Vom Effekt der Sünde auf die Kultur

Henry R. van Til schreibt in seinem Buch „The Calvinistic Concept of Culture“ über die Sünde und ihren Effekt auf die Kultur (Baker: Grand Rapids, 2001):

(I)n the structure of his creaturehood, man remained the same, but functionally he departed from his original rectitude. The direction of his life was changed; he became derailed as to his true goal in life; he no longer sought God as his chief joy. His relationship to God became strained, and, in fact, turned into one of enmity, and consequently man became a stranger to himself, to his fellowman and a vagabond on the earth, since he was exiled from his true home, the paradise of God.

… man’s nature is now a deformation (malformation), for he no longer has knowledge of the truth, he no longer loves that which is holy, and he has lost the true goal of his cultural striving.

… Thus religion and culture became divorced, or rather, culture became the end instead of the means, and man sought to find his chief delight in his own creations, the works of his hands. But man was a rebel and his proud heart obdurate. He became an enemy of God, and his holiness became impurity, thus infecting all his works with sin. In his separation from God, in whose light alone man can see the truth, man lost his catholicizing spirit – he no longer was able to see life meaningful and whole, but his culture was fragmentized. By his specialization man sees only part of reality, but lie does not see its relation to the whole, nor does he ascend from the creature to the creator. In his apostasy, man has fallen in love with the cosmos or some aspect of reality, and he worships the creature instead of the creator. The sinner no longer sees God in his divine self-revelation, but he takes the appearance for the reality, making this present world the end-all and be-all. „What once was the mirror of divine beauty has been shattered by sin into many fragments, and man, seizing one of them, could now see only his own reflection in the glass.“ Wencelius goes on to say that „The sinner is no longer able to distinguish between false beauty and true beauty. The devil warps our vision and incites sinners to warp it in such a way that we can no longer see beauty as a sensible reality“ … Culture, then, in the state of sin, may be compared to the branch of a flowering tree that has been severed from its trunk. There is still much beauty and loveliness in the world, but it has no abiding vitality; it is cut off from the source of its life and shall wither and decay as did all the cultures of ancient civilization.