Check out the blog of my friend Jacob, namely the Surburban Agrarian. It features an on-going series of book reviews on matters pertinent to agrarian thought, cultural wars, the Bible, church history, meta-politics, philosophy, and theology.
Imago Dei is the Latin transliteration of the aphorism, “Image of God,” as found in the Old Testament Book of Genesis in the grand divine creation narrative. This term “Image of God” is defined as the metaphysical expression rooted in mankind’s likeness to their Creator God, and it is associated uniquely to human beings, and it carries enormous weight given that humans were created in the “image of God.” This aphorism also signifies the profound spiritual, tangible, and symbolical connections between God and humanity. The phrase has its origins in Genesis 1:27, wherein “God created man in his own image. . .” This biblical passage implicates that humans are created in the image of God in their moral, spiritual, and intellectual essence. Accordingly all created humans reflect God’s divine nature in their ability to achieve the unique characteristics with which they have been endowed by their Creator. Mankind stands distinct from the creatures of the animal kingdom in this regard. It’s why man’s soul is precious and must be committed to God in this fallen world that man may partake of God’s forgiveness and redemption of fallen mankind.
“The collapse in evangelical doctrinal consensus is intimately related to the collapse in the understanding of, and role assigned to, Scripture as God’s Word spoken within the church.”
―Carl R. Trueman, Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, p. 98
The Apostle Paul under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, authoritatively avowed the veracity and divine inspiration of sacred scripture, declaring: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Sacred scripture’s truth endures in spite of the fads of this day and age, and wickedness of man’s hearts. We live in an age of considerable depravity. There’s no point in making a lamentation with a laundry list of the absurd depravity so commonplace in this corrupt modern world. “For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:12). God’s truth will endure in light of eternity, and He will trample underfoot all that offends His Heavenly Kingdom.
“The gap between medieval Christianity’s ruling principle and everyday life is the great pitfall of the Middle Ages. It is the problem that runs through Gibbon’s history, which he dealt with by a delicately malicious levity, pricking at every turn what seemed to him the hypocrisy of the Christian ideal as opposed to natural human functioning. . . . ¶Chivalry, the dominant idea of the ruling class, left as great a gap between ideal and practice as religion. The ideal was a vision of order maintained by the warrior class and formulated in the image of the Round Table, nature’s perfect shape. King Arthur’s knights adventured for the right against dragons, enchanters, and wicked men, establishing order in a wild world. So their living counterparts were supposed, in theory, to serve as defenders of the Faith, upholders of justice, champions of the oppressed. In practice, they were themselves the oppressors, and by the 14th century the violence and lawlessness of men of the sword had become a major agency of disorder. When the gap between ideal and real becomes too wide, the system breaks down. Legend and story have always reflected this; in the Arthurian romances the Round Table is shattered from within. The sword is returned to the lake; the effort begins anew. Violent, destructive, greedy, fallible as he may be, man retains his vision of order and resumes his search.”
—Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous
“The survival of the West depends on Americans reaffirming their Western identity and Westerners accepting their civilization as unique not universal and uniting to renew and preserve it against challenges from non-Western societies.”
―Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
Europe is at a crossroads and it is dying culturally and spiritually. Christianity has fallen on hard times in Europe as militant secularism abound. The loss of Western identity and confidence has lead to acceptance of multiculturalism and runaway immigration from the Islamic world, and of Third World nations. A great burden now rests upon the United States of America to become the preservative of Western identity and Western Civilization itself. To do this, Americans must of necessity become more consciously pro-Western Civilization, and have a sense of rootedness in the West. The ideology of global market idolatry are often antithetical to these goals. For Americans to cultivate a deeper sense of rootedness in the West requires that we obtain: a profound sense of who we are, a greater sense of where we came from, and a confident sense of where we’re going as a civilization. As Edmund Burke said, “People will not look forward to posterity who do not look backwards to ancestors.”
Historically Christendom ascribed a certain nobility of character to man’s exercise of work and vocation, equating the diligence attendant to work, and vocation with essential character formation. Though toil was part of the original curse upon man after his fall referenced in Genesis 3:9, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,” work sanctified under the Cross of Christ gave man a sense of purpose and rootedness in this temporal age, and strengthened his connection to his fellow man. The Apostle Paul admonished believers in Colossae, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). The revealed divine revelation of the Holy Scriptures instructs us that all Christians are ultimately working for the Lord God, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
“For Medieval craftsmen, work was an act of piety and was sanctified in their own eyes as in the eyes of their God. For such labourers, end and means are one and he spiritual wholeness of faith is translated into the visual wholeness and purify of their craft. hence their craft was also art, a permanent testimony to the reality on earth of humanity’s spiritual redemption.”
