Why the pamphlet series titled “God, godless, godly”

I have used the words “philotheos” and “philotheism” to identify the two key aspects of a God centred system of philosophical thinking.

Philotheos refers to the fundamental conceptual idea  of God. That conception must reflect the essence of Who or What God must be.  The conception identified is the Name of God given to Moses:  “I AM”. It is this manifestly accurate, God derived conception of God which I intend to elaborate in this series of 3 parts, namely:

  1. God – Who God is
  2. Godless – What we are
  3. Godly or Godless: relating – or not – to God

The series is titled, “God, godless, godly”.

The word “philotheos” is appropriate because it places God first, not ourselves. It means, “God love” or “God lover”. It means we place God and God’s assessment above our human view and our human understanding. It rejects the man first, man derived perspective of our existence – it therefore rejects outright the human centred notion that everything is determined according to human perception – objective reality does not exist. I assert that, while everything may well be distorted by man’s perception [he is a self deceived sinner !] there is nevertheless an objective reality susceptible to being distorted by man’s perception !

I use the word “philotheism” to describe the paradigm which necessarily arises on the basis of the concept of God as “I AM”. The suffix, “-ism” indicates  teaching of a system of belief, such as Communism, or Buddhism, or fascism, or socialism. A body of teaching necessarily arises from the fundamental concept or idea which the teaching exists to explain. In so doing, it necessarily delineates itself from other belief systems; it usually adopts parameters of reference to reinforce and explain its perspective and its assumed norms of how to look at the world.

Philotheism therefore elaborates the perspective, mindset and system of thought which necessarily arises from the fundamental assertion that God our Maker is “I AM”. It necessarily thinks in and promotes a particular way of thinking, in accordance with its assumptions and key ideas. It even has vocabulary reflecting this thinking. It is therefore a paradigm.

Accordingly I will explain “What” we human beings are and “How” then we relate – or fail to relate – to the God who is “I AM”, by referencing the terms and assumptions of God-centred thinking. That will necessarily contrast such thinking from human centred thinking and assumptions. Notice that human centred thinking has its own paradigm which it seeks to impose as THE paradigm by which we all live. The systematic elimination of the Christian festivals in the annual calendar is both example and symptom. We witness now a human centered calendar being imposed in order to cause us to live by the conceptions and assumptions of human divinity: hence Pride month; Black history month; International Women’s day etc.

But, if God is the essence of existence, then our existence is necessarily predicated upon the existence of God – otherwise humanity becomes ‘god’.  In philotheistic terms that is ‘nonsense’ – we entertain such ‘nonsense’ because we deceive ourselves by saying God does not exist.  In so doing we exalt ourselves to the place of God and thereby expose our foolishness – a foolishness manifest in the fundamentally untenable idea that our existence is merely a matter of perception. This is clearly implicit in Descartes ‘Cogito’, “I think, therefore I am” – we know we exist because we are aware of ourselves.  That contains a great deal of truth. Indeed, Descartes would not necessarily see a contradiction with that and the existence of God. But note the words of Descartes ‘Cogito’ represent an anthropocentric appropriation  of the God declared Being, “I AM”. While himself not rejecting the idea that God must exist, Descartes in fact subconsciously reflects the real, underlying attitude of the human ‘heart’ which revolts against God,  demanding for itself instead the status of god.

Today’s Western world has rejected a theistic view in favour of a merely human centred view of the world. Accordingly, we now have laws which require us to think as if our existence were self dependent and self conceived, not God dependent and God conceived. We are each to determine our own identity according to our individual feelings and thoughts, not according to any objective criteria.

In reality this entails a reductio ad absurdam;  it creates the extreme nonsense whereby a person with a facial beard, a penis, and all the physical attributes associated with being a “man” can become a “woman”. This person must be treated as a woman and be referred to as “she” in legal documents. If someone has the audacity to refer to that person in the historic understanding as “he” they risk prosecution. This reveals the triumph of self centred perception over God centred objectivity and reality;  and in fact it is also represents the triumph of nonsense over reality. ‘Paradoxically’, this is where godlessness actually leads …

Traditionally, a person of one sex identifying with the “opposite” sex was thought to have psychological issues to resolve. But today, society must be forcibly conformed to that individual’s conception of themselves. That individual is no longer the problem; Society’s preconceptions have become the problem.  The individual is exculpated and justified.

But it has meant that if dishonest individuals make a self assessment to deceive society as to their criminal motives, such individuals nevertheless remain entitled  to maintain their manifest falsehood. Why ? Because the ruling philosophy applied imposes an extreme individualism to the total denial of all other factors.  There are incidents on record where a dishonest individual has raped women in a prison to which only women may be sent. The abuse of self declaration by an individual is foisted onto Society but  Society may no longer make any objective assessment of that person and their actions. Why ? Because the only assessment now acceptable is self assessment –  considered to be their fundamental “Right” .

We have, then, the conditions for the breakdown of the traditional conception of the rule of law; this philosophy leads directly to a situation where the criminal’s rights over-rule any consideration for the rights of the victim and of Society. The strong may abuse the weak, and the institutions of the State must nevertheless protect the notion of self identifying identity. This type of reasoning has become dominant among many intellectuals and academics over the last 20 to 40 years. It represents the triumph of human centred, human-only determined reality where human beings have displaced all accountability to their Creator and become, instead, accountable solely to their own perceptions and judgements.

Such anthropocentric  thinking has been revealed time and again to create a situation of domination by the powerful few over the obsequious majority who are conceptually and psychologically intimidated into accepting the minority view. Witness the extremist authoritarian regimes of the 20th century and the atrocities which they committed.

Such thinking reflects the default mindset of godless human beings. It is the mindset which appears time and again where certain human beings believe fanatically that humans are themselves god; the corollary is that human beings must therefore determine both the moral order and their own destiny. Control of the majority by a self promoting minority citing the pretext of “the good of all” becomes the order of the day.

