Notre Dame de Paris: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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12 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Well said, Duane…and thank you for the candle…

  2. Jean says:


    I believe God can bring about good out of evil. Whether or not the fire was an accident or not, it resulting in destruction. I am truly sorry for everyone who has experienced a sense of loss.

    In a different venue, I was wrestling with something from Eccles: “For everything there is a season…a time to break down, and a time to build up”

    Two questions I asked were: What season is it? and How do we discern the season?

    The only sure thing I could point to is the foundation. If the foundation is strong, then building can take place. On the other hand, if the foundation is weak, then building on it would be in vain.

    I think the Parisians will have to answer those questions for themselves. If they are determined to re-build, is it for a museum? Is it for a monument? Or might it be for a new church, for a generation of Christians, for whom Christ would be the foundation of their faith? If they rebuild, I hope it’s for the latter reason.

  3. Duane Arnold says:


    Many thanks… and, whether here or there, you’re always in my prayers…

  4. Duane Arnold says:


    It is historical. It is cultural. It is a place of pilgrimage. It is a place of worship with a Christian community that gathers daily for Mass…

  5. Em says:

    It was an incredible structure, a monument to the God given skills and devotion of centuries ago
    Was there an intentional evil act or neglect to protect? I doubt that the French government will allow any conclusion that puts them in a bad light… It cannot be “rebuilt” in my opinion – only replaced. . ?

  6. Duane Arnold says:


    “It cannot be “rebuilt” in my opinion – only replaced…”

    In the 19th century, much was rebuilt by the architect Eugene Viollet-le-duc (including the central spire that fell). Seeing the films of the inferno, I’m surprised so much has survived. It was owing to the bravery of the firemen and their chaplain that so many of the treasures were carried out and saved. I’m hoping that in 5-10 years, I will once again light a candle for my friends in Notre Dame…

  7. Em says:

    Dr. Duane, i was thinking of the incredible ancient oak timbers… ?

  8. Duane Arnold says:


    Yes… hard to find timbers that date from the eighth century!

  9. Em says:

    Dr. Duane… ?
    I meant that there are no oak trees of that great size anymore
    Didn’t Napoleon order the refurbishing when he was emperor ?
    I would love to have seen the interior. I assume the organ is no more…

  10. bob1 says:

    I was listening to a Chicago radio station and the on-the-air folks were talking about Notre Dame.
    One guy said he was there once with someone who wasn’t a believer and he was stunned by
    the beauty of the place.

    I think sometimes as Protestants we forget that nontangibles like beauty and wonder can be
    a door to Christian transcendence. Paraphrasing Lewis, they may find it evokes a desire that’s
    not of this world…

    Not everyone is convinced by hard-core apologetics.

  11. Duane Arnold says:


    Napoleon ordered the first rebuilding after the depredations of the Revolution. Mid-century, further work was done. It appears the great organ (8,000 pipes) has miraculously survived!

  12. Duane Arnold says:


    Could not agree more. There’s a reason that God promises “to give them [us] beauty for ashes”. It is essential to who we are as human beings. I think we neglect art and music to our peril as it limits the manner in which we can touch people’s lives. It is not all about intellectual cognition… or at least it shouldn’t be…

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