Thursday, January 7, 2010

Secularism & the Heart

Of course, Brit Hume's remarks on Fox News have stirred up a big bruhaha... the buggabo from the conservatives is *gasp* secularism (and here)... a word that sends shivers down our spines, as if to place our ears over the ears of children, while the towns people light their torches...

No doubt there is a secularism that has arisen, no doubt we should not assume that secularism is a neutral position or creates a neutral public square. Yet, lest we think it is only "out there" consider this:
"The two most easily recognizable hallmarks of secularization in America are the exaltation of numbers and of technique." Os Guinness, qtd in Mark Dever Nine Marks of a Healthy Church p24.
--We have met the enemy, dear church, and it is us.

We oppose secularization that is "out there" and "other" to us. We circle the wagons and wave our fingers. Yet what of the secularization of our own hearts? Maybe if we believed that the gospel is the solution to the problem, and if we really believed in our hearts that the gospel is the power of God--we'd look and find that we all let attitudes creep into our hearts at the very moments we resist them "out there".

It is often said, particularly in politics, that individuals rally against certain evils with a particular inventiveness because the more they rail the more they distract people from those same evils in their own heart. So think of the "family man" who champions "family values" and "defends the sanctity of marriage" but whose life and career crashes and burns when impropriety is uncovered by a few diligent reporters. Perhaps we should be asking the church: "Do we rant against secularism because we secretly know that it dwells deep in us?"

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"The Voyages..." Forays into Biblical studies, Biblical exegesis, theology, exposition, life, and occasionally some Star Trek...