The Enslaving “Alternatives” to Christianity
Many of the supposed “alternatives” to Christianity of the last two centuries have resulted in the violation of human dignity and freedom. In this brief clip, W. Robert Godfrey evaluates the disturbing implications of these theories that remain influential today.
I remember talking to a young man whose parents had been very pious Lutherans in Germany. With the rise of Nazism, he had gone off to the Hitler Youth, and he said, “We were overwhelmed with the sense that we were the wave of the future. We were facing the brave new world. We were being scientific. Our poor parents were just benighted, caught up in the past. We were modern people.” I do not want to say that all of that is Darwin’s fault personally. But if you really embrace the notion that we are all just animals, that it is the survival of the fittest, that weaker species do die off over time, how exactly do you answer the racists who insist that they are the wave of the future and supported by science? That has to be faced as a serious question if there is no alternative. Of course, part of what goes on here is a kind of determinism, is it not? You cannot determine your race, you cannot change your race. You can just live or die. You can kill or be killed. That is one of the really disturbing factors of a lot of the alternatives being offered to Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries. A lot of these alternatives are deterministic alternatives. The prize of freedom is being taken away. It is ironic that they hate Calvinism because of its view of the sovereignty of God. They “get rid of” God, but they do not maintain human freedom. They plunge humanity into an even greater loss of freedom. So, the sense that science is opposing the faith, is undermining the Bible, is changing our notion of who human beings are – that is a big factor of a changing mood amongst Christians in the later 19th century.