Monday, June 8, 2015

Building the earthly Kingdom.

[Walter] Rauschenbusch’s promotion of the “social gospel” aimed to turn Christians away from considerations of original sin, the baleful influence of Satan and temptations of evil, the failings of the human will, personal piety and prayer, and the gift of grace and redemption ultimately through Christ, and instead toward the overcoming of “social sin” and what he called “social salvation” and “the progressive regeneration of social life.” Rauschenbusch and prominent Protestants of his generation—including John Dewey, Herbert Croly, Jane Addams, and many other minor players in varied positions throughout society—helped to make Protestantism into a social and political project, even while taking it out of the churches. That process is what we call “secularization,” but it’s a deeply and distinctively religious and especially Protestant form of “secularism.”[1]
Social justice warriors labor assiduously to create that "progressive regeneration of social life," though more accurately, they labor to "do something" to "improve" life on earth and are repelled at the idea that there is anything of value in the culture that can be regenerated.

People without the sense that the Lord gave a duck devise social and political schemes that "should" solve all our problems, yet they never take original sin or man's imperfect nature, if you will, into account. The slaughter, pain, and waste of 20th-century fascination with vaporous, revolutionary, social and political schemes are nothing to these dreamers, simply a necessary cost to be borne in the pursuit of the earthly Kingdom. If they note it all.

Murphy's Law, the Law of Unintended Consequences, human fallibility, and the iron laws of arithmetic are never elements in the catechism of the Holy Church of Secular Uplift. Rational pleas to take reality and experience into account are treated as heresy and viciously attacked. Secularism came to be anything but secular.

[1] "A Secular Age? Liberalism is the latest form of Protestant religion, practiced from the academy to the culture wars." By Patrick J. Deneen The American Conservative, 9/3/14 (link added).

H/t: A conservative blog for peace.

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