A Year of Deception

YBW-cover-cropG. K. Chesterton said in his book “Orthodoxy” that:

“the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. . . . As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. . . . The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.

Chesterton well understood where Postmodernism was headed and his description of modern man’s inclination to doubt everything is exemplified in the Emergent church movement today. In Emergent circles it is common to have “question and response” sessions; “question and response” rather than “question and answer” because they believe that there are no absolute answers to any of life’s biggest questions. Rachel Held Evens, who has embraced this kind of postmodern theology, is rapidly becoming one of the most popular voices of the Emergent Church and over and over again in her writing she demonstrates the rebel against everything attitude that Chesterton described so well. Her new book, “A year of Biblical Womanhood: How a liberated woman found herself sitting on her roof, covering her head, and calling her husband master” is just one more example. It is rife with examples of poor biblical exegesis, false assumptions, and it appears frequently to be deliberately misleading but, like most of Rachel’s writings, she is consistent in her call to rebel against everything. Trillia Newbell has written an excellent review of Rachel Held Evans latest book and cites many examples from the book itself. She concludes with this thought “This book is not ultimately about manhood and womanhood, headship and submission, or the complementarian and egalitarian debate. At its root this book questions the validity of the Bible.”  I believe she has hit the nail on the head.

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