Saturday, November 3, 2007

Taking Naturalism To The Woodshed

When it comes to apologetic resources or cultural critiques, Christian thinkers have plenty of options from which they can choose. But when it comes to a clear thinking, surgical strike on the presuppositions and inevitably tragic consequences of naturalism and the secular worldview, no one does it better than my friend, James Abernathy.

This is Abernathy's first book, but if it is indicative of his intellectual mission in life, his opponents have been issued a stern warning of things to come. Abernathy is not your typical Christian apologist. And his opponents are not just secularists. Liberal Christians better take note also. They, Abernathy points out, want "... a God who accepts everyone and the sin in their lives. God certainly does the former, but for him to do the latter would go against his very nature ... What many liberal Christians don't realize is that without a holy and wrathful God, Christ's death accomplished nothing -- nor was it necessary. A God who only loves need not punish sin."

Abernathy had an epiphany on the similarities between liberal Christians and atheist secularists when he found that many of his Christian professors in grad school (Fuller Theological Seminary) shared the same political views as the atheist professors he had as an undergrad (Miami of Ohio). Trying to unravel the illogic in that conundrum led Abernathy to realize that though they each claim to hold to a different view of the world, the results of their thinking are the same because liberal Christians hold to the same presuppositions as their atheist counterparts. "Ideas," he writes, "are not 'respecters of men, ... their real-world consequences will be the same."

Using a mix of wit, political incorrectness, and precise thinking, Abernathy not only argues for the superiority of the conservative Christian worldview, but exposes the deception, metaphysical theft, incoherence, and self-contradiction inherent in the secular project. Abernathy has no intention of making nice with his secular opponents. The consequences of their thinking are too dangerous for that. Instead, Abernathy carefully unravels the critical flaws in their thinking, the eerie similarities between the secular worldview and ancient Gnosticism, and the chaos that the postmodern self-constructionists (both personal and community types) invoke with their so-called "progressive" ideas.

After setting the stage, and with no holds barred, Abernathy proceeds to illuminate the corrosive outcomes of this way of thinking in politics, the judiciary and, most alarmingly, the American public education bureaucracy. His "Random Ideas" are an entertaining culmination to a book that will keep you thinking but make you chuckle -- unless, of course, you hold to the ideas he takes to the woodshed. In that case, an honest self-assessment and thoughtful reconsideration of your worldview is in order. And James Abernathy is just the person to offer you some assistance in the endeavor.

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