read the Bible. This is simply “fake news” created in the nineteenth century. Nothing is further from the truth.

Stained glass has nothing to do with educating peasants, but everything to do with the medieval theology of light. Since no one seems to know about this theology anymore, it is always easier to talk about images educating illiterate peasants.

Therefore, in the Middle Ages, stained glass replaced the mosaics and mural paintings of the early Christian and Romanesque churches – so that space itself became sacred. Suddenly, light is given both shape and meaning. Light becomes the paint on the canvas of the sacred interior.

The purpose of this artistic expression was innately religious, of course. The stress on allegory in the Gothic cathedral allowed for the presence of God to be felt. It was the mystical place where the divine manifested itself to the worshipper.

Thus, the cathedral became a liturgy in stone, glass and light, which the faithful minutely and piously heeded for instruction and guidance.

Given that the medieval mind was allegorical, therefore it was also highly sophisticated. How else could it achieve the perfect symmetry of cathedrals?

This, of course, dismantles the common misconception that the people of the medieval era were superstitious, dark-minded buffoons.

That is simply the false, yet enduring, mislabeling done by the Enlightenment, which sought to claim for itself the role of bringing humanity into “enlightenment” from the supposed wretched ignorance of the Middle Ages.

The medieval world served as a convenient foil for the Enlightenment philosophers, so they could privilege their own views.

Needless to say, this was an attempt to represent the seventeenth-century as the most brilliant age the world had ever seen.

Thus, the Enlightenment philosophers made very poor historians, but sadly their caricature of the Middle Ages has stuck.

In actuality, the medieval world was sensible, sagacious, practical, subtle, rational, scientific, and well-balanced.

The cathedral embodied all these characteristic.

But the medieval world also had something we have lost – a deep understanding of mysticism – that wisdom which knows how to learn from the mysterious, since not everything can be accessible by way of rationality.

This loss in the west has led to the lure of the mystical in eastern religions, which are, in fact, rather poor exponents, despite popularity.

Life must be a balance of reason as well as that unique ability to simply say, “I don’t know,” which is faith.

The medieval world knew how to say, “I don’t know.” We unwisely think that we can find it all on Google.

Thus, the cathedral was not merely a building, nor a just house of worship. Rather it was the opening into God’s splendor, which could be viewed and used to better human life, and to better the soul.

Is this not the highest purpose of art? The betterment of the soul? But we have abandoned art to the ugliness of politics and its various agendas. We no longer even know what art is anymore, let alone what it is for.

By entering the cathedral the worshipper was reminded of the personification of the entire encyclopedia of God that was housed, and often hidden, in the world.

But there was also a very specific order to this revelation, for the Divine in a Gothic cathedral is a rational being, who was also Aristotle’s Prime Mover.

The cathedral was a place where God’s plan for the world could be demonstrated and made visible. And the best way to do this was by showing harmony, which was allegorically expressed as Eden.

Thus, each part of the cathedral, from the tower to the spire, from the apse to the nave, from the transept to the choir – each section had to be harmonious to the whole, had to be Edenic.

This was an essential part of theology as well, for God was complete and harmonious. He did not exist in chaos and disorder. And the Gothic cathedral reflected this eternal, perfect structure.

A Gothic cathedral therefore turns the faithful gaze to the incomprehensible, sets the mind to consider the transcendent, and briefly lets the veil slip that hides the mystery of eternity, which is the real home and destination of all human souls.

The cathedral bridged the gap between the spiritual and the material, between the mass and the void, the natural and the supernatural, inspiration and aspiration, the finite and the infinite.

Here there was a union of the external and the internal worlds in architecture, as the inner world and the outer world flowed together through the glass-curtained walls.

That proportion of pier and flying buttress paralleled the thrust and the counterthrust of the interior vaulting on the outside.

The sculptural embellishments of the exterior were repeated in the iconography of the glass in the interior.

Through the medium of stained glass light was endowed with meaning and became holy illumination.

Nothing was superfluous; everything was crucial to sustain the whole – just as each soul was crucial in the grand scheme of God’s redemption. Everything and everyone belonged. There could be no exclusion, except by human free will.

Is this why the gargoyles that hem the outside of cathedrals are so hideous, because they are allegories of free will misled from its true purpose, which is to understand its role in the grand plan of God?

This same process of transformation is also found in the icons that are housed in Orthodox churches.

Again, these representations are points of concentration, wherein the Divine is made visible so that the worshipper may comprehend the presence of God.

Just as a cathedral is a presencing of God, so an icon is a presencing of the transformational nature and quality of God.

It is in the icon that a worshipper may see the process that this transformation takes – from the mundane into the spiritual, from the physical to the metaphysical, from the ordinary to the mystical.

In one sense the icon may be seen as a parallel, though miniature, version of the cathedral, for the icon too seeks to make the ordinary extraordinary, and to give meaning to representation that lies in the realm of the divine.

The icon in itself is incomplete, for it needs the worshipper to fulfill it, to make it complete.

The worshipper is caught and swept up in the general stream of movement depicted in the icon.

The completion can only, however, be in the faithful imagination of the worshipper, since the icon requires that the worshipper arrive at the irrational (the Divine) by ingenious rationality (the depiction of images), and to achieve the utmost immateriality (the salvation of the soul) through material manifestations (the icon itself).

Was not light God’s very first creation? And thus it is light which is the truest architect of a cathedral, and also of the icon.

The medieval philosopher observed that light being the first creation was also therefore perfect, and therefore light is always associated with God.

That primeval separation of light and dark informs the entirety of human life – how we must bring the soul from darkness into light, from nothingness into eternal reality.

Is not the purpose of faith to understand? Faith and reason together are the basis of Christian art and architecture. Reason holds up the cathedral, faith illumines it. Reason delineates the contours of the image in an icon, faith makes it holy through meaning.

Both faith and reason are also properties of light, because without light all things are meaningless.


The photo shows the interior of the Church of St. Jeanne D’Arc, built in 1979, in Rouen, France. The stained glass windows date from the Renaissance (1520-1530) and originally illumined the twelfth-century Church of St. Vincent, which was destroyed in 1944, during an Allied bombing aid. However, the windows had been removed at the start of the war and were carefully preserved. They were installed, in 1979, in the present church, dedicated to St. Joan of Arc, who was burnt a short distance away, in the old market square of Rouen.

Are Religions All The Same?

Are all religions the same? Are all religions good? These are important and fundamental questions that have been variously asked, but poorly answered.

Given the great variety of religions on this planet, it’s important to gain a clear understanding of what exactly we’re dealing with.

Firstly, religion is a way of providing moral structure to human existence (what is good, what is bad; what is right, what is wrong). Only secondly does religion seek to speculate as to what comes after death.

All-too-often, people who criticize religion as being incompatible with modern life, focus on the secondary aspect of religion, because it’s easier to criticize something that has been labeled a “fairy-tale” or “a myth,” or utter nonsense.

As a result, religious discourse today falls into two categories: a thing to scoff at, or a thing to venerate and respect.

But never do we really see any criticism of the primary aspect of religion – that which provides a moral structure to life in this world.

Indeed, the very essence of each religion is found in this moral structure, which should be critically examined. Is the moral structure that one religion provides good for life in the here and now?

So, which religion provides the best moral structure for life? This is a question that no one asks.

But first, a summary of the kinds of religions that exist.

There are shamanistic religions, which function on the notion that spirit-forces greater than the individual must be continually appeased. Here, the moral content is very limited, since shamanistic religions focus solely on negotiating a safe place for human beings within the realm of spirits, who are always more powerful, forever whimsical, and thus harmful to humans.

Indian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism) seek to understand the role of the self within the universe. Thus, the moral content they provide is entirely self-centered and therefore self-absorbed. The focus is on finding a personal way to get out of the eternal cycle of birth and rebirth (here the material world is thoroughly evil).

Thus, you have to become your own savior. All the religions “created” in India deal with this fundamental issue, and all of them present their “take” on how to save yourself, or how to get out of this cycle of birth and rebirth.

Buddhism provides the most extreme answer, because it works from the premise that there is no God – only natural/universal law – and so the way to save yourself is to find a way to withdraw from the functions of this law and simply stop existing (nirvana means, “not being”). In brief, morality is the removal of the self from the material world which is irredeemable because it is fully evil.

The religions of China (Confucianism and Doaism) certainly grapple with the issue of moral content, but they often get “side-tracked” by politics. Thus, human existence is all about duty and social obligation, which are seen as the glue of society. This makes morality into expedience in order to manage the world properly.

The native religion of Japan (Shinto) is a form of ancestor worship and is an elaboration of Shamanism. There is no greater moral code in Shintosim than doing one’s duty, and entirely effacing oneself. Such is the content of Shinto morality.

Now, which of these four religious systems provide the best moral structure for living in this world?

This brief analysis of the diversity of religions leads us to the three remaining ones, namely, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

Islam is theocratic in nature, as it maintains the idea that Allah is high and mighty who deigns to let humanity exist only by way of very rigid rules that he has established as proper conduct, that is, the Shariah.

