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The New Intellectual Environment: Ideology and Christianity

November 19, 2007

This is chapter 19 in Man and Woman in Christ. It is for personal use only and should not be distributed.

THE GULF THAT separates life in the twentieth century from life in first century Palestine or tenth or fifteenth century Western Europe consists only in part of a new social order, characterized by the refashioning of government, occupation, and family according to a functional principle. This gulf also consists of important changes in intellectual climate. Modern approaches to morality, ideals, and social structure all differ greatly from those of past societies. This intellectual change is sometimes termed "the rise of modern ideologies." Just as modern social life is revolutionized by the dominance of functional groupings, so the realm of modern thought becomes dominated by powerful new ideological currents.

It is as important for us to understand these ideologies as it is for us to grasp the differences between the traditional and technological social environments. Modern ideological thought is as new in human history as technological society, and it may be as significant a factor in contemporary discussions of men's and women's roles. One cannot fully understand many of the modern viewpoints on the scripture passages about men and women, on the interpretation of scripture, and on the evidence from the social sciences discussed in previous chapters without also appreciating the impact of modern ideological thought on society, including its impact on the Christian churches. The influence of ideology on modern thought is not always immediately apparent. However, what appear to be unrelated opinions, viewpoints, value judgments, and ethical positions actually coalesce into integrated ideological systems with definite sources and definite implications. This chapter will locate the sources of these ideologies, draw the outlines of the main ideological systems, and evaluate them as social strategies or "ideals" of societal formation. It will also examine the past and present Christian response to the ideologies and the challenges of modern society as a whole. Such an analysis will help in understanding the modern discussion of men's and women's roles.

Modern Ideological Positions

The term "ideology" is used in several different ways in popular language and in the social sciences.(1) In a broad sense, the term can refer to any set of "theoretically articulated propositions about social reality."(2) As used in this chapter, the term refers to a world-view focusing especially on social structure. An ideology is a system of thought which presents in implicit or fully articulated form an understanding of human life and what it should be like. From this understanding, an ideology develops an ethical system and an approach to the formation of human society. Though it is a type of intellectual system, an ideology can embody the views of ordinary people; it does not have to be merely a philosophical system entertained by an intellectual class. Most modern ideologies originate in the philosophies of an elite group within society, but they do not reach the full stature of an ideology until they filter into the consciousness of an entire social grouping and provide the basic values and perspectives of that grouping.(3) Ideologies shape the opinions of the ordinary members of society, regardless of how conscious these members are of having their opinions shaped. Whether justifying an existing system or clearing the way for a new system, ideologies play a significant role in forming people's approaches to ethics and social structure.(4)

The rise of modern ideologies is closely associated with the rise of technological society. Modern ideologies first emerged in the latter half of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries-the formative period in the development of technological society. The ideology of the Enlightenment-probably the first modern ideologypaved the way for the advance of technological society by eroding the common acceptance of traditional social forms and by undermining the Christian view as a social consensus. The process of industrialization which followed, intensifying in the nineteenth century, also brought with it a need for new social solutions. This opened the way for the full emergence of modern ideologies. Ideology thus paved the way for technological society, and in turn technological society created a need for further ideological developments.(5)

Modern ideologies focus particularly on issues concerning the organization of society and social change. They deeply affect the ethical and social structural positions taken in the modern discussion of men's and women's roles. Therefore, the following pages will examine and analyze some of the major ideological currents of the mid-twentieth century. The first ideologies to be examined are Liberalism and Socialism, the two most influential ideologies of the past two centuries. Then consideration will be given to the "romantic" reaction to technological society, and to an ideological amalgam of various positions which can be called "American Liberation Thinking." Both of these currents of thought shape much of the discussion of men's and women's roles. Of necessity, the treatment of each of these bodies of thought cannot be comprehensive. Only the general outlines of their thinking and historical development will be presented. The picture that results will thus be somewhat of an ideal type. Nonetheless, the basic presentation given here should provide a helpful orientation to the sources of many positions often taken in modern discussions of men's and women's roles.


"Liberalism" sometimes simply refers to the opposite of conservatism. A "liberal" in this sense is someone who is favorable to social change. But "Liberalism" also refers to an ideology, and it has been used in this sense in Europe and in Latin America. Liberal parties are active in European politics, and these parties have taken on an ideological approach.(6) They often include the word "Liberal" in their formal titles. In the mid-twentieth century, these parties are by no means the most leftist or willing to change. They are frequently right of the political center because they still maintain an ideological position that was developed early in the nineteenth century. Classical Liberalism was born of the Enlightenment and of the French Revolution. It is the ideology which was commonly espoused at the beginning of the movement toward a technological society, and it is the ideology which most consistently advocated the changes which furthered the development of technological society.(7)

The core of the Liberal ideology is the concept of individual rights. It is expressed in phrases like "life, liberty, and the preservation of private property," or "liberty, equality, and fraternity." In the American Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson stated the central Liberal principle as follows: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The pivotal point of Liberal ideology is the idea that the individual, apart from any social grouping, is born with rights which cannot be taken away from him. Rights are not conferred upon individuals by society, but instead reside inherently in each individual. The most basic human right is the right to liberty. "Liberty" means the freedom of the individual to act as he chooses and to pursue his own interest with as little outside interference as possible. In his essay On Liberty, John Stuart Mill, one of the most prominent English Liberals of the nineteenth century, discusses the right to liberty in the following manner:

… the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of; a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant…. The only part of the conduct of anyone for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.(8) The Liberal ideal therefore calls for total individual autonomy, limited only when it infringes upon the individual autonomy of others. According to Mill and other nineteenth century utilitarian Liberals, the final goal of liberty and individual rights is the attainment of personal fulfillment defined in utilitarian terms. The "happiness" of the individual is the highest value.

Not surprisingly, Liberalism tends to be individualistic and anti-authoritarian.(9) The chief social unit emphasized within Liberalism is the individual, and a chief social goal is the securing of individual rights. The solidarity of the society as a whole is not so much ignored or attacked as it is taken for granted. In fact, many nineteenth century Liberal thinkers asserted that the good of the whole society could only be attained by allowing each individual to seek his own self-interest.(10) The Liberals' great preoccupation is to combat excessive or unjust authority. Their target is any external constraint placed upon the individual beyond what is absolutely necessary for the protection of all the individuals in society.

Liberalism has assumed many varied forms in the past two hundred years. In eighteenth century North America, the Liberal ideology crystalized around the attack upon absolute monarchy and foreign domination.(11) In eighteenth century France and generally in nineteenth century continental Europe, Liberalism fueled the revolutionary attack on absolute monarchy, the aristocratic classes, the church, and other social forms inherited from traditional medieval society.(12) Liberalism was also normally linked to the fight for national unification and self-determination. In nineteenth century England, Liberalism was largely preoccupied with economic questions centering on the desirability of freedom from mercantilist government intervention.(13) Though Liberalism has taken different shapes and struggled for different political ends, the common theme has been the central importance of the individual and the preservation of his freedom.

The pervasiveness in the twentieth century of a democratic form of Liberalism can tend to obscure the fact that in its origin and through much of its history Liberalism favored one particular social group-the propertied bourgeois male.(14) When leaders of the French Revolution proclaimed the right to liberty, equality, and fraternity, they did not understand these rights as applying to everyone. In the original Liberal social systems, the right to vote was bestowed on the wealthy man, the man of property. Female suffrage was not even considered. The Code Napoleon, a model of Liberal jurisprudence, was the low point for "women's rights."(15) This code removed the traditional protections and privileges women had enjoyed and made them completely subject to their husbands in the context of a functional society.(16) As the nineteenth century progressed, the principles of Liberalism-once applied exclusively to a limited group within society—began to be claimed by a new group, the working class. In the past hundred years these Liberal principles of individualism and freedom have been extended further by various movements, such as the civil rights movement and the feminist movement. Nevertheless, this modern form of democratic Liberalism should not obscure the fact that Liberalism originated as the ideology of a particular class in society.(17)

In its attack on traditional forms of authority, the Liberal ideology has often taken an anti-Christian or at least an anti-church stand. This is particularly true of the Liberalism of the French Revolution. The writers of the Declaration of the Rights of Man also attempted to abolish Christian worship, secularize churches, and replace Christianity with the cult of reason.(18) The enthronement of an ex-prostitute as the goddess of reason on the high altar of the Cathedral of Notre Dame was a symbolic act expressing the religious thinking behind early French Liberalism. Wherever this form of Liberalism advanced, it encouraged attempts to reeducate people away from Christian belief. Sometimes it even led to the establishment of explicitly anti-Christian legislation. In England and the United States, Liberalism tended to be less openly hostile toward Christianity.(19) Nevertheless, on the whole, Liberalism tended to follow the anti-Christian tendencies of the earlier Enlightenment ideology.


"Socialism" is a second great ideology produced within Western technological society.(21) The word "Socialism" here is used in a broad sense to apply primarily to Marxist and Marxist-influenced ideologies, including not only Communism but also Social-Democracy and many of the modern nationalistic "Liberation" movements. The term "Socialism" as used here can also refer to non-Marxian Socialism (e.g., Fabian Socialism) and to some aspects of Fascism. Even granting the historic antagonism and genuine differences between Socialists and Fascists, the Nazis were still National Socialists, and there are important similarities in the broad outlines of the Fascist and Socialist approaches to national social structure.(22) Nonetheless, Marxist Socialism will be the central concern. It is with Marx and those who followed him that Socialism developed as a powerful movement, and his thought may represent the dominant ideological influence on the modern world.

