The Purpose of Life
Paul Rutherford — On a warm day recently I visited
my alma mater. And between the hallowed halls of old, a chance
encounter reconnected me with an old friend. Eager for news, she asked me what
I'd done since graduating, and my easy reply included mission work and how much
I enjoy it. She smiled and said, "That's great, as long as you're happy." Have
you had this type of conversation before?
If you have, then perhaps you
also understand my consternation at my friend's response. I don't do mission
work to be happy. I do it to honor and please the Lord Jesus Christ. On some
level I felt misunderstood. Yet, her response indicates, I think, a prominent
view held in our culture that happiness is what really matters. As far as her response
is concerned, I could just as well have taken a job at a coffee shop, so long
as I was happy.
Her response, while not
uncommon, demonstrates a prevailing value in our culture today—pluralism.
Mankind's ultimate purpose can be attained through multiple acceptable means,
be they religion, economics, or otherwise.
(left-click to listen
|MEET THE AUTHOR
"What do you think about right before you fall asleep? This radio program works out some of the thoughts that run through my mind at night. What is our purpose? What's it all mean? Christ gives meaning to life, but I wanted to explore for myself how that intersects other worldviews."
Paul is a Research Associate with Probe Ministries. He came to us after earning his B.A. in philosophy and religious studies from Rice University, after which he spent time doing campus ministry in Asia. Paul is our starry-eyed newlywed after his recent marriage to the beautiful Kelly Rutherford.
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