Consider the following inscription:
In case you need some help (I did), it says Weltliche Weisheit ohne Gott, ist die größte thorheit. Which, being Englished, means, roughly, Worldly wisdom without God is the height of foolishness.
I found this written on the front page of Valentin Weigel's Philosophia Mystica of 1618 while doing research in the rare books collection of the University of Helsinki. The book had been owned by the Scottish-Russian alchemist, mystic, and statesman Jacob Bruce [aka Iakov Brius] (1669-1735), and we may assume that the sentence is written in his hand.
Now, if you were to ask me whether I agree with the claim, I would reply: "I suppose, but I would greatly prefer that it be left in its nearly indecipherable state, that it be left untranslated, and that it be entertained as a possibility only when browsing through dusty old leather-bound books in Nordic summer light filtered through stained glass." Translated into English, typed out, and considered under circumstances far removed from its initial discovery, I find the force of it is already greatly diminished. If I were to hear it from, say, some Dockers-wearing sap at a Midwestern Bible fellowship, I would reject it categorically.
It is true, though: worldly wisdom without God is the height of foolishness. (It does not follow from this that there is a God; it is enough that all worldly wisdom be irredeemably foolish. Which it is.) It is true, but whether or not one is receptive to its truth is going to depend entirely on the cultural and aesthetic setting of the truth's delivery. I am finite, mortal, confused, and all my striving is in vain, but I can only hear this from words on old paper, preferably not in English, preferably hard to decipher. I cannot hear it from representatives of the present age, whom I dismiss out of hand as banal. And I cannot hear it from anyone I consider my social or intellectual inferior, even if it is true.
I think this says more about the nature of religious faith than about my hang-ups. Dawkins, Dennett, and the other 'new atheists' would have us believe that there is a problem about the truth claims of religion. It seems to me, rather, that religion is, in its essence, the coming-together of members of the same sociocultural stratum around a cluster of indisputable truths (such as the one I transcribed from Jacob Bruce), and that the real obstacle to accepting them is not their content, but rather the cultural distance of the people touting them. This was clearly the key factor in Dawkins' ridiculous tour of middle-American mega-churches. It was a factor, moreover, that he, in his sociologically tone-deaf English self-confidence, was wholly unwilling to take into consideration.
Dawkins and the mega-church pastors will all look foolish, in due time (Ted Haggard already does). Meanwhile the truth-revealing cachet of the dusty old books will continue to grow.