Engaging views and analysis from outside contributors on the issues affecting society and faith today.

CP VOICES do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

The Christian’s duty in a revolutionary age (part 1)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
CHARLES DICKENS, A Tale of Two Cities

Unsplash/Shashank Sahay
Unsplash/Shashank Sahay

Thus did Charles Dickens describe another revolutionary time when all presuppositions and values were challenged and denied. We latter 20th-century and early 21st-century Christians have been called upon to follow the Lord Jesus and to be His faithful disciples in a supremely strategic moment in human history. It is a moment replete with perilous problems and ripe with promising opportunities.  

Numerous scholars have commented on the increasing dominance of what Carl F. H. Henry in 1946 called “the secular philosophy of humanism or naturalism.”[1] One of the most incisive analyses was provided by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian exile many consider (including myself) one of the 20th century’s greatest and bravest men. Solzhenitsyn warned of the grievous consequences of this fallacious worldview:

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

“The humanistic way of thinking, which has proclaimed itself our guide, did not admit the existence of intrinsic evil in man, nor did it see any task higher than the attainment of happiness on earth. It started modern western civilization on the dangerous trend of worshipping man and his material needs…As if human life did not have any higher meaning.”[2]

Carl F. H. Henry has described the drastic extent to which modern philosophies and educational theories have succumbed to a man-centered, rather than God-centered, focus and orientation.[3] Henry observed that man rather than God “now defines ‘truth’ and ‘goodness’ in most modern universities” and that this is the culmination of the present century’s having experienced “the greatest overturn of ideas and ideals in the history of human thought.”[4]

The result has been a downward spiral from a Judeo-Christian worldview to a man-centered, idolatrous world increasingly hostile to people of religious faith. Christians today are no longer confronted by a “merely secular” culture, but have now descended “to a pagan society which denies God and has its own idols and own pantheon of new gods,” a veritable “neo-pagan age.”[5]

The downward spiral of sin outlined by the Apostle Paul for the Roman Christians has materialized before our very eyes. As “their foolish heart was darkened, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” and they “changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Rom. 1:21-25). Consequently, “God gave them up unto vile affections” and “gave them over to a reprobate mind” (Rom. 1:26-28).

As Christians, we should draw encouragement, however, from the fact that we face a situation remarkably analogous to the one that confronted our first-century spiritual ancestors. They, too, were immersed in a world dominated by pagan idolatrous philosophies and lifestyles. Most of them had been an integral part of that world until their conversion. They had to develop a new life, a new mind, a new worldview.[6] If they triumphed in their time and place, so can we, with God’s power, guidance, and assurance.

More about that next week.

[1] Carl F. H. Henry, Remaking the Modern Man, (Grand Rapids: Wm. Eerdmans, 1946, p. 9).
[2] Ronald Berman ed. Solzhenitsyn at Harvard (Washington, D.C. Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1980), 16-17.
[3] Christianity Today, May 7, 1981.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Denton Lotz, “Christian Higher Education and the Conversion of West,” The Southern Baptist Educator (Sept. 1984) p. 7.
[6] Oliver Barclay, The Intellect and Beyond (Grand Rapids, Mich. Zondervan, 19851, 16-17).

Dr. Richard Land, BA (Princeton, magna cum laude); D.Phil. (Oxford); Th.M (New Orleans Seminary). Dr. Land served as President of Southern Evangelical Seminary from July 2013 until July 2021. Upon his retirement, he was honored as President Emeritus and he continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor of Theology & Ethics. Dr. Land previously served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (1988-2013) where he was also honored as President Emeritus upon his retirement. Dr. Land has also served as an Executive Editor and columnist for The Christian Post since 2011.

Dr. Land explores many timely and critical topics in his daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” and in his weekly column for CP.

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More In Opinion