Wednesday 7 December 2011

Things coming to a point


Re-reading Pascal's Pensees on the 'hidden God' (surely one of the profound Christian insights ever put to paper) makes me reflect on the times we live in - and whether God is now more, or less, hidden than in the past - or about the same.


I think things are about the same - because although on the one hand Christianity has become much weakened compared with even 100 years ago; on the other hand the spiritual, moral, aesthetic and philosophical pretensions of secular Leftism are not just weakened but utterly exploded.

So there is now no excuse for being a Leftist, its falsity and its evil are there for all to see - in the foreground and in the background, in books and in our daily lives and face to face conversations.


While a century, or two, ago the pretensions of atheism, materialism, radicalism, modernism etc. were superficially plausible - now they are not.

Whereas it used to be the case that the nexus of worldly Leftism has some kind of plausibility as a rival 'religion' to Christianity - now it does not.

Now we know that Leftism is a load of toxic waste.


Therefore it is an easy matter for a sincere seeker after God to recognize the evil of secular Leftism, and merely by default to take a close look at Christianity; where the answer will be found.

As Pascal makes clear, he who seeks  God will find God; but he who does not seek God will not find him. God is still hidden from the non-seeker  - as He always has been.


Why, then - if Leftism is so obviously evil - are there not more Christians?

And why are so many self-described Christians really Leftists (who fit their 'Christianity' around the imperatives of Leftism - as Leftism 'progresses' so does their 'Christianity'). 

The answer is simple, the answer is obvious from the above.


People know - in as much as such things ever can be known, which is never with absolutely certainty such as to be undeniable - that secular Leftism is evil and psychotic - but... they go along with it anyway; they are too skeptical to to seek God, too proud to humble themselves by repentance; too addicted to distractions, comforts and pleasures to want to rock the boat.

People make their choice.

God is hidden and obvious to about the same extent as always he was - but the choices are different.

God is the same, people have changed.


“Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time, coming to a point, getting sharper and harder. . . .” 

(That Hideous Strength by C.S Lewis  - p. 283)



Gyan said...

Also exploded the the pretensions of the Protestantism.

What do you think of CS Lewis' prophecy that the City that Science Built would last for the shortest period of all Cities.
(A Pilgrim's Regress).

Simon said...

Would it be correct to say when the point reaches it's utmost, we will see the Second Coming?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Simon - no, not correct; because the timing of the second coming cannot be known. In retrospect this might seem obvious, but not until then.

Proph said...

It might be correct, though, to say that the head to which things are coming is the final chapter of the end days: the days in which the pretensions are dropped, the masks ripped away, and people align themsel ves faithfully to God or else to themselves (and thereby, to the Devil). It is hard to imagine the parousia not happening shortly thereafter, but as Dr. Charlton suggests (and as I remember one Orthodox priest telling a parishioner who inquired about whether or not God would secure the salvation of every last soul), "mind your own business."

Wm Jas said...

Well, Leftism's being false and evil doesn't necessarily make Christianity any more plausible -- but you are correct in saying that it may receive more attention "merely by default" now that the true nature of Leftism has become obvious.

I certainly find that I spend an increasing amount of time reading about and dwelling on the Classical and Christian worlds. However fundamentally unsatisfying those worldviews may be, they undeniably had something essential which we moderns have lost.

Bruce Charlton said...

@WmJas - I'm making Pascal's point that God is well enough hidden that He can be found only by those who seek; and those who do not seek will not find; but sufficiently obvious that anyone who decides sincerely look for God will - sooner or later - find Christianity (according to Jesus's promise).