Tags: london | godless | review

London Book Decries 'Godless Religion' in U.S.

Thursday, 02 Oct 2008 04:15 PM

By Lowell Ponte

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

“America’s Secular Challenge: The Rise of a New National Religion,” by Herbert London New York: Brief Encounters / Encounter Books, 2008, 104 pages, $18.

“Belief matters” are the opening words of scholar Herbert London’s 14th book. Godless radical secularism, he argues, is replacing our Judeo-Christian tradition with golden idols of multiculturalism, materialism, moral relativism, solipsism, selfishness instead of the common good, and infantilism that the welfare state spawns.

Such values cannot produce the bedrock values of cultural self-confidence and patriotism that the West’s reemerging struggle with radical Islam requires, London believes. “Decency, sacrifice, and heroism do not emerge spontaneously, and a great nation cannot retain its greatness while wallowing in a depraved culture,” writes London, president of the influential Hudson Institute think tank.

<[Editor’s Note: Read an interview with Herbert London. Go here now.]

What makes these traditional themes come to life are the bright brush strokes and fresh, penetrating details that this quick-witted former New York University humanities professor brings to his passionate polemic.

The “very term secularism – from the Latin saeculum, meaning “time” or “age” – implies a lack of timelessness and constancy for the secularists’ moral code,” writes London, now president of the influential Hudson Institute think tank. “As Catholic historian James Hitchcock explains: ‘To call someone secular means that he is completely time-bound, totally a child of his age, a creature of history, with no vision of eternity.’ ”

London identifies himself as a Jew who has “come to appreciate the role that Christianity plays in buttressing Western democracies . . . [T]he historical truth is that our way of life, including the liberty ensconced in liberalism, emerged from and is sustained by Christian principles.”

The religious figure he quotes approvingly most often is Pope Benedict XVI.

In place of traditional religious authority, the radical secularists invoke science, in London’s view. But genuine science by definition deals in tentative hypotheses and measurements of the natural universe.

Supernatural matters are beyond science, as are ontological questions such as, “Why are we here?” And much that passes for science, he writes, is scientism, a belief based on faith that science eventually will be able to explain all of today’s mysteries.

“It is indeed doubtful that scientists will ever be able to fully explain the universe,” writes London, after summarizing philosopher Kurt Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem thus: “A logical system of propositions cannot be both complete and true.”

Even so, he writes, the Judeo-Christian tradition generally has favored rational, if not always free, thought. “Theology and science share the same spirit of inquiry, though they approach inquiry from different angles, and the two were and remain for the most part perfectly capable of working in tandem toward knowledge.”

Those who love the free play of ideas will enjoy how masterfully London dances a path between atheism and Islam, between free market capitalism and socialist secularism, and between radical individualism and scholarly political correctness. This excellent idea-rich book’s thought exercises will build mental muscles.

[Editor’s Note: Get Herbert London’s book. Go here now.]

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Calif. Bill Allows Families to Seek 'Gun Restraining' Order

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 08:06 AM

California would become the first state to allow family members to petition judges to take away relatives' guns if they  . . .

Body of Missing Arkansas Real Estate Agent Found

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:53 AM

Police have discovered the body of an Arkansas real estate agent in a shallow grave after she was reported missing last  . . .

Virginia Police: Forensic Evidence Links 2 Cases

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:44 AM

They both were walking alone, separated from their friends late at night on or near the University of Virginia campus. O . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved