The Endarkenment

The Guardian argues:
The past 30 years or so have been an age of endarkenment. It has been a period in which truth ceased to matter very much, and dogma and irrationality became once more respectable. This matters when people delude themselves into believing that we could be endangered at 45 minutes' notice by non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

It matters when reputable accountants delude themselves into thinking that Enron-style accounting is acceptable. It matters when people are deluded into thinking that they will be rewarded in paradise for killing themselves and others. It matters when bishops attribute floods to a deity whose evident vengefulness and malevolence leave one reeling. And it matters when science teachers start to believe that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago.

A minor aspect of the endarkenment has been a resurgence in magical and superstitious ideas about medicine. The existence of homeopaths on the high street won't usually do too much harm. Their sugar pills contain nothing and they won't poison your body. The greater danger is that they poison your mind.
Naturally I don't endorse everything this quote states - but I will point out that suspicion of facts and an adherence to subjectivity for guidance is one of the hallmarks of our age. We are no longer living in the secular, modernist society that came about in past decades.

The problem with being an evangelical Christian in this environment - and evangelicals DO believe in divine miracles and spiritual powers - is that we can go beyond what the Bible says and dismiss any form of scientific or objective inquiry as being somehow unspiritual.

A friend recently told me of a Christian woman whose child has been diagnosed with quite severe diabetes. Weeks before this diagnosis, the woman and her husband declared their belief that God will give them "good things". Time will tell whether their belief in God's gifts to them* can cope with the suffering they will now go through.

* Note: I do believe that God gives good things to his people, but the good things he gives us are often things we may take for granted or are unaware of - such as food, clothing, shelter, living in a safe country. I also believe that Christians suffer as much as anyone else in society - and that suffering and blessing often coexist.

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