33 Things We No Longer Believe

Or Believe In, Or Believe in the Way We Use To

Peter Kreeft, in a book he wrote 20 years ago - C. S. Lewis for the Third Millennium insightfully and profoundly analyzes our contemporary world and culture. He provides a list of 33 values, beliefs, "things" that have gone "out of stye." These things are now considered quaint, primitive, relics of old religion that is ridiculous.

If we do use the language of these things, we have redefined them so that the "ancients" would not recognize them in their new forms. Truthiness is not Truth, even if it wants to borrow the term. Truthiness is lack of Truth... Truthiness is spin-doctoring so that truth is whatever you would like it to be. At one time we knew how to identity such things. They were not called "truth." They were opinions and interpretations. Worse, they were mistakes and errors. Worse still, they were heresies and blasphemies. But not today. Not for us.

Without any more commentary - here is Kreeft's list:

  1. silence
  2. solitude
  3. detachment
  4. self-control
  5. contemplation
  6. awe 
  7. humility
  8. hierarchy
  9. modesty
  10. chastity
  11. reverence
  12. authority
  13. obedience
  14. tradition
  15. honor
  16. simplicity
  17. loyalty
  18. gentlemanliness
  19. manliness
  20. womanliness
  21. propriety
  22. ceremony
  23. cosmic justic
  24. pure passion
  25. holy poverty
  26. respect for old age
  27. the positive spiritual use of suffering
  28. gratitude
  29. fidelity
  30. real individuality
  31. real community
  32. courage
  33. absolute honesty (the passionate, or fanatical love of truth for its own sake

Kreeft goes on to say, "We have no time for such important things any more - things like conversation, debate, meditation, prayer, deep friendship, imagination, even family. If the sexual revolution doesn't do the family in, it will die for lack of time."

Madonna, old-fashioned values, rebellionThese are the old virtues, the ancient ways, the forgotten values. 

While many (including Madonna celebrate their ending) I on the other hand, mourn their loss. I lament their diminishment in my own life. I long for a community of missional friends who celebrate and hold to these "Great Things That Matter Most" and who are committed to their proclamation and restoration, as much as is possible. Of course, this will inevitably be a "counter-cultural" community of God-believers and Christ-followers. 

May God be gracious and generous,
May we be faithful and courageous, and
May the world have a real alternative to the inevitable fragmentation, the creeping decay tne the noontime darkness that is our time.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

LCI - helping you be passionate about the Great Things That Matter Most