The Deepening Crisis in The West: Rebellion Against Reality

If you could only read one essay about our current crisis and our potential future realignment, this is the one.

First Things – That Haunting Nihilism

Rusty Reno, editor of First Things explains our potential future. And nutshells the overall concern I’ve been expressing on this blog for more than two years now.

Pull quote from Reno’s essay.

I’m becoming an N. S. Lyons fan. “A Prophecy of Evil: Tolkien, Lewis, and Technocratic Nihilism” is the latest installment in The Upheaval, the mysterious author’s Substack. (He writes under a pseudonym.) This extended essay provides an arresting account of the deepening crisis in the West. By Lyons’s reckoning, Lewis and Tolkien were right. We are in the grip of a grim, despairing rebellion against reality that imagines itself to be the engine of moral progress.

Reno agrees with Lyons that the Western culture is influenced by a rationalist worldview that rejects any objective value or meaning in reality, and instead relies on subjective feelings and desires to guide its actions. According to Reno this worldview leads to a loss of human dignity, a disregard for nature, and a dangerous tendency to manipulate and control everything, including human life itself.

He uses the examples of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, two famous Christian writers who warned about the nihilistic consequences of modern rationalism in their novels. And explains how Lewis’s That Hideous Strength depicts a dystopian scenario where a scientific elite tries to overthrow the natural order and create a new humanity according to their own whims. Reno also refers to Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, where the evil Sauron seeks to dominate Middle-earth with his dark magic and his One Ring of power.

Reno concludes that the only way to resist nihilism is to appreciate and respect reality as God’s creation, and to cultivate a sense of gratitude and awe for its beauty and mystery.

We must reject the false promises of rationalism and technology, and embrace the truth and goodness of God’s revelation in Christ. That “reveal’ must be understood, at a minimum, as Jesus’s embodied life (incarnation), bodily death, bodily resurrection, bodily ascension, and bodily return when he will finally put the world right. For us personally, that means, among other things, changed, imperishable New Creation bodies!

Blog take away?

We were given bodies by God, because we were meant to have them. Our bodies are not accessory items to be disregarded simply because we wish they were otherwise than male or female.

Read the whole thing! (The essay has ended when you see the heading “Saint Constantine School”)

Companion Posts


Happy New Creation Day!