A Jagged Contention: Religion’s Testimony

“[Religion] does have a redeeming feature: it’s the human race’s historic witness to our awareness that something is seriously out of whack with the way we try to manage life. Even though I’ve said that religion is the largest management error of all time — and despite the fact that it commands us to do all kinds of things we would never have bothered with if we hadn’t invented religion in the first place (there was no religion in Eden when it was under God’s management) — it stands as a testimony to the fact that we owe both God and our neighbors an apology for making the world such as mess. In short, religion reminds us that we’re damaged goods. Having given it that much credit, though, it’s still a loser: after 10,000 years of religion, the world is not noticeably a better place. Indeed, under our religious manipulations, it’s gotten decidedly worse. Here, therefore, ends the kind word.”

-Robert Farrar Capon, The Foolishness of Preaching: Proclaiming the Gospel against the Wisdom of the Word. Pg. 36-37


What do you make of Capon’s analysis of religion? Is he too pessimistic? Doe he give religion too much credit or not enough? Can or has religion ever been a force for good apart from preaching?

Share your thoughts in the comments below