Not A Liberating Experience

“As historical ignorance and anti-traditionalism have increased with the rise of Western consumerism, society has not witnessed any great liberation; rather, there has been the creation of a desperate and deep-seated craving for precisely the kind of identity which history and tradition are capable of supplying. Thus, for example, we have the rise of new, militant nationalisms and the invention of pseudo-historical New Age spiritualities. The removal and destruction of traditions and histories which actually have some roots in the real past has frequently not liberated humanity but rather left aching voids which have been filled with synthetic traditions and histories which are indeed truly the invention of those who promote them; and arguably these have proved far more manipulative than many which have gone before. Multinational consumerism reduces all of life to a bland and rootless present, and as humanity finds itself free-floating and rootless, it desperately strives to create (rather than rediscover) for itself a history and a network of tradition which will give it value and identity. The death of history and the death of tradition has not proved to be a liberating experience; it has merely created a hole into which any old fairy-story can now be fitted.”

~ Carl Trueman, The Wages of Spin (pp. 33-34)

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10 thoughts on “Not A Liberating Experience”

  1. Sounds like another great read. There is only One truly liberating experience and people can reinvent the wheel for the next millennia and still not find it unless they look upon Him. :-)

  2. I.S,
    I think Jesus said something about traditions of men.
    Reformation purges our faith of such.
    Martin Luther was that kind of guy too,right?

    If by tradition, the author means Jesus, then he should state Christ’s name.
    Don’t you think so?

    By the way, I do think you are quite gifted.

    1. Hi CCT! :) Trueman isn’t specifically referring to Jesus here – he’s referring to the riches of the historic Reformed faith, those traditions we have which are grounded in Scripture. He goes on to say,

      “Of course, the past can be romanticized and people can become idolatrous with regard to traditions. This is a most serious and ever-present danger, and one has only to think of the way that the Reformed faith has been used in the past to realize that it can easily be a means of oppression as of liberation. However, the danger at this particular point in time would seem to be that of thoughtless iconoclasm than of rampant idolatry. This is not to say that the church is simply in the business of maintaining its tradition for the sake of tradition and of accepting uncritically all that the tradition contains. That would be to raise tradition to the level of revelation, the very thing against which our Reformation forefathers reacted so strongly.”

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