CULTURAL CRISES. COUNTER CULTURE. AND NEW AGE CULTS

 

Introduction: Ebsen's Enemy of The People (I Thess 2: 13-16; II Thess 2: 1-12)

 

I. Cultural Crises and Creativity; 17th to 20th Century

 

A. 1. Scientific Revolution from Galileo to Newton

     2.  Industrial Revolution - New Life Style - Things and Happiness

     3.  Linguistic Revolution and Communication

     4.  Historiographical Revolution - Positivism and Historicism

     5.  Socio-Economic-Political Revolution

     6.  Theological Revolution - Silence of God

 

B. 20th Century Creativity, the Knowledge Explosion (Recorded knowledge doubles every 3

years)

 

1.  Einstein and the Revolution in Physics - 1900-1910

2.  Nuclear Energy and Weaponry Revolution - 1940’s

3.  Deciphering the Gene Code - Biochemical Revolution - 1960's (Crick, Monad, Wilson,

Watson, et al.)

          4.  Computer Revolution and Artificial Intelligence

 

II. Two Ways; Apollian - Dionysian

 

A. The Apollian Way

 

     1.  Man--the maker, fabricator, molder of environment from enjoyment to economic ends.

     2.  Domination of the ego; will and intellect are central.

     3.  Value is created by action. Authentic life is aggressive.

 

B. The Dionysian Way

 

1.  Man, the dancer, responding to life.

2.  Domination of the id. Feeling and sensation are central.

3.  Value is discovered by encountering the world in wonder—passively.

 

C. Babel. Dionysius. and Promethius--Again

 

     1.  Confusion of tongues: Crisis in Communication

     2.  Sumum Bonum: Sentio Ergo Sum

     3.  Fire on the earth: Clarification or Chaos?

 

III.  Data of Doom

 

A. War

B. Disease

C. Famine

D. Population explosion

E.  Ecological Crisis (Genesis 1-3; Romans 8:19ff.)

F.  Genetic determinism a twin brother to Enviornmental Determinism

G. Tyranny of Technology: Uni-Dimensional Society

H. Mindless feeling and anti-scientism (Sentio Ergo Sum)

I. Time is running out

J. Vested Interests and the Establishment

K.  Failure of Nerve: Meaninglessness, purposelessness, and fragmentation (Os Guinness, The

 Dust of Death. Inter-Varsity Press, 1973.)

 

IV. Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man: Neo-Marxism (Frankfort School of Social Research)

 

A. Evils of Technology

B. The Establishment

C. Voices of Rebellion: Riesman, Whyte, Goodman

D. Voices of Revolution: Marx, Marcuse, Habermas, Moltmann

E.  Voices of Regeneration: Elluh

F.  Creative Destruction: Another Alternative

 

V. Two Turns--Eastern and Inward; Gurus, T.M., Transactional Analysis, etc.

 

A. San Francisco  D. Mindless Pluralism

B. Post-Christian West   E. Death by Tolerance

C. The Silence of God

 

VI.  Drug Culture and Altered States of Consciousness - Innovation and Social Change

 

A. Dissatisfaction with The Establishment

B. Dissatisfaction with Classical Institutions

C. Pluralism, Relativism and Everyman his own creator

D. Pharmacological Ecstasy

 

VII.  Reasonably Fantastic:  Scientology, Fiction, and Occultism

 

A. L. Ron Hubbard's benign despotism - Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health.

1950, paperback.

B. Scientologists number ca. 30,000

C. Two consistent marks of the occultist

 

     1.  Interest in the more immediate forms of the charismatic

2.  Rejection of personal God

 

 

 

VIII. Neo-Pentecostalism; Glossolalia and Social Disorganization

 

A. Charasmatic Emphasis - The fifth time

B. Social/Personal anomie and a new organizational principle

 

IX. Hare Krishna - Meher Baba

 

A. Hinduism

B. East meets West

 

X. Moonies in the Son Light

 

A. Sun Yung Moon and the Unification Church "add a bit of spiritism, a pinch of numerology, a dab of physics and a dish of anti-communism; mix it all together, using a Korean Messiah, and you have the recipe for one of the newest religious movements sweeping America."

 

B. One World Crusade, International Federation for Victory over Communism, American Youth for a Just Peace, Freedom Leadership Foundation, the Little Angels of Korea Folk Ballet, the International Conference on Unified Science.

 

C. Alleged kidnappings and brainwashing; Internal Revenue Service investigators; behind-the-scene pressure on American politicians (e.g., the Church assigns several young ladies to each Senator and Congressman in Washington, Moon's avowed "World Dictatorship."

