Breaking the Barrier of Materialism
The main obstacle to a messianic initiative involving rational theism is the radical nature of the gestalt switch that is involved.
Most philosophers and even most people have been and always will be idealists at heart. Modernism and Cartesian dualism have had a long and ultimately futile struggle against that natural state. Most people, and that includes the philosophers, fail to be rational about their idealism, that is they fail to be thoroughly coherent about it. The simple reason is that coherence is so fundamental or radical that it could not occur other than in an eschatological and messianic context. Historically the person who came closest to realizing this potential for idealism was Hegel. His main fault may simply have been that he was too far ahead of his time. It was still a century before scientific materialism would be reaching its full potential, and even longer before the idealist implications of postmodernism would begin to be felt. In this context, Hegel has to be seen as a pre-modern thinker. Darwinism was barely at his doorstep and modern cosmology was still an apparition.
Most 'rational' folk may easily suppose that the combination of Darwinism and modern astronomy present an impossible barrier for a coherent, radical idealism to penetrate. Even for the theistic opponents of Darwinism, the idealist alternative is barely a blip on their radar screens. One and all, they underestimate the personal power of coherence.
The full power of coherence is something to be felt more than seen. It is even supra-rational. I was able to feel the force of it many years before I had any idea of its rational outline. This is the personal power of the Spirit of Truth. I can see the rationalists shaking their heads at this point. 'So much for rationality,' they will say. But this personal coherence is just the charism of truth. Without this charism, truth is a dead letter. Converting this charism into a spiritual movement will be the magic of the Messiah. This is how the barrier of materialism will be broken.
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