"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil," Isaiah 5 v20

The World Turned Upside Down

Melanie Philips

Published 2010 by Encounter Books.

The World Turned Upside Down, by Melanie PhillipsHaving read Melanie Phillips’ latest book I would recommend it to any Christian (or Jew) who is wondering how the world came to be so crazy.

She has followed all the isms that have arisen since the Enlightenment and walks the reader through these developments of thought, making it much easier to understand the forces and ideas ranged against the Christian.

The antipathy against Israel is just one of the outcomes from this mass of ideas. By the time she gets to Replacement Theology and Christian Zionists the whole picture is becoming much clearer.

For someone who describes herself a Jewish agnostic she has a much clearer perspective than most Christians.

If wildolive has aroused your desire to get to grips with the world if only you could understand what was going on, this is the book for you.

As the book-cover blurb says,

In what we tell ourselves is an age of reason, we are behaving increasingly irrationally. More and more people are signing up to weird and wacky cults, parapsychology, seances, paganism and witchcraft. There is widespread belief in ludicrous conspiracy theories, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack being an American plot, and a similar credulousness to propaganda on issues such as the Middle East conflict or global warming.

The basic cause of all this unreason is the erosion of the building blocks of Western civilisation We tell ourselves that religion and reason are incompatible, but in fact the opposite is the case. It was Christianity and the Hebrew Bible that gave us our concepts of reason, progress and an orderly world – the foundations of science and modernity.

The loss of religious belief has meant the west has replaced reason and truth with ideology and prejudice, which it enforces in the manner of a secular inquisition. The result has been a kind of mass derangement, as truth and lies, right and wrong, victim and aggressor are all turned upside down. In medieval-style witch-hunts, scientists who are sceptical of global warming are hounded from their posts; Israel is ferociously demonized; and the United States is vilified over the war on terror – all on the basis of falsehoods and propaganda that are believed as truth.

Thus the West is losing both its rationality and its freedoms. It is succumbing to a “soft-totalitarianism,” which not only is creating an ugly mood of intolerance but is undermining its ability to defend itself against Islamic aggression. While the Islamists are intent on returning the free world to the seventh century, the west no longer seems willing or able to defend the modernity and rationalism that it brought into being.

Other observations on The World Turned Upside Down.

With ferocious courage, Melanie Phillips challenges a series of myths and irrationalities that have achieved canonical status in the contemporary world. If civilization depends on the ability to give dissenting voices a hearing, then The World Turned Upside Down may well be one of the most important tests of Western civilization in our time."
-Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks

"Melanie Phillips has written a fascinating book that is both urgent and important, provocative and deep. It's almost a guide of the perplexed for our time."
-William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard

"One is disturbed each day by verifiably untrue statements touted as incontrovertible facts about hot-button issues. With cold, perceptive, exhaustive and persistent passion, Melanie Phillips dissects the phenomenon among disparate movements, to reach disturbing but compelling conclusions about the erosion of modern liberal society by ideologies whose surprising interconnections are meticulously identified. One can only hope that her book will penetrate the information cocoon into which many of our intelligentsia have sealed themselves."
-Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, MIT

In the West we are involved in a war of worldviews. On the one side is the Judeo-Christian worldview. Opposed to it are various contenders, chief of which are two main rivals: radical secular leftism, and radical Islam. Indeed, Phillips notes the many striking similarities between the Western progressives and the Islamists.

Both are a threat to the free West and to Judeo-Christian values because both are involved in coercive utopianism; both demonise any dissent from their ideology; and both have declared war against Israel and the Jewish people. And often these two forces find themselves working together in their assault on the Judeo-Christian West.

She assesses the politicisation of science and how radical agendas are being pushed in the name of science. She also notes how scientism has replaced hard science, whether among the atheistic Darwinists or the climate change true believers.

As she notes, “Christianity is under direct and unremitting cultural assault from those who want to destroy the bedrock values of Western civilization.” She has often defended the Christian faith when so many Christians have been unwilling or unable to do so.

Bill Muehlenberg - Culture Watch


Posted 14/06/11

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