Compartmentalized Modern Man

In a return to sanity the home and family would once again become the center around which all other reality would orbit, simply because in a sane world home and family would once again be the reality that matters most. Because of the triumph of modernity, man has counted politics and macro-economics as the things that matter most — the things that are normal. However, in a sane world it would be the home and family that would be the things that matter most. Certainly politics and macro-economics have their place but their current import reveals how abnormal we have become.

And why have Christians fallen into this trap of modernity? Well, one reason is, is that as modernity has used politics and macro-economics to destroy the family as the center of lived out reality, Christians have believed that they are compelled to fight back with politics and macro-economics. Having been defeated by the techniques of collectivist ideology they have had little choice but to defend themselves by means of a similar ideology in the name of home and family. They have had marginal success in the contest.

A healthy culture would return to the family and home as the center serving as the integration point that puts an end to our current compartmentalization that makes home and family largely irrelevant. Modernity has modern man compartmentalizing everything from everything else so that everything stands un-connected to everything else, and this process has started largely because we have compartmentalized what should have been the integration point — home and family — from everything else. Because of feminism women have been compartmentalized from their place and role in the home and family. Because of evolutionary capitalism men have been compartmentalized from their place and role in the home and family. Because of the industrial revolution the craftsmanship found in home economics has been compartmentalized from the home and family. Because of instant entertainment, infotainment, and edutainment that has been compartmentalized in their own bailiwicks away from home and family, home and family no longer are a place to find creativity, or the fellowship that results from such creativity. Even the Church has been compartmentalized away from the home as the denial of covenant theology as found in revivalism and anabaptist “theology” has atomized faith from home and family. The home and family, which used to serve as the integration point for all these functions and roles, is a useless unit and as a result compartmentalized modern man now finds himself a passive and malleable consumer of all that which he used to actively produce or be produced in him in the context of a healthy home and family. Now however, with the success of modernity and the compartmentalization project, home and family has been reduced to a mere bed and breakfast weigh station for a handful of individuals who mindlessly gather there for a snatched meal and a night’s sleep.

However, this compartmentalization project has not stopped with compartmentalizing man away from home and family. Successful in abstracting man away from home and family, the compartmentalization project has successfully turned modern man’s thinking into a morass of compartmentalization so that truth is no longer seen as holistic and integrated but is seen as a undifferentiated cascade of unrelated facts. Modern man is walking and talking unit containing universes of contradictions made possible because of the ascent of the compartmentalized mind. Modern man believes one thing in the realm of history which is contradicted by what he believes in the realm of philosophy which is contradicted by what he believes about current events, which is contradicted by what he believes about his Christianity. But none of these contradictions matter because the mind has been compartmentalized so that nothing that modern man thinks about in one area comes into contact with anything he thinks about in another area.

All this compartmentalization also explains the rise of the “specialist.” Because of the rise of the specialist we know more and more about less and less. This wouldn’t be so bad if we had some generalists among us who could take what the specialists are learning in their tight little compartmentalized worlds and provide a integration point that would help make sense of all this data. This used to be the job of the Theologian but today the Theologian has likewise become a specialist so that much of his “knowledge” is just so much abstract compartmentalized theorizing that comes into very little contact with the rest of our disciplines. Some “Theologians” are even insisting that theology shouldn’t exceed its boundaries of specialization insisting that each specialization should have its own autonomy. Theology seldom provides integration any longer.

So, this compartmentalization, as it has become the prevailing motif in the West has finally changed our University system into a Multiversity system. The whole idea of University originally was to find unity (hence the “Uni”) in the diversity of disciplines. The University proclaimed that there was a integration point. However, today the University has not integration point unless one counts integrating into the void as a integration point. What we have today is Multiversities where students go and learn that all that exists is the compartmentalized. There are particulars galore but no universals to hold the particulars together. (Though how you can know what the particulars are apart from a Universal to define them is anybody’s guess, but that is just another contradiction that we have to live with in our gloriously compartmentalized world.)

The reality of compartmentalization goes on and on. Existentialism compartmentalizes man from man’s nature. Postmodernism compartmentalizes Truth from truth, Radical Two Kingdom theology compartmentalizes the redemptive realm from the creational realm. Very little is integrated and as a result modern mind, being multi-minded, is unstable in all his ways.

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.

2 thoughts on “Compartmentalized Modern Man”

  1. Our problems in this country exist not so much because political parties have lost their way, but rather because we, the people have lost our way. As Wendell Berry has said, “Our country is not being destroyed by bad politics; it is being destroyed by a bad way of life.” The principle of responsibility–that our natural state imposes duties and limits upon us and our relation to others–has been increasingly supplanted by the construction of the autonomous self. The political philosophy of Hobbes and Rousseau, with its primacy of the individual to the disregard of the household or community, has subsumed and consumed the republics and the peoples. One result, in the quest for “economic mobility” we become nomads, strangers to our homes, our neighbors, our land, our tradition and therefore to ourselves.

    I join with you in lament for this loss of home and hearth. In Berry’s advocacy of agrarian principles, the theme of the prodigal son recurs throughout his writing. Oh, that the Lord would be gracious, that we would awaken and see in our day and our land “a return to sanity the home and family would once again become the center around which all other reality would orbit.”

    “The abstract corporation with a monopoly on coercion and with the ability to define the limits of its own power has become “father” to the collective of would-be Promethean selves who are, however, actually estranged, alienated and shriveled selves; the collective is the counterfeit of the communion of the family at the supper table and the communion of the Church at the Lord’s table and altar. We have become, in this pervasive anti-culture, the abstract and fatherless brothers in the Jacobin fraternité.”—Robert M. Peters

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