Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy

Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind

Word study: realities

When I was organizing a catalog of writing courses back in the 1980s, a supervisor questioned why I had put "religion writing" in the nonfiction rather than fiction half of the catalog. Though I was aghast at his brash assumption and the look that crossed my face caused him to quickly laugh and withdraw his question, he had expressed an assumption that is a fact of modern life. There have been two basic ways of seeing the world in the mind of western men and women over more than the past thousand years. One, which was taken for granted by almost everyone in the Western World before the eighteenth century, is that the biblical explanation of how the world came about and why it, and we, are here is the highest truth and the ground of every other truth in the world.

The second, which first came to be acceptable in the Enlightenment (the movement established on "new" philosophical theories gaining currency in the 1700s) is that scientific research is the only reliable way of arriving at truth and anything not empirically demonstrable is an inferior kind of "truth." So everything "religious" falls under "fiction" in that way of seeing the world. The leading Empiricist philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) went so far as to propose that empirically verifiable "scientific" knowledge is the only true form of knowledge and that any books with romantic, religious, or metaphysical ideas should be burned. C.S. Lewis was one of the best known early thinkers to point out that if the universe has no "mind" behind it, nothing in it has any meaning or "purpose" in any rationally defensible ultimate sense. You may as well bludgeon your lover to death as embrace her; both are equally meaningful (which is to say, meaningless). And if there is no meaning, neither did the ideas of such "thinkers" as Hume mean anything. If there is no Designer, there is no design; everything that exists is a result of accidental chemical reactions. So by Hume's own reckoning, his books should also be burned; the physical light and and heat produced by that would be much more empirical than any words on their pages.

Though "Christians," as self-identified, are easily the largest religious grouping in the world (even counting the religion known as "secular humanism," which comes in second, statistically, before Islam) it is apparent that that formerly dominant basic worldview based on God and His acts in creating everything that is, is now far from dominant. In fact, the "enlightenment" redefinition of truth has been so successful that the great majority of Christians are barely aware of the problem, and even many of those who have been aware of it much of their lives are inclined to forget it in the warp and woof of daily living. But to be a Christian, in any meaninful sense—philosophically, rationally—is to be a believer in the proposition that everything belongs to Christ because He created it in the first place and knows it far better than any mere human being—scientist or otherwise—can hope to. And whenever those who profess to be Christians act on the alternate "reality," they are selling short and betraying their professed highest truth. They're letting "the enemy" get the advantage by default. But this comes as no surprise to thinking Christians, who know that the Apostle John warns and assures us: "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one" (1 John 5:19; emphasis added).

It's elemental logic to say that a proposition ("God is the Creator of all," for example) is either true or false. Many of the great scientists of history—Galilleo, Isaac Newton, Kepler, and many others—used that assumption to propose, and then to pursue, scientific breakthroughts. Logically, they believed and acted on the presupposition that if God created according to certain "laws of nature," certain conditions in the universe should become apparent, and one by one those assumptions have come to be shown. In fact, the whole concept of "laws of nature" which has been foundational for all science since the beginning of the modern era, is an extension of basic biblical teaching (Romans 2:14, for example), which many historians cite as a key to understanding modern civilization's advances.

When the "enlightenment" thinkers were still a minority in academic and media positions, Christians in most of the West were happy to work with them and let them advocate, publish, teach, and practice their theories. Thomas Jefferson, for example, one of the early elite enlightenment thinkers (he produced a New Testament with all the miracles cut out), could not have been elected President if not for the support he enjoyed from devout Christians including members of the orthodox clergy, an instance of a successful application of pluralism in American history. However, once Darwinists gained control of the "establishment scientific" institutions and publications, they increasingly sought to disable the pluralism by silencing Christian thinkers and their thought, taking Hume's book-burning proposal to its next stage. The current stage of that censorship is the "establishment elite's" rule that only Darwinist theories of origins are "neutral" enough to be given a hearing in tax-supported elementary and secondary schools. By labeling any theory referring to an Intelligent Designer "religious," they have so marginalized Christians in all fields that the Christian "reality" has been widely eclipsed by the scientistic "reality.".

I for one am waiting for the eclipse to pass, a new dawning of the Sun of Righteousness. The truth will out.

— Webmaster Jon Kennedy



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C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)

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Jon Kennedy's latest book is The Everything Guide to C.S. Lewis and Narnia, now in stores, from Adams Media, F&W Publications. From May 9, 2007 through July 2, 2008 his blog entries or "Jonals" were articles inspired by readings in Lewis's work that didn't fit into the book. Click here for a list of all articles in the C.S. Lewis Overflow series. The book is available for purchase in support of the Liberty Museum in Nanty Glo and is also available on Amazon.



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