Sunday 7 February 2016

Liberal Christians becoming Christian Liberals


Anonymous said...

Bruce, You have what some would call a grim view of humanity, I'm thinking of your recent post about how the ultra 'poor' were biologically so, and simply died off in the premodern world. I don't disagree, but I wonder how you reconcile this view of humanity with Christianity and in particular with the Christian mandate to do charity. I have my own ways of doing so, but I'd be keen to hear your take. Perhaps you've written on this before, in which case could you point me to a particular post?

Thursday said...

Religious morality is teleological morality. That is it is based on there being innate purposes to things. Leftist morality is based on there being nothing but purposeless matter matter and the void out there.

For religious morality, there is an innate order to things. However, for the left there is no such order, so we are left relatively free to mould things to our own wishes. Social engineering schemes start to seem more plausible.

Being a liberal Christian means that you tend not to see that innate order.


I had not known that Givens tended towards leftish politics. However, one of the tell-tale signs should have been his book on doubt. Having trouble seeing that innate order, methinks.

Bruce Charlton said...

@econ - I don't see that there is any reconciling to be done! If something really happens to be the case, then we have no alternative but to work with it (or around it).

Bruce Charlton said...

@Thu - I hugely respect and have benefitted greatly from Givens's work.

But I do worry about him, *a lot* - since he is deeply wedded to Liberal politics. Every new thing he does I read with trepidation, wondering if maybe, this time, he has crossed the line.

Because it is maybe not quite but very nearly impossible to be a Liberal and a Christian; and we must be close to the point where it will become *literally* impossible, and all Liberals will be non-Christian and no Christians will be Liberal (the evolution of the Left will see to that).

This is things 'coming to a point', as CS Lewis called it

Thursday said...

I have noticed a huge correlation between religious people who write about doubt and political liberalism.

Leo said...

There are lots of ways to go off the rails, left, right, and center. See Mosiah 4:29-30 and 1 Tim 4:16. This is especially critical when there are individuals and powers urging us to jump off the precipice, even to the point of pushing, as you say.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Thu - I think you are correct. The bottom line has to be that doubt is a bad thing, which is not to say that someone with doubts is a 'bad person' - they are not.

But they may *become* a bad person if they start propagating doubts - i.e. behaving in such a way as to make others doubt.

It is correct and fair enough t say that doubts are not necessarily a bad thing, in the sense that someone can come out of the other side with a strengthened faith.

But this is a very hard line to tread without tipping over into saying that doubts are good thing, that really sophisticated and thinking people will have doubts, that people who do not have doubts are shallow, smug and have a feeble faith and so on - which is subversive.

It is a matter of trust. We should trust God as we trust our parents and our spouse; because if we do ot the relationship has been destroyed.

(By analogy and as a thought experiment: Suppose that somebody was trying to make your son doubt whether you *really* loved him... Supposing somebody tried to convince you that your should be doubting the faithfulness of your wife... What would you thing of such a person?)

You have probably seen this quite from Richard Wurmbrand when I first posted it - but for those who did not, here is 'Doubt makes traitors':