Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Logic of Inner Peace

Ann Arbor Art Fair, 2012

Linda and I are spending one more day reading and relaxing poolside after a week of teaching at Payne Theological Seminary. We'll return home to Monroe tonight.

Last evening we saw "The Dark Night Rises." We enjoyed it, even though in the beginning we both were thinking of all who saw it that horrific night in Aurora, Colorado. When you pull up the film's website this note from director Christopher Nolan appears:

"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."
-Christopher Nolan

I open up my Kindle and read some ore of A.W. Tozer's Pursuit of God. Today Tozer is reflecting on Matthew 5:3 - Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Tozer writes: "Our woes began when God was forced out of His central shrine and ‘things’ were allowed to enter. Within the human heart ‘things’ have taken over. Men have now by nature no peace within their hearts, for God is crowned there no longer, but there in the moral dusk stubborn and aggressive usurpers fight among themselves for first place on the throne. This is not a mere metaphor, but an accurate analysis of our real spiritual trouble." (Kindle Locations 167-170)

I'm certain he or correct. Today we in America have more stuff than any who have ever lived. Yet we remain unsatiated. How can this be so? If things brought peace then we should be overflowing peace children.

1. The more material things a person has, the more they will have inner peace.
2. Americans have more material things.
3. Therefore, Americans have inner peace.

The logic is there (modus ponens - it's valid deductive; viz., if 1 and 2 are true, 3 logically follows). But 3 is false. We are a restless people, with hearts of surging waves that never really settle down. Thus one or both of the two supporting premises must be false. 2 is true. 1, therefore, must be false.

So...  reject 1. Substitute as follows:

1. The more one knows and is known by God, the more one has peace within.
2. ________  knows and is known by God.
3. Therefore, _________ has peace within.