Sunday, February 11, 2018

Rushdoony: two practical atheists

Sunday, February 11, 2018
    [Moses:] See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
    —Deuteronomy 30:15-18 (NIV)
    For man to turn his back on God is to turn towards death; it involves ultimately the renunciation of every aspect of life...
    To deny God, man must ultimately deny that there is any law or reality. The full implications of this were seen in the [19th] century by two profound thinkers, one a Christian and the other a non-Christian. [Friedrich W.] Nietzsche recognized fully that every atheist is an unwilling believer to the extent that he has any element of justice or order in his life, to the very extent that he is even alive and enjoys life. In his earlier writings, Nietzsche first attempted the creation of another set of standards and values, affirming life for a time, until he concluded that he could not affirm life itself nor give it any meaning, any value, apart from God. Thus Nietzsche’s ultimate counsel was suicide; only then, [he asserted] can we truly deny God: and in his own life, this brilliant thinker, one of the clearest in his description of modern Christianity and the contemporary issue, did in effect commit a kind of psychic suicide.
    The same concept was powerfully developed by [Fyodor M.] Dostoyevski, particularly in The Possessed, or, more literally, the Demon-Possessed. Kirilov, a thoroughly Nietzschean character, is very much concerned with denying God, asserting that he himself is God and that man does not need God. But at every point, Kirilov finds that no standard or structure in reality can be affirmed without ultimately asserting God, that no value can be asserted without being ultimately derived from the Triune God. As a result, Kirilov committed suicide as the only apparently practical way of denying God and affirming himself—for to be alive was to affirm this ontological deity in some fashion.
    ... Rousas J. Rushdoony (1916-2001), Intellectual Schizophrenia, Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1961, p. 25-26 (see the book)
    See also Deut. 30:15-19; Pr. 1:32; Mark 16:16; John 3:16,19-21; 2 Tim. 4:4; Heb. 3:12; 1 John 5:11-12
Quiet time reflection:
    Thank You, Lord, for Your saving word, that keeps me from destruction.
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