Wednesday, October 22, 2008

When Paganism Would Be Preferable

C.S. Lewis was one of the Twentieth Century’s greatest thinkers in the prophetic way he (as a modern mind) was able to foresee the way society would go in Postmodernism. He also was an Atheist turned Agnostic turned Deist turned Christian who had incredible insight into the way western culture would look as it entered this post-Christian age.
One thing he asserted, that has generated considerable controversy, was that atheists would have an easier time becoming Christians if they first became pagans. (And by this he probably meant Pagan in the general, pre-Christian, spiritualist sense and not the narrower, worship-the-earth, Wicca style Pagans we think of today.)
Whether you want to condemn Lewis as a closet pagan, or defend him as having insight gained from his own spiritual journey, he had a point when it comes to reaching the post-Christian culture. You cannot reach Atheists with a simple, traditional, Bible-belt, canned presentation of the Bible. It starts out from a position of certain preconceptions that atheist thinking simply does not share. Groundwork must be laid; the soil must be tilled a bit. You cannot start with: “God loves you and has a plan for your life.” You have to start with: “There is more to reality than the material world.”
In this regard it is true, that people need to become open to the spiritual world before they can be convinced that the Biblical version of that world is the true one. In that regard, the fact that German youth are becoming more and more interested in the occult is a cause for hope, not just concern. After all, 80% of people in the former East Germany claim to believe in nothing at all. In post-Christian Europe, any sign of a step towards seeing the spiritual side of reality needs to be taken advantage of.

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