Mark David Henderson, author of The Soul of Atlas: Ayn Rand, Christianity, a Quest for Common Ground, spoke to This portion of the talk is entitled, “The Four Stages of Breaking Down Barriers and Finding Common Ground.” This segment addresses the first stage: Engage.
I’m talking about the compulsion that led to my quest to reconcile these two world views. It was the passionate mentorship of his two fathers that made it impossible for me to let it go. But the story is not just personal; it applies to our society and culture at large. Christianity and Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism have been powerful influences, each in their own way.
There is nothing quite like a life-threatening disease following on the heels of an identity-threatening family crisis to dislodge a torrent of questions about Meaning in life. Let those events blow into the storm of adolescence and, well, that’s what they call the “perfect storm.” What prepared me for that tempest, and what I am earnestly grateful for, was my fathers’ genuine commitment to the integrity of Meaning in their lives. Plenty of people don’t have that. Plenty of people go about from day to day, mindlessly living, “without wondering” as Augustine wrote, with no consideration of Meaning. But as my discussions with my fathers evidenced richly, we need know what gives us Meaning. We need to know to live well.
That’s the context for the juxtapostion of Ayn Rand and Christianity, the conversation that has taken place in my life.
Does any of this resonate? Do you ever feel compelled by something? What did you do?