From the December, 2003 issue of Touchstone
What the World Needs Always by Roberto Rivera

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What the World Needs Always

Roberto Rivera on Levity, Guilt & Forgiveness

If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.” These words sum up, in aphoristic form, the Christian idea of the relationship between theology and morality, and the reason religion—specifically, biblical religion—is necessary in any civilized society. It is hard to argue with this statement. Without belief in a god who is both creator and judge, morality looks at best like a series of customs that function as a kind of a social lubricant, and at worst like an exercise in power and even tyranny.

But this is only part of the story and, to be honest, it is not the most important part. Something else is every bit as diminished by a disbelief in God: the possibility of forgiveness. If it is diffic . . .


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