Socialism, like Liberalism, accepts the basic movement of modern society toward a technological way of life. Socialism may even be largely responsible for installing technological principles in a dominant position within modern society. In particular, the political success of Marxist Socialism—an ideology which teaches that the future of the working class lay in increasing technological development-has helped to make a positive view of technology dominant in Western society, and now in much of non-Western society as well.(23) Socialism proves to be even more consistently functional and technological in its approach to human life than does Liberalism. An effective Socialist state will reconstruct almost every area of public life in accord with a functional principle. Social relationships that are not based on functional considerations are either eliminated or reduced in importance. While Socialist societies do not normally try to eliminate the family, they tend to be suspicious of it and to minimize its roles.(24) This radical consistency in applying the functional approach to all of society is the main difference between Socialism and Liberalism. Whereas Liberalism focuses on the principle of individual liberty, Socialism assigns chief importance to the society as a whole (the collective) and the common good. The Socialist goal is to form a unified society in which the individual is clearly subordinate to the corporate good, a society containing a coherent integrated structure that rationalizes social relationships and eliminates many of the conflicts caused by group and individual interests not in harmony with the overall good of society.

Modern Socialism, like Liberalism, seeks to free individuals from the obligations, commitments, and loyalties of traditional social relationships and groupings. However, Socialism, unlike the Liberal ideology, does not want these individuals as free as possible from the interference of society or the state. On the contrary, the Socialist ideal would have all individuals committed first to the welfare of the whole people and desiring only that freedom of action which furthers the collective life. Socialism detaches people from traditional loyalties and individualizes them not for the sake of personal freedom but to build a more united, integrated collective. Socialists talk a great deal about freedom, but their social goal is not individual liberty in the Liberal sense, but equality. In a truly Socialist society, each individual is treated equally, and differentiation is only allowable on the basis of competence. The Socialist model of society operates strictly in accord with the logic of a functional, technological approach. Consequently, Socialism receives greater acceptance as technological society advances.

Socialism describes itself as democratic. According to the definition of "democracy" which restricts the term to states which put supreme power in the hands of popularly elected officials, many Socialist states such as the Soviet Union or the People's Republic of China are hardly democratic. However, most Socialists define democracy as a system that governs society for the good of all its members, a system in which each individual receives his share of the benefits of social life, and where no group uses a position of power to gain advantages at the expense of other groups.(25) In this sense Communist states may be more democratic, at least in theory, than states in which the Liberal ideology is dominant and which value parliamentary practices. Totalitarian Socialist states sometimes appear even more successful than the Western Liberal democracies in stimulating mass participation in corporate decisionmaking. In theory and perhaps in fact, Socialist democracy is the democracy of a mass society.

In Socialist societies, authority is ideally exercised in a collective rather than a personal fashion.(26) This tendency can be observed even in those socialist states which have a well-earned reputation for being authoritarian. In Communist countries in particular, the authority of the state is paramount and ruthlessly enforced. Power relationships among the top leadership of the state may be subject to internal rearrangements, but they are not subject to change by any other group. Nonetheless, even Communist dictatorships do not often exercise direct personal authority over people's lives. Individuals' "private lives" are in theory and in practice largely outside of the authoritarian intervention of the state, with the notable exception of those "dissidents" who need to be reeducated or suppressed.(27) This does not mean Socialist governments exercise little control over their people. Rather it means that they exercise control in a bureaucratic fashion, without issuing individual personal directives. The tools they use are regulation and propaganda. Instead of directing individuals, the state regulates society by instituting policies, laws, and procedures which either apply to everyone or to everyone in a particular category. It also forms the thinking of individuals through strict control of the opinion-forming organs of society, and through mass education. This type of control is especially pronounced in Marxist Socialist states.(28)

Another important feature of Marxist Socialism is its dialectical view of history. Marxism builds upon a dialectical view of historical development that Marx learned from Hegel and Hegel's followers. In Greek philosophy, "dialectic" originally referred to the process of argumentation by which an opposition of opinions (thesis and antithesis) produces a fuller, more comprehensive and adequate view (the synthesis). Applied to historical development by Hegel and his followers, dialectic means that the primary pattern of historical development involves a conflict of cultural forces which is resolved in a fuller, more comprehensive and adequate cultural life. Marx interpreted the dialectic in social and economic terms, but he preserved Hegel's basic dialectical understanding of history. In the Marxist view, history will evolve through a dialectical process until the advent of the Communist society. The good of humanity lies in following the dialectical process until industrial society reaches maturity and all contradictions are resolved in the full synthesis of Communist society, a society which will be both technologically mature and socially harmonized and integrated.

Marx's dialectical view of historical process provides the key to understanding certain features of Marxist strategy which are especially evident in situations where their party does not hold overall political power. The dialectic places a principle of conflict at the heart of the Marxist approach to social life and political discussion. Marxists deliberately attempt to exacerbate conflict, increase anger, and set people at odds. Behind this strategy lies the view that the only way to progress is to increase contradiction until it culminates in a dialectical resolution. Marxists have developed effective techniques for; "raising consciousness" among people about their condition of "oppression" so that they become more dissatisfied and more "revolutionary." The Marxist goal is to make people more eager for change, more willing to fight for it, and more ready to regard as their enemies those who represent contradictory social forces.(29) Also, many Communists have interpreted the dialectic as giving them freedom to lie and propagandize with little concern for "truth."(30) Their ethics are not based on absolute norms, but are historically conditioned. Marxists feel free to do whatever is necessary to advance the Communist society—the society in which justice will prevail. What is true at one stage of the dialectical process or from one perspective in the dialectical conflict is not necessarily true at another stage or from another perspective. Marxists do not entirely reject the concept of objective "truth," but they define and apply the term in a way that differs drastically from its definition and application in Christian morality. For a Marxist, lying can be permissable even necessary.

This dialectical approach to ethics and truth highlights a final characteristic of Marxist Socialism-it is anti-Christian. The anti-Christian tendencies present in Liberalism are further developed in Socialism. In fact, Marxist theory condemns all theistic religion, and many anti-religious policies have been formulated and implemented in Communist states. There have been some Christian Socialists, and today one can even find some Christians who consider themselves Marxists, but nonetheless the main currents of Socialist thought over the past century and a half have been anti-Christian.

The "Romantic" Reaction

As soon as rationalistic Enlightenment thought and the first stages of industrialization began to influence society, a reaction to rationalism and the functionalization of society appeared. This reaction, which emphasizes the non-rational and the emotional, has continued as society has become more technological. This reaction is not properly speaking an ideology, but is instead a collection of ideas that assumes diverse forms. Nonetheless, it resembles an ideology in the way it shapes the thinking of people in technological society, especially in regard to personal relationships and the roles of men and women. Historically, the reaction to technological society has been associated with Romanticism, because the Romantic movement arose as the first embodiment of the reaction. However, to simply identify it with Romanticism would be inaccurate and overly narrow. According to most definitions, the Romantic movement has long disappeared, but the reaction to technological society maintains a thriving force. The reaction as a whole is not a defined movement in the same sense as the Romantic movement, nor are all the elements of the Romantic movement present in the modern reaction. Still, since its main lines of thought can be traced back to Romanticism, this chapter will speak of the "romantic" reaction (with a small "r") to identify this modern stream of ideas.

At the heart of the "romantic" reaction is a concern for the authentic expression of emotion, feeling, and human impulse, and an attack on those things which confine the human personality or genius. The "romantic" reaction emphasizes experience and intuition rather than reason; it prizes subjectivity rather than objectivity. In effect, it emphasizes all the aspects of human life that find little place in the functionalized modern environment: the emotional, the expressive, the spontaneous. In a way only fully possible after the development of technological society, it sees the personal element in humanity as especially evident in the human capacity to feel and to express feeling, a capacity which should be ideally cultivated as much as possible. All forms and structures which unnecessarily stifle emotion and human spontaneity are seen as undesirable. In summary, the "romantic" reaction prizes emotional authenticity and immediate experience, and rejects rigid structures and rationalistic, mechanistic approaches to human life.(31)

The "romantic" reaction can be traced historically as far back as the Middle Ages, but it first emerges as a developed and popular set of ideas at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries.(32) The initial stage of the Romantic movement was mainly a reaction against the rationalism and the formalism of the eighteenth century Enlightenment. However, as industrialization advanced and affected the shape of nineteenth century society, the "romantic" reaction was also directed against the impersonality and inhumanity of the developing social conditions. Romanticism as a movement is usually seen as ending around 1850, but the popular reaction to rationalism and to technological society has continued to manifest itself in various forms. Such twentieth century developments as Fascism, existentialism, and psychoanalysis all display various aspects of the "romantic" reaction. Other contemporary phenomena which show manifestations of this reaction include modern humanistic psychology and personalist philosophy; the music, art, politics, and lifestyle of the "counterculture" in the 1960s and 70s; and the recent popularity in Western countries of various versions of Eastern mysticism.(33)

The "romantic" reaction has been linked with a diversity of approaches to ethics and social structure. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries some of those involved in the Romantic movement held traditionalist views of society.(34) They saw themselves as the defenders of the old social order which was being destroyed by a technological social order and an Enlightenment ideology. Others involved in the early Romantic movement were Liberals, and traces of the influence of the "romantic" reaction can also be seen in some nineteenth century socialists and anarchists.(35) The early "romantic" reaction did not yield one distinguishable ideological position, but tended to influence the approaches of people of diverse ideological stands.