This man-centred and domineering mindset has become so overwhelming that the governments of western democracies resorted to unprecedented control of their populations during the Covid 19 pandemic. The most everyday and normal actions of the population as a whole became subject to government diktat  and control.

The pretext of extreme individualism has in practice caused the most extreme denial of the most ordinary, fundamental liberty. It is so extreme that the very dignity of the individual is now demeaned in the name of this minority conception of ‘the good of all’.

This paradox, however, is entirely explicable in the philotheistic worldview. Indeed it is predictable.

An objective God who is supreme over all human beings is replaced by the idea of human beings as god. This defies the fundamental reality of our God centred, God dependent and God ordained world. Such self deceit is invariably practised and imposed by the few. Both the psychology and the strategem of control were identified long ago by Plato when he articulated his ‘Noble Lie’.

Philotheistically, however, God creates and therefore owns every human being. All human beings, both dominant and submissive,  must see themselves as accountable at all times to a Power beyond themselves as individuals. It necessarily therefore means that all those in positions of power are required to see themselves as accountable to that greater Power for all their actions towards those for whom they have responsibility. That constraint and counter balance to human arrogance disappears, however,  in the man-oriented system of thinking. The descent into abuse of our fellow human beings is inevitable when this mentality gains complete control. This is what we witness today.

This becomes blatant once the actual God is removed from our thinking.  Certain men then exalt themselves above all others, appropriating to themselves the accountability which belongs to God alone. This is the ultimate blasphemy. And the history of the 20th century demonstrates the wickedness which atheists are capable of as they seek to exalt mere men as god – Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot. They were all deniers of their Maker and they obsessively imposed their particular versions of human centred thinking as the answer to all human problems. They refused to see therefore the even bigger problem which they themselves represented, indeed which they incarnated…

My allusion to the God incarnate concept in Christianity is intentional.

God – Who is God ?

WHO IS GOD ?    The answer to that question will tell you a lot about the person who gives the answer – but may not actually tell you much about the meaning of the word, “God”.

Ask an atheist and they will tell you that God does not exist. They maintain that the God idea is just that – an idea, nothing more. An idea which human beings cling to for all sorts of reasons:  often because they find it comforting; or because some people can use God as a means to gain control over the hearts and minds of other human beings. The supporting evidence for this view is, indeed,  abundant.  You can cite historical evidence for abuse by  people who promote a god belief of one sort or another. Historically, there are the Crusades, for example. Today there are the manipulative control techniques of cults and sects and, even worse, the terrorist activities of some religious fundamentalists in recent years.

But in fact this is evidence of what human beings do, not what God does.   I could equally cite the millions upon millions of lives lost in the last century alone to the atheist fanatics who imposed various forms of communism and national socialism in Russia, in China and in Europe.

All such evil activity is perpetrated by human beings with human distortions about God or human conceptions denying the existence of God.

That human beings abuse belief and abuse other human beings is evident. It should, instead, cause us to ask the question: “What are we ?” The answer to that  will explain Why we commit the most atrocious acts against each other. Indeed the worst offenders are those who patently believe that they  have THE answer; those who are most committed to putting the world right. People who invariably cite the “good of all” as their purpose.

What such people fail to see is that the answer does not start with human beings. It starts with our Creator, God. And the ostensibly religious can be as bad as the non-religious and ‘un-believing’ atheist. In fact religious people too are often deceived by their human perception of God, and by their own interpretation of God. Without realising it, the religious can commit the very same error as the atheist i.e start with our human needs, wants, interests and ambitions. Human ideas about God warp and damage the reputation of God who made us – and damage our understanding of God.

Of course the atheist reading this will respond that everything is subject to our human perception. We all have interests, perspectives, inclinations, ideas which affect our conception of God. And that explains why there are so many religions, cults and sects. It therefore must all come down to human perception.  That, of course,  reinforces the atheist’s assertion that God does not actually exist.

But God does exist. And if God does exist, then God must surely manifest and communicate.

My fundamental contention is that God has declared who God is and that God’s declaration is both self evidently and demonstrably true. [footnote]

God has declared ‘himself’ as

I AM

It is on this basis, and on this basis alone, that we must conceive of God, and understand God. On this basis we can correctly identify who God is and how God operates. Many observations I make on this basis have often been made before by theologians and believers in the past.

What I am trying to do by articulating philotheism is to challenge the pervasive Materialistic assumptions and doctrine of the 21st century’s worldview. By articulating the essence of God as the correct way to view our existence, I want to counter false ideas and attitudes, both among god believers and atheists. The central concept –  “I AM” –  is key. I assert fundamentally that we must start with the God declared name of God; that God’s name is “I AM” and that reveals God’s very nature and therefore all else; I assert that all we understand and do must start and end with that central conception – a conception I regard as the vital, fundamental, critical truth. It is the failure to start, continue, and end with this central concept which results in all the problems we have. Without that conception, we inevitably fail; with it, we have the opportunity to succeed.

I firmly hold that the Philotheistic view corresponds to the reality of who we are and explains how we need to be and behave to succeed – i.e.  to live in harmony with ourselves and with the natural world on which we depend for this physical life.  This world – and especially the Materialistic western mindset  – desperately needs to hear this alternative perspective and understanding. Otherwise, we will persist in exacerbating the very problems which we need to solve.

By accepting the fact of God as our premise we can actually begin to see our existence in its true light – a light which reveals us as we really are, and this world as it really works.  By looking at the world from this standpoint, we have the opportunity both to see and to live this life as we all need to, together.

the fundamental facets of the I AM

God is recorded in a Biblical account agreed by all 3 monotheistic world religions to have self declared by the name “I AM”. In the second book of the Old Testament of the Bible – the book of Exodus chapter 3 – God communicates a self revelatory name to the lawgiver and founding Statesman of the Jewish nation, Moses. God states categorically that God’s name is “I AM THAT I AM” which is rendered later in the same record as simply “I AM”.

With this assertion all 3 monotheistic world religions must agree. There is nothing here to contradict their particular explanations of God our Creator who demands our worship and obedience.

