~ The following are some quick notes in passing from Tim Keller’s book, Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters:
From Chapter 5, The Power And The Glory
Pg. 97-98, where the context of the discussion was the Nazis & Robespierre and the French Revolution.
“When love of one’s people becomes and absolute, it turns into racism. When love of equality turns into a supreme thing, it can result in hatred and violence toward anyone who has led a privileged life. It is the settled tendency of human societies to turn good political causes into counterfeit gods.”
Pg. 100 –
“Dutch-Canadian philosopher Al Wolters taught that in the Biblical view of things, the main problem in life is sin, and the only solution is God and His grace. The alternative to this view is to identify something besides sin as the main problem with the world and something besides God as the main remedy. That demonizes something that is not completely bad, and makes an idol out of something that cannot be the ultimate good.”
Pg. 102 – Commenting on Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Will To Power”
“Niebuhr believed that entire nations had corporate ‘egos,’ and just as individuals, national cultures could have both superiority and inferiority complexes.
Pg 106 –
“Niebuhr argued that human thinking always elevates some finite value or object to be The Answer.”
~ What I get out of all this: Absolutes do exist. (You cannot deny this without being self-referentially incoherent.) However while absolutes do exist, they are not to be treated as though they are individually or collectively, God. The history of humanity shows that we have constant and recurring tendency to deify absolutes. When this happens we have idolatry.
~ ~ Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité was the cry of the French Revolution. Indeed liberty is good. Indeed equality is good and so also fraternity. However when they become substitutes for God, then heads are going to roll from the guillotine. *,**
* Note to self: Double-check what Mortimer Adler had to say about all this.
**Note2: Also I sense a link with Presuppositional thinking here. Look into that.