God’s character and America’s future

Rob Schwarzwalder, Family Research Council

God does not exist in history. He is not merely a part of the grand drama of human time and action like the rest of us. He participates in and guides it, even as he initiated and will consummate it.

The social historian Herbert Schlossberg, in his landmark work Idols for Destruction, argues that “The biblical view is that history had a beginning and will have an end, and that both the beginning and the end are in God’s hands … [God’s] will and personality dominate everything and make of history a moral arena.”

The ideas that history is always cyclical or that progress is somehow inevitable are forms of intellectual idolatry. In recent remarks made at a campaign stop for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, Hillary Clinton said conservatives “do not believe in America’s progress,” implying that change invariably leads to improvement. This is as much a statement of faith as any theological creed.

Why is this important? One’s understanding of history will shape his view of morality, public policy, family life, entertainment, and much more. If history is a force operating under its own initiative and if social and political changes, as proposed by cultural elites, invariably are beneficial, then God’s action or inaction in time and space is unimportant. He becomes a benign, indulgent but passive being in the distance. He may be called upon for comfort in times of calamity but he will remain unsought and unneeded as we march unaided to the realization of our fondest dreams, the most culminative of which is, “we will be like gods.”

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