[The Christian religion of course identifies its Founder, Jesus Christ, as God with his claim to be “I AM”. Personally, I accept that claim and the teaching of Jesus Christ to be fundamentally true and therefore apposite to all human beings in all situations at all times. But Judaism and Islam do not accept this claim by Christ, indeed they regard it as blasphemous. They make no claim for divinity for their founding figures]

But even someone who does not agree that God actually exists, can presumably agree that if God does indeed exist, then this claim to be “I AM” must necessarily be central. The god idea or concept must incorporate this idea or concept. That being so, certain fundamental facets of God must also follow.

  1. God must exist at all times, everywhere
  2. therefore God is the author of life because God’s existence necessarily predates  all other existence; God is the source, the origin of all that exists – this world is God’s creation; Gods’ property
  3. God has all ultimate power and all ultimate authority
  4. God’s creation indicates that God is creative, constructive, and harmonious
  5. God both provides – and is – THE Purpose
  6. God being the source and power behind all, God must be the constant reference point for all understanding and knowledge
  7. God  knows what is true and how reality works – therefore we need to see God as the central moral reference for all our thinking and decision making in life

Footnote

Historically, people refer to God as male. However, that too indicates that human beings view God via their own framework of thought rather than via God’s.  If we take the Genesis record which is accepted by all three monotheistic world religions, then we find that humankind was made in the image of God:  not male and female after separation, but male and female before separation. God is neither exclusively male nor female but incorporates the harmony and unity of both sexes in one.

Godless – What are we ?

Having considered seven implicit characteristics of God arising from the quintessential definition, “I AM”, we now have a conceptual reference point from which  to determine where the human race finds itself in relation to God and to itself.

If God exists, then human existence necessarily takes place in relation to, and because of, God. Given this premise, the perspective in which to consider humanity follows.  What is it ?

God necessarily existing, and having the attributes already defined on the basis of the quintessential definition, “I AM”, certain axiomatic observations about the condition of human beings must follow.

  1. denial of God is a denial of the comprehensive and representative Truth about existence
  2. that denial necessarily warps our perception of our existence and about our nature, such that we censor the truth about ourselves, and so undermine our ability to diagnose properly and adequately the predicament we are actually in
  3. our very nature is therefore characterised by the allied states of DECEPTION and DISTORTION about our existence
  4. this causes us to invert the actual order of God’s supremacy and our dependency
  5. instead we make ourselves ‘god’ and so  presume the right to determine our moral code and therefore how we behave
  6. we therefore exalt our perception of reality above the truth of reality – we begin to believe that our perception determines reality, and we begin to minimise the importance of reality in framing our thinking and behaviour
  7. we then live in a state where we begin to behave as gods in our individual lives, in direct contradiction to our fundamental need for discipline [the constraint of the deluded Self] in order to live in harmony with other human beings
  8. having lost the idea of God –  or having so distorted the idea of God with manifestly outrageous religious ideas  – most people become fundamentally insecure and frightened by the idea that they must take control of their destiny because they no longer conceive of any Providential and Supervising Moral Power to assure human well-being
  9. the forceful characters among us react to this fundamental insecurity by taking control not just of themselves, but over their circumstances and over other people – after all, there is no God to hold them to account; they are their own god, beholden only to their own judgement which is, of course, as self deceived as the next person’s state of delusion
  10. we end up with human beings behaving as god over other human beings – this ranges from criminal gangsterism on the streets and in multinational board rooms to callous dictatorships characterised by authoritarianism and totalitarianism; this last is especially pronounced in the centuries since the so called “Enlightenment” which dispelled the “darkness” of supersition about God….

Man’s inhumanity to man is characteristic of the ultimate denial of the Truth of God, the religion of Material Man – theosanthropos ….

This fundamenal insecurity combined with the propensity to make ourselves god in our own lives, explains the fundamental dynamics at work in all human relations – from the geopolitical right down to the specific and personal which we all live every day.

Reference the geopolitical, big picture I need go no further than to cite the devastating war in Ukraine at the time of writing, in April 2022. Sheer fear drove the Russians to invade Ukraine – fear of the encroachment of western powers and interests right up to their border; and that fear has some sort of basis in reality when you stop to consider what NATO and the USA have done around the world in the last 30 years.

You may, of course, prefer the pervasive propaganda thesis of the West that Putin is a madman. Well, Putin’s position in Russia may have gone to his head. But if he is deluded as to his own importance and as to what he can do, then that simply reinforces my thesis here that human beings delude themselves as to their own importance in relation to the actual importance of God in their lives and the lives of others.

Look at every “terrorist” movement in history – they are motivated by fear of oppression and being subjected to other human beings who presume the right to act like God over them.

But let’s bring this down to the reality we all live every day in our place of work or study, in our homes and in our other social networks. What are the fundamentals at work ?

My wife and I love each other. But we still lie to each other. Why ? Because we don’t want to hurt each other by speaking the raw truth. We fear estrangement, the loss of what is so precious between us. It demonstrates our fundamental human frailty – and I defy any human being to tell me that they always speak the truth regardless of the impact on others, and/or on their own reputation and standing in the eyes of others.

Take the workplace. How often have you made decisions and done things from fear of losing either your job or your reputation ?  Some human beings are so insecure and consequently arrogant that they lie gratuitously in order to harm other people whom they consider to be a threat to their position or their reputation. This behaviour becomes conspicuous wherever position and power are at stake – the ‘politics’ of ambition are notorious in academia, in government and political parties, and in Church – indeed anywhere we find a hierarchy with titles and positions of power over others.

The world of journalism and media is among the most perverse affronts to decent moral behaviour known to human beings.

We all know it is wrong to lie or destroy the reputation of another human being. Yet what happens in the media ? There, success is measured by being the first to break a big story, and by having more readers and listeners than any one else.

Their world epitomises the usurpation of God’s place and God’s manifest moral code: insecure, arrogant human beings bear false witness habitually, defining the truth of events as they see fit.

Godly – or Godless ?

