The Weight of Glory: Part 2, The Ache

Yesterday, we noted Lewis' famous "argument from desire."

My interest in this argument shows up in my upcoming book Hunting Magic Eels: Recovering an Enchanted Faith in a Skeptical Age.

Specifically, in Hunting Magic Eels I explore what I call "the Ache." The Ache is our pain, angst, and restlessness living in a wholly disenchanted, materialistic universe. As we all know, rates of depression, anxiety, addiction, suicide, and loneliness are all skyrocketing in our increasingly secular, post-Christian age.

And the issue isn't just about better care for mental illness. According to the World Health Organization, post-Christian Europe, with its socialized medicine, a model that many in the US want to see emulated, has the highest suicide rate in the world. That data point makes it clear that a better health care model in the US doesn't make the Ache go away. 

The Ache is akin to Lewis' argument from desire, but in the key of mental health and illness. Hunting Magic Eels doesn't point to Lewis' longing, but toward the psychological fragility disenchantment and materialism produces within us. We're not doing very well, emotionally speaking, in this post-Christian world. 

To be sure, the existence of the Ache is no proof for the existence of God. The Ache is, rather, our restlessness and desire for God. And for many, this pain is often the first step back toward enchantment.

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply