Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Barth, the Protestant Rejection of Natural Law and English Gardens

J. Daryl Charles writes on Protestantism and Natural Law in the December First Things. I gained an interesting insight. With the Enlightenment came a wholly different view of nature. Nature is no longer an unruly, dangerous thing that is beautiful because it reflects the creative power of its Creator. Rather it is like an English garden: tidy and orderly, the work of man.

Whereas Issac Newton believed he could find orderly laws in the chaos of nature because he believe they reflected the work of nature's God, modern man believes nature is submissive because it obeys his own laws. Nature is made in Man's own image!

Modern man has a hard time believing that Aslan is not a tame animal. Indeed modern man does not believe anything disorderly or non-man made can happen in his English garden. Consequently, he, like Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth (Mt 13,53-8; Mk 6,1-6), does not believe in miracles. As a result, miracles happen mostly in places like Africa and Kansas.

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