Our culture believes that religion has been successfully moved to the margins of society. Most uncritically assume we live in a post – religion world. Only an extreme “conservative” fringe of society still adheres to outdated concepts like God and angels and Satan. These concepts, if still adhered to, are simply believed to be self-created figments of an active uneducated imagination.
The above is simply one more of the many lies that have been absorbed into our fast deteriorating, increasingly chaotic culture. Possibly no-religion-anymore may even be the greatest and most dangerous of lies active in our culture. This lie must be exposed for what it is. Our future, individually as well as collectively, is at stake. Exposing the no-religion web of lies and presenting basic religion literacy is the burden of this book. Such an understanding is necessary for personal and collective renewal. Without this knowledge, the destructive subliminal “religious” forces at work in our lives and culture will never be correctly understood and addressed. Why a Renaissance of “Religion” is needed now (why this book is needed) Religion is a Big Idea word like entertainment, leadership, technology, industry, education and so on. It is critical that a society understands these Big Idea concepts, that it carefully, consciously, deliberately develops them for the Good. The discussion surrounding these key cultural concepts must forever remain an open and encouraged one at all layers of society. Why? Any of these Big Concepts, if left unchecked, will invariably develop a life of its own, developing, evolving, and too often growing like a cancer into destructive institutionalized monsters that will eventually destroy that society.
Consider for a moment, the Big Idea concept of Education within our culture. Many important issues surface immediately. What are the goals of our educational system? Are they simply to create useful participants for our consumer driven industrial complex, or the development of woke citizens, or that of a classical education with a thorough understanding of our heritage and our history? What are the rights and responsibilities of parents within the educational system? What role does the state, the academy, and we might add the church, play in setting the agenda for education? What is the relationship between education and indoctrination? And so many more. These are questions that must be discussed regularly by all stakeholders, if our goal is to pursue best practices, if our goal is to avoid the dangerous pitfalls of extremes or manipulation. Education can be used for evil! Even a basic knowledge of 20th century history confirms that. To deny that such a thing as education exists, to stifle all discussion is ultimate foolishness. That has happened to the Big Idea word Religion.
Many of the same questions should be generated for Religion as well. That is the burden of this book. Please note, I am not talking about a specific religion like Buddhism or Christianity or even Atheism. I am talking about the definition, the concepts and vocabulary, the heart dynamic associated with the in-itself-neutral Big Idea word ‘Religion’. What is religion at its core? Why does religion stir emotions so deeply, so often violently? Why is religion so polarizing? How can a society have meaningful productive discussion on the topic of religion without all the emotion? Did the various religions just evolve as contemporary evolutionary anthropologists claim or is that claim part of the web of lies that needs to be exposed? Is Atheism a religion, a belief system resting on unprovable assumptions, as so many claim? What is the relationship between religion and morality, or arguably the loss of morality as in our day? Are science and religion really like oil and water, unable to coexist, or is that simply another string within the web of ‘no-religion-anymore’ lie? Another question within that web, can a person really escape the deep subliminal influence of religion in his or her life?
Religion may very well be the most foundational of all the above Big Idea words. Religion, if not understood well, will be left to work subliminally and this will eventually destroy society. The thesis of this book is that humanity has been religious from day one and will continue to be religious till the very end. Our culture does not recognize that because it is ignorant as to what religion really is.
One supporting thesis of this book is that Secular Atheism also known as Liberal Humanism, and now seemingly developing into “wokism” has, because of our collective ignorance, become the State Sponsored Religion. This unrecognized belief system, i.e. religion, continues to shape our cultures towards individual as well as collective self-destruction. It has wed itself to entertainment, to education, to science, to government, and now increasingly to industry. The proliferation of ‘progressive’ values, values rooted in this “no god, just chance, humanity in charge” view of cosmic reality is destroying our cultural and national destiny and along the way many, many individual lives. How did this vacuum of religion awareness happen? Evolutionary atheism itself has reinterpreted cultural and religious history (19th century Enlightenment philosophy) and the seeds of this reinterpretation have now developed into a wholesale but misguided rejection of, and animosity towards everything associated with ‘religion’. All of society, and to a degree the church as well, has bought into these no-religion-anymore lies. The resulting lack of religion awareness is at the root of all that is destroying our western cultures.
The first step towards a solution is to develop deeper religion awareness, as individuals, as churches, and as concerned citizens. Time is short. Cultural implosion is imminent! Consider the growing polarization within society. Consider the increasing epidemic of marital and family breakup, loneliness, depression, and even suicide. Consider the LGBTQ++ agenda that is sweeping unchecked into all of culture, destroying the next generation. This book provides basic religion literacy. Such understandings are necessary to enable wisdom in charting a life pathway that attracts the good and avoids the evil.
This book speaks from a Judeo-Christian perspective, hopefully in a non-preachy, simply informative way. A key concept in the Big Idea word religion is to realize that no one can speak with complete neutrality. In our culture, atheism’s claim that it is neutral in these discussions is simply another strand in the no-religion web of lies that must be exposed.
One emphasis of this book is to give a clear objective description of Christianity. I, and would think many others, believe that many former adherents have slipped away or have consciously walked away from Christianity because of a far too shallow understanding of the Biblical Story. Now that this Biblical story has been replaced (culturally speaking) by humanism’s atheistic story, much homework needs to be done to even understand what the issues are in the growing wholesale rejection of Christianity. Courage is needed to face truth. But the promise remains, “Truth can set us free”.
The underlying goal of this book is to present the Judeo-Christian good news story in the context of the larger Biblical story, in the context of the major world religions, in the context of the grand sweep of history, and in the context of our contempory cultural ethos. These basic religion literacy concepts and contexts are essential for developing the understandings necessary to choose wisely in the journey of life.
The solution to “Atheism wed to the Left”, our current situation, is not necessarily “Christianity wed to the Right”. Christianity must rediscover its prophetic presence within culture and must rise to the challenge of speaking truth boldly to a culture that has lost its way. Life’s Ultimate Questions: Exploring the Stories that Shape our Everyday (Revised 2023) https://www.lifesultimatequestions.com/ Books available from the author - connect via web page - Marketed as a * Senior High / College Class resource book * Adult discussion guide (10 lesson Blog available) * Book for anyone searching for Truth