The Idol of Our Age
In times like these, when so much is deeply unsettled in both the Church and the world, there are few reliable guides to our predicament. But one has just appeared: Daniel Mahoney’s brief but powerful book: The Idol of Our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity.
A few decades back, American evangelicals used to denounce secular humanism, rightly – but without knowing what it was other than a denial of religion. During the same period, St. John Paul II tried to recover an authentic Christian humanism, i.e., a rich “anthropology” in which the human person is only rightly understood in relation to God.
A Christian humanism is necessary because unless we properly value life in this world, religion can become distorted, a kind of Puritanism that denies our nature as creatures with bodies, minds, and spirits.
A Christian humanism is necessary, however, because without God, we close in on ourselves. The sciences discover truths about our world, but cannot say anything about why we’re here, what our lives mean, or where we go after death.