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12.01.2011

Connecting the history of redemption and biblical doctrine to secular history and human nature

It's the usual condition of a Christian to have a vague theoretical/philosophical connection to the faith overall, and to kind of put off that fact and just accept it as the reality of what we are to experience in this life.

We sense the bigness of what we are involved with, but the banality of existence is pretty big too.

One way to get beyond such a thin connection to the history of redemption and doctrine is to connect the history of redemption to secular history and to see doctrine in human nature itself, including your own.

Like seeing animal sacrifice in pagan culture. Why is Odysseus depicted as sacrificing bulls to appease Apollo in the Iliad? The answer is obvious, because the culture that created that epic poem was seeing through a glass darkly and had pieces and parts of the history of redemption, just as all religions and ways and philosophies and so forth have pieces and parts of the truth, not knowing - seemingly not curious - where they came from.

Seeing all the evil in the world - and in ourselves - is similar. An unregenerated person doesn't even want to think in the categories of good and evil and so forth, so the greatest horror shows of evil can pass before their very eyes and it doesn't leave an impression. But a Christian can use the existence of evil to truly 'see' doctrine in action. Original sin. The Kingdom of Satan. Idol worship. Human suffering and death as sacrifice to the idols. Getting expiation of guilt from the idols. Etc. We can see these things in real time, in real history, all around us, and in us.

So in this sense World War II, for instance, becomes a vast pageant of false religion in action; a hallucinogenic horror show of fallen human nature and the forces of the Kingdom of Satan (with the forces of liberty, by the way, not surprisingly represented by the Christian nation and company of nations of America and western Europe).

And the Law becomes a monster of collective force, acting through collective and individual fallen humanity, increasing sin and the power of sin, an actual substantive force, accusing, shaming, policing, while all the while self-justifying the breaking of every commandment brought down by Moses.

And the features of our fallen nature, within us, acting as the corresponding 'reins' the world and the Devil use to direct us and so on.

We're in it. See it around you. See it in you.

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