The recent manifestations of the "romantic" reaction, though not confined to one ideological camp, offer a more consistent attitude toward ethics and social structure. Where the early Romantics were reacting primarily to Enlightenment thought, the modern "romantic" reaction has been aimed at the actual functionalized social conditions of technological society. The target of the "romantic" reaction is the functional principle of technological society, which requires modern human beings to subordinate much of their personality to task-oriented considerations. The "romantic" reaction seeks to allow full expression for all the emotional and personal needs that are unacceptable in functionalized groupings. Humanistic psychology, personalist philosophy, and the other manifestations of this reaction urge that an individual's feelings and unique identity should become the basis for personal relationships. They see both traditional social forms and modern functional forms as rigid and constricting, forces which inhibit the spontaneous expression of one's emotions and the authentic display of one's true personality. Thus the "romantic" reaction's approach to personal relationships and social morality tends to be anti-structural. The chief values are informality, spontaneity, and authenticity, rather than commitment to roles and standards.(36)

The anti-structural social thought of the most recent forms of the "romantic" reaction often leads to a disregard for broad social structural concerns. Rather than proposing serious social reforms or fundamental changes in the nature of the social structure, the modern "romantic" reaction tends to express its greatest concern for the individual and his conduct within his sphere of personal relationships.(37) Indeed, the anti-rational and anti-functional aspects of this reaction lead to a mistrust for sweeping social blueprints. Such plans and programs seem intellectual, functional, and impersonal-further manifestations of technological society. Instead, the modern "romantic" reaction concentrates on the quality of private personal relationships and the cultivation of spontaneity, expressiveness, and emotional authenticity in the individual.

The "romantic" reaction as manifested in the twentieth century is a product of the division in technological society between the functional and the personal spheres of life.(38) In traditional society, all relationships are personal in the sense that both functional and personal considerations are integrated in an extensive set of committed, structured, personal relationships. Emotions are part of these relationships, but they are subordinate to the relationship itself and its structure. In technological society, a division is introduced between the functional and personal spheres, so that "personal" relationships become primarily unstructured relationships with a dominant emotional element, as opposed to the structured, impersonal, functional relationships of the world of work. The most modern version of the "romantic" reaction accepts this division as a social necessity. Its program is to make sure that the two spheres remain separated, and to redress what it sees as an imbalance between the emotional/personal sphere and the functional/impersonal sphere.(39)

American "Liberation" Movements

A fourth ideological view of importance is the thinking behind some contemporary liberation movements that have origins in the United States, chiefly women's liberation and gay liberation.(40) These American liberation movements should not be confused with nationalistic liberation movements in other countries, most of which take a Marxist ideological approach, or with "liberation theology," an intellectual current which originated in Latin America and which is likewise primarily Marxist in origin and content.(41) Instead, the American movements represent a distinctive amalgam of the American left embodying elements of both the "romantic" reaction and Liberal and Socialist ideology. The thinking behind these movements does not have the same intrinsic importance as Liberalism and Socialism, but it is nonetheless important because of its great influence on the material written on men's and women's roles since the 1960s.

At the core of the American liberation movements is an approach drawn from the Liberal ideology. Like Liberalism, these movements appeal to the interests of a particular group within society. Also, like Liberalism, they emphasize individual rights and maximum freedom of operation for the individual rather than the common good of society. However, this core of Liberal ideology is fused with elements of both Socialist ideology and the romantic reaction. As in much modern Socialism, these liberation movements stress "equality" in the sense of the need to treat each individual in an identical fashion.(42) More significantly, these movements, especially women's liberation, often employ a dialectical pattern of thought and tactics.(43) History, social structure, and social change are viewed in categories of oppressors and oppressed. The strategy for attaining goals is often influenced by the Marxist dialectical approach. It involves the fomenting of conflict and discord between "liberated" people and those who "oppress" them, between men and women, and between "radical women" and those of more traditional orientation. Those within these liberation movements will often use consciousness-raising techniques geared to produce greater dissatisfaction, motivation for change, and hostility toward those who "stand in the way."(44) They also sometimes use propaganda with a disregard for factual truth that is characteristic of a Marxist dialectical approach to ethics.

The point of view of these American liberation movements also contains many elements of the "romantic" reaction against the functionalization of society. A key feature of the women's liberation argument has been the final appeal to the authority of personal experience.(45) They also tend to argue that the functional structures of technological society are the products of male social dominance, and they seek a more informal, personally-oriented social arrangement through a reduction of relational structures (such as those within the family) and an increased participation of women in public life.(46) Like the modern version of the "romantic" reaction, the women's liberation movement devotes little attention to overall questions of social structure and corporate welfare. Its advocates seldom attempt to relate their goals to the possible future course of society.(47) This emphasis on personal experience criteria and dislike for a social structural perspective, both characteristic of modern forms of the "romantic" reaction, are probably behind the movement's advocacy of abortion, homosexuality, and unrestrained sexual relationships. In short, the modern American movements for "liberation" are an amalgam of several ideological perspectives which appeal to a particular interest group.

Significance of Ideologies

Ideologies are of great importance in the modern world. They underlie most discussions of the significant ethical, political, and social questions of the twentieth century, and have special relevance to modern discussions of men's and women's roles. Ideologies also have important characteristics that often go unnoticed.

First, modern ideologies have implications for structuring society. Certain fundamental principles are developed into a systematic approach to social organization. Behind what looks like a philosophy, an abstract system deduced from some ultimate ethical principles, is really a program for social restructuring. For example, the full meaning of the principles of freedom and equality is not always apparent and cannot be grasped without a social analysis. Many people freely use ideological principles in modern discussions without adequately appreciating their ideological background or their social implications.

Secondly, modern ideologies present ideals of what social relationships should be like. They do not merely offer practical recommendations for specific social and political changes, but they also describe an ideal for social relationships. Of course, practical concerns have dominated in the development of most social arrangements, especially in pragmatically oriented countries such as the United States and Britain. Nonetheless, the way these concerns are formulated and implemented is influenced greatly by ideological ideals. Even in the United States, an ideology (Liberalism) has had a molding power that is not negligible. Social ideals drawn from the modern ideologies play a key role in discussions of social structure and social relationships.

Thirdly, modern ideologies involve definite ethical positions. Though an ideology may actually represent the interests of a particular group in society, it does not function as an expression of desire but as an expression of conscience. The slogan "liberty, equality, fraternity" may have originated in the bourgeoisie's attempt to gain power at the expense of the privileged noble and clerical classes, but the slogan nonetheless rang out as a moral watchword. It struck men with all the force of an "ought," an ethical imperative. Modern ideologies appeal to people's consciences, and those who reject an ideology must rely upon the force of an alternate ideological or moral position or contend with the guilt which results from rejecting the ideological appeal. This is why it is so important for Christians to be able to recognize non-Christian ideologies. If they cannot, they are defenseless against their moral appeal. Christians are among those most susceptible to ideological influence, precisely because of their high level of moral sensitivity.

Fourthly, the ideologies common in technological society are strikingly different from the patterns of thought and belief found in traditional societies.(48) Modern ideologies are predominantly secular. By contrast, the ethical and social systems of all traditional societies are rooted in a religious perspective of human life. Modern ideologies are also numerous and competitive. Most traditional societies have one clearly unified approach to social life, with room for some variation and divergence. However, in modern society a plurality of ideological movements compete with one another and exercise various degrees of influence in different places.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, modern ideologies demonstrate a consciousness of social life and social change that was absent in traditional society. Only technological society has developed an extensive consciousness of social patterns and the means to reshape themin other words, a technology of social change.(49) Hence it is now possible to think of radically repatterning society in ways that would have been impossible in traditional societies, which were largely shaped by economic and social forces and by inherited patterns. Modern ideologies are both an expression of this consciousness of social life and social change and a means of awakening it in groups that do not have it, creating in them a dissatisfaction with their position in society and a willingness to work for a particular type of social repatterning. This is a new development in human history. Traditional societies did not know secular, pluralistic systems conscious of social change and capable of achieving it.

Ideologies and Men's and Women's Roles

Modern discussion of the roles of men and women can be viewed most usefully against the background of modern ideologies. Since ideologies represent approaches to the structuring of society, they will influence the roles of men and women—an important aspect of social structure in all human societies. Therefore, ideological positions influence how people approach and think about men's and women's roles. When someone speaks of the equality of men and women, they are expressing a view of equality derived from a modern ideological view of how society as a whole should be structured. When someone uses words such as "discrimination" or "sexism," their terminology and viewpoint is rooted in a modern ideology which embodies a particular moral stand. Those who use such terms and hold such positions are often unaware of the broader ideological framework of their views. Nonetheless, their understanding of men's and women's roles is determined by a modern ideology.

It is especially important to see the modern discussion of men's and women's roles against the background of modern ideologies because the current discussion often proceeds without a great deal of clarity about the consequences of changes in this aspect of social structure. The roles of men and women are frequently approached as if they could be changed without substantial alteration in the rest of society. Certain ideological conceptions are appealed to without a consistent ideological approach being followed. As a result, much polemical pressure is devoted to changing certain aspects of men's and women's roles, while comparatively little effort is devoted to developing a consistent view of society within which those changes might be successfully implemented.

A responsible approach to structuring the roles of men and women must begin with a larger view of how society as a whole should be structured. This approach must then develop a realistic program for how a new society could constructively handle family life, childrearing, care for the aged, the differences between men and women, and other crucial human realities. The roles of men and women should be understood as integral elements in a social system, and ideological ideas used in discussions of men's and women's roles should be understood in terms of the broader ideological systems where they originated. In short, the discussion of men's and women's roles as a whole should be conducted in terms of an overall approach to the organization of society.

The Christian Response

Christianity first emerged in a world vastly different from that of the twentieth century. For seventeen hundred years it developed and matured within the context of traditional society. In Europe and the Americas it became a key element of society. It encountered rival religions and internal disagreements, but it never confronted anything like a modern ideology. Then, after centuries of learning to survive and flourish in a familiar environment, Christianity witnessed the unprecedented set of changes which led to the development of a new type of society—a technological society. This new type of society posed great challenges. Powerful new attacks were directed at traditional Christian teaching and traditional Christian institutions. ~ New social problems arose—problems created by the new type of society being forged. At the same time new solutions were being proposed—solutions destined to become the major ideologies of the modern world. Christians were unclear about the response they should make to these challenges, yet the stakes were high: They involved the extinction or survival of Christian life.

