— CAM WE STILL BELIEVE IN THE SUPERNATURAL? —
A paper presented to the Quest Club
by the Rev, Paul H^J£pa«sST"D"«D.,
at its last meeting before Christmas
December 13, 1963
Members of the Club and Friends, can we still believe in the Supernatural? For
example, can we still believe in Friendship, the kind of Friendship represented in this fellowship this noon?
Friendship is spiritual. It is not something that can be measured by physical
graphs, isolated under a microscope, or gauged with a caliper. Friendship is
an attribute of God, flowering in the soul of Man. Can we still believe in
a spiritual universe, above those physical forces which are weighed in a
scale or measured with a yardstick? In a word, do we still have a right to
believe in God, Miracles, Prayer, Heaven, Christmas?
This is an appropriate season for such a theme. The Quest Club paper closest to
Christmas traditionally takes us away from the counting-house and the hum of
business machines, and the "roar of the world," -
to the philosophical and metaphysical,
to the "roar of the Milky Way" perhaps.,
and the echoes of an angel chorus,
away from economists - (any panel of economists always makes me think of St.
Paul's great word "We are saved by hope") - away from the mundane to the
meaning back of it all.
Is life only movement, "the murmur of gnats in the
gleam of a million, million suns,"
or, is it a supernatural value with a holy purpose?
What is the Supernatural? Christmas is, for one thing, in its real meaning,- angel
choruses, and a Virgin birth and a Holy Child. The Supernatural is the Power
not ourselves, which makes for Righteousness and Peace, called God! But the
Supernatural includes more than this, to the extent that Man also is an
Eternal Soul. The Supernatural is Worship and Communion and Answered Prayer,
it is Personality, it is Faith, Hope and Love, Goodness and Truth. The Supernatural is the sum of these unique and supreme qualities which cannot be
precipitated in any test tube, which cannot be caught on any spectroscope,
or tested by any litmus paper.
These Supernatural Values are the Primary Values by which Life is kept livable and
triumphant. But is it possible for the thinking man today to believe in, for
example, the Supernatural wonders of Christmas? There are doubters, who are
wistful, as a child is wistful when disillusioned of what they call a fairy
tale* There are fatalists who call the universeT'a meaningless machine in
which they are a helpless cog." There are pessimists belittling the hopes of
man, whom they describe as only'a speck of foam on the top of a wave in a
center of a timeless sea."
Can we still believe in them, in Miracles and Answered Prayer and - of course, in
The question is raised with increasing frequency today, because our universe is
multiplying its dazzling scientific marvels. The last fifty years have been
without parallel, in the widening of man's knowledge of the physical universe
and the increase of his material power. This new knowledge has bred confusion and doubt. Let us note briefly four of the areas of such new knowledge and theory which arouse agnosticisms-
1. The Vastness of the Universe in SPACE,
2. The Endlessness of the Universe in TIME,
3. The Reign of Physical LAV1/ in the Universe,
4. The Seeming exclusively CHEMICAL structure of
Let us consider the problems these four presents
Members of the Quest Club authorize the Allen County Public Library to digitize and publish past, present and future Quest Club papers for dissemination on the Allen County Public Library website (Board of Directors of Quest Club, Inc., Resolution of May 2010).