“Is Life Worthy Living” and “Youth” are two articles from Dr. Gordon H. Clark’s papers. Both the original scan and a transcribed documents are here made available. If you notice any typos on the typed documents please email the administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Items from the unpublished papers of Dr. Gordon H. Clark should not be considered his definitive statement on the particular topic addressed. These papers are being provided for educational value. For Dr. Clark’s official positions consult his published writings.**
Unpublished 54. Is Life Worth Living : Youth (original)
Unpublished 54. Is Life Worth Living : Youth (typed)
Notes: Two articles of Dr. Gordon H. Clark from The Home Evangel.
IS LIFE WORTH LIVING?
What a foolish question! Only an irritable crank with stomach ulcers would doubt that life is worth while. Can’t I go to double headers in the summer? Can’t I go bowling in the winter? Can’t I see a show anytime? Of course, life is worth living.
But what about that double header back in 1936? Are you still thrilled with it? Did the comedy you saw in December, 1941 make life worth while when you were fighting the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944? And what if you soon get stomach ulcers, too?
Then, too, you have to work every day, don’t you? Drive a cab or truck up one street and down the next? Or do you fill up one empty tank after another and vary your activity by putting in a quart of oil now and then? Perhaps your job is to fit on one piece in an assembly line. Some people are dishwashers in a restaurant. Stimulating? Inspiring? Worth while?
If life is worth nothing more than this, if man’s hopes and aspirations are limited by the struggle for existence, if stomach ulcers, cancer, and death are our ultimate reward, is life worth living?
The tedious routine, not to mention the pain and tragedy of life, can be justified only on the assumption that they are means to an eternal blessedness. Our work is worth while only if it brings a permanent reward. A double header does not make cancer endurable. A movie does not overbalance death. But eternal life does. And eternal life comes through Jesus Christ, whose death for sin can reconcile God to us. Life is worth living because the chief aim of life is neither the work of the day nor the amusement of the evening: the chief aim of life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. – G.H.C.
Allegedly George Bernard Shaw believes youth, with its pep, vim and vigor, to be such a superlative blessing that God is criminal to waste it on the immature. It is true, is it not, that some of the most
insidious temptations come to young people at an age when they scarcely realize the devastating consequences. In this way life is similar to a game of chess: a false move in the early game cannot later be rectified, and the damage increases as the game goes on.
How, then, can the immature profit by their pep, vim and vigor? How can they avoid the deceptive move that leads to checkmate? The Bible asks the question in these words: “How can a young man cleanse his way?” And the Bible gives the best answer, in fact, the only answer possible: “By taking heed thereto, according to God’s word.” The young man, and the young woman as well, must examine their plans, their desires, their conduct. They must see as exactly as possible what they intend doing. And they must judge their plans in the light of God’s word. The world champion chess player may tell the novice that moving King’s bishop’s pawn is bad; the novice may not understand why; but he does well to follow the advice.
Teen-age girls and boys may not understand the wisdom of “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord they God in vain”; they may not, they virtually cannot, appreciate the shameful consequences of fornication; they are likely to be careless of keeping the Sabbath and may at times disregard the command, “Thou shalt not steal.”
But if it is wise to heed the advice of a chess champion, it is disastrous to ignore the commands of the Ruler of the Universe. Is not life worth the care given to a game of chess? God is not criminal to the immature. He has blessed them with pep, vim and vigor, and has told them how to use their strength. – G.H.C.