In the present phase of European history the issue
is no longer between Catholicism and Protestantism,
but between Christianity and Chaos.
What we’re facing is not the breakdown
of the culture of Christendom, it’s the catastrophe
of the secular culture which has taken its place.
A wise man once observed that while belief in God after the Holocaust may be difficult, belief in man after the Holocaust is impossible. The choices before us are clear: we will either seek a transcendent moral law to which we will all submit, or we will seek our own personal and societal indulgence. If we turn to God in our quest to create a moral and just world, we have a fighting chance; if not, we are doomed to spiral into the man-made hell of the human jungle.
–Rabbi Moshe Averick
Many of the aesthetic norms which have characterized Western society have come as a direct result of the Christian worldview being deeply saturated in the fabric of our cultural ethos. Although the doctrine of the image of God as well as the doctrine of God’s common grace mean that unbelievers are capable of producing artifacts which truly reflect divine beauty, over a long period of time non-Christian cultures generally tend towards ugliness – a corollary of the relativism necessitated by the rejection of any final standard of truth. A world without God is an ugly and frightening place. Indeed, if there is no God, then beauty is but a transitory parenthesis in a world in which the ugliness of chance, chaos and death have the final say over all of us. Medieval cathedrals, with their spires pointing to the heavens, were the appropriate artistic outworking of the Trinitarian worldview, while nihilistic art, with its hopelessness and celebration for the ugly is a consistent outworking of a world without God.
Conversely, over long periods of time Christian cultures tend to increase in beauty. That is what happened in the Christian West, which gave rise to the symphony, polyphonic harmony, perspective in painting and many other developments that have made the world a different place, to say nothing of specific creative geniuses from Bach to Michelangelo, from Shakespeare to Beethoven. Some of these men may not have been believers, but they lived, worked and breathed in a civilization that was built (albeit imperfectly) on the Christian worldview. Whether or not every great composer, artist or poet explicitly acknowledged that worldview, they worked on the basis of presuppositional aesthetic norms which arose out of the West’s Christian orientation. Long after our society threw off this heritage, these norms continued to operate like a lizard’s tail which continues to twitch even after it has been severed from the body. But a severed lizard’s tail will not twitch forever.
Dear Atheist friend,
Your demand for proof raises a problem. “Proof” is not a part of your worldview, and asking for it undermines your argument.
Honest atheism does not admit the existence of any absolute standard, any true point of reference. Everything is governed by chaos; the universe is only stardust randomly bumping into stardust. Within a consistent, atheistic paradigm nothing could ever be truly known or proven.
The idea of “proof” belongs to the worldview of those who believe in a Supreme Creator who has put order, logic, consistency, and structure into the universe. A believer in a wise, all knowing Creator can think in terms of “proof” and “evidence,” but not a person who sees the universe as a random collision of particles.
Your request presupposes something you don’t believe in. It borrows from the worldview you are trying to deny.
Your statement self-destructs.