Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941), the first Jewish person to sit on the Supreme Court and a brilliant legal mind, once famously remarked, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Doug Groothius in his crowning achievement "Christian Apologetics" states the following in chapter 10 entitled "The Ontological Argument",
"Moreover, while ideas - both true and false - have consequences, ideas themselves are causally inert. Actual agents must believe ideas and act on them in order to bring about states of affairs in the world. Therefore, a false idea really has no power in itself. Rather, agents who hold false ideas act in accordance with their false beliefs and produce consequences. Likewise, agents who hold true ideas (about things that objectively exist) and act on them bring about states of affairs influenced by their true beliefs.
The logical deduction drawn from the increasingly chaotic state of affairs in the world today is that false ideas are bearing their deadly fruit. The enemy is not stupid, having taken decades to patiently sow false ideas in academia and those with the greatest influence on the culture. These ideas were successfully implanted in generations of the political leadership and cultural elite ... and have now germinated, bearing deadly fruit.
In Nov 2015, Scott Mckay argued here that American collegiate campuses have become the most expensive day care in the world.
The Devil’s Pleasure Palace is important work and it deserves reading, because it illuminates the perversion of what used to be an American culture that enhanced and strengthened the society it reflected up until the cultural Marxist influence began changing that culture into something else.
And that change emanated from the universities, where the rot began.
Over the past few days we have seen evidence of just how far gone American academia is, complete with screaming hysterics and forced resignations over Halloween costumes at Yale and screaming hysterics and forced resignations over artistic displays of indeterminate ideology at the University of Missouri.
... the free money going to the universities served as a magnet for the cultural Marxists who had already infiltrated those institutions to take their cultural aggressions beyond any limits. That funding created “Studies” departments and curricula preaching various iterations of Critical Theory, positions for deans and provosts and other quasi-academic (at best) personnel charged with indoctrinating students in various disciplines of social activism and an orgy of rule-making that led to the modern phenomenon of political correctness.
It’s so bad that many of these universities, if not most, are little more than hyper-expensive adult day care facilities, offering zero training in useful skills to the majority of their students and producing the worst generation of overgrown children imaginable. Missouri and Yale aren’t outliers; they’re just this week’s examples of campus idiocy on parade.
Unfortunately, the decay was not restricted to secular higher institutions of learning. Sadly, seminaries are increasingly becoming the most dangerous places for Christians to be. The spreading apostasy is rooted in the German School of Higher Criticism (ideas) which emigrated from Germany in the 1920’s and 30's. According to the “scientific approach” of this school of skeptics, the Bible is not the revealed Word of God. Rather, it is Man’s search for God, and therefore it is filled with myth, legend and superstition. Today this viewpoint increasingly dominates many seminaries of America. The Bible is studied not as the absolute source of truth to be believed and obeyed but to be analyzed and dissected.
John Shelby Spong, Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey, authored books in which he denies the virgin birth, the miracles of Jesus, the Resurrection, the Second Coming, and argues that Paul and Timothy were homosexual lovers. Bishop Spong is so enamored with false religion that he will no longer witness to those entrapped in the spiritual darkness of pagan faiths (not that he has any truth left to witness.)
Similar apostate thoughts were expressed by Norman Vincent Peale in 1984 on the Phil Donahue television program. Peale announced, “It’s not necessary to be born-again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine… I’ve been to Shinto shrines, and God is everywhere.” Donahue (no Christian) retorted, “But you’re a Christian minister and you’re supposed to tell me that Christ is the way and the truth and the life, aren’t you?" Peale replied, “Christ is one of the ways. God is everywhere."
Peale’s premier disciple, Robert Schuller, outdid his teacher with the development of his “gospel of possibility thinking.” In his book, "Self Esteem: The New Reformation", Schuller arrogantly states the leaders of the Reformation Movement made a mistake in centering their theology around God instead of Man.
Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton and other Ivy League schools were all originally founded as evangelical seminaries. Infected with terminal decay, they have become bastions of secular humanism. Graduates from those institutions occupy positions of heady influence and are leading the culture into moral chaos.
In 2007, Ellis Washington in his article “Harvard, the Ivy League and the forgotten Puritans,” asks:
How did the eight so-called “Ivy League” schools – Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell and Dartmouth – go from being training grounds for Christian missionaries and ministers and respected citadels of higher education to what they are now – propaganda factories for every leftist, perverted, radical, tyrannical, failed ideology known to mankind? – Marxism, Darwinism, Freudianism, Higher Criticism, communism, multiculturalism, relativism, naturalism, positivism, socialism, liberalism, egalitarianism, feminist studies, gay studies, transgender studies, transvestite studies, outcome-based education, radical environmentalism, etc.
He goes on to trace the cause of decay to the implantation of false ideas over decades ...
Next came influential thinkers like Darwinians, Thomas and Aldous Huxley, Engels, Marx, Hegel, Freud, Franz Boas, Mead, Weber, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Roscoe Pound, John Dewey, B. F. Skinner, Samuel Atkins Eliot and Charles W. Eliot (president of Harvard), and by the 1930s the Ivy League had totally become temples not only to secular thought, but they were increasingly hostile to orthodox religious ideas of any kind … except of course the new omnipotent religion of Liberalism.
During the decades that secular humanism began to bear its deadly fruit, much of the church began to disengage from theological truth (deemed too controversial and divisive) and began channeling most of its effort into a social gospel. And while the church does indeed have an obligation to be the hands and feet of Christ to the poor, needy and helpless - it cannot abrogate its God-given mandate to be the beacon of truth (John 1:14-17; John 8:31-32; John 17:8; Ephesians 1:13-14; Ps 86:11; 1 John 3:18; etc.) Cutting loose the anchor of truth necessarily means being at the whim of every manner of false belief. Extinguishing the lighthouse has predictable results - shipwreck. Consequently, it's not just the culture that now finds itself rotting. More and more of the church is crumbling right along with the culture, having abrogated its most powerful deterrent to decay.
Absolute truth is the best disinfectant.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight (1 Cor 3:19, NIV)