So begins a good article from The Federalist. You can read it all here. David Breitenbeck has done a very effective job in making his case that ours is the age of faith -- not of Christianity but of faith. Therein lies the problem. It is not just that what under girds our secular age is a skepticism of religion and an antagonism against it but that the secular worldview is itself accepted by faith and not by reasoned explanation or informed consent.
The educated man of the Middle Ages or Renaissance, by contrast, could tell you exactly why the Earth must be the center of the solar system based on empirical observations and sound reasoning. He could cite the arguments for and, what is more important, the arguments against his own position.Today the prevailing opinion of scholars or scientists is accepted without any real understanding of why or any real consideration of the opposing points of view. It is the anarchy of a people easily led and easily convinced without having first considered who is leading or where things are going and without having paid all that much attention to the arguments for or against where things are going. We are a people of blind faith but we posit that faith not in the gods of our fathers but in our modern gods of opinion and feeling. We trust our instincts about what is true and what is false more than we pay attention to the reasons for such judgments. Worst of all, we have rejected religion not because its claims have proven false but simply because its tenets violate our sacred principles of who should be right and who should be wrong.
Christianity is not waging a war for the mind but for the heart and the modern heart is captive more to whims, desires, feelings, and instincts than to anything else. It is a dangerous time and things are moving very quickly -- so quickly, in fact, that it is a struggle to keep up with what people should be thinking and believing. Facts do not move so quickly but game on the ground is not about facts any longer. Christianity fares rather well when we judge the facts alone but the faith cannot compete for the heart untethered from anything but desire, whim, and fancy.
It is not that Christianity has been tested and found wanting but that Christianity has been rejected by those who think they know what it is but who, in reality, do not have the foggiest idea of its claims or its history in fact and truth. While this is certainly a problem for the witness of the faith in our modern age, it is not without terrible consequence for our life together as a whole. We are divided not over facts but over thoughts, desires, and instincts that often conflict with the facts. Consider, for example, how quickly the idea of gender has been surrendered to feeling and instinct. The facts of anatomy count for nothing in the face of a fluid and abstract idea of gender that has only an invented reality. As people, we have become sheep the slaughter, led by unreliable truth toward goals whose consequences have yet to be seen or understood. We are a people ripe for self-destruction, divided over ideas that have no basis in fact, blind to the outcomes of the things we judge true or false, and vulnerable to a pace of change that makes it impossible for us to be a cohesive society and community.
Our modern age ridicules the blind faith in God that Jesus calls us to follow but they fail to see that they have an equally blind faith in the claims of science, the rule of experience, and the instinct of feeling or desire. Breitenbeck is surely correct in saying most folks today know little about the science behind the facts they claim. Instead, they have deposited scientists with the same awe and respect that medieval peasants once reserved for priests alone. The science that they trust so absolutely is not experience sifted through rational judgement but experience that is hard to replicate and conclusions with which others may and often disagree. Technology and its engineers and inventors have become the modern day magicians except that we give them more than our attention and our curiosity -- we have abandoned our skepticism and deposited all our trust in them -- without knowing who is a charlatan and who is a truth sayer. We are the blind being led by the blind without Jesus to cast away the scales from our eyes.