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The Rev. David Robertson: Once again on Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe

September 15, 2017

As we have been following, the Rev. David Robertson, the minister of St Peters Free Church in Dundee, Scotland, has been writing a series of blog posts on Douglas Murray’s book The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam.  The fourth of his posts on this topic is The Strange Death of Europe – Part 4 – Christianity and as with the preceding parts it is definitely worth the read.  As he notes, Murray comes so near, yet so far, in his assessment of the situation we face in the West.  Rev. Robertson writes about Murray’s coming so near:

Murray – better than many Christian commentators gets the root cause of this. He points out the impact of the higher biblical criticism in German universities on the culture – undermining the foundational Christian story. It is the removal, or undermining of the Bible, first from the churches, and then in the wider culture, which has done so much to undermine the European civilization that was to a large extent based upon it. We are no longer peoples of The Book.

But conversely, Murray does not seem to comprehend – which is to be expected, I suppose – the power of the Gospel to remedy the spiritual emptiness that causes the weakness of Europe and the West.  This quote from Murray, followed by what Rev. Robertson has to say about it, certainly illustrates the depth of misunderstanding on the part of those secularists who do see that the removal of Christianity from the public square has accentuated that weakness.

“Of course religious people find talk like this frustrating because for real believers the question will always be, ‘Why do you not just believe?’ Yet this latter question ignores the most likely irreversible damage that science and historical criticism have done to the literal truth claims of religion and ignores the fact that people cannot be forced into faith. Meantime the nonreligious in our culture are deeply fearful of any debate or discussion that they think will make some concession to the religious, thereby allowing faith-based discussion to flood back into the public space.” (p.267)

This is where Murray just does not get what real belief is. As a result he sets up a straw man.   I am a real believer and I have never in my life asked ‘why do you not just belief?”. We don’t ask people to believe without evidence. We don’t preach belief. We preach Christ.   Of course it is true that people cannot be forced into faith – but where will he find a Christian saying that they can be? We cannot be forced, but we can be persuaded.   Is Murray not aware of the teaching of Christ that unless we are born again from the Holy Spirit, we cannot even see the kingdom of God, never mind enter it?!

And there has not been irreversible damage done by science and historical criticism to the ‘literal truth claims of religion’. Although it all depends on what Murray thinks these truth claims are. This is one of those atheist myths that Murray seems to have bought into, hook, line and sinker. He and others need to break out of this circular ‘reasoning’ and get a wider intellectual as well as spiritual understanding.   The problem is not that they are too intellectual and reasonable; but rather that they are not intellectual and reasonable enough!

Of course there is a vicious circle here. The reason that Murray and others of the European intelligentsia can be so dismissive of biblical Christianity is that they don’t know what it is (although they think they do). And they will never find out what it is because as Murray observes, they cannot permit faith-based discussion to enter into the public square. It’s why almost every representative of Christianity on mainstream media is either a wet spiritualized reflection of the culture or occasionally a crank (to show the nuttiness of Christianity).   In an increasingly dumbed down soundbite culture, the depth and intellectual coherence of Christianity is always going to find it difficult to be heard. The irony is that those who promote this dumbing down think that they are being intelligent and reasonable!

I will end this here but I do strongly commend The Strange Death of Europe – Part 4 – Christianity to you.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2017 4:26 am

    Will we do not learn from history. If we did we would observe how ancient Israel and Judah were taught the error of their ways by the Assyrians and Babylonians who in turn received the Righteous punishment for their own wickedness.

    I become more convinced that Islam will be used by The Sovereign LORD to chastise the European Nations who have long since cast off the “easy yoke and light burden” for an idol of wood and stone, gold and silver. Then Islam, denier of The Father and The Son, will in turn receive its education and its true revelation!

    May The Elect among the Peoples of Islam, Israel and the Goyim, be safely gathered into the one Fold and to the one Shepherd.

    • September 15, 2017 9:54 am

      Andrew,thanks for that insightful comment. I completely agree and have thought myself that Islam could be used by God as an instrument of discipline to purify His Church. Will we repent and turn from our ways so that this does not happen? May the Holy Spirit of God open our eyes so that we might be spared this.

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