There Is No Longer A Christian Mind

“There is no longer a Christian mind. It is a commonplace that the mind of modern man has been secularized. For instance, it has been deprived of any orientation towards the supernatural. Tragic as this fact is, it would not be so desperately tragic had the Christian mind held out against the secular drift. But unfortunately the Christian mind has succumbed to the secular drift with a degree of weakness and nervelessness unmatched in Christian history. It is difficult to do justice in words to the complete loss of intellectual morale in the twentieth-century Church. One cannot characterize it without having recourse to language which will sound hysterical and melodramatic.”

“There is no longer a Christian mind. There is still, of course, a Christian ethic, a Christian practice, and a Christian spirituality. As a moral being, the modern Christian subscribes to a code other than that of the non-Christian. As a member of the Church, he undertakes obligations and observations ignored by the non-Christian. As a spiritual being, in prayer and meditation, he strives to cultivate a dimension of life unexplored by the non- Christian. But as a thinking being, the modern Christian has succumbed to secularization. He accepts religion - its morality, its worship, its spiritual culture; but he rejects the religious view of life, the view which sets all earthly issues within the context of the eternal view which relates all human problems - social, political, cultural - to the doctrinal foundations of the Christian Faith, the view which sees all things here below in terms of God’s supremacy and earth’s transitoriness, in terms of Heaven and Hell.”

- Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind: How Should A Christian Think? Ann Arbor: Servant Books 1963, 3-4.


“With the decline of clerical power in the eighteenth century, a new kind of mentor emerged to fill the vacuum and capture the ear of society. The secular intellectual might be deist, skeptic, or atheist. But he was just as ready as any pontiff or presbyter to tell mankind how to conduct its affairs. He proclaimed from the start, a special devotion to the interests of humanity and an evangelical duty to advance them by his teaching. He brought to this self-appointed task a far more radical approach than his clerical predecessors. He felt himself bound by no corpus of revealed religion. The collective wisdom of the past, the legacy of tradition, the prescriptive codes of ancestral experience existed to be selectively followed or wholly rejected entirely as his own good sense might decide. For the first time in human history and with growing confidence and audacity, men arose to assert that they could diagnose the ills of society and cure them with their own unaided intellects: more, that they could devise formulas whereby not merely the structure of society but the fundamental habits of human beings could be transformed for the better. Unlike their sacerdotal predecessors, they were not servants and interpreters of the gods but substitutes. Their hero was Prometheus, who stole the celestial fire and brought it to earth.”

- Paul Johnson, Intellectuals, New York Harper and Row, 1989, 1-2, as cited by George Grant, Trial and Error: The American Civil Liberties Union and Its Impact on Your Family, Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc. 1989, 115, 116.

The New Paganism

“In our day the religion of Christ is facing a crisis such as it has not faced, probably since the days of Constantine. By that I mean that up to this time the Church has been engaged in a kind of civil war, in which a Christian idea has battled with a misunderstanding of a Christian idea or in which sect has fought with sect. None of the great heresies of the first sixteen hundred years of the Christian era denied the existence of God, but they had misconceived the notion of the Trinity, the nature of Christ, the nature of Divine Grace, and the mission of the Church. In the last four centuries the conflict was not so much of idea and idea as the conflict of sect and sect. Today we are faced with something entirely novel, We are engaged now not so much in what might be called a civil war, but we are confronted with ‘an invasion,’ that is, a force of ideas that is as strange to traditional Christianity as Christianity was strange to Paganism. This new invading force is New Paganism.

“New Paganism may be defined as an outlook on life that holds to the sufficiency of human science without faith, and the sufficiency of human power without grace. In other words its two tenets are: Scientism, which is a deification of the experimental method, and Humanism, which is a glorification of a man who makes God to his own image and likeness.

. . . the New Paganism differs from the old in this, that whereas in ancient Greek Paganism the spiritual and the material were confused; in the New Paganism they are divorced, God from the cosmos, and after the divorcement has been accomplished the New Paganism “immediately throws away the better half and lives worse with the other half. That is why today there is religion without God, Christianity without Christ, and psychology without soul. From this point of view, the old Paganism was preferable to the New, for at least it acknowledged the necessity of some power above man, even though it was only a household God.”

- Wilbur M. Smith, Therefore Stand. Natrick, MA: W. A. Wilde Co., 1945, 267, with quotations from Fulton J. Sheen, Old Errors and New Labels. New York: 1941, 325-328.