The individualistic attempt to do in an anti-Christian fashion what Sociology attempted to do on a corporate level started as phrenology and eventually developed (?) into what we today call Psychology. Today, Psychology like Sociology is a given in the American mindset, and like sociology in its origin, it was anti-Christ to the core. Psychology became part of the America psyche thanks to work of men like Freud, Jung, Rogers, Maslow, Skinner and a host of others. The various fields of psychology and sociology have spawned countless fields in the West the way Spielberg’s Gremlins multi-duplicated with the addition of water, and with just as much danger.
Clearly, neither sociology nor psychology dwells in a neutral realm and as such the Church needs to proclaim the crown rights of King Jesus over these realms of thought.
I would submit that regardless of what discipline we inquire into (including Christian Theology) we find that Secular Humanist presuppositions and assumptions holding the field so much so that a foundational challenge to these positions is often taken as an un-Christian attack on good wholesome teaching by those in the Church who spent their formative years being trained in the “Secular” realm where reason was King and in a Church where God’s law-word was either ignored or reinterpreted through the assumptions of Secular Humanism. All of this is why in 1961 Harry Blamire could say,
“There is no longer a Christian mind….As a thinking being, the modern Christian has succumbed to secularization. He accepts religion – its morality, its worship, its spiritual culture; but he rejects the religious view of life, the view which sets all earthly issues with the context of the eternal, the view which relates all human problems – social, political, cultural – to the foundations of the Christian Faith, the view which sees all things here below in terms of God’s supremacy and earth’s transitoriness, in terms of heaven and hell.” (14) Harry Blamires The Christian Mind pg. 4
Blamires’ point wasn’t that there weren’t still some people living who thought like Christians, rather his point was that the context for conversations among those people in different disciplines didn’t exist in such a way that the influence of Christian thought could be brought to bear upon a set people or culture. Blamires’ point seemed to be then that those who did think like Christians were so isolated in their various fields that for all intensive purposes the Christian mind was in eclipse.
The purpose of establishing these matters by our light dusting is that,
1.) There is no such thing as a neutral or secular or common realm. Neutrality is a myth. Therefore the Church must proclaim the Lordship of Jesus in these areas.
2.) ‘Neutral’ realms are always reflective of some Theology and are derivative of and beholden to some God concept.
3.) If the transcendent and absolute standard of King Jesus is not the standard by which we measure in the putative secular realm then some other standard of some other Lord will become the standard by which we measure in the ‘secular’ realm.
Though these disciplines have ‘evolved’ over time, there is little evidence that on a large scale they have ‘evolved’ in a Biblical direction. The covenant seed continues to be trained in ways that compromise their confession that Jesus Christ is King.
The reason that the Church needs to return to a proclamation of Jesus Mediatorial Kingship is first because it is the Church’s unique privilege and responsibility to proclaim King Jesus in more than an abstract or gnostic fashion.
Second, none of our other cultural institutions are going to do it since they have already largely been compromised by the Spirit of the age. We are now several generations into this kind of evolutionary, humanistic, naturalistic and statist Weltanschauung and if Reformation and awakening is to come there has to be some institution that is sounding the tocsin seeking to alert God’s people that Jesus is not a gnostic King and that God’s people are responsible to think His thoughts after Him in every area of life and measure by the King’s standard.
From Darkness To Light
This is a proclamation though that the Church must make in the face of severe resistance for our churches are often led by professionals who have been trained in an unbiblical Worldview, who, because of that, will likely feel ideologically threatened by such a bold proclamation. As just one example, see how threatened people feel, if, from the pulpit or the lectern, it is insisted that the Lordship of Jesus requires parents to pull their children that God has given them out of Government Schools since such education is universally premised upon false gods and as such is idolatrous.(15)
Secondly, proclamations of the Lordship of Jesus Christ will also face resistance because frankly much of the Church in America is filled with people who prefer to be entertained and who would leave for other Churches if it were required of them to do the difficult work of thinking. (16)
Thirdly, proclamations of the Lordship of Jesus Christ will face resistance because the implications of submitting to that Lordship could be personally and professionally ruinous for people. Imagine Biology Teachers showing up in school prepared to teach something as innocuous as intelligent design.
Finally, proclamations of the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the Church will face resistance because many churchgoers don’t like and aren’t equipped for the confrontation that this doctrine brings in a culture where other lords are in usurpation against King Jesus.
The remedy for all of this is easy to advocate but harder to implement. The remedy, as we have suggested, is first, found in eliminating the notion of a secular realm, if by secular realm we mean a realm that is unaffected or unmoved by some Theology. While Dr. Martin was correct to insist that there is no institutional hierarchy there can be no doubt that Theology remains the Queen of the Sciences, the protestations of modernism notwithstanding. In order to provide solution to the current problem of compartmentalization, we must first recognize that no realm exists nor can exist that is not derivative of some Lord or lords and hence some Theology. One’s belief about God drives everything. Everything about us is the outward manifestation of our inward beliefs about the character and nature of some God. As a Christian people we must wake up to the fact that everything, that happens around us from School curriculum, to magazine covers, to Presidential Speeches, to forms of government, to what is considered chic in apparel, to hairstyles, to music, to parenting styles, is driven by some faith commitment which in turn descends from some God concept. The only question is which faith commitment and which God. Neutrality is a myth. Once that is recognized we must go on, as Dr. Martin tirelessly repeated to re-interpret every area of life in light of the Scripture.
