In this sixth session of Dr. Godfrey’s adult Sunday school class as the Escondido URC, he continues in to show how Enlightenment ideals posed a significant challenge to Christendom. Enlightenment thinkers were like the woke of our day.
Engaging Carl Becker’s work on the Enlightenment, Godfrey highlights four key tenets of the movement:
(1) that man is not natively depraved and that people are basically good, (2) that the end of life is life itself and the purpose is to live for the now, (3) that man is capable of being guided solely by the light of reason and experience with the goal of perfecting the good life on earth, and (4) that the first and essential condition of the good life on earth is freeing men’s minds from the bonds of ignorance and superstition and freeing bodies from the oppression of the politics of our time.
The Enlightenment viewed education and politics as the means to creating a perfect world order in the here and now. This movement, while having some positive aspects that Christianity would agree with, also had dangerous ideas that would ultimately lead to all kinds of death and corruption in the name of freedom, especially in France. Godfrey explains the crucial challenges this posed to historic Christianity. This sixth session is very important for connecting the dots to the thinking that prevails in our current day.