Challenges to Christianity

One of the historical facts which called for an effective Christian response was the repudiation of Christianity by Western society as a whole. In sociological terms, Western society in the early eighteenth century was a Christian society. Society as a whole upheld Christian doctrine and theoretically accepted it as a final point of appeal. Many historians have even called traditional Western society by the term "Western Christian society" (mainly to distinguish it from Byzantine Christian society and from other historically less significant societies like Abyssinian Christian society).(50) Christianity was the dominant cultural force, and Christian teaching exercised considerable influence on daily life. This does not mean that traditional Western society was a model Christian society. Non-Christian forces deeply influenced the development of Western society. There is much substance to the view that Western Christianity never completely assimilated the barbarian societies which invaded the Roman empire. The mixture of GrecoRoman, Germanic, and Christian cultural influences may explain much of the instability and mobility of Western Christian society. Nevertheless, it is still sociologically accurate to consider traditional Western society as a part of "Christendom" until the eighteenth century.

The era of Western Christendom was the second of three great stages in Christian social history.(51) The first stage began with the founding of the Christian church, and continued until the conversion of Constantine in 312 A.D. This stage could be called the period of diaspora Christianity. During this stage Christians constituted a minority of the Roman and Parthian and Sassanid empires. Christians understood themselves as occupying the same social position as Jews living outside the land of Israel, dispersed from their homeland and yet still a nation, living as resident aliens and in exile (1 Pt 1:1, 2:11; Heb 11:8-16, 13:14; Phil 3:20). The early Christians enjoyed great social cohesion. They were able to maintain a different culture than those around them because they understood themselves to be a different people. The fact that most people in the surrounding society lacked belief in Christ did not weaken the early Christians' faith or destroy their ability to live a different kind of life. Instead, the opposition of the larger society only strengthened the Christians' resolve and motivated them to be more disciplined and committed.

The conversion of Constantine and of the King of Armenia brought a great change to most of the Christian churches. Within a century and a half after the conversion of Constantine, the Roman Empire was officially Christian and most people had some type of faith in Christ. In sociological terms, the majority of the Christian people were no longer a community within a larger society-they had become a Christian society. The church as a social institution now became identified with the whole people. Except for carefully defined relationships with pagan and Jewish minorities, Christians associated in daily life exclusively with other Christians. The social dynamics of Christian life underwent a revolutionary change in this second stage of Christian history. How much genuine Christianity was adequately preserved in the process is a debated question, but it is at least clear that the social form of those people who accepted Christian doctrine underwent a major change.

The third stage of Christian social history began with the eighteenth century. In this century Western Christian society came under the influence of Enlightenment thought and began to repudiate Christianity.(52) The repudiation was not always openly stated. Many Enlightenment thinkers and their successors were purportedly Christian teachers and theologians. They often claimed that they were preserving Christianity by saving its core (normally a version of morality in accord with the prevailing Enlightenment or Liberal ideas) and by freeing the faith from unenlightened elements (usually the heart of Christian belief as expressed in the traditional creeds and the teaching on atonement and redemption). However, the repudiation of Christianity was sometimes articulated with great clarity and force. The French Revolution explicitly substituted a deist cult of reason for Christianity and tried to suppress Christian worship. In the twentieth century, Marxism made an atheistic stance an integral part of its program. The movement to "de-Christianize" society did not succeed overnight, but its initial forms in the eighteenth century had a significant impact.

The leaders of the main churches reacted to these hostile forces by attempting to preserve Western society as a Christian society. These Christian leaders had inherited a Christendom mentality, and they thought it crucial for society to be authentically Christian. In fact, they were as committed to society as a whole as they were to the Christian people, for in Christendom there was no differentiation between the two. However, their response was also based on the need for Christian survival. The supportive Christian environment was society as a whole; therefore, when society weakened in its Christian commitment, the life of the Christian people weakened. There was no special community in which the Christian people could be strengthened. Nineteenth century Christian leaders witnessed the' erosion of Christian faith as society became increasingly de-Christianized. They knew of no alternate way to preserve Christianity.

The struggle over Christendom lasted throughout the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century. The ultimate result was a massive de-Christianization of Western society. The de-Christianizing process moved more slowly in countries where Christianity had a firmer hold on society and among groups of Christians who had been persecuted. For example, the Catholics of Ireland and Poland managed to survive with some degree of vitality, as did the dissenter sects in both Protestant and Catholic countries which had long been organized to survive against the hostile influences of the dominant society. Likewise, the immigrant churches in religiously mixed countries such as the United States were more successful in holding their own. Nonetheless, the trend in society was toward de-Christianization. This trend received further impetus from the social changes occurring within technological society. Relational groupings like the family and the neighborhood began to lose their strength, and the influence of mass education, the media, and other tools of social control made it more and more difficult for Christians to pass on their faith to their children.

The repudiation of Christianity is only one of several modern challenges to the church. The development of technological society, described in Chapter Eighteen, brought into existence a social environment unlike anything Christians had to face in the past. The stable, structured, relational groupings of society which once formed the basis of daily Christian life began to crumble. The new social environment consisted primarily of functional groupings, mass institutions, unstructured friendship relationships, and independent individuals. New social problems also arose. Training of the young and care for the old became more challenging. Women's domestic role diminished in significance as family functions narrowed, the kinship network weakened, and family groupings played a less vital role in public life. Increased urbanization and mobility brought their own constellation of problems. Thus, the new social environment of technological society posed a challenge to the traditional social teachings of Christianity, and demanded a response.

Christians also needed to contend with the emergence of the ideologies. From one perspective, the Christian response to the ideologies seemed obvious. The ideologies were not Christian. Their origins and principles derived from sources other than Christian revelation. Ideologies often led the campaign to repudiate Christianity. The leadership of many Liberal, Socialist, and Fascist parties were frequently antiChristian and commonly passed laws limiting or suppressing Christianity upon gaining political power. However, from another perspective, the proper Christian response to the ideologies was not at all obvious. Never before had Christian teachers and thinkers needed to answer the fundamental questions about the shape of society and the social order that the ideologies posed. The questions were new because the ideological positions were new, but also because the circumstances Of society were new and the social problems were unprecedented. Furthermore, the belief systems and ethical imperatives of the ideologies did not always obviously contradict traditional Christian teaching; at times these systems were phrased in such a way as to seem compatible with Christianity. What, for example, should a Christian think about the slogan "liberty, equality, fraternity"? Thus the emergence of such ideologies as Liberalism, Socialism, and Fascism raised new issues demanding a Christian response.

The repudiation of Christianity, the new social environment, and the challenge of the ideologies were all intimately related. Ideology played a major role in both the societal repudiation of Christianity and the rise of technological society. The rise of technological society advanced the ideologies and weakened traditional Christianity. The repudiation of Christianity weakened the traditional order and made the rise of technological society and its ideologies possible. The Christian responses to these three challenges were similarly related. In particular, the failure of most churches to cope adequately with the new societal attitude toward Christianity weakened their ability to respond adequately to the extremely difficult questions which technological society and the new ideologies had raised. The Christian people were no longer an identifiable community in which a specifically Christian approach to modern society could emerge. Instead, the lines between the Christian people and the non-Christian society were blurred, and it became more and more difficult to formulate a distinctively Christian response.

Societal Influences and the Christian Response

The new challenges of modern society called for a clear, distinctive, and authentically Christian response. However, the very forces which challenged Christianity also inhibited its ability to give such a clear response. The repudiation of Christianity, the rise of technological society, and the emergence of modern ideologies all combined to confuse Christians about their approach to the new circumstances of modern society. Consequently, many of the responses offered by Christians were not essentially "Christian," but were instead reflections or adaptations of ideas present in the society as a whole. Sometimes Christians consciously copied these secular responses, but more often they quietly and unconsciously assimilated secular principles. Many Christians thus lost a vision for a distinctive Christian model of society, and increasingly adopted the functional ideals of technological society and its ideologies.

One response among Christians to the new conditions and challenges of modern society was conservatism. This response was especially strong in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Many of those who remained authentically Christian at this time of intensifying de-Christianization sided instinctively with the defenders of the traditional order because they were more friendly to Christianity. However, these were also the defenders of feudal or economic privilege and people who sought to preserve a model of society that fit less and less with the developing conditions of technological society. Christians who adopted the conservative response were often unable to distinguish the defense of Christianity and a basic order in society from the defense of the status quo and traditional privilege.

A second response among Christians was patterned after the "romantic" reaction. Like the "romantic" reaction, it was strongest in the nineteenth century, though it continues to exercise considerable influence in the twentieth century. This response defended Christianity as an alternative to the functionalism and inhumanity of technological society. It appealed to emotion and an instinct for "something higher." This appeal tended to inject an element of sentimentality and unrealism into the Christian life and mentality. Moreover, the romantic response did not help Christians deal with the real social issues of the day. The romantic solution, when there was one, tended to be a nostalgic return to a more primitive social order.

