At Concordia this week we hosted American philosopher John Mark Reynolds.
His talk was entitled ‘For the Love of the World: Saving the West.’
The description of his presentation was: “For the love of the world the west must be saved, but not from external threats. The west must be saved from herself. If she is renewed then much truth that should never have been forgotten will be recalled and those things that must pass away for the world’s good will pass away.”
In a nutshell, he said:
Western culture is based on Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian ideas. In particular, it is based on ‘the ethic of love,’ drawn from Jesus’ teachings: “Love your neighbors as yourselves.”
Even though we don’t live up to this standard, we typically think we should care about, and help, others. In our public discourse, and political rhetoric, this is typically assumed.
But our culture is rejecting the basis for that ethic: Belief that the ultimate reality is a God of love. (Apart from this belief, why should we care about others?)
But that makes our culture vulnerable to overthrow from the inside by a “hard” nationalism, religion, or other world view which rejects this ethic.
The effects, for the whole world, will be disastrous.
What think ye?