A recent article in the 'Weekend Australian' entitled 'Is God Dead' by Greg Sheridan made for very interesting reading, so interesting, that I wanted to share some of his writing, especially as his command of English is so much more accomplished than mine. So instead of paraphrasing or condensing his article, I have chosen to quote some of the article instead.
"In abandoning God, we are about to embark on one of the most radical social experiments in Western history. Short of war, nothing is as consequential. Human beings create themselves inside a culture. A culture without God will create different human beings.
"The book of Genesis... begins with the what was the most radical statement in favour of human rights to enter the ancient world.It was that God, one God, created human beings in his own image. This is the beginning of human dignity in the Western tradition. A case of course can be made for ancient Athens and other ancient civilisations. But in Athens, human dignity only applied to the men in the ruling elite. The franchise never went beyond 10% of the people. Women, slaves and foreigners had no rights. People were not conceived of as individuals, but as members of families.
"It took a long time to abolish slavery. But Christianity brought with it the revolutionary doctrine that slaves were human beings with human souls, with human dignity, with a personal relationship with an Almighty God. The New Testament even gave us the first monotheistic religious statement in favour of a secular political order "Render to Caesar that which is Caesar's and to God, that which is God's."
"Without God, human beings are no longer unique, universal and special in nature - they are just one more chancy outcrop of the planet and its biosphere. And when Christianity is more completely eradicated from our consciousness it will dawn on the culture that without God, there is no final human accountability. Life is just what you can get away with and no ultimate price to pay."
But what about churches in the context of this discussion? "In his bold and high-selling new book, 'The Benedict Option' Rod Dreher suggests the churches have to rethink their social roles. He thinks they need to re-conceive of themselves as minorities. This would give them some advantages. They need, too, to reconsider the seriousness of their purposes, so that even if they no longer represent a consensus, they can at least continue to offer and alternative.
"This is not the end of days. But it is the end of that long period when the West has known Christianity, even if it has often honoured the faith in the breach. Our culture, our people, not to mention our poor and our sick, will miss Christianity more than they can possibly know."
There is also a detailed discussion on atheism and communism. "Nothing is easier than to find bad deeds and sayings of individual Christians over 2000 years and then implausibly claim that this invalidates the whole of Christianity. Dawkins ( a high profile atheist) graciously concedes that Joseph Stalin was an atheist and mass murderer. So while he acknowledges Stalin's atheism, he said it had no effect on Stalin's actions. But whereas Dawkins attributes any bad thing done by any Christian to their Christianity, and any good thing done by any Christian to a lingering humanism in contradiction of Christianity, his contrasting escape clause for the effects of atheist belief is absurd."
A very interesting article and relevant to our society today.
(The italics are mine as these thoughts correspond with my thoughts exactly.)