Cold and Snowy on the Western Front
There is an undeniable winter chill in the air of Western civilization.
Any and all of our cherished institutions of culture are either crumbling, or just about reaching rock-bottom. For instance, how exactly does a society continue building itself, improving itself, bettering itself while half the men remain children until 43 years of age?
But that’s just one easy example. Everyone can cite 101 major problems with Western society. The point is to seek a diagnosis for what went wrong, and so where we must look to fix things. There is always hope for repentance.
Idolatry is the root of all evil (including the love of money). As my professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis, Dr. J. Richard Middleton observed, “The dominant Western world view has rejected the authority of God or gods and has affirmed the self-norming autonomy of humankind.” We are not, however, atheists as a whole. Middleton continues “Yet in spite of its humanistic and secular essence, Western culture has, in fact, served other gods, many of them-good, created things which we have idolatrously absolutized and religiously pursued in the hope of ultimate fulfillment.”
That last clause gives the accurate diagnosis. We are rabid idolaters as a way of life. We were made with the deep hunger for fulfillment, but instead of finding it in the infinitely satisfying Creator, we seek it in the shallow mud puddles of creation. This is not to say creation is bad, or evil in some way, but to absolutize any created thing as a god, and to expect the deepest longings of our hearts to be met by it – this is where we have lost ourselves in a sea of shame and sin. As John Calvin famously said, “Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols,” and so by the nature of the heart, we live out our idolatry in infinite ways.
Postmodern Orthodoxy is to be Blasphemed, For the Love of God
If idolatry is our diagnosis, then postmodernism is our current, ultra-destructive cultural orthodoxy. Romans 1:22-25 is the summary of both:
Professing to be wise, they became fools,and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator . . . (NKJV)
In other words, humankind says to itself, “I am wise. I am powerful. I am able to perform all my will. I AM. (And God is no longer any but I.)”
The result being our idolatry, the worship of four-footed things like lizards (“I am the Lizard King, I can do anything” said the 27-year-old found dead in a copper bathtub Jim Morrison), and the loss of sanity, so to speak: sexual anarchy and all the resultant murder, deception, lovelessness, hatred of parents, despising of proper authority, war, genocide, suicide, etc.
All of this growing out of our exchanging of the truth of God for the lie. That is,
– The Lie –
that creation is a god, and we are the pinnacle of him/it. This idolatry on steroids is translated, when carried to its logical end, into a worship of human ingenuity, technological progress, and an ever-expanding market economy. Look around, and notice the blind crusade on which we have embarked. In our cultural mind, there is no truth but the empowerment of the human community to become more godlike. It has become utterly unthinkable that there could be a barrier, a reason to not carry out some new theory of technology.
But is there any reason to question the structure we are building? Where are we going? Will this tower reach into heaven when we are finished? Shall we be as gods? Are we not already? Let us celebrate us. Hallelu-Us!
Our selves, who art on earth, hallowed be Our name.
Our kingdom come, through ingenuity, technological prowess, and economic genius,
Our will be done, on earth both now and forever, and soon in all the heavens (when we travel there inevitably),
We give us this day our daily bread, genetically modified to enhance Our lives and powers,
And We forgive us our sins, against Ourselves only they are,
Just as We forgive those who deserve it and earn a grovelling place at the table,
And let Us avoid the temptation to lay down the implements of war and industry
But deliver Us from evil… that demon of the mind
For Ours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
This is our every day fuel in the tank. Who do we think we are? God. What will become of us? Without a change of thinking away from this postmodern heresy, only death awaits.
There will be no tower to the heavens. There will be no united humankind around the altar of our beauty and technology. There will be no paradise on earth apart from every knee bowed to Jesus Christ the King. What a joy it is that He saves a people out of this rotting, fraudulent kingdom of men.
I’ve been fed this orthodoxy from the day of my birth. I was predestined by the Enlightenment to eat, sleep, and breath it. But I don’t buy it. Ready to become a blasphemer with me?
Thanks for reading,
 Brian J. Walsh and J. Richard Middleton, The Transforming Vision (Downer’s Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1984), 131.