A third response made by many Christians to modern conditions involved a complete acceptance of the modern ideologies: first Liberalism, then Socialism, and then Nationalism, Fascism, and all of the other ideological currents of Western society. This has been perhaps the most significant response among Christians of the second half of the nineteenth century and then the twentieth century. Christians who have adopted one of the modern ideologies have usually rejected the ideology's most blatant anti-Christian positions, but they have also usually accepted the ideological teaching about social order and personal relations even where this opposed the traditional Christian teaching on these matters. In fact, such Christians have tended to identify the ideological teaching with the "real" Christian position. American Christians have been known to speak of the principles of bourgeois individualism as the fundamental Christian principles for ordering society, even though these principles cannot be found in the New Testament, Christians in 500, 1000, and 1500 A.D. all lived and taught without these principles, and these principles originated in a non-Christian ideology. Many German Christians similarly adopted Fascist principles under the Nazis. Many Christians are currently taking a similar approach toward Marxism, claiming that Marxist principles are the truly Christian principles in the twentieth century.(53)

Many Christians have consciously and explicitly adopted conservative, romantic, or ideological positions over the past two centuries. However, one can only measure the actual influence of modern ideological currents on Christian thinking by examining the principles held inarticulately or unconsciously by the majority of Christians. A Christian who may never think of identifying himself as a Socialist may still be greatly influenced by a Socialist approach. A Christian may know little and care less about the origins and development of Liberalism as a modern ideology and still hold several key Liberal principles as selfevident axioms of Christian life. From a Christian point of view, one of the most important features of the modern ideological currents of thought is the considerable impact they have had on the beliefs, values, and assumptions held by the general body of modern Christians.

It is these secular movements of thought, whether consciously adopted or unconsciously assimilated, which usually dominate modern Christian discussions of men's and women's roles. Many of the most serious objections to the scriptural teaching on men's and women's roles are drawn from modern ideological principles and represent a functional ideal of society. Perhaps the strongest objection to scriptural teaching on men's and women's roles flows from the observation that the scriptural approach involves treating men and women differently. In the modern formulation, the objection is that scriptural teaching treats women "unequally" or "without the same rights." Behind this objection is the modern notion of equality in which consideration of talent, gift, or ability is the only legitimate basis for treating people differently.(54) The scriptural teaching on men's and women's roles is thus branded as "sexist" and morally wrong. However, this objection is not based on Christian revelation, but on a principle drawn from Liberal/Socialist ideologies—ideologies that accept and further the functionalization of social relationships. In fact, this principle of equality does not really forbid all discrimination between people. It only forbids discrimination on any basis other than the functional criterion valued by a technological society.

Another ideologically-based objection to the scriptural teaching on men's and women's roles is the attack on the personal subordination that underlies the scriptural teaching. According to this objection, the husband's headship over his wife (or the elders' headship over the personal lives of Christians) constitutes a form of oppression or domination. Once again, this objection is not based on Christian revelation, but instead is an expression of the aversion to personal subordination and personal authority found in most modern ideologies. This principle does not really forbid the exercise of authority over other people's lives. Instead, it forbids the kind of authority that grows out of a personal relationship, allowing the type of authority that relies upon the bureaucratic regulation and mental influence which is the normal means of social control in a technological society.

The point here is that neither the modern notion of equality nor the aversion to personal subordination are truly Christian principles. Both of these ideas are fundamental to the contemporary dislike for the Christian teaching on men's and women's roles, and many Christians use them as though they were Christian principles. But they are not Christian ideas. They derive from modern ideologies whose aim is to replace a social order based on stable, committed relationships with a social order based on functional relationships among people who have been individualized so they can fit where they are most functionally useful.

This domination of a Christian discussion by secular ideals is a good example of how difficult it has become for Christians to formulate a Christian response to modern conditions. All too often the responses Christians have offered are mere reflections of the responses offered by the surrounding society. The distinctive Christian ideal for social life has often been obscured by the influence of nonChristian thought systems, systems which often embody a functional ideal of society.

Distinguishing Christian and Non-Christian Ethical Systems

Not all Christians have allowed their response to the challenges of modern society to be shaped uncritically by modern secular thought. Some have at least partially succeeded in the effort to formulate a genuinely Christian response to the new circumstances.(55) A genuinely Christian response involves first of all a faithfulness to traditional Christian teaching, doctrinal and social, and a refusal to adopt modern ideological principles when they conflict with revealed Christian principles. It also involves a recognition that a mere clinging to past structures and customs is insufficient as a way of approaching modern society, and instead attempts to apply and adapt the traditional Christian approach to modern conditions. A genuinely Christian response will not immediately discard ideological principles, but will evaluate them according to their usefulness and their consistency with revealed Christian truth.

One can begin to formulate such a Christian response to modern society only by learning to distinguish between Christian and non-Christian ethical systems and between ethical principles deriving from these two types of systems. The ethical principles and the broader ethical systems of the modern ideologies have had great impact on Christian attempts to respond to the challenges of modern society. Christians tend not to treat these principles as pieces of secular wisdom that may or may not be helpful in applying Christian truth to a new situation, but instead they regard them as moral imperatives that have at least as much authority as revealed Christian ethical principles. Therefore, many modern Christians are not free to dismiss or modify the modern ethical principles when they conflict with revealed Christian principles. Christians need a clear understanding of the differences between Christian and non-Christian ethical systems and of how to approach the two systems if they are to hold distinctive positions in the midst of the moral pressures of the surrounding society.

Christians will frequently decide that an ethical system is Christian if the majority of Christians accept it. This approach has value only if there is no authority in Christianity that is over and above the trend of opinion among Christians, whether that authority is found in scripture or creeds, or in some living human beings (like a church teaching authority), or both. But if such an authority does exist, then no census of Christians can guarantee that a popular ethical position is actually a Christian position. After all, a large number of Christians can be unfaithful or deceived, as scripture frequently indicates (see Gal 1:6, 3:1; 1 Cor 5:1-2, 10:1-13; 1 Trn 1:6-7, 4:1-3). Such a decisive Christian authority does exist. Thus, the term "Christian ethical system" will be reserved here for ethical systems that have been derived in large part from Christian revelation and in which the principles of Christian revelation are more authoritative in shaping the system than any other principles. The ethical systems of modern ideologies are clearly not Christian ethical systems. They may include elements that a Christian can use, but they are not in themselves Christian.

A failure to distinguish between Christian and non-Christian ethical systems and principles has especially hindered a genuine Christian response in the area of men's and women's roles. Many ethical principles derived from non-Christian ideological systems are appealed to as authoritative, either because Christians mistakenly consider these ideas to be grounded in Christian revelation, or because they consider them clearly superior to the traditional Christian principles. Five of these principles are worth citing briefly—the principles of: (1) equality; (2) freedom; (3) developing full potential or achieving self-fulfillment; (4) authenticity; and (5) being a "full person." Most of these positions have already been discussed in earlier sections of this book, but it will nonetheless be helpful here to review them together and to compare them with the teaching of the scripture:

1. The principle of equality.(56) As discussed earlier, this principle states that all individuals should be treated identically, except for differences in ability or interest. This principle is primarily derived from Socialism, but it makes its way into other ideological systems as well. Sometimes the principle of equality is phrased as an attack on anything that would make one person be regarded as "inferior" to another. This principle militates against social roles ascribed according to age and sex and also against personal subordination.

Scripture also teaches a principle of equality, but it is a principle of equal care for all members of the body.(57) The scriptural principle is compatible with social roles and personal authority. It is not based on the individualizing of people for a functional society, but is instead based upon a communal life and personal relationships.

2. The principle of freedom.(58) There are many varieties of this principle in the modern world, and the Liberal and Communist views on the subject are not easily compatible. The Liberal principle of freedom is the one which surfaces most often in discussions of men's and women's roles. This principle states that each individual should guide his or her own life and make his or her own decisions independent of the thoughts or "interference" of others. This principle considers all forms of social control other than state-authorized bureaucratic or educational forms as morally wrong, and it regards them as forms of oppression or domination. Personal subordination is evil and degrading. Underlying the Liberal principle of freedom is an individualistic notion that the highest good resides in the greatest degree of personal autonomy and freedom of movement.

Scripture also teaches a principle of liberty, but it is the liberty to be the sons and daughters of God and freedom from all that opposes this status–especially the world, the flesh, the devil, and sin. The type of freedom scripture describes is compatible with a strong commitment to a body of people and with the acceptance of personal subordination. In fact, scripture sees corporate commitment and personal subordination as aids to freedom.

3. The principle of developing full potential or achieving self-fulfillment.(59) This is an individualistic principle closely related to the principle of freedom. Self-fulfillment and full potential become ideals under conditions of little social cohesion where each individual feels the need to watch out for himself. This principle also has a strong functional orientation: It emphasizes individual gifts and abilities rather than personal relationships.

A principle of self-fulfillment cannot be found in the scripture. The scriptural teaching presumes a cohesive communal lifestyle, and sets forth an ideal of servanthood. The scripture allows Christians to seek a reward, but the criterion for action is love, that is, laying down one's life for the Lord and the brothers and sisters.(60)

4. The principle of authenticity.(61) The principle of authenticity derives from the "romantic" reaction to functional society and social structure. it states that each individual should express his or her true feelings and preferences at all times so that one's "authentic" personality might develop and be seen. Closely related to the principle of authenticity is the notion that each person should express his or her unique personality and gifts as fully as possible. The ideals of authenticity and uniqueness lead to a dislike for the type of social structure taught in scripture. To accept a role which does not fit one's feelings or preferences would be inauthentic.

While scriptural teaching allows for individual differences it does not idealize them, since sin finds authentic and unique expression in the lives of most people.

5. The principle of being a "full person."(62) This principle has two common formulations. The first formulation rejects personal subordination as a sign of immaturity or incompetence. In the social structure of technological society, the main forms of personal subordination hinge upon some deficiency in the subordinate—his youth, or occasionally a disability like mental illness. After children grow into adulthood, they are expected to make their own decisions and form their own opinions. To treat adults as subordinate in anything other than functional relationships is to treat them as deficient people. Thus a "full person" is someone who is free from personal subordination, and is subject only to the bureaucratic forms of social control used in technological society.

The second formulation of the principle of being a "full person" grows from the "romantic" reaction to functional society. This formulation states that all human beings should be considered primarily as "persons," that is, as unique, individual centers of intentionality. To treat someone in terms of a social or a functional role is to treat that individual as an object rather than a person. For example, to treat a woman in a particular way simply because she is a woman is to treat her as a thing.

