A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance
John Blanchard’s writings are some of the most popular for serious yet accessible contemporary evangelism. A reliable author who has spent much time learning Scripture and defending the faith, his outreach-related booklets and books are always worth the price of admission. This new little book is no exception – an excellent resource and an enjoyable read for the believer and unbeliever alike.
From the “Introduction”
Here’s Blanchard’s “Introduction,” just to give you a taste.
The story is told of a policeman patrolling one of London’s bridges over the River Thames when he saw a man climbing on to the railing. Pulling him back, the policeman asked him what he was doing. The man replied, ‘I am going to drown myself, because there is nothing worth living for.’ The policeman gradually calmed him down, then said, ‘Let’s talk about this. Tell me exactly why you feel that life has no meaning’—and when they had talked together for ten minutes they both jumped in….
The story may be no more than that, but the subject is seriously important. Searching for a meaning to life seems to be programmed into us as human beings. We may sometimes try to brush the subject aside, but time and again we still wonder whether there is any point in all our activities, experiences and emotions. Why are we here? What is life all about? Are we part of a bigger picture, or just specks of dust swirling around in a mindless universe?
One of America’s best-known movie directors complained, ‘If I had never lived, if the sperm that hit the egg had missed, it would have made no difference to anything.’ Can we settle for that? Is there a road map that will help us to find our way through life—or are birth, life and death nothing more than isolated markers in a meaningless desert? Can we be sure that we are more important than peanuts or pilchards? Why do we claim to have any dignity or rights? Is doing so no more than pointless prattle?
If life has no meaning or purpose, what is the point of getting involved with the needs of other people? Why should we help those who are disabled, seriously ill, homeless, intellectually challenged, psychologically damaged or desperately poor? Why should we be concerned about the victims of war, genocide or persecution? If their lives are as meaningless as ours, what is the point of trying to help them?
These questions lead to others. Where can we find a basis for morality or responsible behaviour of any kind? On what basis can we differentiate between good and bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair? Can we sail through life without moral responsibility of any kind? If we are nothing more than biological accidents, cobbled together from bits of our ancestors, what is the point in speaking about human values or the quality of life? These are big questions, and it makes no sense to ignore them.
It has been said that the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. This book aims at helping you to focus on the second.
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Does Life Have Any Meaning?