Compare the latest stale derision of Christianity with Romans 1

Compare the latest stale derision of Christianity with Romans 1. By Carl Trueman.

Take, for example, the latest “art” promoted by the European Union: A series of photographs, currently on display at the European Parliament building, taken by lesbian artist Elisabeth Ohlson. The images depict, among other things, scenes of Jesus surrounded by gay men dressed in leather bondage gear. …

More here.

The display represents both the bankruptcy of modern culture and its inability to offer anything even approximating a positive vision for humanity. For generations now the artistic establishment has been in thrall to the notion of transgression. But transgression is only significant if there is something—some rule, some custom, something sacred—to transgress. Without such, transgression itself rapidly degenerates into a series of empty gestures that tend to become both more extreme and more vacuous at the same time.

Only because there is a folk memory of religion does the general public have some notion that these banal photographs are meant to be shocking. And only to the increasingly marginal numbers of actual Christians are they truly so. …

Deriding Christianity is stale and old now:

Such derision of Christianity is now decidedly passé. It is nearly forty years since Serrano’s Piss Christ and Scorsese’s Last Temptation of Christ. The mockery of Christianity is today as clichéd and predictable as the lighting in a Thomas Kinkade painting. Nor does it “speak truth to power.” Rather, it merely offers smug affirmation of the triumph of one of the most powerful lobby groups within Western culture.

If you doubt that, imagine what the reaction would be if someone asked to display the text of Romans 1 on the walls of the parliament building. It would soon become apparent who truly holds the levers of cultural power. …

Put the artists in the dock:

Nietzsche noted it takes a long time for societies to grasp the significance of the death of God. But we are surely at that point now.

Our artistic class makes that very clear, and so it is time to put these artists in the dock: We get it. You hate Christianity and the Western cultures that it informed. You despise the sexual ethics that it represents. You mock the vision of humanity that it holds forth. That all you can do is resurrect religious imagery merely to knock it down again, or have someone vomit on you as part of entertainment aimed at teenagers, indicates that you actually have nothing to say at all.

Those of us who lived through the punk rock era have seen it all before. So what do you now offer as a positive vision of that with which you wish to replace Christianity?

Compare and contrast what artists say, above, with excerpts from Romans 1:

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. …

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.

They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

Nailed them, thousands of years ago. Now, how did that happen?

hat-tip Stephen Neil