What our atheist friend misses is that the complete volunteerism of his school of life robs it of being true community. One cannot be part of something larger than self if it all it requires is the assent of self. That is the theological mistake of many evangelicals. As a Reformed Christian, I believe that we are called into community that often includes people we don't like very much. Learning to live in love with people we don't necessarily like and can't run from is fundamental to the ethic of reconciliation and love of enemies. Reformed Christianity is much more than a philosophy and it is not fundamentally focused on being saved for the future afterlife. We believe that as one is awakened to faith, eternal life is realized right now and we are inextricably bound to all others. We gladly accept those who are searching and have not yet reached conclusions. De Botton's rejection of doubt is the height of arrogance and pride. That self-centeredness is how we understand original sin.
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