What Does It Mean to Live a Good Life?

   Since God is real

Since Sin is strong

Since Humankind is flawed

No one can say he serves a man

Who does not save him from himself

And so keep him for God

   The little six line poem above called out to me from the turgid innards of a long prose piece, now long (and deservedly) forgotten. The prose piece ran about 3,000 words, when edited. I have myself forgotten all the longer piece, remembering only the 33 words in this poem.

   The larger piece from which the poem comes was at a moment in life when I spend long nights considering why and when and where God died for Westerners. I really cared (and still only care) only about Christianity among all the world religions, but I had to accept this fact: During my life time all the gods suffered when running up against Western culture. Despised American Exceptionalism did terrible things to any god who did not turn a profit. Most of them went bankrupt.

   American Christianity did not go bankrupt financially. There remains many a diocese and even more televangelists who seem to have a license to print money. We did turn belly up in terms of prestige, replaced by titans of the information age, mixed with a few media stars and some politicians. Our God suffered the loss of place, space and face. Cathedrals emptied, priests went to prison and the Gospel Truth was bastardized in the Temple of Pragmatism.

   We should not have been surprised. In the eighteenth century

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