I have come to know the author CB Robertson over the last few weeks through social media interaction. CB describes himself as a pagan and subjective moralist. He is a very intelligent and insightful young man who is active with his family, supports America First, and is into physical fitness. CB is very well read and shows familiarity in philosophy and various world religions. I was already interested in reading this book and providing answers to his problems when he approached me himself to read his book and offer answers. So I will be writing a series of posts that cover the chapters of his book Holy Nihilism.
Below are some of his main criticisms of Christianity.
- On Page 5 he says that “destruction of identity, the degradation of relationships, and the ever- increasing monotonous flatness of life without lasting attachments that increasingly characterize modern life all have ideological roots in the Bible.”
- On page 12-13 he says “My thesis is that the trajectory of Christianity is towards a faith-based solipsism, a single-mindedness so absolute that no care for anything else beyond God and the spreading of his message matters. Every Christian care for the things of this world will only be instrumental towards this end, and will vanish as soon as the eschatological aim has been met”
- On page 15 he says “They still possess qualities that are distinctly un-Christian: a love for sex, physical beauty, and matters of the flesh; a concern about the future; a hunger for understanding; a tribal sense of love for family and country, which gives rise to protectiveness, distrust, and even hatred of those who might threaten them. Sometimes, a propensity towards and aptitude in conflict. These are the redeeming qualities of Christians, in spite of their Christianity.”
- On pages 16-20 CB details his own early Christian upbringing and the challenges he faced against his faith. He specifically cites a moment where he felt as though God had directed him to send out a prayer chain email, but then that he later realized that it was not God but his own inner monologue. CB then says that this is basically what happens with almost all Christian conversation with God.
- Pg 26 “All worldviews must begin with properly basic beliefs — views that are self-evident; unchallenged foundations upon which people can orient themselves like a navigator around true North. For myself, the goodness of the world is self-evident enough. It is more evident than the evilness of mankind or of the world, and certainly more self-evident than the existence of a very particular creator God. Yet what appears to be self-evident contradicts scripture, which teaches that the world is fallen and evil. And if the believer is to audaciously chastise me for trusting my own judgment, then on whose judgment should I trust them or their book? Who can decide in my place, if not myself?”
- Pg 29 “The case I wish to make – having sought with sincere effort to understand Christianity in order to become a Christian – is that any degree of faith short of absolute and complete dedication to God, to the exclusion of all else, is lukewarm faith.”
CB’s main argument can be summarized as “Christians care for nothing or no one outside of their utility to their salvation.” CB’s criticisms of Christianity are grounding in the fact that he has two glaringly contradictory ideas of what Christianity is. He openly admits that what he perceives to be the behaviors of “most” Christians are actually not too bad and even admirable sometimes, but that they are not what he believes to be “true” Christianity. Now Occam’s razor would suggest that when literal millions of people who’ve spent their lives adhering to the tenets of a faith are living in a way that is contrary to what the outside observer says is the True way of their faith, that it is the outside observer who has gotten it wrong rather than the millions of faithful adherents.
First, I need to make something clear that CB doesn’t seem to understand. There is only one true Christianity. The Christianity that is founded on Apostolic traditions and authority. This isn’t my being elitist as an Orthodox, it is just a recognition of facts. I’m even being gracious enough to include Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholics in is, as they are virtually identical when it comes to basic morality. But when we talk about scripture we are forced to acknowledge the reality of the historical church that was being spoken to in scripture and how that Church has lived on through the ages. There are tremendous disconnects between churches that received these instructions and passed them forward as they received them for 2000 years, and churches that read these instructions 2000 years later in a different language and did their best to understand them. Much of what is understood as being “Christian” in today’s Western world, especially by unbelieving critics, is not in fact true Christianity, but a vague reflection of it by people who don’t hold to apostolic traditions.
You can’t take a 1970 Chevelle Super Sport, scan its parts into a computer, send those scans to another country, have someone from that country 3D print the molds for those parts, cast the parts, assemble the parts, and then call it a 1970 Chevelle SS. Assuming the person was even able to assemble the parts correctly, it did not in fact roll off the assembly line in Detroit in 1970. And you can’t 3D print the seats or trim or stereo, or many other parts. You would have to make do with whatever you can. You might have something that looks like a 1970 Chevelle SS, something that sounds like a 1970 Chevelle SS, and something that if you drive it right it should get you to your destination like a 1970 Chevelle SS. But you won’t have a true 1970 Chevelle SS. You will have a replica, built by someone far removed from the time and space of 1970 Detroit, who is merely doing their best to make something as much like a 1970 Chevelle SS as possible according to their limited understanding.
So most of CB’s criticisms are really about an imitation of true Christianity, rather than true Christianity. I will do my best to counter CB’s arguments using a very vague understanding of Christianity, but I may at times have to point out how CB’s concept of Christianity isn’t accurate as true Christianity goes.