Friday, 13 May 2016

The West's Tower of Babel

Good To Be Alive

It's an exciting time to be a Christian at the beginning of the third millennium, AD.  Whilst the Church is growing in leaps and bounds in parts of the world which have long suffered under the darkness of Unbelief and its attendant cruelties, the West's defalcation from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord is gathering strength.  

We Christians in the West are called to be merry warriors, fighting the good fight.  One of the reasons for merriment and joy is that Unbelief in the West is reaching its apogee.  We have seen (and will continue to see) the ridiculous spectacle of militant materialists shouting their atheism from the rooftops, whilst clinging to Victorian moralisms.  Man is the measure of all things and nothing human is foreign to me.  Except . . . Except . . . Except Islamic radicals blowing up innocent men, women, and children.  That's evil incarnate!

Western Unbelief denies the presence of God, yet spends most of its energy declaiming perceived wickedness and evils of one kind or another.  Its moralism has no foundation or meaning or authority, but it is asserted with a passion and vehemence which can only be associated with gnawing insecurity.  When the point is weak, speak louder.

But others in the West's present intellectual pantheon are less loud and more thoughtful.  They know the jig is up.
 The genie has left the bottle.  The Western emperors have no clothes.  Here is just one example of one who has seen and read the writing on the wall.  It is examples such as these which helps sustain us as merry warriors of the King.
Challenges to liberalism's original self-understanding as the most rational and enlightened achievement of humankind re as old as liberalism itself.  Arguably the most fundamental of these challenges began over a hundred years ago when Nietzsche attempted to undermine liberalism's rationalist grounding by a radical critique of reason as such.

The critique that Nietzsche began has a complicated history, but never before has it been so pervasive and influential in the West and particularly in the United States.  The form of this critique that has gained such currently in political theory as elsewhere in the academy commonly goes by the name of antifoundationalism, which asserts that no claim to knowledge is founded in the one truth.  All claims to knowledge are from a particular human, all to human perspective, or are socially constructed.  [J. Judd Owen, Religion and the Demise of Liberal Rationalism: The Foundational Crisis of the Separation of Church and State (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2001), p.2.]
There is never a more entertaining time to live than when the great intellectual and religious enemies of King Jesus are collapsing in a heap upon the floor.  Their Unbelief has proved far, far too much.  It has destroyed their own pretensions, their own philosophies, and their appeals to grand uber ethical systems which turn out to be no more than a house of cards built upon thin air.

All claims to knowledge are rooted in subjective, experiential bias, including this one.  The collective Western mind has become one swirling cauldron of endless "ad hominemisms".  "Islamic terrorism is evil!" thunders the chic Western intellectual.  "Ah", comes back the instant retort, "you hold that view because of your subjective perspective.  You are nothing more than a privileged white male.  Before you open your mouth, check your privilege."  This cauldron of bitter and twisted ad hominem attacks and counter attacks is eating away at the very fabric of Western society which is now ripping and tearing everywhere.  The civilisation we call Western is desiccating and blowing away before our eyes.  How the mighty and the proud have fallen.  Ozymandius lies broke on the desert sands.

Owen continues his description of the crisis:
There is nothing to which we can appeal in order to settle the most profound human disagreements, and thus there is no possibility that the awesome variety of conflicting opinions about the things most important to human beings, including the best political order, can be transcended toward universal objective knowledge.  The original claim that liberalism is grounded in natural right and reason and therefore the claim that it is universally legitimate are naive and even arrogant fictions.  [Ibid.]
As we sit back and reflect upon the recent Republican and Democratic primaries in the United States, we have therein laid out before us, in grand relief, the realities Owen is describing.  "There is no truth, apart from my truth.  Therefore, the only way to win is to shout louder, insult more grossly, and attack everyone left, right, and centre--because the only truth is Power--power to rule them all and in the darkness bind them."

To those who cling to the older, now exploded, beliefs that that there is universal and objective knowledge, think again.  It is only the Christians who have a foundation--a presuppositional basis--to make such a claim.  So, the remnant which still clings to the older nostrums must either repent of Unbelief, stop kicking against the pricks, and return to Jesus Christ in humble submission, or be swept away in the torrent of radical relativism, where all that remains is to stomp, to shout down, and to destroy.

Into this maelstrom comes the Lord Jesus Christ:

Who is this who comes from Edom,
    in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he who is splendid in his apparel,
    marching in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, speaking in righteousness,
    mighty to save.”
Why is your apparel red,
    and your garments like his who treads in the wine press?
“I have trodden the wine press alone,
    and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
    and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
    and stained all my apparel.
For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
    and my year of redemption had come.
I looked, but there was no one to help;
    I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
so my own arm brought me salvation,
    and my wrath upheld me.
I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
    I made them drunk in my wrath,
    and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
Isaiah 63:1-6

It is a beautiful time to be alive and a Christian in these days in the West.  Our Lord is tearing apart the pretensions of Western secularist, atheist idolatry--and it is breathtaking to watch.  Let the full throated roar of close quarter battle be heard.  He is doing a wondrous thing in our days, which, even if it were told, most would not believe it.  But many Christians do.  And we know what we must do.

So let us be about it with a holy and humble zeal for the Lord's house.  And with the merry joy of battle.

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