My good friend Jerry (Grumpy1180) has another fine post available at his new site, Grumpy’s Grumblings. Here is an excerpt. You can access the full post at the link I’ve provided at the bottom. Thanks Jerry!
“No finite point has meaning without an infinite reference point.” – Jean Paul Sartre
The Sartre quote above served as a premise for a book written more than a generation ago by one of evangelicalism’s most revered scholars. In He Is There and He Is Not Silent, the second book in a trilogy, Francis Schaeffer wrote of the need for an infinite reference point in each of the following realms: metaphysics, morality, and epistemology.
As the renowned French philosopher Sartre understood—but never embraced—apart from some kind of infinite reference point, everything within our finite existence lacks measurable significance. Apart from such an infinite measuring rod, all becomes relative, contingent.
For religious folks, the infinite reference point has historically been God. While perceptions of God varied widely, His—or Its—existence and revelation were accepted—though not commonly understood—as the touchstone for comprehending metaphysics, morality, and epistemology.
End of An Era
For the majority of America’s white evangelicals, that millennia-long era is over. While the gradual decline began long before, the rapid move toward absolute abandonment began with evangelicals’ enthusiastic embrace of Donald J. Trump, first as presidential candidate and then as replacement deity.
The assault on the nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021, by a violent, riotous mob—many of them carrying signs proclaiming both their “Christian” identity and their worshipful loyalty to Donald Trump—made clear the collapse of American evangelicalism as the tipping point in the impending collapse of the United States as a democratic republic. White evangelicals’ willingness to exchange The Infinite Reference Point for a finite reference point was bound to result in the kind of chaos and violence recently seen in our nation’s Capitol.
White evangelicals’ willingness to exchange The Infinite Reference Point for a finite reference point was bound to result in the kind of chaos and violence recently seen in our nation’s Capitol.
Donald Trump As Evangelicals’ New Reference Point
While few white evangelicals would admit it—to others or even to themselves—most have chosen Donald Trump over the God of the Bible as their ultimate reference point. That hundreds of them would attack the nation’s seat of government and seek to murder many high-level officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, at the behest of their new messiah—and that nearly half of all Republicans approve of such behavior, reveals their new allegiance to their new reference point: Donald Trump.
To continue reading, here is the link: Grumpy’s Grumblings