You cannot go on ‘explaining away’ forever: you will find that you have explained explanation itself away. You cannot go on ‘seeing through’ things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond it is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too? It is no use trying to ‘see through’ first principles. If you see through everything then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To ‘see through’ all things is the same as not to see.
But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind . . . In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything. There is a thought that stops thought. That is the only thought that ought to be stopped.
We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. The fashion of the age has identified mental sharpness with a pose, not with genuine intellectual method and character… Today it is the skeptics who are the social conformists, though because of powerful intellectual propaganda they continue to enjoy thinking of themselves as wildly individualistic and unbearably bright.
Latter-day scepticism is fond of calling itself progressive; but scepticism is really reactionary. Skepticism goes back; it attempts to unsettle what has already been settled. Instead of trying to break up new fields with its plough, it simply tries to break up the plough. –G. K. Chesterton
Secularism is not neutral, though it often claims to be. In relation to the biblical God, secularists may be skeptics. But in relation to their own god substitutes, they are true believers. To adapt an observation from C. S. Lewis, their skepticism is only on the surface. It is for use on other people’s beliefs. “They are not nearly skeptical enough” about their own beliefs. And when they enforce secular views in the realm of law, education, sexuality, and health care, they are imposing their own beliefs on everyone else across an entire society. The consequence of those secular views is inevitably dehumanizing. The reason is that secularism in all its forms is reductionistic.
A worldview that does not start with God must start with something less than God—something within creation—which then becomes the category to explain all of reality… Empiricism puts everything in the box of the senses. Rationalism puts everything into the box of human reason. Anything that does not fit into the box is denied, denigrated, or declared to be unreal. The diverse and multi-faceted world God created is reduced to a single category.
One can reasonably predict that as the infatuation with skepticism and atheism grows among the influential “intellectual elite” of our society, so too will their readiness to embrace more radical changes in moral values. Religious believers expressing dismay and horror at the ominous moral storm clouds looming on the horizon are met with smug derision, hysterical counter-accusations, or utter indifference. There is nothing that atheistic societies are incapable of rationalizing and accepting – including the sexual molestation of children.
There exists no document from the ancient world witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies, and offering so superb an array of historical data on which the intelligent decision may be made. An honest [person] cannot dismiss a source of this kind. Skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based upon an irrational bias.
Some have great confidence in skeptical scholarship, and I once did, perhaps more than anyone else. If anyone thinks they are assured in their unbelief, I was more committed: born of unbelieving parents, never baptized or dedicated; on scholarly credentials, a PhD from a secular university; as to zeal, mocking the church; as to ideological righteousness, totally radicalized. But whatever intellectual superiority I thought I had over Christians, I now count it as sheer ignorance. Indeed, I count everything in my former life as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing the historical Jesus who is also the risen Lord. For his sake, I have given up trying to be a hipster atheist. I consider that old chestnut pure filth, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a CV that will gain me tenure at an Ivy League school, but knowing that I’ve bound myself to Jesus—and where he is, there I shall also be.