Polytheistic Incoherence

From Chapter Seven of Christian Economics: Student Edition

{My words in bold curly brackets.}

—<Quote begins>—

Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, The voice of a god, and not of a man! Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. But the word of God increased and multiplied (Acts 12:20–24).

Analysis

Point two of the biblical covenant is hierarchical authority. It has to do with God’s delegation of limited sovereignty to man: the dominion covenant. Mankind represents God judicially. Each individual also represents God in his temporary sphere of authority, which is a legal jurisdiction. He speaks in the name of God. He is responsible to God. This is a judicial hierarchy.

The English word hierarchy comes from the Greek word for priest, hieros, and the Greek word for ruler, archon.

Herod was in a position to impose authoritative law in the name of God. Instead, he spoke an authoritative word in his own name. He died a non-authoritative death. This is the arrogance of autonomy in action. King Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson, and he testified to it in Daniel 4, which he wrote. Herod did not learn this lesson.

The English word autonomy in a transliteration of the Greek word for self, autos, and the Greek word for law, nomos. Autonomy means self-law.

—<Quote ends>—

{Dying a “non-authoritative death” is a tough thing.

Better to die in obedience to God.

Way better.}

—<Quote begins>—

A. Polytheism

Point one of the biblical covenant is sovereignty. It asks: “Who’s in charge here?” How does this apply to autonomy?

If God does not rule the world as the Creator and Providential Sustainer of the world, then what does?

The Darwinist argues that nothing did until man evolved out of non-man. Man now imputes purpose. He plans. He executes plans. The formerly purposeless universe now has purpose.

Hardly anyone has ever believed this. Anyone who argues in this fashion is doomed to a life of frustration. No religion teaches it. No ethical system teaches it. Only a handful of university graduates teach it to their children. It is the argument of a fool. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God'” (Psalm 14:1a).

In contrast, polytheism has had lots of supporters in history. This is the product of their rebellion.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things (Romans 1:18–22).

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{Atheism – and it’s modern enabler, Darwinism – are on their way out.

The polytheists will try to make a comeback: but their vision doesn’t work well in the real world. (Even though it’s far closer to reality than atheistic/Darwinian materialism!)

The future belongs to Christ, His Law-Word, and His people.}

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Atheists are operational polytheists. If God is not God, then man is. But man is plural, not just a single species. One person’s opinions are as good as any other person’s views, defenders of democracy insist. Each person imputes meaning and coherence to the world around him. Who is to say any of these imputed realities is incorrect? Problem: there is no way to use logic and persuasion to shape these rival imputations into a coherent unity. The competing worldviews of men have proven to be irreconcilable. So, he who wants to attain unity must use coercive force. Every political system operates on the basis of a book and guns to enforce it. There is no agreement on which book possesses autonomous authority.

—<Quote ends>—

{I’m fairly sure that there will be an agreement on which book has Divine authority, during the next thousand years.

As the Kingdom of God triumphs over all, there will be less and less need to call on guns to enforce it’s authority, to punish/suppress the thief, the kidnapper, the murderer.

They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:9, English Standard Version

And the entire world – and any world we colonize, any station we inhabit – will be part of God’s Holy Mountain.}

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With many gods there are many hierarchies, many legal systems, many sanctions, and many futures. Systems come, but most of them fade away. A few persist. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam deny polytheism. Hinduism affirms it. Buddhism is either polytheistic or atheistic, depending on the variety. Confucianism doesn’t care. Marxism is atheistic. That experiment went belly-up in 1991. Darwinism is atheistic. Few people believe it. But most economists do.

If the universe is autonomous but without purpose apart from mankind, then man must impose order. But there is a problem. Man evolved out of autonomous nature, Darwinists tell us. Mankind is therefore under the laws of nature. Some scientists say that they understand these laws. Conclusion: these elite planners must be the ones to bring social order and scientific progress. They shout: Man must take control of man! That means that a few men must take control of all the others, a point made by a power-seeking atheist in a 1946 novel by Christian theologian C. S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength. This is operational polytheism: lots of competing scientific gods, each seeking to impose his order on the rest of humanity. Sometimes the gods cooperate, as the Olympian gods did occasionally. Usually, the gods of Olympus were at war with each other, by way of men and women in history.

—<Quote ends>—

{“Man must take control of man! That means that a few men must take control of all the others, a point made by a power-seeking atheist in a 1946 novel by Christian theologian C. S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength.”

As this becomes more well-known, Darwin will hit, then pass, its sell-by date.
(If it hasn’t already!)

The current, ongoing politicization of science will merely accelerate the process.}

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Conclusion

Covenant-breaking man began with an assumption: God is not sovereign. This was followed by another assumption: There are many gods. This was followed by a third assumption: Man must test which self-professed god is sovereign. This led to a conclusion: Man is sovereign, since his tests are authoritative. This led to the final conclusion: Man is autonomous. This created an immediate problem: there are many men and many views of truth. Cain and Abel divided over this issue (Genesis 4). How can men come to agreed-upon solutions to this problem, which is the problem of noise? There has been no solution offered so far that has begun to bring theoretical unity out of theoretical diversity in any area of life.

The assumption of men’s autonomy has shattered theoretical unity. This has affected the science of economics as profoundly as it has affected every other social science. There is no agreement regarding economic theory. There has been no agreement on economic policy. If methodological individualism is true, there can never be any agreement on policy. This is because it is impossible to make scientific interpersonal comparisons of subjective utility. It is impossible to add up gains and losses. Value is subjective. It cannot be measured. Humanistic economic theory has reached a dead end.

—<Quote ends>—

{The corps of humanist economic theory is beginning to stink up the place.

Time to ditch it.}

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