 

D.  God is invisible essence manifesting dual qualities of spirit and energy; World is emanation from invisible essence; Man is projections of essence; Jesus failed in his mission, now essence is expressed in another messiah--Moon and his Moonies (see his book, Divine Principle).

 

 

LOSS OF INTENTIONAL COMMITMENT;  LEGITIMIZATION CRISIS

 

Factors Crucial to the Growth and Spread of Modern Religious Movements

Molding Powers of Modern Consciousness

 

I. Modeling Factors in Free Society/Voluntary Association/Freedom and Responsibility

 

A. Factors in Consciousness of First Generation (20th Century)-Grandparents

B. Factors in Consciousness of Second Generation-Parents (1914-1940’s WWI to WWII)

C. Factors in Consciousness of Third Generation - Post WWII, i.e. Decades of 50's, 60's, and

the 70's

D. Fourth Generation is being shaped by three powerful influences:

     1.  Media

2.  Schooling    What 'values' are presented??

3.  Home

E.  New Religious Consciousness - 2,500 New religious groups since .the 1950's

 

II. Molding Powers of the Seductive 70's:  Four Forces

 

A. Secularization, i.e. immanent explanation of all reality

B. Pluralization, i.e. mutually exclusive - contradictory alternatives

C. Privatization, i.e. loss of social structure and meaning

D. Narcissism ('me' generation, Lasch's Culture of Narcissism) needs analysis of the factors

that reinforce cultural narcissism

 

III. Effects of Four Forces:  "Contemporary Society is less legitimized than any previously

  existing social system ever. We know no moral order to give meaning to our social

  order." Oxford University Sociologist

 

A. Delegitimization (i.e. reasons for believing and belonging)

B. Plausibility Structure and Sociology of Knowledge - Berger, et al.

1.  Sociological basis for belief

2.  Psychological basis for belief

C. E.g., Middle East/Islam

 

IV. Effects of Crisis in Plausibility Structure on Christian Belief;

 

A. World of others who confirm and reinforce our belief and behavior patterns.

B. When weakened, two effects:  (1) Objectively (2) Subjectively

The faith becomes a minority; or

The faith becomes less and less certain/relevant

C. Effect on Institutions, e.g., Crises in every Institution in our culture

D. Effect on level of ideas, or the substance of the faith after Freud

E.  Effect on level and nature of involvement on society or stance toward contemporary mind

set (Paradigm, Model, and Theories)

 

V. Institutions and Structures (T. Kuhn's concept of Paradigmatic Revolution)

 

A. Exclusion and Polarization - Public/Private realm removed from center of society, i.e. no

Christian consensus in any category of western society.

B. Isolation (Fellowship)

C. Privatization, i.e. Relevance of a Privatized Faith

D. Commercialization - Marketing mentally - for your convenience, needs orientation.

E.  Bureaucratization

F.  Liberal/Conservative Extremes

 

VI.    Challenges to Agents of Change; Change is Inevitable - but which changes

 

A. Change is inevitable - anxiety or freedom

B. Loyalty defection and experimentation among youth

 

C. Christ and Culture's

1.  Accommodation

2.  Withdrawal

3.  Parallel

4.  Confrontation

 

VII.  Needed - One Counter - Community;

 

A. Counter perspective, e.g., Wittgenstein's "Seeing"

B. Constructive perspective on Ideology

C. Leadership (Burn's Leadership. Harper & Row, paperback): Two Types of leadership -

Transactional and Transformational

 

VIII.  Five Crucial Factors in Growth and Spread of Contemporary Movements:

 

A. Reticulate organization, e.g., Jonesville

B. Fervent and convincing recruitment, e.g., Moonies

C. A commitment act or experience, e.g., T.M.

D. A change-oriented and action-motivating ideology which offers:

1.  A simple master plan presented in symbolic and easily communicated terms

2.  A sense of sharing in the control and rewards of destiny

3.  A feeling of personal worth and power

E.  The perception of real or imagined opposition, e.g., EOC

 

IX. Challenge of 2003

 

A. Discipleship

B. Stewardship

C. Leadership

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Bellah and Clock, The New Religious Consciousness (Berkeley: University of California Press,

1976).

 

Zaretsky and Leone, Religious Movements in Contemporary America (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton

University Press, 1977 paperback).

 

Dr. J. D. Strauss Philosophy/Theology Lincoln Christian College and Seminary