In this article, David Brooks describes the difference between a vibrant inner faith, and a faith characterized by tradition and ritual. He describes the strong vein of hostility towards orthodox religious believers felt by the young. We have all heard the epithets: “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” “old-fashioned” and “out of touch.” Yet, he also describes a faith much deeper. He quotes Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel from his book “God in Search of Man”:
Heschel understood that the faith expressed by many, even many who are inwardly conflicted, is often dull, oppressive and insipid — a religiosity in which “faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion.”
There must be something legalistic in the human makeup, because cold, rigid, unambiguous, unparadoxical belief is common, especially considering how fervently the Scriptures oppose it.
He goes on to describe
a silent majority who experience a faith that is attractively marked by combinations of fervor and doubt, clarity and confusion, empathy and moral demand.Read the rest of the article here.