Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Vital Realization

Watching history documentaries, this time on the second world war, certainly gets you thinking...

When engaged in a conflict, you quickly become aware of the fact that your defenses are only as good as their weakest point - a reality, for example, all to painfully realized by the French and the British when facing the Nazi onslaught in 1940.
The same reality is evident when it comes to measuring the health of of our understanding of the Christian faith. There are clear reasons why we need to be those clothed in the armour of God. The Apostles identify many high minded schemes abroad in our world which are, in effect, strongholds against the truth of the Gospel, and only those fully equipped in the totality of truth can hope to stand against such bastions and engines of fatal deceit.

The imperative of being so adorned and trained to fight raises a question that many theologians and teachers of our day avoid, hence showing their resignation to alien concepts, adopted from outside of the faith.
What would Christianity have become if Paul and company had not contended against the supposed insights and imperatives of the philosophical and religious arguments of their day, but had merely responded to these with a welcoming accommodation of such views? What would have become of the uniqueness of the revelation of God working through creation, especially the Incarnation, to redeem the world?

The pain of falsehood, evidenced even amongst that first generation of Christians who departed from the Apostles doctrine, would have overwhelmed the faith, and would have left the modern world with nothing but the slightest echo of the marvel of God saving our wretched race from its own blindness and poverty.

Falsehood, of course, has made itself keenly felt over the centuries within Christendom - the blanket of error and deceit which descended, especially from the early third century onwards, as dualism became the source of so many 'christian' beliefs and practices, leaves no doubt where such murderous accommodation leads. It drains the essential Christian message regarding our creation, our fall and our redemption through God's love and reconciliation of this world of it's strength, and leaves us aspiring to some vague hope of a saving of the soul, not the actual handiwork of God, made very good for His refreshment and purpose.

It is with these considerations in mind that we would do well to take account of the inroads of theistic evolution into the contemporary Christian fold.
As several theologians have recently affirmed in the work, Should Christians Accept Evolution, the real poison here is not the acceptance of some 'new' understanding, supplied by science, of our nature and purpose, but the accommodation of a very old lie concerning life and humanity - that we are merely 'natural' creatures, entirely defined and constrained by the 'natural' realms of death and suffering, and that the Biblical message concerning a good Creation by a good God has no viable bearing on such realities - salvation, if real at all, merely equates, as it did for the Greeks, to an escape from such an inherently dark and consistently cruel world.

There can be little doubt that modern science raises questions that may indeed be hard to answer regarding the nature of our planet, but faith answers first and foremost with a clear and certain response - that a Good God framed and formed the heavens and the earth at the beginning,
that He made us, placed us in the midst of the good work, and it was then that we marred this realm by our deeds, bringing death upon it and ourselves. This is the malady that the one true remedy of Christ's redeeming work resolves, and to empty the faith of this reality is to leave us bare, clutching the merest leaves of religion in an entirely bleak and barren world.

The Gospel is unchanging, and our faith, our living and contending, must always derive from this unchanging reality.

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