The Wrestle of Religion with Truth

By Henry Nelson Wieman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
THE RELIGIOUS VISION

The religious man is like one on whom love has fallen. There is something now for him to live for far beyond anything he had ever before been able to imagine. He has discerned something surpassingly lovely and alluring which stirs the deepest passions of joy and devotion in those who have found it. It is that which captivates the lives of men and enthralls beyond any other beauty or any other good. It is God.

Religion is not merely a belief. It is a vision and a certainty. God, as we have defined him, is a certainty. But vision is more than certainty. It is possible to have certainty without vision; and religion requires vision. A man must not only be certain this Object exists; he must have vision of it. That means he must have such appreciation of this Object that it transforms his life, glorifies his world and fills him with a great enthusiasm for life. He must be not only intellectually persuaded but emotionally stirred; not only cognize the fact but discern its value and catch its significance. He must so realize it that it wins his devotion and shapes his will. To have this appreciation of the divine Object, and thus to feel the stimulus of it, is to have what we call vision of it. Vision involves emotion, imagination and conversion of the will in devoted self-surrender.

So we say the object of religious interest is not only an object of belief, it is an object of certain knowledge, because God is that Something which is of supreme value

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