One might say that the notion of truth has fallen on hard times, but actually it has been a long-time coming. We see today the fruits of what was sown beginning in the Enlightenment, working its way into the modernist age. Although rationalism born out the Enlightenment is at odds in many ways with the postmodern age in which we now live, both are the result of humanism. If man is the ultimate measure of all things, then the radical relativism of postmodernism is the result of that presupposition. Spinoza opened the door to postmodernism, whether or not one wants to admit it, in his attack on Biblical truth and the existence of a personal God. Because of at least a Christian consensus, our culture did not feel the full force of the undermining of absolute truth for a couple of centuries. Now we see it in full force in every sphere of life from education to economics, and for sure in the political realm. One only had to listen to Biden’s speech the other night to know that we live in a time of full-blown rhetoric. Lest people think I’m picking on one political party, the same is true about the statements spewed by Trump. Unfortunately, much of the church under the guise of Christianity embraced the modernist form of thought as witnessed by the rise of Neo-Orthodoxy, modernist theology (Barth, etc.), liberation theology, and a segment of the emergent church that denounces the place of doctrine in Christianity. Without truth grounded in a solid foundation, the human creature is rudderless, directionless, and embraces the notion of a meaningless and purposeless universe.
Faith & Analysis Kick Off Time
Over the summer I previewed what was coming in the blog with the name change to Contemplations: Faith and Analysis. The September publication is the beginning of what I pray is a bright future for this blog. I have come to believe that the basic foundation for anything designated as the truth is the Christian faith. In the months ahead, and hopefully longer, I will provide analysis of what is transpiring in our culture and nation from a Christian point of view. Presently, we face a time when just about anything is acceptable other than an Orthodox Christian worldview. Contemplations, moving forward, will draw on a Reformed Christian framework to critique what is occurring in the realm of culture, politics, economics, education, business, the arts, etc. Although I will draw on the works of many Christians, I primarily will base what I write here on R. J. Rushdoony and his thoughts on Christian Reconstruction. Unfortunately, there is a much caricaturing of his position and, thereby, misunderstanding of what Christian Reconstruction is all about. Basically, it comes down to taking captive to Christ all areas of life. Due to Neo-Orthodoxy, and the modernist movements in the church, the concept of Christianity itself unfortunately means a variety of things to people. I will delineate where I’m coming from in this blog article
I embrace my faith from the perspective of an Orthodox Reformed theology. What exactly does that entail? There are several elements to my faith that I want to delineate here, but how they apply to an analysis of our culture via faith will come to light only in time across the months through my published blog articles.
Five Fundamentals of the Faith
First, I am Orthodox in that I hold to basic Biblical Christianity. The foundation of my beliefs lies on what I consider the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. These are 1) the eternal existence of the Creator Triune God and His creation ex-nihilo of the universe and all there within, and the Fall of man; 2) the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and the Works of the Holy Spirit; 3) the necessity of the Substitutionary Atonement of Jesus Christ and its apprehension by faith alone; 4) the death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming of Jesus Christ; 5) the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture. The way in which I draw on my faith to critique the present climate of our culture will unfold in the months ahead.
The Five Solas
The Five Fundamentals of the faith delineated above can be somewhat correlated to what are called the Five Solas that emerged out of the Reformation. These are 1) sola fide – faith alone; 2) sola Scriptura – Scripture alone; 3) sola gratia – grace alone; 4) solus Christus – Christ alone; 5) Soli Deo Gloria – to God the glory alone. These Five Solas help sum up the Five Fundamentals of the faith described above.
As one whose faith is grounded on Orthodox Reformed theology, God’s sovereignty and His providential hand over our lives is at the core of what I believe. Unfortunately, Calvinism is another one of those terms that carries with it much caricaturing and misunderstanding. Hopefully, over the course of time I will make clear how this Reformed view of theology provides a foundation for analysis via faith of our culture and nation. The Five Points (T.U.L.I.P.) of Calvinism are: 1) Total Depravity; 2) Unconditional Election: 3) Limited Atonement: 4) Irresistible Grace; 5) Perseverance or Preservation of the Saints.
The discussion above is only a thin layer of what Reformed theology entails. But it provides a basic starting and kickoff point for establishing a foundation for the analyses that will be forthcoming in the months ahead. Contemplations: Faith & Analysis will provide analyses through various formats – essays, ideas regarding Christian counseling, book reviews, political analyses, discussions of economics, and other formats. We are entering an election season, and this heyday of rhetoric unfortunately fits a postmodern mindset. The goal of Contemplations is to provide a thoughtful analysis of the culture from the perspective of Christian thought, particularly in terms of Christian Reconstruction as described by R. J. Rushdoony and the Chalcedon organization. .
John V. Jones, Jr., Ph.D./September 14th, 2022