―Roger Scruton, Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition
The Grand Narrative popularized by historian Will Durant in The Story of Civilization teaches that the idea of freedom and democracy was born in ancient Greece, nurtured by Roman civility, law, and order, and brought to modern fruition by the Anglo-Scottish-French Enlightenment. David Gress challenges the Grand Narrative which reduces history to fit modern liberal sentiments, and instead recognizes as Montesquieu did that the Western concept of “liberty was born in the forests of Germany” (p. 183). The modern West was born in the vestiges of Charlemagne’s empire, spread chiefly at the behest of the British, Dutch, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
In this video on C-SPAN, David Gress talked about his sweeping intellectual history, From Plato to NATO, which examine the rise of “the West” as one of the most potent cultural and political forces in human history. After his remarks, Gress proceeded to answer questions from the audience.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rode a populist wave of nationalist fervor into elected office in Brazil, and thereafter appointed Ernesto Araújo to be his Foreign Minister. Araújo is a career diplomat, and the author of an erudite article, entitled simply “Trump and the West,” first published in 2017, which provides a comprehensive cultural, historical, philosophical, and political framework of the insurgent populist nationalism that is rising throughout the Western world. The elected U.S. President Donald Trump is most emblematic of this vision of the West. Araújo’s exposition is a clarion call for the men of the West to stand athwart “cultural Marxism,” and by implication liberalism and postmodernism. Ernesto Araújo astutely lauds the leadership of President Trump, whose brinksmanship aims to defend Western Christian societies from the twin perils of Islam and global cultural Marxism. Ernesto marshals a bountiful corpus of intellectual ammunition in defense of the West, and presents Donald J. Trump as the perennial statesman of our age, as he is highly attuned to the populist, nationalist spirit of the modern West.
In Araújo’s learned judgment, neither military weapons nor terrorism presents the greatest threat to the West today, rather it’s more of an issue of the ability to preserve and sustain Western culture and identity itself, as Ernesto argues that “the real huge danger is the disappearance of Western identity itself.” He sees Donald Trump as a vanguard of an intellectual-political movement that is vitally requisite to defend Western Civilization, and by clear implication, Trump is apt to possess a comparable philosophy to that articulated by Ernesto Araújo himself. “This vision of the West does not mean conflict with non-Westerners,” Araújo observes in writing of Donald J. Trump. More to the point, “the enemy of the West is not Russia or China, nor is it an enemy state, but indeed primarily an enemy within, abandoning one’s own identity; and an outside enemy, radical Islamism – which, meanwhile, plays second fiddle to the first, because Islamism only poses a threat because it finds the West spiritually weak and disconnected from itself. There is no ‘us-versus-them logic’ here, contrary to what Trump’s detractors are fond of saying. There is instead an ‘us seeking to reclaim ourselves’ logic.” To this end, Araújo appears to the heroic men of the West, and the symbolism embodied in the historical struggles of the western Greeks against the tyrannical Persians from the orient, as well as the United States and the free world standing athwart the collectivism of the Soviet Union. “Patriotism,” notes Araújo, “is therefore part of the very essence of the West. It was not the brainchild of philosophers; it was felt by men facing the risk of death. . .”
The West also needs its heroes. To Araújo, Donald J. Trump is among the heroes of our time. “The West was born at Salamis, but not only in the battle itself strictly speaking, but also, and most of all, in the literary transposition Aeschylus gave it. The West was thus born with a dimension of self-reflection. It was born not only as a fact, but as a literary work of a conscious history building – Greek tragedy is where myth merges with history.” Postmodernism in contrast attacks the notion of heroes as but another cult of Western imperial ego. Yet Araújo recognizes that heroes inspire men to lay hold of greatness, and heroes articulate and communicate ideas, and in the case of Donald J. Trump, it’s an idea of the West worth defending, which aids in the survival of the West. This noble myth is necessary and frankly truthful as it reflects the culture, history, and peoples of the West much more so than the ideological radicalism of socialists and post-modernists who seek to wipe the slate clean and start the world anew.
This represents a new beginning but is certainly not my first attempt at blogging. It is a place where I want to articulate myself with my own voice. It’s a voice not beholden to the cultural and political correctness of our day, as I am a champion of the Christian West.
“Among the greatest challenges facing humanity is the ability to survive progress.”
―Patrick J. Deneen, Why Liberalism Failed