An article taken from the works of former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and renowned scholar Francis A. Schaeffer focuses on the loss of humanness we see in today’s culture that can only be remedied by Christianity.
An article entitled “A Christian Response to Culture’s Loss of Humanness,” and published by Crossway, was taken from the recently-repackaged and posthumously released book “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” written by former two-term Surgeon General C. Everett Koop (1916–2013) and renowned religious scholar Francis A. Schaeffer (1912–1984).
The book and article from Crossway is a stark, yet poignant portrait of how humanness is seeping away in modern culture and proposes the only antidote is Christianity.
Much of today’s progressive culture takes a humanist stance, a term that becomes an oxymoron due to the absence of humanness within its worldview.
Schaeffer and Koop propose: “If people are not made in the image of God, the pessimistic, realistic humanist is right: the human race is indeed an abnormal wart on the smooth face of a silent and meaningless universe.”
The movement we see in today’s culture is a Marxist groupthink that seeks equity for certain groups while stripping away the power of the individual, who must acquiesce to the desires of the group.
“In this setting, abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia (including the killing of mentally deranged criminals, the severely handicapped, or the elderly who are an economic burden) are completely logical,” Schaeffer and Koop assert. “Any person can be obliterated for what society at one moment thinks of as its own social or economic good.”
Another problematic area in culture today is that of truth. Postmodernist thinking has given rise to the concept of “subjective truth” and the idea that a person has “there truth.” This argument ignores the fact. In all circumstances, something is either true or it is not.
The antidote to Schaeffer and Koop propose is: “First, Christianity must be acknowledged to be the truth. Christianity and Christ must not be accepted merely to change society and stop the drift of our culture toward the loss of humanness.”
“First, we should see that, for what are good and sufficient reasons, Christianity is true,” Schaeffer and Koop argue. “Acknowledging Christ’s Lordship and placing ourselves under what is taught in the whole Bible includes thinking and acting as citizens in relation to our government and its laws. We must know what those laws are and act responsibly to help to change them if they do not square with the Bible’s concepts of justice and humanness.”
“But there is no use in talking of offsetting the loss of humanness in society if we do not act humanly to all people about us in the contacts of our individual lives,” they add. “Without the uniqueness and inherent dignity of each human being, no matter how old or young, sick or well, resting on the fact that each person is made in the image of God, there is no sufficient foundation to build on as we resist the loss of humanness in our generation.”
Koop and Schaeffer argue that the answer to all of culture’s ills is not as simple as a Christian revival and they had a prescient view of where society was headed, in Schaeffer’s case over 30 years in advance. Long ago, they warned that politicians would use religion to serve their own purposes.
Today, we see a fusion of Christianity and politics. This is dangerous because it puts politics on equal footing with God and inextricably intertwines the two. God must always be first and preeminent.
“They think that some kind of Christian revival would be useful in order to affect human behavior and thus protect their own political and economic comfort, allowing them to keep their personal peace and affluence,” Schaeffer and Koop warn. “Biblical Christianity and Christ will indeed stop the drift [of culture], but not if Christianity is only used for manipulation by those who think it is not true—but only useful.”