It is self evident that human beings have problems which they cannot solve. History demonstrates that the fundamental problems of our existence persist.  We need only glance at news reports for verification. The age old problems of greed, power and war remain. Despite its horrors, for example, the First World War a century ago did not prevent further armed conflict; it resulted in the even worse Second World War.

Circumstances change of course, but the underlying problem persists. That problem is our refusal to recognise our Creator and to grant that Creator respect and obedience.

Instead we resort to our own human ideas and efforts which may result in changing the issues but not in solving the problem. The fundamental problem persists because it is not truly addressed. Therefore the condition of the human race does not change, and we still have not eliminated the most basic evils of our existence: famine; war; abuse of power; injustice; exploitation – exploitation of each other as well as the very planet on which we rely for physical existence.

With all their technology and their sense of Moral Rights, human beings cannot solve the recurring predicament associated with our humanity. Why ? Because we refuse to face up to the basic problem.

That problem is the rejection of God and alienation from our Maker.

The reason why we are deluded and deceived is our own erroneous sense of what we really are, ie created not emergent.  As I have indicated previously, we have rejected or distorted the truth about our origins and about our dependence on God our Maker. We have instead made our own instincts, ideas and talents the way in which to view and live in this world, even though all our human resources constantly fail us in the most fundamental need we have, namely:

To live in harmony with each other and with the physical environment on which we utterly depend to survive.

The old, basic problem of deception and delusion is ever present with us. Leaders lie to us; the media exploit our instincts; everywhere powerful figures promise to resolve all our problems. But our basic problem is never resolved because the fundamental issue is not addressed: GOD – the fact that we belong to God and that we are beholden to God.

Even when people acknowledge God, they often just go through religious rituals. In fact, we need to live our lives by the norms which God has placed in our consciousness.  How many people actually endeavour to bring that perspective to the problems of this life ?

Today we find Powers adopting the age old posture of hostility and war in place of understanding and tolerance. The propensity of human beings to resort to hatred and lethal conflict always brings suffering on a scale we can never want. But, while recognising moral right and wrong, people still persist in foolishness which breeds more injustice and suffering.

To seek harmony and the welfare of others lies within our consciousness, but ultimately not within our capability. Instead, our default response is self preservation with all the consequent neglect and even destruction of other human beings. We live in the delusion that we can answer the human predicament if we can only pass more laws or spend more money; if we have bigger armies and more powerful weapons than the nasty nations who don’t see the world the way we do. They of course are wrong because we are necessarily right.

There is no end to the human predicament in sight, despite X thousand years of our presence on this planet. The increase of wealth and its redistribution have been hailed as the means to achieve heaven on earth, but wealth just brings its own problems: persistent inequalities; ambition to possess even more, whatever the cost; the delusion that our happiness is dependent on material possessions.

We are trapped in a conceptual and psychological mindset which tells us that our desires are normal and right; that we are in charge of our destiny; and that we must find our own solutions. There is no God to answer to.

We fail therefore to see that WE are the problem. Our instincts; our perspective; our ideas. We fail to see that our Maker is the Answer; that our Maker has the answers; that our Maker is the answer in every aspect of our existence and of our behaviour. That by referencing our Maker as our God, we begin to identify the problem for what it actually is; we begin to access the conceptual perspective and terms of reference which can mediate that answer to us, conceptually and actually. Then we can begin to align ourselves with reality and with the opportunity to escape DELUSION and identify both problem and consequent solution.

The solution lies in rejecting our self DELUSION that God does not exist and that God has no right to command our lives. We must wake up to the fact that every breath we breathe must come from the one who is called, “I AM”. The one who has demonstrated via the facts of creation that God’s nature is creative and harmonious, desiring justice, peace and security. That God is the source not only of all that is physically necessary for us to live, but of all the wisdom which will enable us to live as we know we should.

But, while we refuse the idea of God the “I AM”, we refuse to identify the disease we suffer, and we refuse to apply the only sure solution.

It comprises:

  1. God as our central point of reference for thought and behaviour
  2. God as our very source of life
  3. God’s manifest generosity and harmony in place of our evident self-centredness and disharmony
  4. God’s demand and God’s right to be God in our lives, causing us to realise that others interests are as important as our own interests for the general well-being of us all

Once we recognise that we are mistaken about God; once we realise that the ever present, all knowing and all powerful Being does exist, then the answer becomes available.

God as fact and therefore as paradigm of thought and expression will help us to align ourselves with God and therefore God’s power to live as we ought:  in harmony with others, the planet, and with God.

But where in practice to begin ? Interestingly, all 3 monotheistic world religions agree the necessity of the ‘Decalogue’ – The Ten Commandments – recorded in the Bible:

  1. obey our creative, harmonious, moral Maker and Sustainer
  2. refuse to misrepresent God, and reject anti-God thinking
  3. respect and never denigrate the concept and presence of God
  4. make respect for God real by observing one day each week as an opportunity for Rest and common attendance on God
  5. respect the primacy of family and parental authority
  6. never hate but understand and forgive
  7. keep marriage sacrosanct
  8. respect others rights – never steal
  9. preserve trust – never lie or twist the truth
  10. never hanker for what others have but be content with who you are and what you have

Such moral commands constitute the acid test. Either we align ourselves with God, or else we align with Self and Delusion. Therein lie both Issue and Answer.

Philotheism or Theology ?

I maintain on this platform that Theology has become a subsidiary discipline of a mancentric, Materialistic Philosophy. That to restore the understanding of God, we must think philotheistically. That is, on the conceptual assumption that God exists, and that his existence has been defined for us by the words which God declared to Moses, “I AM”.

An interesting example of today’s Theological thinking is provided in an interview published in December 2021 on the University of Oxford website.

The title is derived from the words of the interviewee, Professor Alister McGrath. The title opens with the words:

“Religious people need to explain and debate better…”

Alister McGrath is an exceptional intellect – he has doctorates in Divinity, natural Science, and in intellectual history. He is an Oxford don of long standing now approaching formal retirement. He is an ordained Priest in the Anglican church. The article also informs us that Professor McGrath is ranked on the Academic influence website as “the most influential theologian in the world since 2000.”

Alister McGrath is an exceptional and impressive man who knows his subject far better than I do !

But I take issue with what is attributed to him in this interview “curated” by Sarah Whitebloom.

I take issue as a Philotheist.

But first let me say what I do not dispute.

I do not dispute his willingness as a human being and as a professing Christian to have consideration for other people, to understand what they say, and to respect them and their differences.

I do not dispute the fact that a University teacher is duty bound to consider the questions of this life from different perspectives; to consider evidence and arguments on their merits and according to their context.

I do not dispute his concern for an interdisciplinary approach to research and reflection.

I do not dispute his assertion that the feasts of the religious Christian calendar afford us an opportunity to consider and reflect on priorities and fundamentals of life.

I do, however, dispute what appears from the reported, “curated” text to be an acceptance of today’s man centred paradigm – a paradigm at odds with the Christian worldview.

Let me cite this from the penultimate and partially concluding paragraph which states:

‘People are looking for something that really satisfies their deepest longings. But we have to learn to live with uncertainty about the answers we give to life’s deepest questions. The certainty of political and religious dogmatism makes me uneasy.’

As human beings who should live together in peace regardless of our manifold differences, we should indeed be wary of a dogmatic certainty which leads us to over-ride and impose our views on others. But our respect for others should not lead us to compromise or devalue what we ourselves hold dear or believe.

What I find troubling in Professor McGrath’s comment cited above is the underlying assumption of the spirit of our age: man centred, Materialistic philosophy. It is evident in two ways.

Firstly, if religious dogma makes McGrath uneasy, then what is he suggesting we do with critical doctrines of Christianity like:

  • the dogma of God – “I AM”
  • the dogma of our rebellion against God
  • the dogma of our corruption and self delusion
  • the dogma of God’s judgement
  • the dogma that Christ died on a cross to deliver us from the Judgement of the holy, perfect God
  • the dogma that the Gospel message of Christianity answers our deepest needs and interests
  • the dogma that God commands us to obey his moral, spiritual laws

I take the above dogma to be true.  I endeavour to live and to speak in accordance with those certainties. And yes, I do understand others do not agree with me. But I don’t compromise Christ or the Gospel to appease their disagreement.  Nor do I elevate their worldview above my own.

Secondly, the assumption that everything exists for our personal benefit.

“People are looking for something that really satisfies their deepest longings.”

All sorts of things can satisfy human longing. Today’s philosophical and economic assumptions are that human beings are an assemblage of atoms whose only needs are material. Hence the fundamental conception of total equality. Now, we do have needs to be met. But our greatest need is the discipline and care of our heavenly Father. God is not an option on a supermarket shelf along with whatever alternatives we may prefer.

If God exists, then God must be first, last and everything in between.  Which makes the preoccupation with our senses and desires very much secondary. Indeed that preoccupation serves to feed the dangerous delusion that we are the centre of existence, when in fact [dogma] God is at the centre.

Now, there are indeed uncertainties in life. But the Christian faith provides us with the central certainty of God and his love, as we travel into the unknown future. A God ordained unknowable.

The Christian faith tells me that whatever happens tomorrow, God has a plan and purpose, both for my life and for this world. At the centre of that plan is the process of sanctification. That the trials which I encounter throughout life, are opportunities and tests of my dependence on Christ my Saviour. To obey the apostles concluding injunction to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

Now this is apostolic dogma – dogma which has real world outcomes and impacts. Those outcomes include respect and tolerance which give rise to a willingness to reflect on difference and disagreement in order to get to the truth of the matter. Christian dogma underpins and enables reflection and learning. Christian dogma says: love your enemies !

By contrast, the dogma of the Atheist, the Marxist [Lenin, Stalin, Mao], and the fundamentalist radical Islamist breeds intolerance and imposition. It refuses the reflection and tolerance so necessary to research and learning. As does the social justice agenda inspiring academia today, implementing the Materialist mantra of diversity and equality –  dogmatically displacing the Christian paradigm.

Does Professor McGrath recognise this ?

GRC

The full text of the report of the interview is at

https://www.ox.ac.uk/news-and-events/oxford-people/Alister-McGrath

Published
Categorized as Theology

monomaniacal MAN-god

Most people must be tired of the constant reference to “the pandemic” and to the rituals and restraints it imposes.

Of course, the pandemic itself only imposes upon us the need to be vigilant in appropriate ways about personal hygiene, and about our responsibility toward others to consider their health. In fact, what we have always done with every winter round of the latest influenza variant. Indeed, in recent years hospitals constantly complained about lack of resources and being overwhelmed by the annual outbreak of ‘flu.

Politicians just ignored them ! Likewise they ignored the outbreak of Covid 19 for many, many weeks thereby allowing it to spread around the globe and take root. No different from any other serious outbreak of influenza.

Typical of the self centred and irresponsible way in which politicians and administrations usually treat a major problem.

But then the scare mongering started from the self interested scientific lobby associated with major corporate interests in the pharmaceutical industry. There is information on line for any one who cares to look about the associations of, for example, one Dr Anthony Fauci, the long time Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In Britain, executives of top pharmaceutical companies have a major influence on the equivalent advice to the British government.

Suddenly, the western world went from simply ignoring the man created threat of Covid originating in China to obsessing over it,  and thence to governments imposing unprecedented  controls over their populations. The notion of individual liberty and responsibility was destroyed overnight by governments frightened to be seen not taking the pandemic seriously.

Fear of how they looked before the public made them easy prey for the pro Big Pharma scientific lobby. And they succumbed very quickly. All other considerations in life and all other responsibilities of government were sidelined and eclipsed by the monothematic mania of controlling the Covid 19 outbreak.

Governments went from total ignorance and neglect to total control and monomaniacal obsession within just days in early Spring 2020. They went from one extreme to the other extreme. There was no middle ground, and there was no reasonable reflection or detachment adopted. Reason and objectivity, and a sense of the full range of concerns right across the board from the economic to the political to the social life of entire nations was now displaced by one single priority: stop the spread of this virus.

Immediate method: containment ie lock downs.  Purpose ? To contain it until a vaccine could be developed and so remove the problem once and for all. That was the underlying, all important strategy. That was it. One massive panic and one total solution. No discussion. No debate. Simply imposed as the Religious Truth which was beyond dispute by any reasonable and concerned human being.

Who would have imagined two years ago that we would still be subject to Covid psychosis ? That governments would have the audacity to start making vaccination compulsory/mandated/obligatory at the very time when any pandemic would be waning away any way, ie after two years ? That a vaccine to prevent a disease not only failed to prevent transmission by the vaccinated, but actually failed to stop vaccinated people dying from the very disease it was supposed to protect them against ? That within 9 months of this cure-all vaccine being rolled out, people would be required – yes required, not just advised – to be given a ‘booster’ ie a third injection within 6 to seven months of their second and supposedly final jab ?

That the unaffected young and children would be told to get vaccinated with something which posed more risk to them than the disease in question ?

That governments and media would refuse to face the failure not just of their totalitarian policy, but of the supposed cure-all vaccine itself ?

That people would themselves continue to submit to such nonsense –  reference the recent Referendum result in Switzerland supporting the continued obligation to have proof of vaccination in order to go about their lives normally – ie be able to go to a sports event, a bar or restaurant, or to a large shopping mall unhindered and unchecked ?

That despite the emerging failure of government policies, any dissent from the line by the non vaccinated or by scientists and specialists themselves would be treated as extreme, false, and therefore legitimately condemned both by governments and by the main stream media ?

That despite evidence in front of their eyes to the contrary, people would still accept all this ? How many people do you know – dozens, hundreds ? How many of those have died from Covid 19 ?

Worship of the MAN-god is shown to be irrational and irrelevant in the face of reality and what we need to do. Because this psychology of stupidity is just that. It can only be explained in such spiritual terms.

Certain self seeking human beings who consider themselves entitled to tell the rest of us how to look at life and how to live in this life, have placed themselves in the position of authority which belongs to the I AM alone – to our Creator, to our OWNER who has all rights over us.

In place of the concept and paradigm of God, and his instructions, we are compelled to live and obey as mere men decide we must worship. Mere men acting according to their views, their presumptions, their interests without any consideration of how we may see the situation. They have presumed and pre-empted. They have usurped the place of God. They actually place themselves in the position of God. What they say must be obeyed because they alone know what the truth is and they alone know how we should behave – because they alone understand the problem and know the answer. Except, they patently don’t.

They have no sense of accountability to God; they don’t have God’s love in their hearts and minds about who we are and who God is. They prove what life becomes without Christ and without his teaching.

GRC

the MANgod delusion and the advent of dystopia

The 21st century is manifestly the century of the MAN-is-god delusion. Having successfully disposed of God as our Creator,  Sustainer and Judge during the 20th century, the western intelligentsia is now  redefining Human existence according to humanity’s own ambitions and imaginations.

The simple reality of what we actually are is  sidelined to pursue the wilder dreams of mere mortal men. We are losing sight of who we are and how we function. That we are creatures of our Creator who knows us best.

The psychological shift throughout society began as populations migrated from nature dependent rural living to industrialised urban life. With the new technological age, ‘miracles’ are now possible in the dimension of  communications, just as they were via rail and air transportation in the industrial era.

This is creating a mentality which subconsciously believes that there is nothing humans cannot now do. Witness the legal redefinition of identity from biologically male and female to whatever an individual now decides to be. Formal persecution – even prosecution – follows those who disagree and say so.

The MAN-god is strict and ruthless when imposing his Truth. Philosophically that was trailed in the work of men like Rousseau and Nietzsche. Today we live with the terrible consequences of such blasphemous man obsessed thinking of the Enlightenment made flesh – ie given substance – today.#

The recent name change of the FaceBook group of companies by founder Mark Zuckerberg should therefore come as no surprise.  But it does represent yet another step along the road to remodelling who we are and how we can, and should, function.

The name change to “Meta” is intended to reflect the new virtual world which people like the robotic Zuckerberg are working to achieve. He uses the term “Metaverse” to describe what he wants to bring to fruition in the next ten years or so.

His announcement reflects what is wrong in this increasingly man invented world. It reflects man’s arrogance; man’s delusion; and man’s fundamental failure to recognise what he really does need.

Clearly, the natural world we inhabit is no longer good enough to provide our needs and our wants. This constitutes Blasphemy against God’s care and God’s provision.

The manner in which the name change was accomplished demonstrates the arrogance of deified man: reality is displaced by man’s new version of truth and morality; Business Names appropriated without reference to existing ownership or title. It’s whatever I want it to be !

The inventor of the term “Metaverse “stated on 29th October 2021 on Twitter that no-one had approached him about its use. Neil Stephenson first used the term in his “dystopian” novel ‘Snow Crash’ 30 years ago.

Dystopia is undoubtedly what Zuckerberg’s virtual version of reality will realise.

This is not Mr Zuckerberg’s first offence reagarding name appropriation. Yanis Varoufakis tweeted on 28th October 2021 – @yanisvaroufakis

Zuckerberg just ‘borrowed’ our mέta (https://t.co/2FzQ18HAf4) to re-brand Facebook. Earlier he had ‘borrowed’ our movement’s name, DiEM (https://t.co/j60auSCE9H) to rebrand his cryptocurrency Libra. What next?

Indeed what next ? Clearly respect for other people and for what already exists is meaningless to human deities like Zuckerberg – ‘deities’ who seek to dictate both the meaning and ‘substance’ of tomorrow’s MAN generated world.

The record of 21st century internet inventions, however, demonstrates that the ramifications need to be considered, and tamed.

Facebook [founded in 2004] and Twitter [2006] have had a dramatic impact.  Yes, of course, email and the world wide web already existed before the close of the 20th century. But Facebook and Twitter made it possible for anyone to publish their thoughts, and it also popularised the use of the internet as a self publishing phenomenon.

Previously, ordinary people’s campaigns and personal opinions could only get published via the local newspaper. That was edited. So, people’s every idle comment and foolish exasperation was in practice limited to whomever they happened to be talking to. Publicity for personal stupidity did not exist.

But now people tell the whole world every foolish thought or feeling. The internet has enabled individuals to inflate the sense of their own importance simply by making it possible to publish. And that has created problems because such thoughts are deemed to be in the public space [or square] in a way in which they had not been before. And that has led to reprobation and the demands for censorhip of people’s private thoughts and feelings …

It has opened the door to totalitarian control by people who deem themselves the arbiters and censors of public morals.

Welcome to the world of the Twitter mob whose aim is to eliminate heretical views – ie views which depart from or challenge the Creed of the MANgod.

Because of who they are, decent minded people don’t engage in attacking and censuring others. But the ideologically motivated extremist is by nature intolerant and zealous. He goes out of his way to destroy what he doesn’t like. Hence the plethora of “watch” sites devoted to condemn anyone who dares to oppose their pure and totally true version of how the MAN-is-god world must now be.

Welcome to the virtual world where the cyber fascist roams to police your politics and your every heretical expression. Welcome to the world of the MAN-god who accounts only to his own conscience and his own truth –  where the idea of public civility and mutual respect belongs to the outdated era when Christianity informed the public life of the western nations.

 

# “made flesh” alludes to verse 14 of the first chapter of John’s Gospel in the New Testament of the Bible

 

Published
Categorized as PHILOSOPHY

spiritual betrayal and national delusion

The spirit of the Materialist religion now distinguishes western politics. It inspires and sets the parameters of political debate in nations whose identity was forged by the Christian religion. Now, a new identity and culture has been imposed, predicated on the superstition called Materialism.

This was evident in the speeches of British government ministers at the annual conference of the ruling Conservative and Unionist party in Manchester, England, 3-6th October 2021. Indeed the speech by Party leader and Prime Minister Boris Johnson summed it up.

Johnson spoke of the spirit of Britain. I held my breath. Could it really be that the man who came so near to death in April 2020 was about to reveal that he had realised his utter dependance on God for every breath he breathes ?

No.

Instead, he credited his recovery from Covid to the National Health Service – not God.

He then defined the spirit of the British as that bull dog persistence to succeed whatever the obstacles. To rise to the challenge and to show the world how clever and courageous we are. That in the high tech and sophisticated world of the 21st century, the British are world leaders. Note the speedy development of a major Covid vaccine by Oxford University.

Such a message goes down well with a political party claiming to represent traditional patriotic values. But in fact it reflects the materialist mindset and agenda at work today, dressed up in patriotism – that sentiment which politicians everywhere deploy to camouflage their actual agenda.

The British Conservative party reflects the intellectual orthodoxy of its day. Man is at the centre; man’s values; man’s needs; man’s ambitions; man’s wants. Man accounts only to Man, not his Maker. Values and principles are derived from Man’s own agenda and Man’s own concerns. Man is all, and God is a myth belonging to the past.

Now Man has Man’s myth to believe: in himself and in his success. And success invariably equates to Prosperity and to Man’s Rights. A high tech and high wage economy is the objective. And one exceptional version of Man – the British – are the type to achieve that.

I am reminded of King Solomon. As a young king, he realised the enormity of the challenge before him to rule God’s people; he understood his need of God. So, he asked God for wisdom to rule the people whom God had entrusted to his care. Solomon understood that God is at the centre, and that God’s wisdom and God’s strength are vital to true success.

God gave Solomon wisdom; prosperity was the unsolicited bonus. Because that is the true order. God first, and our present, mortal, material existence second. Because true success in this life depends on submission to God our Maker, Sustainer and Moral Arbiter.

Solomon established his kingdom as a great regional power because God gave him wisdom and success.

But Solomon also provides us with a further salutary warning. Becoming accustomed to success, he deserted the God who had given him everything. We read that all the material distractions of this life turned his heart away from God. He prized the creation above the Creator, and he even turned to worship false gods.  Thus Solomon sowed the seeds of national division and his peoples descent to destruction.

There is a parallel here for the United Kingdom. Britain’s initial rise to world influence was predicated on the Protestant Christian settlement of 1689 and the subsequent reign of the devoutly Christian William and Mary.

Now, I don’t suggest for one moment that the British empire was flawless. It was not. But it had certain merits – merits highlighted in a world today where totalitarian, dictatorial China has repossessed Hong Kong.  Young Hong Kongers demonstrated in their hundreds of thousands against the Chinese takeover.  They’d prefer British colonial rule. Why ?

Because British colonial rule guaranteed a person’s  property and liberty – the foundation of Hong Kong’s economic success.  British rule was critically informed by its Christian religion – a religion which teaches that all human beings merit respect – all people are made in the image of God.

But that critical religious and cultural influence has been displaced by a man centred and fallacious notion of social justice. The psychology of Rights eclipses all sense of a commensurate Responsibility. The psychology of Rights feeds self interest, not responsibility. It is a religion of self interest, not a reminder of social responsibility.

Prime Minister Johnson may wish to resurrect the greatness of Great Britain.  But does it accord with the great constitutional and religious heritage of 1689 ? No. It is instead inspired by the values, expectations and demands of the Materialist 21st century.

Both Mr Johnson and his party have forgotten the very heritage they ostensibly exist to preserve. The Christian obligation to worship our Maker and live by his teaching has been jettisoned to worship the gods of this world. But the very First Commandment specifies explicitly:

thou shalt have no other gods before ME

In concrete terms then we find that the ruling party espousing nation and tradition in Britain no longer finds occasion to sing the national anthem at their national Conference. And you will see scant evidence of the national flag, too. After all, that flag is constructed around the Christian symbol of the Cross of Christ.