The scripture also teaches that each person has value, but the ideal of treating each individual as a "full person" is not present in the New Testament. Instead, it allows for personal subordination of adults and various social roles. In fact, one's status as a "full person" is less exalted than one's status as a son or daughter of God or as a Christian father or a Christian mother.

These five ethical principles exert a powerful influence over Christian discussions of men's and women's roles. Yet none of them are intrinsically Christian principles and none of them derive from a Christian ethical system.

Evaluating Modern Ethical Principles

The fact that these five principles are not intrinsically Christian and are not found in scripture does not mean that they are totally useless. In fact, Christians have tended to accept the ethical systems of the modern ideologies because they have increasingly perceived that traditional social approaches are unable to cope with technological society and its social problems. The choice is between a good technological order and a bad one, not between a traditional order and a technological one. The need to respond to a new functionalized social environment has forced Christians to explore the secular wisdom of the ideologies for workable approaches to daily life. This is not an error in itself. A non-Christian ethical system is not always wrong or opposed to the ethics of the gospel. To develop an authentic Christian response to the challenges of the modern world, one must learn to distinguish between Christian and non-Christian ethical systems, between authoritative Christian teaching and secular ideological wisdom. But this does not mean one must necessarily reject every idea deriving from the nonChristian systems.

In fact, these five ethical principles can help in understanding how to approach life in a technological society, especially in a noncooperative technological society with great social problems. Some principle of individual self-reliance is probably necessary in an individualistic, competitive social environment. Individual freedom may be an ideal of great value when the alternative foreseen is the rule of a dictatorial government. To form one's own opinions and make one's own decisions is an important value when there is no corporate body or authority that one can look to as trustworthy. An emphasis on the equal dignity of all individuals with no consideration of social role may be an essential way of coping with an unstructured technological society which makes the weak vulnerable to exploitation by the more powerfully placed. A stress on treating individuals as "full persons" has value in a social environment where people relate to one another primarily in terms of specific functional concerns, and, for example, care little whether they are giving their money when shopping to a person or a machine. None of these principles can be found in either scripture or Christian tradition, and they cannot be called "Christian ethical principles" in the sense of being part of an authoritative and distinctive Christian ethical system. However, they still have some value as modern wisdom for dealing with a technological social order.

Nevertheless, these principles must always be clearly distinguished from those which are derived from scripture and Christian tradition. For example, the Christian teaching on loving one another or loving the brethren refers to a committed relationship in the body of Christ. It is not teaching about how to love within a purely functional relationship involving no personal commitment. The modem idea of treating others equally and as persons is helpful in functional relationships, and may be the most ethically sound approach. It may even be the approach most in accord with the mind of Christ for such a situation. However, this idea does not come from scripture or revelation. It needs to be distinguished from teachings which do come from scripture, so that when a conflict arises between modern principles drawn from non-Christian ethical systems and the scriptural teaching, one is able to adjust or reject the modem principle and not reject the teaching that has scriptural authority.(63) If Eph 5:22-33 seems contrary to the modern notion of equality, one may have a reason to limit the application of this modern notion, but not a reason to reject the teaching of Ephesians.

This is why an ability to distinguish Christian and non-Christian ethical systems is so important for an authentic Christian response to the challenges of modern society. Non-Christian principles may be of some use, but they should never be grounds for rejecting principles drawn from Christian revelation. A failure to distinguish between ethical systems is often the basic error made by Christians who embrace non-Christian ideologies or ideological principles. Do they see the ideology as helpful wisdom for a new social situation, but wisdom that is subordinate to scriptural teaching? Or do they regard the ideology as a social approach that is superior to scripture, of greater value and authority? It is one thing to accept the need for an approach to technological society and learn from a secular ideology. It is quite another matter to accept a non-Christian ideology with all its ethical claims, and still another to consider it the essential Christian position. Perhaps a socialist or liberal structuring of society would be in certain respects more beneficial for a technological society than the alternatives. Nonetheless, it is a great mistake to think of liberal or socialist principles as the only right and moral course and the way things always should have been, and to view the scriptural and traditional Christian writers as participants in an earlier primitive stage of Christian revelation who had not progressed to the higher liberal or socialist morality of today. It is a great mistake to raise liberal or socialist teaching to the same level as the teaching of Christ. When "all men are created equal" has the same authority for Christians as "love one another as I have loved you," then something is radically wrong.

Christians should be cautious in their use of non-Christian ethical systems because these systems represent an important aspect of what the New Testament calls "the world."(64) The Christian people need to become free of "the world," that is, the values and way of life of the non-Christian society around them. If they do not, they will be unable to follow the Lord and do his will when this conflicts with the prevailing currents of the surrounding society, as is often the case. The world affects Christians not only by holding out pleasure to them, but also by exerting ethical pressure. The world frequently tells Christians that it is right to do something and wrong to do something else. Such ethical appeals are often ways of inducing Christians to ignore Christian teaching. It is a mistake to think that the dominion of darkness is entirely devoid of ethics. Not only can Satan quote scripture, he can quote ethical principles. But even more, he teaches his own ethics, so that people can actually feel that it is wrong not to obey him. Christians have to be solidly established in the Lord's teaching, fully aware of the differences between Christian and non-Christian ethical systems, if they are to adequately confront a worldly ethical system and maintain a clear conscience.

It is difficult to formulate a genuine Christian response to the challenges of the modern world. The dissolution of Christian community and the social and ideological pressures of technological society conspire against such a response. However, such a response is a vital necessity. The first step toward a genuine Christian response is to learn to distinguish Christian from non-Christian ethical systems.

Ideology and Christianity

Widespread acceptance by Christians of non-Christian ideologies and their ethical claims leaves Christianity defenseless against the influence of modern culture. Many Christians are losing the ability to make an overall critique of modern society and culture from a Christian perspective. Many Christians do critique modern culture, but they do so selectively and partially, as much from a Liberal or Socialist perspective as from a Christian perspective. Since they have completely embraced the principles and presuppositions of modern culture, they are only able to make an internal critique. Increasingly, many within the Christian people are being assimilated to technological society and modern culture with no ability to form an alternative. Because they have lost an environment of their own, a community in which they can support one another in an independent Christian life, and because they have no adequate approach to technological society, they are at the mercy of whatever wave or current passes through modern society.

A remarkable example of this phenomenon is the influence the women's liberation movement has exerted on the church in the 1970s. This movement has influenced the Christian church as much as it has influenced any other institution in society. Christians not only accept the specific program of women's liberation but also its underlying ideological principles. They often discard centuries of Christian consensus on the subject as misguided and morally inferior to a new secular ideology with its new ethical system. The Christian church thus begins to resemble more and more the modern culture in which it resides, rather than offering a distinctively Christian alternative.

Concluding Observations

These last two chapters have considered the social and ideological environment of the modern world as a necessary step toward an application of Christian social teaching for Christians today. By necessity, this treatment has been sketchy. The development and character of technological society is a major topic which, like so many others in this book, could easily occupy the attention of a full volume. Modern ideological thought is a topic of similar proportion. Nevertheless, both topics are indispensable to an adequate understanding of the Christian approach to men's and women's roles today. Though the treatment is sketchy, there are certain broad conclusions that can be drawn safely from these chapters.

First, contemporary Western society has a very different social environment than the societies in scriptural times. Social roles follow a different dynamic in technological society. Few groupings still have a network of committed structured personal relationships. Most relationships are either functional, or else informal, unstructured, and emotionally based. There is little "space" for an expression of men's and women's roles. Role differences in technological society can find expression only in the family, which cannot survive when following simply a functional principle. But precisely because it is a non-technological remnant in a technological society, the family unit is weakening and losing significance. In short, it is becoming increasingly difficult to express a traditional approach to men's and women's roles without appearing ludicrous or out-of-place. Today's social environment is extremely inhospitable to traditional social roles. Any attempt to apply traditional Christian teaching must confront this fact.

Secondly, the trend of modern society is currently irreversible. More and more of society will become technologized and functionalized, and more and more people around the world will be drawn into the patterns of technological society. This does not mean that Christians should fail to evaluate the development of technological society. However, though Christians can critique technological society, they cannot ignore it as a pervasive feature of life. The irreversibility of the current trend also does not rule out the possibility of a major breakdown of technological society in the future. The system might collapse as a result of war, domestic social turmoil, economic failure, or resource shortages. Still, there is no indication that society as a whole would accept a consciously engineered stoppage of the development of technological society. God might intervene, but technological society seems beyond the reach of Christians who might want to reverse the trend. Thus, Christians should not merely assume a conservative posture and complain about the direction of the modern world. They should either deal constructively with technological society, or they should withdraw, like the Amish and the Hutterites, and create a society of their own based on non-technological principles. In short, any realistic Christian approach to men's and women's roles in the modern world must accept technological society as a given.

Thirdly, technological society can at least be called problematic. Even if the final evaluation of technological society is positive, this society still has one major problematic feature: It is not currently suited for the development of human community. Stable personal relationships can be sustained only with difficulty in technological society. The technical-productive sector dominates society, producing a functionalized social system that leaves little room for natural human social structure. The human dispositions toward family-communal structures based on age and sex differences have little "space" in which to be expressed. The lack of stable social relationships also causes problems for the raising of the young and the care for the old, and may very well contribute to a higher incidence of psychological and emotional disorders. Stable social relationships are more important for human life than most contemporary people realize. If we cannot reconstruct stable personal relationships, and if human values continue to be consistently sacrificed to functional values, then the human race will be greatly impoverished. It will have lost some of the most valuable elements of its social existence.

