April 10, 2006


Christianity's Unique Intellectual Opportunity (John Warwick Montgomery, March 1995, New Oxford Review)

The 18th century marked the death of special revelation (deistic representatives of the misnamed Age of Reason threw out the Bible's supernatural content, substituted a "God of Nature" for the trinitarian God, and reduced Jesus to an ethical model); the 19th century was characterized by the death of God -- including the deists' God of Nature -- as evolutionary naturalism replaced divine teleology; and the 20th century has displayed the consequential death of Man (slaughtered by his fellows in numbers exceeding the total of all the fallen in all the prior wars of recorded history).

Why has modern man nonetheless remained committed to secularism? Roger Garaudy helps us toward an answer with his aphorism, "Nous tous, nous sommes nés vieux": All of us are born old (i.e., we enter life already weighed down by a heavy load of cultural baggage). For the last century that baggage has consisted especially of the ideas of those Paul Ricoeur has termed the "three modern masters of suspicion": Nietzsche, Marx, and Sigmund Freud, each of whom is now a fallen idol. [...]

And the consequences of all of this? Like the great image in the Book of Daniel, modern secularist thought has been revealed as an idol with clay feet. The crushing burden of modern secular ideology is being lifted from us, like the weight of sin on the back of Bunyan's Pilgrim.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 10, 2006 7:59 AM

Wishful thinking.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at April 10, 2006 1:05 PM

Very much like the opening chapter of Paul Johnson's great book, "Modern Times".
Paul assigns the blame slightly differently, substituting the mis-use of Einstein's Theory of Relativity for Nietzsche. Freud & Marx continue in their positions of dis-honor.
I would tend to agree, using relativity in the moral and ethical plane, rather than the mathematical one, has caused far more damage the the "relatively" unknown actual thinking/writings of Nietzsche.

Posted by: Mike Daley at April 10, 2006 9:12 PM