Wim Rietkerk of L’Abri recently wrote an article entited ‘The Wounded Soul of Europe.’ You can access it online here:
In the article he traces the decline of religion (and increase in suspicion) in Europe to the intellectual movements which unfolded around the time of the Enlightenment. More specifically he argues that five Europeans have contributed to the modern suspicion:
- Darwin – There is no need for God in order to explain origins
- Marx – Authority cannot be trusted
- Freud – Morality and conscience are not from God
- Nietzsche – Piety is always the weapon of the loser
- Kant – We can never really reach/know ultimate realities
The cumulative effect of these influential thinkers has left post-moderns stranded on a desert island with no idea how we got here, no-one to turn to, no standard to live by, and no understanding of what we’re here for. Whatever you think of Rietkerk’s suggestion it certainly makes sense of the post-modern mind. Rietkerk’s suggestion for the church is repentance, prayer, and a deliberate effort to be salt and light in the public square. Post-modern’s are suspicious of answers but they want them none the less. Further they are less concerned about the rationality of argument as they are about whether it ‘works’! Our lives and stories must provide a strong plausibility structure for the truthfulness and efficacy of the good news.