[b]MODERN PHILOSOPHY AND THINKING--ITS FALLACY[/b]
The reason history repeats itself is that human nature is ever the same.
Thus the one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from
history! I am just ole enough to remember with an effort the 1920s--
their sky glowing with the dawn of a new world order. Strange, isn't
it, that this phrase about a new world order, shouted from the
housetops after both world wars, has suddenly been dropped? More
than that, as a child they guaranteed me a war-free world, and one
secular prophet of that day (shunning religion--indeed, he mocked
it) talked about the inevitability of progress, the adequacy of
materialism, and the sufficiency of man.
Such optimism as this swept into *politics*, so that in the British
parliament, Lord Curzon said that the long dark night of barbarism had
passed. We were led to believe that the millennium, man-made, was
just around the corner. Then about 1937 a lady of international
stature, the leader of a famous religious group, dared to prophesy
that for a hundred years there would be no world war. But there *was*
one in two years!
Somebody also ventured the theory that progress in any shape or form was all
a matter of *education*. In another half century, so the tale ran, all men
would write like Shakespeare, paint like Raphael, think like Einstein,
and invent like Edison. Poverty would seem to be a bad memory. The
humanists would pull down the hills of wealth and fill in the valleys
*Science*, those past optimists told me, was the new messiah. With their
ductless glands, they got both me and the rest confused. "Human love,"
they said, "depended on the interstitial, growth upon the pituitary,
intelligence upon the thyroid, charity and kindliness upon the
suprarenals." I was bamboozled, for it was plain to see that I was
a cosmic accident, a mere bagful of chemicals, held together by
skin. Strange, isn't it, that for almost half a century glandular
extracts have been on the market, and yet no new race of Christlike
men have appeared. Now, to my horror, I know that I live in a
shrinking world and an expanding universe. I know that while science
has spent billions of dollars perfecting death rays and putting the death
certificate for millions in one single bomb, it has not yet learned to
put human kindness into a pill, or has it a shot that can end human
bitterness and clean the heart of man.
The next disturbers of my peace were the *psychologists*. Some of these
said that we were all the creatures of our environment. Tough, then,
on the child of the slums. After reflection, however, I remembered
that some of the very best men whom I knew had come from the worst
environments. Out of this human jungle, a guiding Hand had
brought miracles. So I forgot the view of those men who tried to
interpret the race as a bundle.
Just then I met men on stilts confidently talking of Freud, Jung,
psychiatry; of Shaw's Christ, and Einstein's finite universe; of
time and space and the fourth dimension; of theosophy, hypnotism,
repression of the memory, supernormal faculties, the subconscious
mind, and finally, crystal gazing. These were all offered as
ways of peace, as escapes from the burden and heat of the day; but,
alas, they were as tuneless as a cracked bell.
In my workshop in those days I heard of the failure of the churches,
of hypocrisy, etc. But then I remembered men who, having gone to
savage tribes, always refused to carry arms for their own defense.
And what of those who entered areas famed for the jungle scourge?
For a wageless job in the steaming jungles, had not scores left
fame and fortune to offer men Christ? Then, too, I reflected on
the brilliant men with whom I had worked. For years they had
been treading the intellectual treadmill but garnering only husks.
While quite young, two of them committed suicide. These men had
creature comforts, well-stocked brains, confident philosophies,
but with all their scorn of religion were crippled with immoral
And so, once and for all, I settled the issue: *Life will work
only one way--God's way.* I took my Bible to my workshop and
read it. Some sneered, others enquired, a few commended. I
found that Christ could and did change my life. And He could
change other lives. Often I have been ashamed of the Church;
sometimes I have been ashamed of those who profess Christ's
Name; but never have I been ashamed of Christ. Christianity
has been weighed in the balances and found difficult but not
wanting. In the main it has been rejected. For my part, I'm
tired of clever men. *The simple gospel, believed, works!*
--Leonard Ravenhill, "Meat for Men," c. 1961.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon