Two Cheers (again) for the Enlightenment

While some people are reflecting on which religions execute blasphemers, Protestants may want to be a tad circumspect — Americans as well, for that matter, if they think that John Winthrop made the U.S. a city on a hill.

Here’s one example of an attempt to assess Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on the wickedness of blasphemy:

That Christianity has less of a violence problem is self-evident, but the point is still lost on some people: at The Guardian, Ian Black declared that, in regards to the religion’s resistance to images of the Prophet Muhammad, “Islam is not unique. Judaism forbids the use of ‘graven images’ and Christianity has at times frowned on visual representations of sacred figures, allowing only the cross to be depicted in churches.”

This is a paragraph so shockingly dimwitted in its appraisal of both Christianity and Islam, and the differences between the two, that it is hard to know where to begin. I cannot readily speak for Judaism—the last time I attended a Jewish service was at a buddy’s Bar Mitzvah well over a decade ago—but I can say that Black’s appraisal of Christianity is, quite literally, total nonsense. For starters, Christianity since the sixteenth century has been a fractured religion, particularly on the subject of iconography; it does not really make sense to speak of Christianity “frowning” upon the use of imagery, unless you are willing to clarify just which branch or denomination of Christianity is doing this frowning. Catholicism is well-known for its use of crucifixes, for instance, although you can find them in Lutheran and Anglican churches, along with some other denominations. But you’re not apt to find a corpus amongst Baptists or Presbyterians, and again here Black’s characterization is frankly bizarre: it would be a profound understatement to say that the Southern Baptist Conference, for instance, “frowns” upon the artistic customs generally associated with Catholicism.

But if this piece were written in 1645, it might have a very different feel thanks to Massachusetts Bay’s Capital Laws (1641):

1. (Deut. 13. 6, 10. Deut. 17. 2, 6. Ex. 22.20) If any man after legall conviction shall have or worship any other god, but the lord god, he shall be put to death.

2. (Ex. 22. 18. Lev. 20. 27. Dut. 18. 10.) If any man or woeman be a witch, (that is hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit,) They shall be put to death.

3. (Lev. 24. 15,16.) If any person shall Blaspheme the name of god, the father, Sonne or Holie Ghost, with direct, expresse, presumptuous or high handed blasphemie, or shall curse god in the like manner, he shall be put to death.

That should put a wrinkle in the Reformation-to-Revolution-to-Toleration narrative and may cause some rethinking of the Puritans’ influence in forming the American nation.

This should not be read as some kind of exercise in moral equivalency that likens Islamic terrorism to Protestant state laws against blasphemy and idolatry. It is only designed as a reminder that Protestants too had to come out of their theocratic slumber by means other than those supplied by the reformers.

Advertisements

67 thoughts on “Two Cheers (again) for the Enlightenment

  1. It is only designed as a reminder that Protestants too had to come out of their theocratic slumber by means other than those supplied by the reformers.

    Can you clarify what you mean by “means other than those supplied by the reformers”? Are you referring to an appeal to natural revelation here?

    Thanks

    Like

  2. Gotcha. That’s where I would take issue with you. It is my contention that it was not the enlightenment, but rather a change in interpretation of Scripture that brought Protestants out of their theocratic slumber. After all, Protestants were protesting the Westminster Assembly’s theocratic slumber before the enlightenment, and they did so on the ground of special revelation.

    For example, an anonymous tract (Queries of Highest Concernment) written in 1644 to the Westminster Assembly notes the following (specifically addressing Parliament in this section):

    [C]oncerning souls, we will not (as most do) charge you with the loads of all the souls in England, Scotland, Ireland: we shall humbly affirm, and (by the help of Christ) maintain, that the bodies and goods of the subject is your charge… You will please to say: ‘We are constantly told and we believe it, that religion is our first care, and reformation of that our greatest task.’…

    We shall in all humble reverence suggest our fears [doubts] that for the very laws and statutes of England’s Parliaments concerning religion… the Lord Jesus hath drawn this sword, that’s daily drunk with English blood.

    It shall never be your honor to this or future ages, to be confined to the patterns of either French, Dutch, Scotch, or New-English Churches. We humbly conceive some higher act concerning religion attends and becomes your consultations. If he whose name is Wonderful Counselor be consulted and obeyed according to his last will and testament we are confident you shall exceed the acts and patterns of all neighbor nations; highly exalt the name of the Son of God; provide for the peace of this distressed state, engage the souls of all that fear God, to give thanks and supplicate for you; further the salvation of thousands, and leave the sweet perfume of your names, precious to all succeeding generations.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=E_w4UoaLoCUC&dq=john%20cotton's%20answer%20to%20roger%20williams&pg=PA241#v=onepage&q&f=false

    In addressing the Assembly, he argues

    Since the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, by whom (though God spake diverse times and diverse ways to the Fathers) he hath now revealed his counsel in these last times, Heb 1. We Querie, where you now find one footstep, print or pattern in this doctrine of the Son of God for a national holy covenant, and so consequently (though we conceive the one of you stumble at it) a national church? Where find you evidence of a whole nation, country, or kingdom converted to the faith and of Christ’s appointing of a whole nation or kingdom to walk in one way of religion?

    If you repaire to Moses, consult with Moses and the old covenant or testament, we ask, are you Moses or Christ’s followers? Or do you yet expect the coming of the Son of God to set up the Christian Israel, the holy nation, the particular congregation of Christian worshippers, in all parts of the world? (1 Pet 2. Heb 12, etc)

    Likewise, after living 70 years in New England, Increase Mather (theocrat John Cotton’s son-in-law) remarks (speaking in the third person in his autobiography):

    New-England being a country planted by a people whose design was to maintain the faith and order of the gospel in evangelical churches, and to transmit them down to posterity; and their commonwealth being looked on as authorized of God to preserve their churches; and the civil rulers esteemed, not only members, but protectors of the churches, there were laws enacted which inflicted punishment on the broachers of pernicious errors, and on them who made invasions on the ecclesiastical constitution, which was esteemed the highest glory, and chief interest of the country. The Jews did not ever value themselves more for the temple at Jerusalem than the people of that province for their primitive model of ecclesiastical polity.

    Toleration was of course declared against, as bringing more mischiefs into the church, than the trojan horse into the city, whose ruin soon followed its admission. It was commonly said “Antichrist was coming in at the back door, by a general liberty of conscience.”

    Mr. Mather was never for carrying matters to extremities; and utterly disliked the bitter spirit which he saw in some, who had a great influence on public administrations. It is a pity any of those laws should stand on record, some of which were never executed, and all of them long since repealed.

    It is true, he supposed the civil magistrate might restrain seducers; but upon maturer thoughts, he became fully satisfied with what our Savior declared, “That tares must be tolerated” and was utterly against the nonsensical way of converting men to the faith by penalties. It is plan, the man who is a good neighbor and a good subject has a right to life and to civil enjoyments; and it is not his being of this or that opinion in religion, but his doing of something which directly tends to the hurt or subversion of human society that forfeits this right.

    As to blasphemies and essays to poison men with atheism, profaneness and contempt of morality, which destroy ligaments of human society, they can lay no claim to a toleration.

    A good subject has a title to all temporal possessions and enjoyments, before he is a Christian; and it looks odd, that a man should forfeit his title, upon his embracing the faith, or because he does not happen to be a Christian of the uppermost party among the subdivisions.

    All acts of religion, produced by external compulsion, are in no wise acceptable to God; but, on the contrary, a contempt of him who searches the hearts.

    I know it is pleaded, that orthodoxy ought to be uppermost and supported and heterodoxy to be suppressed. But the uppermost side is always orthodox; and when there is a revolution in the civil state, it ceases to be so of course. They, who are most vehement for oppressing an inferior party, when the tables are turned, resent their being persecuted as deeply as others.

    The punishing of idolaters with death, among the Israelites, ought not to be urged in defense of persecution. The land of Canaan was held by deed of gift from God immediately; and the condition by which they held their title to it, was their observation of the law of Moses, in which idolatry was expressly forbid, and the committing of it was high-treason; they being under a theocracy, did thereby renounce their allegiance to God their sovereign. At the same time foreigners, who came to the land of Canaan, were not compelled to embrace the Mosaic laws; and when many of the Jews fell into the grossest heresies, yet while they kept the law of Moses, abstaining from idolatry, etc, the magistrate inflicted no civil penalty.

    The Sadducees overthrew some fundamental principles of religion; yet we do not find that the blessed Jesus reproached the Pharisees, for not persecuting them as they could have done.

    The Christian faith brings us into no earthly Canaan, and has no weapons but what are spiritual: and it must be allowed, as most agreeable to Christian Religion that the only punishment inflicted on the erroneous should be instruction; which if they will not regard, their eternal perdition is owing to themselves.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=ag06AAAAcAAJ&dq=memoirs%20increase%20mather&pg=PA19#v=onepage&q&f=false

    This is consistent with Charles Hodge’s explanation of the development of thought:

    The doctrine current among us on this subject is of very recent origin. It was unknown to the ancients before the advent. In no country was religion disconnected with the state. It was unknown to the Jews. The early Christians were not in circumstances to determine the duty of Christian magistrates to the Christian church. Since the time of Constantine, in no part of Christendom and by no denomination has the ground been assumed, until a recent period, that the state and church should be separate and independent bodies. Yet to this doctrine the public mind in this country has already been brought, and to the same conclusion the convictions of God’s people in all parts of the world seem rapidly tending. On what grounds, then, does this novel, yet sound, doctrine rest?…

    2. That the relative duties of these several institutions cannot be learned by reasoning a priori from their design, but must be determined from the Word of God. And when reasoning from the Word of God, we are not authorized to argue from the Old Testament economy because that was avowedly temporary and has been abolished, but must derive our conclusions from the New Testament. We find it there taught:

    (a) That Christ did institute a church separate from the state, giving it separate laws and officers.

    (b) That he laid down the qualifications of those officers and enjoined on the church, not on the state, to judge of their possession by candidates.

    (c) That he prescribed the terms of admission to and the grounds of exclusion from the church, and left with the church its officers to administer these rules.

    These acts are utterly inconsistent with Erastianism and with the relation established in England between the church and state.

    3. That the New Testament, when speaking of the immediate design of the state and the official duties of the magistrate, never intimates that he has those functions which the common doctrine of the Lutheran and Reformed church assign him. This silence, together with the fact that those functions are assigned to the church and church officers, is proof that it is not the will of God that they should be assumed by the state…

    The Relation of Church and State
    originally appeared in Princeton Review in 1863. It is now taken from a recently re-released book of essays by a variety of authors edited by Iain Murray, The Reformation of the Church
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=92

    Like

  3. Brandon, surely you’re not going to claim all credit goes to Christians? Hodge’s son, after all, was a proponent of adding a Christian amendment to the Constitution.

    Like

  4. It depends on what you mean.

    Were Christians the only influence on the Constitution? Certainly not.

    Were developments in Christian thought on the relation of church and state simply a result of the Enlightenment? Certainly not.

    To throw special revelation out the window in this matter simply because some Christians couldn’t figure it out is unwarranted. The evidence is clear that some Protestants did awake from theocratic slumber prior to the Enlightenment, and it was special revelation that awoke them.

    I will likewise ask “Surely you’re not going to claim all credit goes to the Enlightenment?”

    Like

  5. “The land of Canaan was held by deed of gift from God immediately; and the condition by which they held their title to it, was their observation of the law of Moses,”

    I thought Kline invented republication.

    Like

  6. Neo-Calvinists, though, can’t.

    Well I guess you win then, huh?

    I can praise God that he providentially provided for the preservation of the church over the last couple hundred years in America, in part through the faulty unbiblical philosophy of men like Jefferson, in part through the reformation of the church beyond WCF. Does that make me a Neo-Calvinist? Or can you admit there are more than two categories?

    Like

  7. Brandon, why would you expect Jefferson to have a biblical philosophy? Or why would you require statesmen to have biblical philosophy? Do you enjoy ice cream? Did it come from biblical teaching of frozen sweetened cream?

    Like

  8. To the layman, who:

    Likes to criticize what he can’t understand, needs a job, and hasn’t ever published anything related to the topic (but still feels qualified to discuss the matter at length, while simultaneously critiquing others who have published on the topic under consideration):

    Stop it.

    Like

  9. D. G. Hart said to Brandon: “why would you expect Jefferson to have a biblical philosophy? Or why would you require statesmen to have biblical philosophy? Do you enjoy ice cream? Did it come from biblical teaching of frozen sweetened cream?
    Now there you go again 😀
    First it was Sweetbreads and cinematic debauchery and now it’s political philosophy and ice cream. And not just you, to be fair. I catch otherwise brilliant 2K people in this fallacy all the time.

    Watch closely please:
    Ice cream (of any flavor mind you), CANNOT carry moral content. None of the ingredients nor the process by which it is produced are capable of either directly upholding or violating any command, law or attribute of the Lord our God.

    A man’s political philosophy, by definition, WILL directly touch numerous areas of life wherein the commands, laws and attributes of the Lord our God ARE either upheld or violated.

    Did ya see the difference there? One is truly indifferent and one is not. That’s why one can be Christian and one cannot. Of course expecting anything truly Christian out of Jefferson is to demand good fruit from a bad tree. Of further course, whether a biblical mandate for such a philosophy can be established is also another question. What is not in question is that 2K folks need to knock off this confusion of categories. It is both untenable AND ultimately unnecessary to the 2K position.

    It is however quite handy when trying to rationalize sin 😉

    Like

  10. Brandon, why would you expect Jefferson to have a biblical philosophy?

    I don’t. But you don’t seem to understand the point of philosophy (it’s not ice cream).

    As Gordon Clark notes (in all his writings)

    Schaeffer is to be complimented, complimented considerably, in defending the unitary and integrated character of world-views, which therefore inevitably produce their logical results, in spite of the fragmented and confused minds of individuals.

    You don’t get to pick and choose practical conclusions in philosophy. It has to be taken as a whole. And a faulty foundation will reach it’s logical results in the end.

    Have a good day.

    Like

  11. AB
    but does emoji carry moral content? hmm.

    How would you like to be a swell ol boy and splain to me what, pray tell, it is you are talking about Andrew? It does not appear that I am hip enough to participate in this conversation untutored.

    Like

  12. I like teasing people who use wordpress emoticons. here, i’ll make fun of myself, i’m the most mean person to me i know:

    🙂 😀 😦 😮 😯 😕 😎 😡 😛 😐 😉 😆 😳 😥 👿 😈 🙄 ❗ ❓ idea: ➡ :mrgreen:

    emoticate away, i enjoy reading darryl’s and other’s tomes (and finding new blogs, look at that brandon fella, wow!)

    peace

    Like

  13. Brandon, but I don’t think philosophy has the power that you give it, Mr. Neo-Calvinist Hegelian, you. It’s not as sweet as ice cream, but it’s all vanity (and that’s biblical).

    Like

  14. Secularism as the new hope—-We are going to hope that starting January 7, 2015, a firm defense of secularism will go without saying for everyone, that people will finally stop—whether because of posturing or electoral calculus or cowardice—legitimizing or even tolerating communalism and cultural relativism, which only open the door to one thing: religious totalitarianism. Yes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a reality, yes, international geopolitics is a series of dirty tricks and maneuvers, yes, the social situation of “populations of Muslim origin” in France is profoundly unjust, yes, racism and discrimination must be fought relentlessly. Fortunately, there are several tools that can be used to try to resolve these serious problem, but they’re all useless without secularism. Not positive secularism, not inclusive secularism, not whatever-secularism, secularism period.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/01/14/charlie_hebdo_the_new_issue_s_editor_s_note_is_a_defense_of_secularism.html?wpsrc=slatest_newsletter&sid=5388f1e1dd52b8e411000954

    Like

  15. Brandon Adams
    Posted January 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink
    I agree with Greg. It is entirely unnecessary to the 2K position.

    http://reformedlibertarian.com/blog/why-pr2k/

    Very nice. “Radical” 2k theology ignores the obligation to the natural law, as if the Church must blind itself to right and wrong.

    “Propositional Revelation” need not be in opposition to NL–the natural law is not sola a priori. The truth of all natural law claims must been borne out in real life a posteriori, and further, as Rufinus argues

    Natural law consists of three things–commands, prohibitions, and demonstrations. It commands what is beneftial, prohibits what is harmful, and demonstrates what is fitting, for instance, that all things be held in common and the same liberty of all.”

    http://is.gd/FLPutT

    “Demonstrations” show us what is “fitting.” Liberty, for instance, here. Free enterprise per Adam Smith is “provisionally” indicated. Etc. We shouldn’t trust our <a prioris (our reason is fallen) as much as we might trust God enough to demonstrate the natural law sufficiently enough to discuss it together.

    As for libertarianism, I’ll take my chances with a liberal or a conservative any day. Those people are nuts.

    Like

  16. CW,
    I have no problem in condemning the violence of people like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and so forth. See, I have no problem in condemning the violence practice by elite-center rule whether the rulers are from the Right or the Left. But I do struggle with the American Conservative tendency to sweep the violence they’ve supported under the rug of the sins of others. Such is a denial of sin.

    And, btw, perhaps the following quote from Martin Luther King Jr. might help:

    My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years — especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government . For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

    The above quote can be found the speech at this link: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2564.htm

    Like

  17. AB,
    So you think that my first comment was irrelevant to the post. Ok. But consider the first line quoted in this post:

    That Christianity has less of a violence problem is self-evident

    See, I wasn’t the first one to bring up Christianity, violence, or the connection between the two.

    Like

  18. Curt, as a USAmerican (to quote Miss South Carolina) are you not riddled with guilt for what your ancestors did to native USAmericans and slaves? How can you stand that? Why not find where you came from and go home? You are complicit. You continue to support the system. You spend blood money. Be consistent.

    Like

  19. kent, you win with me (fwiw) because you keep it short and sweet. Bryan Cross, Cletus Van Damme, and Curt Day could learn a thing from you, my friend.

    Like

  20. Curt, I’d feel sorta like it was reparations (to me) if you went away. Actually, you’re a good sport and tenacious like a bulldog. And I’ve seen your profile pic so maybe shaggy dog works better. As stated before, I love everyone.

    Like

  21. AB
    Posted January 14, 2015 at 6:03 pm:
    I like teasing people who use wordpress emoticons. here, i’ll make fun of myself, i’m the most mean person to me i know:
    🙂 😀 😦 😮 😯 😕 😎 😡 😛 😐 😉 😆 😳 😥 👿 😈 🙄 ❗ ❓ idea: ➡ :mrgreen:

    Aha. However, yes it would be possible for emoticons to carry moral content. 😈

    D. G. Hart asks: “Brandon, what you do isn’t vain?”
    Everything else aside Darryl. I’m asking you honestly to explain what you mean by this. I have been to Brandon’s page and while I’m sure we disagree on plenty, “vanityy” is not a word I’d use to describe, at least what I’ve read. Actually, that’s not how I would describe you either. Although “vain” and “vanity” can be two different things. I’m genuinely curious what you mean.

    Like

  22. AB: “The mayor’s name is Greg? Here, let me fix the one I missed.”
    I mean this as no insult whatsoever Andrew, but I do not understand what you mean a lot of the time. Could I prevail upon you to please tell me what you meant by this?

    Like

  23. Found out last weekend that my first Charter relative to come to the new world came over from England in 1769 on a transport as a convicted thief. He had stolen silver from his employer. If it had happened a decade later he would have been sent to Australia.

    The relevance to this post? Not much, but interesting to me.

    Like

  24. Todd – I thought Kline invented republication.

    Erik – LOL. Well played.

    Darryl & Brandon had a nice conversation going but Curt came along and steered it into the crapper.

    Typical Marxist rabble.

    Like

  25. TG, (from AB), not an emoji fan, as you know. I remember when AOL instant messenger first translated my typed smilie. I had to type : ) instead to avoid the scripts..been all down hill since that day… Grr….

    Like

  26. Hard to know what to make of people who punished blasphemy and constructed a “city on a hill”:

    This law originated in the late 17th century when the Puritans held sway over the Massachusetts Bay Colony. But despite a 1838 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that such a law did not violate the state or federal Constitutions, this law would now undoubtedly be ruled as an unconstitutional violation of the right of free speech.

    This law has not been tested in court since that early decision and still remains a part of the state law. I don’t know why the state legislature has not repealed it. This measure has been allowed to linger on as a law that is one of the bad legacies from the Puritan history of this state.

    I do not mean to demean the Puritans. A number of their ideas played a key role in shaping the thinking of the drafters of the Constitution. They acted courageously and admirably in leaving England for the sake of freedom to practice their religion.

    But they were utterly misguided by being intolerant to the practice of religions other than their own. And worse, they severely punished those who did not practice or disparaged their religion. They considered such behavior as a danger to their religion and community. Satirical cartoons, like those in the Paris newspaper, of their religion certainly would have caused them to punish the cartoonist and publication that printed them.

    It would also be fair to say that the Puritans most likely would not have supported a right to free speech that would have allowed criticism and satire directed at their religion. The Puritans would have considered such a use of a right to free speech as something like a government endorsement of a right that included a right to blaspheme.

    Yet American history textbooks and many elementary and high school teachers avoid mentioning or gloss over this intolerance and suppression of free speech by the Puritans lest it diminish the popular myth that they should be honored and credited for coming to America to establish an exceptional nation that included the basic principle of the right of all people to freedom and liberty. including the right to practice their own religion.

    Like

  27. Darryl, it just goes to show that the Puritans were theonomists/reconstructionists and not Kuyperians/2K advocates. Of course, a theonomic place like Massachussetts or Geneva or Cromwell’s England would punish blasphemers. So, do you think there is Biblical grounds for the American revisions to WCF or did the Americans capitulate to the spirit of the age?

    Like

  28. Terry, what it shows I think is that Kuyper lived after the French Revolution and the Puritans didn’t. All Christians except for Roger Williams and the Anabaptists were Constantinian before 1780. No one could imagine a society that wasn’t Christian. The realities of living with Jews and Roman Catholics, not to mention the woes of liberal national churches, showed a different way, which by the way could find a rationale in the New Testament — a rationale that 14 centuries of Christian kings had clouded.

    Like

  29. Erik,
    More concerned with style than content are you? BTW, is trying to insult people a fruit of the Spirit? All of us can lose the war while trying to when arguments.

    Like

  30. From one of our mid-west correspondents, word that Muslims like secularity:

    Turkey must embrace the republic’s principle of secularism in order to progress economically as well as socially and politically, Haluk Dinçer, the outgoing head of the country’s top business organization TÜSİAD, has said, speaking at a meeting where his presidential term ends.

    “Turkey has understood the importance of the separation of religious and political affairs from each other, of freedom of religion and conscience, and of not imposing the lifestyle of certain social groups upon any others … Politics is not interested in people’s private lives and moral worlds. We need to embrace the principles of equal citizenship and secularism with our whole heart,” Dinçer said at TÜSİAD’s 45th General Assembly Meeting, during which the group’s new head will be elected.

    “I need to emphasize Turkey’s rich republican experience. Some people do not examine this experience as they do not want to understand the importance of this unique experience in world and Islamic history. But the Ottoman Empire showed a willingness to end its deep crisis through a comprehensive reform program around 200 years ago. It is now meaningless to want to return back to the years before, when the empire was not able to foster an industrial revolution, or a transition to the modern state system and a society of democratic citizenship,” he added.

    Like

  31. A cheer (or two) from a Roman Catholic source:

    It was not by virtue of a shared Christian faith that Charlie Hebdo’s staffers and I were brothers — it was by virtue of our shared faith in Enlightenment liberalism. And not very long ago, my church might have asked me to commit the injustice of denying their rights.

    At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church recovered what I believe to be the more authentic Christian teaching, accepting religious freedom and pluralism. But let’s face it: the Catholic Church fought liberalism, and lost. I love the Catholic Church more than anything in the world, and I hope I would die for her if I had to — but I am glad she lost.

    Charlie Hebdo reminded me that as much as I am a man of Christ and a man of the church — because I am these things — I am also a man of Enlightenment liberalism. That is why I see an attack against people with whom I disagree on almost everything as an attack on my values, on what I believe in and cherish.

    Makes sense to me.

    Like

  32. Darryl, That makes for an interesting comparison between age of the earth and 2k-type thinking, at least that reflected by the WCF revisions. Our received long-standing interpretation of scripture may be wrong and it may take some extra-Biblical developments (scientific progress, the enlightenment) to shake us lose from our prior interpretation. It’s not that we’re adjusting our understanding of scripture to fit the times, but rather that the times are letting us see something in scripture that we hadn’t seen before.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s