Our sympathies and prayers of course go out for those families whose lives have been disrupted by the bombings at the Boston Marathon. At this point we don’t know who perpetrated the attacks. We may never know. The “usual suspects” haven’t stepped forward to claim credit. Forensic science is good, but it has its limits, like all science, though there those who claim science eventually will solve all our problems.
Actually events such as the Boston bombings are a symptom of a much larger problem that often is ignored—the matter of worldview. Philosophies, religions, political ideas that often become like a religion, science that seeks to supplant all other worldviews, are rampant around the globe. They frequently clash and the result is war, whether declared and open, secretive and “terroristic”. This clash of worldviews is symptomatic of human beings. The idea of giving your life, or taking others, in the name of your worldview obviously is a very strong human characteristic. It is so strong, in fact, that my worldview—Christian—teaches that such conflicts eventually will lead to the end of the human race on this planet.
In the United States there are groups that represent virtually all of these worldviews from humanism, socialism/communism, through nihilism, virtually all the non-Christian religions, to hedonism (if it feels good, do it, a very prominent one these days), etc. As Dr. David L. Goetsch wrote compellingly here last Friday, the Christian worldview predominated in the founding of this country, despite those who would argue to the contrary. However, we must admit it no longer is the predominant one, humanism seems to have supplanted it.
The fact that others argue with Dr. Goetsch’s thesis is a symptom of the issue the U.S. faces today. The country’s strongest founding motivation, Christianity, now is being rapidly pushed to the side by another, stronger worldview which dominates our government and our educational system—humanism. Humanism puts human beings at the pinnacle of existence. It is taught in our schools, preached from the halls of Congress and is the worldview of many if not most intellectuals. According to this view, human beings are “evolving” into something better, stronger, more intelligent, more God-like. By this view, human beings created the religions, including Christianity.
However, the ascendancy of humanism brings us inevitably back to Boston. If human beings are somehow better, stronger, more-humane if you will, it’s very hard to find evidence of that around the world. There are wars going on in many places around the planet and, as is well documented in Niall Ferguson’s work The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, the 20th Century was the bloodiest in all history. The 21st will be worse if Ferguson is correct, and I believe he is.
Mankind now has the means to destroy himself—nuclear weapons—but in my view, and that of Ferguson, he lacks the wisdom to prevent that destruction. Where does this leave us? It leaves us facing destruction and the end of the world as we know it.
Where does that leave thinking, caring, loving people who just want to live peaceably with their fellow men and women? Well, it leaves us with a question of how do we lead our lives and how do we prepare for their end. Being a Christian pastor, I obviously would advise, get right with God, love your neighbor as yourself, and prepare for the end of the world as we know it. After all, we have a promise of a better one once we get out of this place. But don’t look to human knowledge and wisdom to solve our problems, that just leads to ever bigger bombs and the will to use them.