Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Book Basket - Atlas Shrugged

Reading a book is not high on my husband’s “to do” list but listening to audio books while he does other jobs is enjoyable for him. He gets his books from various places based on various opinions. Sometimes it’s for the story or the author, but sometimes it’s to arm himself with accurate details when discussing or refuting the author’s ideas.

Well, this time, he roped me into it. The book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand is an amazing writer! She’s part philosopher and sociologist with a heavy dose of edge-of-your-seat-thriller mixed in.  I found myself laughing out loud at her accurate descriptions of different groups of people.

I must confess that I haven’t completed the book itself… all 1,168 pages of it.  I am, however, almost done with the 69 pages that comprise chapter 7 of Part 3. Her worldview comes through heavily in this chapter. Mike suggested that I read it first to better understand the rest of her book.

Another interesting fact I discovered is that this book is the most influential book of this century second only to the Bible. I figure if this book influenced the people of a century so much that a religion began, I’d better know what it says.

Among other things, Ayn attacks Christianity through the voice of John Galt. She rips into the idea of Man having Original Sin and what that does to Free Will. She maintains that humans cannot have free will and have original sin at the same time. We cannot make a choice to change ourselves when sinning is in our very nature.

There’s heavy stuff here. This particular chapter will make you dig deep and think hard about your true beliefs.

My husband put it well “Her arguments for the use of one’s mind and logic and rationale are well done, however, the conclusions she draws are wrong. The Christian community could use a whole lot more thinkers and their application of logic.”

As I took a breather (we like to read aloud), I couldn’t help but ask myself – how do I (we) teach our children to think; to not just blindly accept a belief simply because it is widely held within the Christian community or a well-respected leader teaches it.

Mike’s answer? To allow them to think, guide their process. Don’t simply TELL them what to believe. Help them to learn how to ask questions and process the answers using and growing their mind that God values so much.

We know the verses that say “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.”  He created reason, logic and conscious thought. It is not a dichotomy in God’s eyes. Everything is His. Logic glorifies Him. Reason glorifies Him. Our minds working in conscious thought gives Him joy because He made us!

I’m enjoying the difficulty of this book because it forces me to think and really break apart what I believe but most importantly, how I live it.

I dare you to think, er… dance!!

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