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This is moving story-telling and awesome scholarship, tracing and illuminating as it does Romanes's philosophical and spiritual journey. It gives me hope for those who wander spiritually. For a rebel who came home like me, Psalm 27 and Psalm 84 ("the psalm of pilgrimage") are also dear to my heart. I think of Romanes even now, outside of time and space, gazing upon the beauty of the Lord in His temple (27:4); and of this great scholar and man of letters as the sparrow who by God's grace and after many wanderings, found a nest at God's altar.

And that last sonnet! "My King and my God!" (84:3)

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It's so lovely! Thanks so much for reading. I'll be passing all these lovely comments on to Dad. :)

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I read this Stack whenever it comes out, I’m halfway through “The Mirror or the Mask”, and I just finished this essay.

Man, those McGrews can write.

I sympathize with Romanes. I’ve had periods of doubt because of objections to faith in God or Christianity that I couldn’t make sense of.

I think that’s why an exasperated Christ keeps telling the disciples that they just need faith the size of a mustard seed.

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Fascinating journey, masterfully told. Thanks for sharing it.

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I can't take credit this time! Thanks for reading. :)

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“Of course, textual scholarship did not do this job single-handed. It was joined in 1859 by the other part of the double-whammy to the Christian faith, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. And perhaps even more important than the contents of the book itself was the process that Darwin sped up. Where once divine design had explained all that was awe-inspiring, Darwin put forward an entirely new proposal: that, as Richard Dawkins has summed up, ‘Given sufficient time, the non-random survival of hereditary entities (which occasionally miscopy) will generate complexity, diversity, beauty, and an illusion of design so persuasive that it is almost impossible to distinguish from deliberate intelligent design.’4 Darwin’s discovery was fiercely debated at the time, as it is now. But the backlash was doomed to failure. The condition of the argument for the divine scheme after Darwin was not good. This was not about a single discovery – it wasn’t even about the filling in of one particularly large gap in man’s knowledge. It was simply the first wholesale explanation for the world we inhabit that had no need for God. And though the origin of life remained a mystery, the idea that the entire mystery was solved by the claims of religion seemed less and less plausible. It was still possible to find wisdom and meaning in the Scriptures, but the Bible had at best become like the work of Ovid or Homer: containing great truth, but not itself true”

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From The Strange Death of Europe, right?

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Yes!

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