Charles Taylor in his book A Secular Age won the Templeton Prize for his brilliant work explaining the story and evolution of secularism. In his book, he explains that secularism is much more complex than defining it as belief versus unbelief (Taylor 2007). He says that secularism is not simply the absence of religion, it is much more. Secularism is not just the product of science and reason, or Darwin defeating Christianity but it has evolved through the centuries and has moved Western Society from God being involved in all aspects of life to humanism where God has been removed from most of Western Society. It has been a cultural shift where God was involved and guided man to now, man has many options and chooses his own destiny.
In my life time, I have seen God taken out of our Western Culture space. It is all around us – no more prayer is schools, the Ten Commandments have been replaced as the foundation of law by case law evolution. The Mount Soledad Cross in San Diego California has been deem unconstitutional and ordered to come down in December of 2013. The list goes on and on.
Taylor goes on to talk about people searching for fullness – a fullness that use to be found in a relationship with God can now be found in nature, beauty or reason. He discusses that it is not found through belief and unbelief but as different kinds of lived experience involved in understanding your life in one way or the other p. 5. He also discussed there is also the “middle condition,” the daily activities between the extremes, and their meaning. He talks about the need to be reflective and thoughtful about these options.
As a lifetime believer in Christianity, I took time to reflect why I chose the option I did. I remember in college, I took time to reflect about my faith. I was raised in a home where my dad was a Presbyterian Minister and we went to church every Sunday. I wanted to make sure this faith was my own faith and not a faith I chose because I grew up in the environment. At the time, I chose to research the extreme opposite, the military atheism of Communist Russia where society literally becomes the rules and values of the people.
The convincing arguments were found in apologetic books like Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell (a debated to started out to refute Christian belief and became a believer) and A Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. The convincing arguments were the hundreds of prophecies that were fulfilled by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Also the historical proofs supporting the Bible. The crowning argument was that all the disciples who followed Jesus mostly died martyr deaths verifying the resurrection and miracles of Jesus.
Sense this validation of my faith, I have studied many religions and lifestyles and have not wavered in my choice to follow Jesus and use the Bible as the basis for my life values.
What has been your journey to choose which values to live your lifestyle and why?
Taylor, Charles. A secular age. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of
Harvard University Press, 2007.