Imagination and the With-God Life: Faith & Reason Fall 2020

Posted by Marjorie Pratt on 9/25/20 1:41 PM


"What is the good life?" Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Matthew Roberts asked last Tuesday. "The good life is the with-God life," he answered. He used the rest of his Faith and Reason lecture to detail how imagination is a key component to fully valuing the presence of God—living the with-God life.

Faith and Reason is one of Patrick Henry College's longest-standing traditions. Every semester, the campus comes together to hear an expert discuss a facet of the intersection between academia and Christianity. While this lecture looked different than it has in years past, we were pleased to be able to continue the tradition and hear Dr. Roberts' thoughts on imagination.

Roberts dives into what imagination is, quoting Gene Veith, who says, "Imagination is simply the power of the mind to form a mental image, that is, to think in pictures or other sensory representations." For Christians, imagination offers a unique tool to Christians in their daily lives.

As humans, our mental capacity is too finite to do many things at once. Few people, if any, can effectively read and hold a conversation at the same time. "We can't have two conversations [at one time]," Roberts said, "but we are able to hold an image before us while we speak or listen."

We may not be able to continuously talk to God while holding conversations or going about other tasks, but we can hold "an image of Christ at the periphery of [our] consciousness." This is how Roberts uses his "imagination, prayerfully submitted to the Lord, to draw near to Him and to ... make more vivid the repeated biblical teaching that Christ lives in me." He calls this, "practicing the Presence of God," and argues that it is how one lives the with-God life.


Watch the whole Faith and Reason lecture by clicking the link below!



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