An Agnostic and the Word of God

I came across an interesting paragraph in my reading Saturday. It comes from Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir by Christopher Buckley, the son of William F. Buckley, Jr., who lost both of his parents to death during 2008. Buckley, a self-proclaimed agnostic (although not an obnoxious one), described going to the hospital to sit with his mother during her last few hours on earth:

I’d brought with me a pocket copy of the Book of Ecclesiastes. The line in Moby-Dick had lodged long ago in my mind: “The truest of all men was the Man of Sorrows, and the truest of all books is Solomon’s, and Ecclesiastes is the fine hammered steel of woe.” I’d grabbed it off my bookshelf on the way to Virginia, figuring that a little fine-hammered steel would probably be a good thing to have on this trip. I’m agnostic now, but I haven’t quite reached the point of reading aloud from Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion at the deathbed of a loved one.

It is interesting to me that in a time of crisis, an agnostic would still consider the Word of God an appropriate source of comfort. Could it be, that even in man’s fallen state, the reality that man was made in the imago dei (the image of God) still affects his decisions at some level?


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