T. S. Elliot On Christianity & Culture

‎”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.”

T. S. Elliot
Christianity and Culture; The Idea of a Christian Society and Notes Toward the Definition of Culture — pg. 200

Culture is the outward manifestation of a set people’s belief. Christianity is the belief cult that has created the culture of Western man for over one thousand years. It has been mercilessly attacked with success by various forms of Marxism in this country for 80 years. Eliot reminds us that once Christianity is snuffed out in the West then what made the West the West is snuffed out as well, and I would contend that means that not only is Christianity snuffed out but also those who were made by Christianity are snuffed out. The decline of Christianity also means the decline of Western culture and the decline of the European since on a civilizational scale they each imply one another.

Further Eliot reminds us that true Christian culture is not instant. Once Christianity on a Civilizational scale goes into final eclipse then it does not normatively come back in one generation. Christianity, on a Civilizational scale, is a tender plant that requires and creates its own eco-system. Destroy the eco-system that Christianity creates in a civilization and you cut back the tender plant of Christianity as a civilization creating plant. Eliot understood this and it is important for us to grasp again when living in a time when many in the Church today believe that the plant can thrive apart from the Civilizational eco-system that it requires and creates.

Our enemies understand this as well. Instead of seeking to directly choke off the Christian faith, they have wisely decided to attack indirectly by attacking the cultural eco-system that Christianity requires and creates. Our enemies realize that mouthing certain confessions means very little if those confessions can be quarantined from having any effect on the public square.

Unless we desire to go through a real dark age of tyranny and cruelty that can only be imagined by those who have read the tyranny and cruelty of the 20th century we would do well to heed Eliot’s words and gird up our loins and fight for the Christian faith and the civilization it creates. To refuse to do so would be a testimony that one loves death.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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