Douglas Wilson has done it again. He has written with keen insight as to the deeper problem that the recent terror attack in London reveals. From his post, which reads more like an essay:
...the issue is not whether the West has ever faced greater threats. Of course we have—much greater threats. But that is a different question from whether we have ever been in as great a danger. We are in great peril, not because the threat is so much greater, but rather because we are so much weaker.
So a culture that does not stand for something will fall to anything. And this is because somebody else with a different brand of “shared values” will come along and say that they like blowing up little girls at concerts. They like driving vans into pedestrians. They like watching the candlelight vigils afterward. They like measuring how bloodless and desiccated and lame our responses are. They like watching us not having a clue. Why wouldn’t they?
Collectively, we have no God. The ramifications of this are simple. We have absolutely no way to answer the most basic questions. Why are their “shared values” inferior to ours? They prize suicide bombings. We prize sex change operations. They prize one kind of genital mutilation and we prize another another. Tomato, tomahto. So we need to answer the questions.
Wilson works further back into the foundations to uncover some of the ramifications of jettisoning God from the culture. How does this play out in the formation of the next generations?
So when some troubled kids in some Agnostic Factory go “off the rails,” and shoot a bunch of their classmates, this should not be taken as a signal for everyone to start wailing about the need to hunt for “root causes.” The root causes are to be found in the curriculum of the damned school. Who taught these kids? Who taught them that there is no God or, failing that, if there happens to be some kind of a god, his existence is irrelevant to whatever we might be doing here in the classroom. And if this petty-god’s existence is irrelevant to what we say or do in the classroom, a dismayed society is going to rapidly discover that the boundaries of propriety are far more elastic than they had assumed going into this new regime. They thought that banishing God from the classroom would result in a free exchange of ideas, not to mention the freedom to have the kids read Catcher in the Rye. Liberal nostrums from a generation ago are so cute. Little did we anticipate the penchant many would show for Lord of the Flies instead. What banishing God from the classroom has actually resulted in has been murderous rampages in the cafeteria and the English teacher bonking her students after hours.
I am not saying that back before we banished God from our public discourse there were no outrageous crimes. There certainly were. But when they occurred, we all knew what we thought about them, and more importantly, why. We knew that the God of Abraham had prohibited such things, and that was the end of the story. We did not spiral down into epistemic confusion, muttering things about “different perspectives.”
So the next time some meaningless bits of protoplasm cause some other meaningless bits of protoplasm to reassume an earlier stage in the meaningless cycle of life, perhaps we should not rush to condemn them. Perhaps we should award them for their murder/suicide performance art. Give them a posthumous diploma—here were the only students in the entire school to pick up on the ramifications of what the school is actually teaching. Finally, someone following the arguments.
It is then that Wilson works back toward analysis of the threat of radical Islam to a culture bereft of true meaning - in other words, the problem is us. His essay is truly a necessary read for the thoughtful disciple of Jesus. Make haste, and read As Hollow As A Jug now.
And then pray. Pray that we would have a measured and thoughtful and Good News saturated response. And continue to pray for Muslims around the world - both those who are peaceful, that they would know the true Prince of Peace, and for those who are filled with malice and hate, that they their plans would be foiled. And that all would be converted to Messiah.