Fourthly and finally, Christians now face a two-fold challenge: (1) they must find a way to preserve a specifically Christian pattern of thought in faithfulness to Christian revelation, and (2) they must devise a way to fashion a community life that expresses God's purposes for the human race. Christian life cannot survive without some form of Christian environment. There must be enough environmental support to allow Christian life to withstand a non-Christian society. Christianity must also guide its life according to a set of principles derived from Christian revelation. If Christianity loses its distinctiveness and originality, if it merely reproduces secular ideology in religious language, then it will lack the substance needed to draw people and to hold them together in the face of an indifferent world. Any adaptation of Christianity to the modem world that is unfaithful to Christian revelation is self-defeating. It is simply a Munich agreement in the face of the demands of modern society. It buys short-range acceptability at the cost of a long-range loss of direction and ability to preserve Christian identity.


1. Some of the meanings assigned to the term "ideology" are general while others are more specified and technical. Four of the more common meanings, ordered according to increasing levels of specificity, are as follows:

1. In common usage, "ideology" can refer to any system of ideas, especially ideas related to some aspect of human life. According to this definition, psychoanalysis can be called an ideology, as can also Transcendental Meditation.

2. In a political context, the term is frequently used as a way of describing theoretical systems which include definite socio-political programs and implications. This is the way that the term is often used by Communists (for one example, see V. I. Lenin in Carl Cohen, Communism, Fascism, and Democracy (New York: Random House, 1962), p. 212). Social scientists also sometimes use the term in this way (for an example, see Berger, et al., p. 159).

3. Sociologists often use "ideology" to refer to the sum of the fundamental beliefs, values, theories, and assumptions held by a social group. This definition allows the sociologist to focus upon the way individuals have their ideas and values conditioned by their social environment. One could thus speak of the Christian ideology of medieval Western Europe or the Islamic ideology of the Ottoman Empire.

4. A fourth usage of "ideology" is in fact merely an elaboration of the third usage cited above. Some sociologists further refine the term by applying it only to bodies of thought and belief that justify an existing social system. Any popularly held set of beliefs, values, theories, and assumptions which does not buttress the existing social system is called by another term. In a classic sociological study, Karl Mannheim calls revolutionary systems of thought and belief "utopias" (Mannheim applies this new term to movements such as the Sixteenth Century Anabaptists), see Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia, (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1936), pp. 55-84.

The definition of "ideology" used in the present volume is primarily definition 2. However, the particular form of definition in the text places a focus upon ideology as a force conditioning the popular opinions and values of individuals within society and in this sense approximates some aspects of 3. The definition in the text is used because the primary concern in the chapter is with modern systems of thought which have affected the fundamental beliefs of modern social groupings, especially in their vision of how society should be structured.

2. Berger et al., p. 159.

3. Though an ideology usually takes systematic form among intellectuals, it is also shaped to a certain extent by social and economic forces. An ideology will not become dominant in a social grouping unless it fits the needs and circumstances of that grouping. For example, many ideologies take shape in response to the needs and circumstances of a particular social class. The feminist ideology in the United States has developed largely among the upper middle classthe managerial-professional class-and has received much less support from the lower-middle and poor classes.

4. As discussed above (n. 1), some sociologists distinguish between ideologies which justify an existing system and those which prepare the way for a new system. Such a distinction is not directly relevant to the purpose of this chapter.

5. William Goode gives helpful descriptions of the interconnection between social structures and modern ideologies in technological society, see his World Revolution and Family Patterns.

6. An example of a European Liberal Party is the Belgian Liberal Party.

7. As stated by Berger et al., "In the United States, liberalism as a political ideology has been a major representation of modernizing forces" (p. 198). For a few helpful books on Liberalism, see Theodore Meyer Greene, Liberalism, Its Theory and Practice, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1957); Harold J. Laski, The Rise of European Liberalism, (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1936); Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America, (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1955).

8. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1863), p. 23. Elsewhere in the same essay, Mill defines civil or social liberty as "the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual" (p. 7).

9. For one description of the individualistic and anti-authoritarian tendencies of Liberalism, see Crane Brinton, The Shaping of Modern Thought (Englewood Cliffs: PrenticeHall, 1950), pp. 150-157.

10. Liberal theories of self-interest are usually associated with eighteenth century economists such as Adam Smith or nineteenth century social Darwinists such as Herbert Spencer.

11. Liberalism in the United States has had a unique history. The customary antagonists of Liberalism-an entrenched aristocratic ruling class, a privileged clerical class, and a network of traditional social relations hallowed by centuries of history-were all largely absent in the colonies and the new nation. Liberal ideals such as freedom and individual rights therefore became deeply rooted in the mentality of the entire people, but the systematic ideological development which is born out of confrontation and opposition did not occur in the same way as it did in England and the European continent. Liberalism in the United States has tended to be equated with the American way of life rather than with a particular stance. This equation of Liberalism with the American way of life is the primary theme of Alexis de Tocclueville's classic, Democracy in America (Garden City: Doubleday and Company, [18481 1969). For a helpful study of the primary tenets of traditional American liberalism, the differences between them and the tenets of continental liberalism, and their relationship to Roman Catholic teaching, see John Courtney Murray, We Hold These Truths, (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1960). Hannah Arendt in On Revolution, (New York: The Viking Press, 1963) also distinguishes the principles and practice of the American Revolution from those of the French Revolution. Another Catholic thinker, Emmet John Hughes, takes a very different view of the American Revolution and American liberalism, see pp. 109-127, 180-202. For a general introduction to American liberalism, see Hartz.

12. An old, but useful, volume dealing with eighteenth and nineteenth century continental Liberalism is Guido deRuggiero, The History of European Liberalism, translated by R. G. Collingwood, (London: Oxford University Press, 1927).

13. See, for example, Brinton, pp. 152-168.

14. The connection between Liberal ideology and the middle class was an essential aspect of the Marxist critique of Liberalism. This connection has also become an aspect of non-Marxist critiques. For a Catholic attack on Liberalism from this perspective, see Hughes, pp. 23-24.

15. Philippe Aries makes a similar observation about the Code Napoleon in "The Family, Prison of Love," Psychology Today, August 1975, pp. 53-58, especially p. 57.

16. Not all nineteenth century Liberals opposed the extension of "individual rights" to women. John Stuart Mill is one prominent exception as seen by his famous essay on The Subjection of Women. The birth of the feminist movement can be traced back to this period. Nonetheless, this was a minority opinion among Liberals of the mid-nineteenth century.

17. As a historical movement, Liberalism has undergone significant changes over the past two hundred years. It began as a middle class ideology dedicated to the reduction of government intervention, at least in economic life. As time progressed, the principles of freedom and individual rights were claimed by other members of society-the working class, racial and ethnic minorities, colonial territories, women-who were not originally included as equal participants in the Liberal vision of society. In many ways, this extension of Liberal principles to new groups is consistent with the inner logic of the Liberal ideology. Another adaptation occurred in the Liberal position at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, an adaptation that is not so consistent with the original Liberal position. At this time, many Liberals began to see the need for government intervention in economic and social life as a way of creating a more just society and protecting individuals from the rule of natural and human forces beyond their control. A new form of Liberalism which could be called "welfare Liberalism" began to emerge. Examples of this new form of Liberalism are found in the main policies advocated by the Democratic Party in the U.S. since Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal. This is what most people today mean when they think of Liberalism. However, this form of Liberal ideology is not strictly consistent with the principles of the earlier Liberal position. In fact, it probably results from the influence of Socialist thought on the Liberal ideology. For a brief and simple discussion of "Welfare Liberalism" in relation to classical Liberalism and Marxist Socialism, see Brinton, pp. 191-193.

18. For a few different perspectives on the anti-Christian tendencies of French Revolution Liberalism, see R. R. Palmer and Joel Colton, A History of the Modern World (New York: Knopf, 1971), pp. 388-392; Hughes, pp. 124-127; Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution, (Garden City: Doubleday and Company, [1856] 1955), pp. 148-157; Alec R. Vidler, The Church in An Age of Revolution (Baltimore: Penguin, 1961), pp. 11-21.

19. The relative moderation found in the American and British Liberals' approach to Christianity can be at least partly explained by the fact that the church as a social institution was less of a threat to Liberal policies and aims in these two countries than it was in the countries of continental Western Europe. Nonetheless, even in Britain and the United States, Liberal ideology led often to a dismissal of traditional Christian teaching. The main difference between the continent and the English-speaking world was the intensity of the dispute between Liberalism and Christianity, not in its existence.(20)

20. See, for example, Tocqueville, Old Regime and the French Revolution, pp. 153-154; Democracy in America, pp. 287-301, 542-546; and Murray.

21. For helpful introductory works on Socialism, see G. Lichtheim, A Short History of Socialism (New York: Praeger, 1970) and G.D.H. Cole, A History of Socialist Thought, 4 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1953-1966).

22. It is possible to argue that, from an overall perspective, the differences between Socialism and Fascism are more important than their similiarities. And, in fact, there are major differences between the two ideologies. For example, Fascism emphasizes the preservation of national and racial heritage, whereas Socialism traditionally maintains a trans-national orientation in theory, and is usually willing to sacrifice heritage to economic production. Nevertheless, the differences between Socialism and Fascism are not relevant enough to questions concerning men's and women's roles to warrant full treatment here. In this area of social structure, the similarities between Fascism and Socialism are more important than their differences.

23. The connection between Marxist Socialism and technological society has been noted by many who study the characteristics of modern society, including Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society, pp. 81-82, 144; Goode, pp. 24, 320; and Berger et al., pp. 161-162, 171-174.