Second, we must expose the aberrant theologies that are currently being incarnated into this realm we call secular and presume to be neutral. The realm that we now call secular in all actuality is a humanist realm largely ruled by the State and it won’t be satisfied until all Christian notions of ‘sacred’ are either completely isolated to what happens in the Church building on Sunday or isolated to a very private sphere of personal holiness. In heralding the Lordship of Jesus Christ the Church must expose Humanism for the faith system that it is. Like all other faith systems humanism does have a sense of the Sacred (The Nation State absolutized). Humanism is a faith system, like all faith systems, that is replete with Priests (Psychologists to whom moderns make their confession), sacraments, (abortion and the vote) catechisms (school textbooks), and martyrs (Matthew Shepherd). Since it is a Worldview System in opposition to the God of the Bible it’s sense of the Sacred and its Holy is what Biblical Christians would consider profane and unholy. In Secular Humanism, Man, considered either individually or collectively, is that which is ultimately Sacred, and since Man absolutized handles all that he handles apart from God, all that Man absolutized makes sacred is therefore automatically profane from the view of a Christ submitting Christian. If the Church is to return to the proclamation of the Lordship of Jesus Christ from the pulpit then it must at the same time seek to demolish every stronghold and pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. In our times and in this country that means an extended assault on humanism; the de facto established religion of this country. Do the Church and its ministers have the courage to do that?
Thirdly, understanding that Theology remains the core discipline that informs all other disciplines every college student should be required to start with the core discipline of Theology before moving on to other disciplines that are but seeking to express and incarnate the core discipline in sundry ways. Failing the pursuit of that solution, at the very least Professors ought to be required to reverse engineer their disciplines so that the students have the opportunity to see how their discipline is growing up out of the soil of Scripture.
Fourthly, ministry students should be required to take classes that seek to integrate Theology, Worldview thinking, and Christian Ethics.
These four solutions are nothing but the re-articulation of Dr. Martins’ call to know what we believe and why we believe it and what we don’t believe and why we don’t believe it.
Where the Church and God’s people take seriously Jesus office as King in an unrestricted sense there a cultural context is created that makes it easier for the gospel to be heard by unbelievers. Think of context and text when reading a book. The context helps the reader to make sense of the text that he is immediately reading. The text itself would be nonsense if it were set in an entirely different context. In the same way when the ‘Gospel’ goes forward in a cultural context that is informed by the unrestricted Kingship of Jesus, there the text of ‘Jesus Christ as the great High Priest’ makes more sense. Where Jesus in His Kingly office is lived out there isn’t such a huge disconnect between the message of Jesus Christ crucified and the reality of a culture that is defying King Jesus at every turn. When we don’t live out allegiance to Jesus in His Mediatorial office of King we make it more difficult for people to hear the strains of the message of the great commission because we are helping to create a social order context that is in opposition to the gospel proclamation. Consequently when we disconnect the Great Commission and the Cultural Mandate to have dominion under King Jesus what we inevitably end up creating are Christians who view their salvation as unrelated to their cultural endeavors, or who see their cultural endeavors as unrelated to their salvation. The result would be to give us both an antinomian Church and an antinomian culture.
When we find the proper tension between these offices we discover that people who have been saved and brought into the Kingdom, now seek to bring that salvation wherein they have been saved into every area of life, so that those spheres may experience salvation. In obedience to King Jesus those who have been saved by Jesus as their great High Priest now bring salvation to the gardens they tend, and the children they raise, and the books they write, and the Churches they attend, and the judicial decisions they hand down, and the art they paint, and on and on. So, as Jesus in His Priestly office saves individuals, they bring that salvation to their corporate life in obedience to Jesus in His Kingly office, which in turn, as we noted above, provides a general cultural context where it is easier for unsaved individuals to comprehend the Gospel.
Now if the objection is raised that what I am contending for is a kind of naturalistic program for the Church where I deny the supernaturalistic agency of God for men to be Redeemed and instead am relying on cultural infrastructure to convert lost men, I would respond by saying that God appoints means to ends. The salvation that the Spirit of Christ brings to men, while a spiritual reality, happens inside a physical and corporeal context. I would say that it is gnostic to suggest that we can get to the spiritual reality without considering the physical context. Men will never be saved by the proper cultural infrastructure but it is certain that their natural individual resistance to the message of Christ crucified will be accentuated and emboldened by cultural infrastructure that is built in defiance of King Jesus.
God putting the offices of Jesus together they must not be cast asunder. The Church must return to proclaiming the Crown Rights Of King Jesus in every area of life.