Though I’m somewhat surprised that no one pushed back on my recent prognostication, I guess I’ll have to make do. That just means I’ll probably end up saying more provocative things in the future. I guess you could say that you asked for it. All three of you.
But before addressing possible Christian responses, I thought that the following categorization may help shed some light on why I’m reading the current decline of the West the way that I do.
Aside from biblical trinitarianism, there are two main approaches to ultimate reality: unitarianism and polytheism.
Unitarianism emphasizes the ultimate “oneness” of reality. Diversity, variety, and distinction are all frowned upon. They get in the way of obedience to the Numero Uno. Conformity and submission are the order of the day. The most obvious and prevalent unitarian religion is Islam.
Polytheism emphasizes the variety of approaches to reality. In this view, there are many roads up the mountain, many ways to heaven, etc. Imposition of any one idea is anathema to polytheists. Western multi-culturalism, which is the dominant worldview in Europe and America, is a great example of a polytheistic system.
Now obviously this distinction isn’t foolproof. For instance, most polytheistic societies do have an over-arching singularity, a unity that binds all of the disparate elements together. Hinduism has Brahman, the impersonal ultimate reality from which everything else flows. Ancient Rome was happy to have a huge pantheon, provided that worship of the Roman deities in no way interfered with the affairs of state. The current Western pantheon has Oprah.
Likewise, most unitarian religions have far more diversity than they care to admit. One only has to look at the great varieties of folk Islam found around the world to conclude that Islam is not as monolithic as Muslims would like to think.
Nevertheless, the categorization can be a helpful one. From this starting point, I then offer this premise: If Strong Unitarianism gets in a fight with Weak Polytheism, Strong Unitarianism wins. Every time. One big idea trumps a cacophony of lesser ideas, especially when the big idea also has the advantage of sheer numbers.
So, one way (and it is only a way) to read the current global scene is as a conflict between a Strong Unitarianism (Islam) and a Currently Strong but Increasingly Weakened Polytheism (the West). For the moment, the West (or at least the United States) has roused itself to combat the more barbaric of the Unitarians (radical jihadists) in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
However, while the US was toppling Saddam and fighting the Taliban, Europe has been slowly surrendering to the Unitarians. And the US went on and elected the Messiah of Multi-culturalism to be President.
So that’s the basic layout as I see it. Now for the $64,000 question: How do the trinitarians approach this conflict, given that a) we are in many ways responsible for the rise of the polytheists, and b) the Unitarians think that we’re on the side of the polytheists, and c) we don’t fight the way that they fight (2 Cor 10:4)?