Everyman is tired. He’s tired of taxes. He’s tired of traffic jams. He’s tired of telephones, timetables, and TV dinners. He’s tired of promises, tired of threats. Tired of democrats, dandelions, deadlines, and demilitarized zones. He’s tired of shallow optimism, and shallow pessimism. He’s tired of pollution, corruption, and racism, and he’s tired of being blamed for them. He’s tired of false hopes, false friends, and false advertising. He’s tired of trying to make sense out of it all. Tired.
He feels that there must be some meaning behind the monotony, but he doesn’t even know where to look. He has tried cheap thrills, and not-so-cheap thrills, only to discover that pleasure wasn’t happiness and happiness wasn’t joy. He tried check books, hymn books, textbooks, and sex books, but it all was “striving after wind.” He even tried philosophy and theology, yet he could never get beyond the pious platitudes, formless generalities, and cold abstractions. The Church to him was just a collection of hypocrites, social workers, and tired old ladies. “If those are the people God works with, then, he must not be my kind of guy.” Gradually, Everyman’s search for meaning sagged into a resolve not to be engulfed by the meaninglessness that surrounded him. So one day, with civilization chattering all around him, he just stopped listening.
Once this state of mind has been reached (and it often is among moderns), Everyman is virtually impervious to traditional forms of persuasion. He is convinced that neither the Christian nor anyone else has anything to tell him. Christians have everything to tell him, but often they don’t know how to make him understand. An explanation of the internal and external consistency of their faith is likely to ...1
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