George Cornell, AP Religious writer, Chattanooga New-Free Press, 6/11/87, lets "the Rev. Carl F. H. Henry" explain what is happening to Western civilization. Cornell sums up Henry's diagnosis using Henry's words: "Western civilization, nurtured by Biblical notions of moral absolutes, purpose and ultimate triumph over evil, is now wallowing in a swamp of neo-paganism." See how clear the problem can be stated? Henry ought to know; he is a (1) "Reverend," (2) Ph.D., (3) a theologian, (4) a scholar, and (5) a Baptist.
You need to know this: "The spirit of paganism has become deeply entrenched in the cultural enterprise... We are involved inevitably in a controversy over the gods." Henry claims modern naturalism, abetted by a "scientific world view" nullifies the classic concept of one universal God over history, but concedes functional uselessness for "multiple, non-existent gods." See how simple it all becomes when explained?
But you should also know that "it allows Christianity no credentials superior to the legendary and mythological gods of the Babylonians, Greeks or Romans, no more metaphysical legitimacy than Hinduism or Taoism." Did you get that? Maybe this will help: "Secular humanism has sacrificed the metaphysical realities that make sense of moral absolutes," he said, and yet it illogically affirms "certain absolutes despite their incongruity with natural presuppositions." It is a "cut-flower phenomenon" Henry claims, "that has been unable to divest itself wholly of Judeo-Christian underpinnings." Now it is all clear!
But "the sacrifice of a personal and purposive Creator and Sustainer of the universe led to new cosmologies that left unsure man's substance and status in the cosmos" Henry claims.
He said naturalistic humanism, while sharing atheism's disbelief in any divine reality, nevertheless accords various mythological religions a practical usefulness in integrating the "beleaguered human ego."
Isn't that interesting? It's a good example of the way some theologians, scholars, and Ph.D.s talk and write. Bewildering! Anything that difficult to explain and understand surely isn't necessary to know in so far as obeying and pleasing God is concerned. Such high-fallutin' talk intimidates many. It impresses the unlearned. As the Church of Christ Church/Independent Christian Church turns out more of these high-powered theologians and scholars, our Doctors of Ministry and Theology, you will hear more and more of this vain talking. Is it any wonder that the people in the pews have given up on ever understanding the Bible if that is the kind of stuff you must know to understand it?
Somewhere I read that from a child thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. That is what the sinner and the saint both need -- an increasing knowledge of the sacred writings in which God has completely revealed His will concerning the salvation through faith in Christ. We don't need theologians and religious doctors who compound and confuse with all their fancy theological and worldly wisdom. We desperately need men and women who know God's word and will preach/teach it. - CAH.