“Ten Books” review by Pastor Eric Hann

December 28, 2010 by  
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“Ten Books” review by Pastor Eric Hann

“Ten Books” review by Pastor Eric Hann


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Home Page > Spirituality > Christianity > “Ten Books” review by Pastor Eric Hann

“Ten Books” review by Pastor Eric Hann

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Posted: Jul 02, 2010 |

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                One of my hobbies is reading. I often joke with people that I’d be willing to read anything (well, almost anything) if supplied with adequate time and a few fresh pots of coffee. I’ve recently been reading a book which was actually written about other books. It’s a 2008 work by the author Benjamin Wiker entitled “10 Books that Screwed Up the World (And 5 Others that Didn’t Help) c. 2008 Regnery Pub.” Although Wiker’s insights will likely be deemed offensive to some who herald from different ideological backgrounds, I recommend his “10 Books” synopsis/analysis for anyone attempting to get a grip on 21st century thinking. Although I had previously read a number of the 15 books on his list, I’ve admittedly not read all of them – nor had I previously considered the myriad of implications these books have had on our collective, cultural worldviews. Although Wiker seems to have a Catholic background, I hope people will give his assessments of the cumulative impact of these books a chance without writing him off as being “too biased toward religion.” My humble attempt to “summarize” Wiker’s “summary” goes like this:
         Around the time of the 18th century, it was both easy and convenient to blame most of the ills of society on the likes of Christianity (or maybe better stated – Judeo-Christian worldview concepts). Thus, going back to at least the period of the Renaissance and then onward, various serious attempts have been made to redefine truth along the lines of more “enlightened” thinking. Most of these attempts have almost redundantly returned to addressing the same themes – which pertain to revisionist approaches to concepts of “humanity,” “sin,” “God,” and the ability to create a utopian “paradise.” Since thinking has become so progressively “enlightened” from all the “constraints” of a Biblical worldview, one would expect the last century to have been more tranquil and utopian-esque than all previous ones. Such, however, has not been the case. Along with the continued attempts to strip away a Judeo-Christian view of humans, sin, and God, various attempts have been made to replace the existing infrastructure of thought with new, more “promising” ideas. One need only study the results of the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini etc. to realize very quickly that the wake has been disastrous (for insight into a factually and philosophically consistent comparison between violence/oppression engendered at the hands of professing Christians as compared to the hands of antitheists, consider reading Ravi Zacharias’ book “Can Man Live Without God” c.1994 Word Publishing as well two books by Rodney Stark “For the Glory of God” c. 2003 Princeton University Press and “The Victory of Reason” c. 2006; and also Oxford scholar Alistair McGrath’s books “The Twilight of Atheism” c.2004 Doubleday Press and “The Dawkins Delusion” c. 2007 IVP Press; For more on Hitler’s antichristian perspectives, consider reading “Hitler’s Table Talk” Enigma books 3rd ed. Co. 2000 and doing a comprehensive  study of the “Nuremburg Trials”). As “enlightened” thinking concluded that there is “no God” and no “good” or “evil,” then humans, as Nietzsche rightly predicted, transferred their belief systems into formations of newfound “brotherhoods.” The “creeds” of the “enlightened” brotherhoods might reconstruct humans as merely survivalists (Darwin), or state more boldly that they are driven by a “will to power” (Nietzsche), but along with any notions about God or innate ideas about morality out of the way, all human desires must go unchecked as “rights” since they’re also beneficial to the wellbeing of homosaphiens living out life on planet earth (Mill / Kinsey). Hence, it’s “anything goes” in the name of the “betterment” of humanity for survival, power, pleasure – etc. A simplified version of “connecting dots” reveals, in the very least, that various thinkers have drawn from the same think-tank cesspools which have permeated much of our modern cultural perspectives. What Darwin explains in 1871’s “The Descent of Man ” (that there are higher and lower races of humans), Nietzsche advances in 1886’s “Beyond Good and Evil” (for a “cultivation of a new caste that will rule Europe”), and ultimately Hitler attempts to carry out with 1925’s Mein Kampf and the subsequent holocaust (anyone quick to write off Wiker’s connection between these as being fallacious might first read Richard Weikart’s book “From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany” c.2004 Palgrave Macmillan Press before making his/her mind). Also, Margaret Sanger (the founder of Planned Parenthood – our nation’s leading abortion provider) wrote in 1922’s “The Pivot of Civilization” about her eugenic motives for her ultimate goal of eliminating the “dead weight of human waste.” In the midst of her rejection of Judeo-Christian beliefs and values, Sanger actually held to her own brand of “spirituality” regarding her reasons for wanting to remove moral (sexual) “taboos” – citing that this will make possible “self-direction and salvation” for the interests of “society at large.” Furthermore, passionate Darwinist/atheist Alfred Kinsey told us in 1948’s “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” that since we’re all mere animals, then humans should feel free to act like any other animals in satisfying personal sexual urges. Kinsey’s “insight” was derived from his personal, experiential documentation of six types of sexual activity – which included not only homosexual practice, but also pedophilia, and even bestiality. Kinsey’s conclusion about all of these practices was that they only “seemed” to fit into categories of right, wrong, licit, and illicit – etc – whereas in reality they should be held by society to be perfectly natural. Kinsey held that even terms such as “molestation” are only viewed in a negative light because of our preconditioned religious hang-ups – perpetuated by uptight people trying to hold down others from being able to “express themselves.”
           Such are just a few examples of connected dot ideas presented in “10 Books That Screwed Up the World.” I’m fairly certain that the condition of our current cultural landscape would make several of the above authors proud; although they’d also likely state that we haven’t yet gone far enough. With the most recent presidential candidates being asked on national television if they believe “evil exists,” it’s my hope that people on all sides of the cultural spectrum will progressively reevaluate the need for such a question to even be asked, and will ultimately come to terms with the truth that there is a God, that “evil” exists, and that humans are more than mere animals or mechanisms. Certainly the subjects referenced above are far from being the only “moral” issues important to society at large. For the mainstream professing Christian, self-examination remains extremely important (Matthew 7:1-5; I Cor. 11:31-32). At the same time, my prayer for society as a whole is; That instead of attempting to replace God and morality, that Christian scriptures will be heeded which present the charges to repent of sin, to experience reconciliation with God by trusting in His appointed messiah, Jesus Christ, who loved us enough – in spite of our sinful condition – to die for us (Romans 5:8), and then ultimately revealed His identity through His resurrection from the dead (Acts 17:30-31).

 

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Pastor Eric Hann is the Lead Pastor of Cornerstone Community Church, Chariton, Iowa

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Pastor Eric Hann is the Lead Pastor of Cornerstone Community Church, Chariton, Iowa

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