24. The approach of Marxist-Leninist and non-Marxist-Leninist socialists tends to differ on this issue. Marxist-Leninist socialists (usually the more radical party) have shown a consistent suspicion of the family unit, though they usually come to tolerate it as an essential element of society (that is, at least society in its present imperfect Communist forms). Non-Marxist-Leninist socialists, on the other hand, seem much less suspicious. They often favor principles and policies which may weaken the family unit, but this is usually not their main purpose in holding such policies.

25. Once again, Marxist-Leninist and non-Marxist-Leninist socialists tend to disagree about the meaning of the term "democracy." The position discussed in this paragraph is the Marxist-Leninist position. Most modern non-Marxist Leninist socialists usually advocate something approximating the modern welfare state, which includes the democratic political institutions familiar to the Western World. For a few clear descriptions of the Marxist-Leninist approach to democracy, see V.I. Lenin, State and Revolution, (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1917); Mao Tse-Tung, On People's Democratic Dictatorship (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1952).

26. For an extensive study of collective and personal forms of social control, see Mannheim, pp. 274-311.

27. Geiger has some useful observations on private life and state authority in the Soviet Union, see Geiger, pp. 60-62, 329-330.

28. For some examples of how collective social control functions in Communist China and the Soviet Union through regulation and education, see Sidel, pp. 111-154, and Geiger, pp. 292-320.

29. For a brief description of the dialectical revolutionary strategy used initially in China, including mention of "consciousness raising," see Sidel, pp. 17-18.

30. Two first-hand accounts of the approach to lying and traditional morality in Communist strategy are V. 1. Lenin in Cohen, pp. 220-222; and Douglas Hyde, The Answer to Communism (London: Sands and Co., 1949), pp. 21-35.

31. Berger et al. give an excellent description of the "romantic" reaction in its most recent forms, pp. 181-184, 201-214. These authors view this reaction as one of the three most important ideological developments in modern society. They categorize these ideologies in the following manner: "There are three different types of ideological response to modernization. First, there are ideologies that directly endorse or legitimate modernization [e.g., Liberalism, Socialism]. Next, there are ideologies developed in opposition or resistance to modernization; these might be called counter modernization ideologies (or, as discussed here, the "romantic" reaction]. Third … there are ideologies that seek to control or contain modernization in the name of values that are conceived to be independent of that process" (pp. 159-160, brackets ours). This third category, according to Berger et al., includes some forms of modern Islam and some forms of third-world Nationalism and Socialism.

32. For a general introductory work on Romanticism and the Romantic Movement, see Jacques Barzun, Romanticism and the Modern Ego (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1943). Barzun is partial toward the Romantic movement, and attempts to distinguish it clearly from such later phenomena as Fascism. Nonetheless, Fascism and Romanticism do share some significant features, though they are neither identical nor connected to one another in a direct cause-and -effect relationship.

33. See Berger et al., pp. 201-214, for a similar approach to these varied phenomena.

34. Walter Scott is an example of a romantic who was also a traditionalist. Some traditionalists, though not full-blown romantics, displayed many romantic characteristics at an early date. Joseph DeMaistre and Edmund Burke fall within this category.

35. Many of the early romantics were Liberals. Byron and Blake are two examples. Examples of romantic Socialists and Anarchists are more difficult to find, for these political movements had not gathered momentum until Romanticism as an identifiable movement had almost dissolved. William Morris and Michael Bakunin show some signs of romantic influence.

36. "The antagonism to institutions logically extends to institutional roles on the level of everyday life. To play a role is, ipso facto, to engage in hypocrisy. The real self (that spontaneous, un-" repressed," to-be-intuited entity) is presumed to lie beneath or beyond all roles, which are masks, camouflage, obstacles to the discovery of the real self." Berger et al., p. 213.

37. Fascism is an exception to this individualistic approach in the modern "romantic" reaction. Fascism is, however, a semi-Socialist ideology rather than a romantic movement. Nonetheless, Fascism uses a romantic mystique of the nation or people and its history as an important source for drawing support and for founding its ideology.

38. On the dichotomy of personal and functional spheres, see Chapter Eighteen, pp. 487-488.

39. Berger et al. have an excellent analysis of the division between public and private spheres and its relationship to the "romantic" reaction, pp. 185-188.

40. Feminism itself did not begin in the United States. There have been currents of feminism in Europe in both the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. What is being discussed in this chapter under the heading "American Liberation Movements" is the distinctive form the feminist movement has taken in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, and its various offshoot movements.

41. The philosophical foundations of some American feminist and liberation thought is to be found in the Marxist sociology of knowledge of the Frankfurt school. The feminist and liberation movement outside of America, while sharing the same Marxist foundations, is usually militant and nationalistic. On feminist theology as part of the liberation movement, see Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza, "Feminist Theology as a Critical Theology of Liberation," pp. 29-50; on the Frankfurt school, see Albrecht Wellmer, Critical Theory of Society (New York: Herder and Herder, 1971); on liberation theology, see note 2, Chapter Fifteen.

42. In theory, this approach to equality has been true of most liberal thinking since the advent of universal suffrage.

43. Marxist influence is not only discernible in the contemporary manner of discussing men's and women's roles, but also in the discussion of other important issues. Conflict and pressure tactics and the use of propaganda are becoming the normal ways of conducting public debate.

44. For examples of feminist advocacy of consciousness-raising techniques, see Hole and Levine, Rebirth of Feminism (New York: Quadrangle, 1971), pp. 137-138; J. Mitchell, Woman's Estate (New York: Vintage Books, 1971), pp. 61-63; and M. L. Carden, The New Feminist Movement, (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1974), pp. 33-37.

45. Examples of this appeal to the authority of personal experience are to be found throughout radical feminist literature. The Redstockings Manifesto states: "We regard our personal experience, and our feelings about that experience, as the basis for an analysis of our common situation." The "Principles" of the New York Radical Women included: "We regard our feelings as our most important source of political understanding." (Both documents can be found in Sisterhood is Powerful, pp. 520-535.) Some women's liberationists would describe this approach as "the politics of experience." See Juliet Mitchell's discussion of this concept in Woman's Estate, pp., 13-14.

46. For one example of such a feminist attack on functional society, see Patricia Cayo Sexton, The Feminized Male (New York: Random House, 1969), pp. 151-156.

47. This point is made well by Carden, pp. 78-81, and by G. Gilder, p. 7.

48. Depending upon which definition of ideology one chooses (see note 1, above), it is possible to argue that traditional society did not have "ideologies" as such. If ideologies are clearly articulated theoretical systems which advocate a particular approach to social structure, then ideologies may not have existed in fully developed form until the eighteenth century. If, however, ideologies are defined in a more technical sociological fashion, or in a looser and more popular fashion, all societies have their ideologies.

49. The new consciousness of social life and social change is described well by Lionel Trilling, pp. 26-27, and Berger et al., p. 177.

50. Among those historians who have used a term like "Western Christian Societv" are Christopher Dawson, Understanding Europe (Garden City: Doubledav, 1960, 1952), and Arnold Toynbee, An Historian's Approach to Religion (Oxford: Oxford Universitv Press, 1956). Troeltsch called it the "Church-directed civilization." See also Peter Gay, "The Unity of the French Enlightenment" in The Role of Religion in Modern European History, ed. Sidney A. Burrell (New York: Macmillan, 1965), pp. 83-89.

51. The following discussion of the three main stages in Christian social history is further developed in Clark, Building Christian Communities (Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 1972), pp. 40-46; and Clark, Unordained Elders and Renezoal Communities, pp. 28-30.

52. Two brief articles in the Burrell anthology give a general sense for the eighteenth century societal rejection of Christianity in Western Europe, see Peter Gay and Joseph N. Moody, "The Dechristianization of French Working Classes," pp. 89-98. Carl Becker's The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1932) is also a good introduction to this area.

53. It is often embarrassing for many Catholics today to read about the struggles of the popes in the nineteenth century against the influence of the various ideologies, and to read their encyclicals condemning the various ideological currents that these same Catholics now hold as the only defensible Christian positions, e.g., Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors (1864).

54. On equality, see pp. 514-515.

55. Some examples of a genuine Christian response to modern society can be found in, among others, the work of John Henry Newman, C. S. Lewis, Peter Berger, Jacques Ellul, George Parkin Grant, and in papal social teaching.

56. On equality, see pp. 335-338; 514-515; 591-596.

57. Though the only ideal of equality recognized in scripture is an ideal of equality of care, there are other concerns related to equality. There is a significant focus, especially in Johannine literature, on the equality of the Father and the Son, for instance. Trinitarian formulations, such as the Athanasian Creed, often use the formulation of equality. The concern is whether they are in fact equal-that is, identical in essence-not on how they should be treated.

58. On freedom, see pp. 335-338, 510-511.

59. 0n full potential and self-fulfillment, see pp. 44-45; 517-520.

60. Self-denial is not a scriptural goal either. Both self-denial and reward have a role in the scripture. Christians must deny themselves to follow Christ. In following Christ, their reward will be great. But a Christian does not make his own self-fulfillment the criterion for his action.

61. On authenticity, see footnote, p. 489, pp. 517-518; 588-589.

62. On being a "full person," see pp. 44-45, 519.

63. Sometimes there is a confusion caused for Christians by a too easy equation of analogous ideas. "All men (people) are created equal" is similar to "all people are created by God in his image and likeness." Both statements point to reasons for valuing and respecting each human being. Some modern people would probably even say that the two statements articulate the same basic principle. For many practical situations in technological society this may be the case. Nonetheless, their origin is different, the social ideal behind them is different, and the intent of them as they were first written is different. When Christians begin to treat "all men are created equal" as an authoritative Christian truth, they are opening themselves up to assimilating unreflectively an ideal and an approach that is not scriptural. Such Christians will then be unable to follow the teaching of the scripture when it conflicts with a modern Liberal or Socialist principle.

64. On the New Testament approach to "the world," see pp. 275-278.

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