I do buy into, at least for the immediate short term, the gloom and doom narrative (so-called) that says we are going to remain in this dark age for a substantial period of time. (Which of course is not forever.) We’ve been in this narrative since the enlightenment.
To deny this is akin to the alcoholic denying he is an alcoholic. Denying it doesn’t change the reality of it. The social order of the West is going from having broken down to continuously breaking down with increasing vigor with each passing year. The Church in the West is in a Dark Age that is every bit as comparable to Dark Age the Church was in in the 14th & 15th centuries. Our ministerial corps and Seminary leadership is just an outrageous joke. Pietism continues to be the ethos of the Church and Dispensationalism (whether in the original version or the R2K Reformed version) is the theology du jour. There are next to zero civil magistrates that are worthy of honor. The nuclear family is in absolute shambles and the Trustee family is a long-forgotten concept not even remembered among the gaffers and gammers among us. Our tatted Great-Grandmothers today are more likely to have fond memories of Woodstock than fond memories of 65 years with one husband with the blessings of many children and grandchildren. Our schools excel in intellectual lobotomy as they continue to churn out apparatchiks who only know how to keep the machinery of humanist society rolling as they prioritize their sexual organs over their brains.
We must play the part of men and be honest about these matters. They will not change until we stare them in the face and admit where we are at. The pollyanna-ism of some post-mill types drives me absolutely bonkers. Look all around you. See what has been done already to deteriorate Western Civilization. Our enemies are already crowing how Europe is going to become a multicult polyglot cult. How can we not be suffering from delirium when given this reality we are going around saying that “all will soon be well?” All will not soon be well. The next election cycle is not going to reverse the course. Jesus is not coming back to beam you out of this mess you have contributed to making, and unless you think Pentecostal revivals change anything (and I pity you if you do), there is little expectation to have in terms of modern notions of revivalism.
None of this contradicts a postmillennial world and life view. I do believe that one day the knowledge of the Lord will cover the nations as the waters cover the sea. I do believe that the nations will bow to Christ in space and time. I do believe that families will one day be whole again and that the Trustee family will again be the norm. I do believe that Churches will be healthy again and people will again look forward to each Lord’s Day to come under the blessing of Word and Sacrament. I do believe a day is coming again when one will not have to be embarrassed if they are a member of the clergy corps. I do believe civil magistrates will one day again consult God’s Law-Word in order to make decisions regarding cases. However, none of that will happen unless we admit where we now are, determine to roll up our sleeves and get to the work of Reconstruction in every area of life.
We have to be realistic and realize we are where T. S. Eliott wrote about long ago;
“If Christianity goes the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready-made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep to give the wool out of which your new coat will be made. You must pass through many centuries of barbarism. We should not live to see the new culture, nor would our great-great-great-grandchildren; and if we did, not one of us would be happy in it.”