Dr. Grant C. Richison
Most evangelicals are at war with progressive philosophy and politics but what is progressivism? Their underlying presupposition is the philosophies of Hegel and Marx. Their philosophies were dialectical, that is, reality is always in progress. Progressive philosophy is at heart dialectical, that is, they launch a thesis then move to antithesis of that thesis and then fashion a new synthesis based on the antithesis. The synthesis forms a new thesis and on and on it goes. Their conclusions are always on the move and they especially move beyond all beliefs of the past. Each new generation of ideas progresses to a new philosophy by rejecting past philosophy and then moving on to new ideas. They must lop off all vestiges of history. Everything is changing. According to the them, most people do not realize that the forces of history are influencing us and working on our opinions.
Progressive thought is seductive because it places the individual as the creator of everything. This philosophy replaces the idea of one God and one truth. It swaps out inalienable rights, laws of nature and an ultimate purpose for life. The latter ideas are not relevant anymore. Their purpose is to unmoor us from past Christianity or any influence other than the current prevailing ideas of the individual (solipsism).
The opposition of progressive philosophy is the idea that there is an absolute God who has given His creatures inviolable truth. He has created us with clear and unchangeable propositions about creation and life. However, if these ideas are false now, then they were false then.
To create this ongoing change, they need to condemn Christianity. However, this is self-appointed change that starts from the individual rather than God. The ultimate presupposition of progressive thought is that truth (which is only a perspective) lies exclusively in the finite self. Truth is defined in terms of what is relevant to the human being and to that alone. We use the past only to the extent that we need it. Constant change is dressed up as science (social science, behavioral science or political science). In the US, Woodrow Wilson, Darwin and John Dewey (the father of modern education systems) were the progenitors of progressivism.
Dewey’s influence on North American education is ubiquitous and pervades all of society. If the past is by definition obsolete, then it is not relevant or even real. The only thing that is important is human skills. As the quest for truth is altered in character, they keep so-called truth within the subjective viewpoint of the individual. They do not consider properly what is objective fact and reason. To them, there are no facts except for those which the individual creates for himself.
Universities do not primarily teach students how to think. Now elitists pass down the “correct” way to think with political correct assumptions about life. Teachers become conveyor belts of preconceived thought and teach their students to conform to socially acceptable thinking as well. They suppress those with opposing thoughts from expressing their viewpoint/s. This is not education but the dictates of social policy.
Their idea was that we can do what we want as creators to shape the future. They thought that man could solve any problem. This makes man as ultimate and deifies the human being. This is utopian thinking. Some carry this to believe that we must surrender to the state as the solution for mankind. They think that they can realize themselves through the state. “Group think” becomes normative. The more a person attempts to be independent the greater enemy he is to the state.
According to these people we live in a brave new world of our own making. Non-compliance to their presuppositions about what is real is viewed with hostility by progressives. They use tools of enforcement to ostracize thought other than their own, especially Christianity. This is why they developed secularism (the marginalization of Christianity) in the early part of the 20th century. The reason for this is that Christianity holds fixed truth, truth that is not developmental. The ultimate presupposition of Christianity is that truth lies in God and His revelation. Thus, they want to secularize society, that is, eliminate Christian influence from society.