Morality, in Islam, is the enforcement of Allah’s might by legal means (the Shariah). Humanity is secondary; which means that Allah does not need people – rather, people need him. He is remote and inaccessible and known only by way of the Shariah.

The good Muslim is one who strictly follows Allah’s Shariah no matter what. The prize of such compliance is a materialistic paradise, which is awarded by way of a point-system – the more strict the adherence, the greater the paradisiacal reward. Sin is neglecting Shariah.

There is also a secondary reason for following the Shariah – Allah can get angry if his law is ignored or not properly followed. Thus, strict adherence to Islamic law has a worldly benefit as well – it keeps Allah’s anger and the subsequent punishment at bay.

The moral structure of Islam is based upon three principles:

  • appeasement of Allah by following the Shariah
  • abasement to Allah by following the Shariah
  • obedience of Allah by following the Shariah

Given the Shariah, the “logic” of Islam is intimately tied up with the reward system.

Allah keeps a great ledger, in which the names of all human beings are recorded. Daily he records the good deeds (Shariah-compliance) and the bad deeds (Shariah-noncompliance) of each man (largely men – Islam is rather vague about what happens to women after death).

And on the Day of Judgment, Allah will tally up the score and hand out the reward (paradise) or the punishment (Hell). When it comes to mankind, Allah is only and purely a judge. Nothing more.

Therefore, morality in Islam is always personal. It does not concern anyone other than the individual. There is no Golden Rule. There is only the drive to rack up points in this life, through appeasement, abasement, and obedience, in order to win paradise.

So, does Islam provide the best moral structure for life in this world?

Let us move on to Judaism, which is a very dignified religion, because it understands God by way of justice. This justice is described in the Laws, that is, concepts of moral behavior in the world, which are both personal exhortations and social obligations (to love your neighbor as yourself).

The Judaic God is not a tyrant, but is a reasonable being who understands that in order to have perfect justice, there must be perfect understanding or perfect wisdom – one must know the “ways” of God – and these ways are found in the Laws.

Unlike the Shariah, the Law in Judaism is not about compliance but about building moral character (righteousness), because the notion of paradise is either absent or it’s very vague. So, in Judaism, it’s all about living a righteous right now, in this world.

The God of the Jews is not a tyrant. He does not force himself upon anyone. He understands that in order to have justice there must be free will. People must choose to be good. If they cannot choose, they cannot truly be good. It is a very important difference from Islam (which has no free will).

More importantly, the Jewish God has not tied up His laws to a system of rewards (we only have to look at the story of Job). A good human can and does suffer. Rewards are not part of God’s systems. People must be good without an appeal to their baser emotions and desires (which is what Islam overtly offers).

Thus, Judaism has a very high moral content. However, it is a religion that is lacking something essential – something that Christianity provides. Thus, Christianity “completes” Judaism.

In Christianity, everything is about morality. Christianity breaks away from a God hedged by rules and laws, and presents one entirely defined by love. “God is love.” No other religion says that.

But how do we know that God is love? Does God simply say that he is love? No, first he says he is love – and then he demonstrates this love – by becoming a human being, through Jesus, who suffers horribly and dies miserably like some many human beings undergo.

The Christian God is neither a tyrant nor a judge in this life; rather he is like us, because he is one of us. The Christian God knows what it is to be human. He knows what it is to fear, to love, to suffer, and to die.

The Christian God does not set rules that He Himself does not follow. Rather, He becomes a human being in order to show a way of life that is entirely built upon morality – a morality based on selfless love.

Thus, the good works that people may engage in, in this world, are not done to garner points that can be cashed in for a heavenly reward. Rather, the good deeds are done because once love fills the individual so completely (and constructs a moral character which is entirely governed by love), then that love cannot help but flow out to better others. Thus bettering the lives of others is the visible demonstration of this love.

And how does God demonstrate love?

He frees human beings from trying to save themselves. Salvation is simply a divine free gift to all mankind. Anyone can have an afterlife by simply believing in the message of Jesus (the God incarnate). Strict rules are needless and useless. Human beings no longer have to “compete” for heaven.

And why does God do this? Because his real law is love.

As for other religions, using the observation, “you shall know them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16), we can now ask: What kind of societies have Shamanism, Confucianism, Doaism, Shintoism, the religions of India, and Islam created?What kind of society has Christianity created?

The answers to these questions will lead us to the truth – and it is truth which always sets us free (John 8:32).


The photo shows, “Hope in a Prison of Despair,” by Evelyn De Morgan, painted in 1887.