God is Dead: Europe's Mantra
What does it look like when the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost take the last train for the coast?1
Thus spoke Friedrich Nietzsche:
God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?
This idea - that " that humans are no longer able to believe in any such cosmic order since they themselves no longer recognize it, " that the Christian God is no longer a viable source of any absolute moral principles- is the philosophical foundation of secular Europe. It is perhaps THE governing idea animating the intellectual presuppositions of the continent. And it its genuinely sad that an entire continent is swept up in a false idea necessitated by a philosophical dead end arrived at through a series of unnecessary philosophical steps that started with the idea that "We're pretty smart and can figure this deal out without God or his revelation. Our minds are autonomous."
Contemporary Europe is a grand experiment to see what it looks like to build a society with God excluded and verbotten. And as Christians - we have two options:
- Stand back and watch: Babel has been attempted before, and it will be attempted again. Let the silly unbelievers build their sandcastles, and then watch them crumble. Why try to speak truth to people who don't like our God anyway?
- Enter the fray: The "God is Dead" idea isn't the only game in town. There's another idea - an older idea - a better idea - a truer idea - called the gospel. It is the good news of who Jesus is and what He did to restore us fallen, broken humans to Himself and our original purpose.
Whatever attractions the "God is Dead" idea has for modern man, it's is a broken idea: it cannot heal the hurts, restore the dignity, and repair the damage of sin that contemporary people need. Only the gospel can do that. That's why Paul's Big Idea was the gospel:
I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God to everyone who believes. Romans 1:16
The God is Dead idea must die; it must be supplanted and displaced by the gospel. And that is why we're here.
1 This is a creative allusion to Don McLean's 1971 hit Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie.