Today marks one of the most important democratic decisions the British public has been asked to make in recent history.
The actions of millions at the ballot will determine whether British society holds onto the First Past the Post (FPTP) voting method, or instead changes to Alternative Vote (AV).
Meanwhile, the last vestiges of Christian tradition continues to battle valiantly against to the seemingly innocuous tide of secular humanism occurring in the public sphere. No man represents this latest wave of British Humanism more than the genial and gorgeously hirsute A.C. Grayling.
Grayling’s The Good Book: A Secular Bible was published earlier this year, with the intention of rewriting The Bible – a book which he describes as “bossy” and controlling the faithful “through rewards, punishments, Old Testament atrocities and barbarism” (source: The Telegraph) – to make it more amenable (and God-free) for contemporary society. The book has been subjected to notably unfavourable reviews in the national press:
The Irish Times said:
I haven’t had the pleasure of reading it although I look forward to internalising the morally edifying bon mots of history’s greatest thinkers when The Good Book is in the ‘Reduced’ section. Of Oxfam.
The problem lies with Grayling’s insistence on seeing the Bible as merely a book of moral precepts to guide us to being good and nice people. This, in fact, is somewhat misguided.
The point of the Bible – in case years of being brought up in an anaemic, Gospel-free church has left you unsure – is show us how we have fallen into rebellion from God (our Creator) and how he passionately is pursuing us (his Creation) so that we can be in right relationship with him again. The point of the Bible is JESUS.
This is the message of the Bible:
Many people (Grayling just being the current poster-boy) have fallen foul of impotent post-war Anglicanism and make the mistake of seeing the Bible as how to be good. Hence, noone understands, for example, the parable of the Good Samaritan in light of Jesus’ mission to save mankind, but instead see it as a morality fable (i.e. help people who get licked down by showermen pon road). Whilst the Bible is replete with profitable moral instruction, it’s main purpose is to show us how immoral we are (the bad news) and how much we are in need of the Saviour which has been provided to us in Jesus (the Good news!).
No doubt Grayling’s encouragement for us to be nice people is fantastic. Unfortunately, he makes the hubristic error of removing God – the very architect of Morality itself – from the moral sphere altogether. The problem is, if there is no God then there is no GOOD or BAD. There is no morality. You are nothing more than the random product of time + chance + matter. Morality transcends matter, but a naturalistic view of the world – a worldview Grayling patently holds – logically denies any such thing outside of our material selves. In a world without God, we are all just animated collections of carbon and noone can say the Nazis were evil per se because they were just animated bits of carbon doing stuff to other animated bits of carbon.
THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MOMENT.
But the truth is we do feel moral impulses – we know right and wrong, and we passionately feel injustice when we see bad things happen and going unpunished. That’s because as God says in the Bible:
“‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people'” (Jer. 31:33).
Our internal moral compasses – however marred by our sin and rebellion from God – are evidence of something much larger than ourselves and that is a moral, just, GOOD God. The existence of a morality points to an ultimate moral law-maker. Whether we will admit or not, that law-maker is God – and we have broken his laws. No matter how much Grayling’s tries to coerce us to be good, only God can make that happen – not Man.
Grayling has failed to understand this, and this is why I’ll be voting ‘No to AC’ (or #notoAC on Twitter)
In summation: A.C. Grayling has rubbish views and absolutely tremendous hair.