Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Discerning Idols

"Paramount among the difficulties in Christian thinking is the dominance of anti-Christian assumptions in the "best" of the surrounding culture. Those who think Christians can easily use the world's artifacts and methods in creation of a new synthesis underestimate the all-pervasiveness and subtlety of alien and hostile influences. T.S. Eliot, who was much concerned about this problem, warned that "paganism holds all the most valuable advertising space." He feared that as long as Christians were a tolerated minority, the unconscious pressures of intellectual conformity would more gravely complicate their survival than would the plainly perceived dangers of active persecution." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destructionpage 322

"Since ours is not so much a pagan (which is to say a pre-Christian) society as it is a post-Christian one, the dangers are all the more serious. The forces of idolatry do not urge us to worship Zeus but rather use the language that for many centuries has been associated with the Christian church. Profound religious differences may on the surface appear trivial, and one who points to them runs the risk of being called a hair-splitter. Just as an observer in the seventh century before Christ would be hard-pressed to distinguish the altar of the Lord from one dedicated to Baal, so are we faced with similar confusion when devotees of the idol state use the language of Christian compassion in their evangelistic mission." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction pages 322-323

"There is no defense against such perils without a vigorous intellectual effort that enables us to discriminate between the true and the bogus. What assumptions lie behind the standard appeals to security and prosperity, justice, and equality? Whose ends are being served? Whose gods are being served? What are the consequences of the measures that this group would like to put into effect? We shall not be able to deal with questions like these until we prepare intellectuals who are able to penetrate with clarity the "advertising" that Eliot warned about, which permeates the output of all of our influential institutions. We have not yet devised a way to train them without making use of the major advertising agencies--the universities and seminaries of the reigning idolatries." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 323

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