Is truth what we think and want to be right, or what we're trying to discern and know?
Why most Christian Worldview teaching is not Christian at all but a tool in the hands of the Sacralists…..
I couldn't believe that most of the people I talked to where basically coming right out and saying….they're not interested in finding out the truth. What they're interested in is the promotion of an agenda. They want to USE the news to support what's right. They want to CLAIM people and ideas in history so they rally them to their cause.
We of all people should love the truth and of all people should understand even from the Biblical narrative…that God doesn't hide the stains and dirty laundry of even His own people.
Where did this come from? Was this Van Til's thought at work?….Was this the Theonomy/Autonomy dilemma manifested on the street? rubber meeting the road? Since there can't be any neutrality….everything has to be propaganda? This is the Christian worldview? That's not reading it through a lens…that's forcing it through and shattering it. That's a straw man to be sure…but it seems like that's where it leads.
Years later as we started homeschooling our kids, we would look at catalogs from different ministries and groups. They were often deplorable. No one is interested in method or seeking out the truth in a genuine manner regardless of the result ……they have an agenda. I think a great disservice is being done to many Christian children right now. They're being raised to be Dominion warriors, how to spout off watchwords, and scripted arguments…but they're not being taught how to think, and to love the truth…no matter what! I'm not talking about apologetics….Christianity v. Dawkins. I'm talking about the reality on the ground, in the world, history, geopolitics, sociology…why people are responding the way they are….what is motivating these people to kill, or these people to steal? Why did those people fight that war? Why are people so angry about this or that?
We then found this often extended to books, movies, and music. Things were declared good, because it's what they want to hear or see…it feeds the picture they want to create. Worldview is used in a way that doesn't mean interact with the world….it almost seems like, we'll create our own version of it and ignore what we don't want to see. We know we are right, because we have the Christian worldview. This is an outrageous abuse of Scripture. The Bible doesn't give us specifics for interpreting history, science, government, art, or music. It tells us how to live and think as Christians....in a fallen world. Worldview teaching seems to say, we've got all the answers, so now we can just march through and tell everyone how it's done. But then when you look at their criteria, their judgment, and willingness to examine things...I find there to be no love for the truth at all. I find instead a zeal not according to knowledge, to promote an agenda and a flawed one at that.
It’s really interesting. My wife has read all the Austen books and enjoys them. We've watched the movies and notice they're very popular among Christians. They love and are fascinated by the mannered and proper culture and the stories dealing with class and in the civilized Sacralist venue of Regency England. It's almost like they sigh, and say, "Those were the good old days." Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the movies, because I enjoy history….my wife enjoys the books because she feels the same as I do. But we find that many Christians-- One, don't seem to get the latent critique of the whole cultural milieu that the author is trying to present….and Two, their romanticized Sacralism (Holy Society/Holy Culture worldview) won't drive them to find the whole venue problematic. What I mean is…..if that's Christian society, we should find it quite depressing, a failure to reflect the Kingdom of God. Of course I would say the whole undertaking of trying to construct a Christian society is folly. Nevertheless, I enjoy all history, even when I don't like it.
But then you come to the Bronte's….well, they don't like that as much. Not so pretty, kind of gritty… not so favourable to the view they as 20th or 21st century Christians want to have of Victorian England. But is the portrait there accurate? Or at least as accurate as the Austen films or books? Where's the love of truth if you ignore it? There was an ugly side to the Christian Society. Will we consider it?
What about Thomas Hardy?….oh, very bad. He wasn't a Christian. Pardon my skepticism but I don't know that Austen or the Bronte's were either…unless you're using Christian in the cultural sense as it is so often used… a definition found nowhere in the Bible. We've read reviews of Hardy by Christians and because they don't like his critique….they read dark themes and atheistic propaganda into his works. Hardy is very hostile to Christianity…but what is he critiquing? He's critiquing Sacralist Constantinian Christianity. And it is pretty disgusting. It always has been.
So, how ironic, as a Christian, I actually find lost atheist Hardy more profitable and insightful and truthful…..than Jane Austen? Can that be? Absolutely. Like I said I do think there is a great deal of critique in Austen and the Bronte's, but Hardy cuts to the core. His characters are also very real, not a simplistic good guy and bad guy model. But isn't that Biblical? There's good and evil? Good people and bad people? Good nations and bad nations? Good cultures and bad cultures?
Iain Murray decried the reading of novels in Victorian England and he and others have argued it helped lead to the fall of society. Sacralist British Imperial Society? That's the best thing that could happen. It may or may not be good for England heritage and pride, but it's better for the church….unless you're defining Christian in some different way a second kind of cultural definition.
We can speak of the visible church Christians...
We can speak of the invisible church...
But when we call people Christian...because they live in a White European Society....we are abusing the doctrine of the visible church. The Anabaptists often argue against the concept of the visible/invisible distinction. But what their arguing against is this third construct....which is indeed false.
Is this Van Tillianism in application again? Acknowledging the Common Grace realm but not allowing it to function? We have to force everything into the category of Christian and non-Christian? That's true in the spiritual realm, but it's not the realm of Common Grace…the realm of Culture. Culture is not holy and cast into terms of absolute good and evil. That's not the Christian worldview. The Christian worldview says all people are bad, all common grace nations are bad, all cultures are at the core bad. Or I could even say all people are bad, some humanly speaking have some good….all nations are bad, some have some good. And all cultures and bad, but some do have some good. Common Grace softens the power of sin and provides a venue for the Kingdom to operate.