The English national anthem manifestly assumes that God is at the centre of our universe and that God is the very source of life and all existence. That anthem takes the form of a prayer, acknowledging our place as creatures in need of God and beholden to God. It references national identity and integrity as embodied in the Monarch, Elizabeth II – technically governor of the national Church dedicated to the Christian religion.

That anthem turns our attention to the true and proven source of our liberty, prosperity, and LIFE – God Almighty.

It references “I AM”

But I heard not a single reference to the Christian God of English tradition in ministerial speeches to the national Conservative conference.

The problem with Academia

The problem with academia is that it starts and ends with human understanding, and rejects outright God our Creator. Western academia today regards God the Creator, Sustainer, and Future as superstitious nonsense.  In western academia,  God is a figment of human imagination arising from a merely emotional need to to cling to something beyond us. Intellectuals dismiss out of hand the idea that the very conception of God in us indicates God’s existence.

Just dismissing God’s existence, however, is not only to ignore evidence; it is also to refuse to examine a different perspective on this world. Yet, assessing evidence, and considering how we approach evidence [the preconceptions, prejudices, perspectives at work]. these are the fundamental principles and mechanics of the academic system. That is how academics arrive at their findings – findings which they regard as contributing to the accumulation of human knowledge – that accumulation of knowledge constituting their “truth”.

What then causes them to discard their own fundamental principles when considering God ? Answer: Prejudice – and prejudice reveals the shortcomings of academia. Fundamentally, academia is not concerned with truth seeking but with justifying a human centred understanding of our world: they require the evidence to conform to human preconceptions and human limitations of awareness. Therefore no conclusion can be reached which is outside their own finite view of our existence.

But the philotheist maintains that God is outside and beyond our understanding and our experience, as well as partly within the range of our experience and understanding. God is transcendent, whereas human beings lack a sense of the transcendent. Why ? Because humans are preoccupied with the material.

God’s existence is manifestly evident in both the complexity of our world and in our individual conscience. Yet philosophically based academia refuses to recognise this. It therefore denies a fundamental aspect of truth and so warps our view of existence. It starts off with a prejudiced and distorted view of our world. Yes, the natural scientist can go a long way to explaining and manipulating our physical world by using evidence based reasoning. But the researcher into the fundamental questions of “Why?” and “Who we are?” cannot. The wider question of this existence concerning “Why?” goes beyond physical science and its explanation of our mortal bodily functions – beyond the physical functioning of the natural, physical world necessary to sustain physical life.

But our lives are not just physical; we are spiritual – and that is not the same as emotional. Emotional is physical, not spiritual. Major problems arrive for the academic when it comes to studying the interactions of human beings and considering the fundamental question, which is:

WHY ARE WE HERE ?

The natural scientist can only explain how we are here, in the here and now. How our physical bodies function and survive. The social scientist endeavours to explore and arrive at how we interact as human beings in society, in order to come to explanations for human behaviour. But the social scientist starts to fall foul of the limitations of the academic outlook when trying to formulate and codify how we can best function together. The social scientist defaults to the natural scientific method of examining physical evidence about interactions in order to arrive at definitive laws of human behaviour.

The study of psychology into human emotion and reaction does indeed provide helpful insights about human behaviour. But it also comes up against the limitations of treating our existence as purely natural and subject to particular, solely natural laws. People are manifestly not robots, are they ? Attempts to pin down human behaviour to certain given, universally applying natural laws is not only fallacious, it insults the most fundamental sense of human dignity.

In the section on The problem with History, I cite schools of thought which reflect this sense of tidy explanations, but which are manifest nonsense when examined. How can any human being assert a definite working of history according to a preset plan when that preset plan – e.g. Marxism – is dreamt up by a finite human being who lived at a given time in a particular society with an outlook reflecting – or indeed rejecting – the mores of their time ?

Impossible.

But Universities harbour many such believers in the impossible analysis of Karl Marx – believers whose dedication is no less than religious in its motivation and in its conduct.  They are paid vast sums of money for peddling what is total nonsense dressed up as serious research and analysis.

What academia actually amounts to is another religion. I began to see this 20 years ago while sitting in the public gallery of a university graduation ceremony. Academia has all the trappings of a religion. It has a priesthood which preaches its version of reality; and its priesthood has a hierarchy with titles and honours. Its gospel message for the salvation of our souls amounts to this.  More and more knowledge and understanding according to human beings own knowledge and understanding will make the world a better place. However ….

You may have noticed that the world has unprecedented levels of education and vast numbers of university graduates of all ranks, yet there is zero improvement in the state of our planet along with an incredible readiness by the most advanced nations to resort to war

Academia even has HOLY SCRIPTURES. The learned research of its priesthood is accumulated and referred to by other priests as if it contains THE TRUTH. It is fundamental to the academic process to read and know whatever has been asserted by others on a given subject already. The researcher must then add more research which demonstrates support for their particular argument or idea in order to add to this accumulated store of truth.

There is only one problem with this. Each piece of research is considered sacrosanct as a piece of academic research – even though later it may be proven demonstrably false. Academics claim to seek the truth, and to pass on this truth to the world. It is the entire justification for their existence.

But they will then argue with each other, even insulting another person’s hard work, to assert that a predecessor is quite wrong – or failed to get it right. And yet, they will systematically and religiously cite the work already done in their field as authoritative. ABC  found and asserted XYZ.  They cite this as if it has some special significance, qualifying it to supercede every day knowledge and intelligence. The innate, unquantifiable human intuition called “Common Sense” has no value whatsoever. Arising from a combination of sense, conscience and thought, Common Sense is meaningless and lacks credibility compared to REASON.

They cite Research the way Preachers cite their Holy Writings. But where the Bible is demonstrably Holy Writ, addressing fundamentals practically, their research comprises the gropings and ideas of mere human beings.

Where the Bible addresses the fundamental issues of our humanity, and gives us the answers, academic research pretends to the same – if not indeed to a superior status – and yet falls far, far short.

In reality,  Academic research feeds human pride and ego, while claiming a superior status as sound instruction and insight.  It assumes that human beings will inexorably improve by amassing human knowledge in defiance of divine wisdom.