Thursday, July 30, 2009

Worse than Decadence

I recently picked up a copy of historian John Lukacs' latest book, Last Rites, at the library. Lukacs is an intriguing historian because he recognizes the importance of ideas. I find that when I read his books I am consistently challenged to stretch my mental capacity and to hone my verbal precision. But beyond that, I find some of his observations on Western society compelling. Here is one quote that is worth meditation.
...Puerility is a dangerous thing. There are, alas, many institutions in this country now, ranging from education to entertainment, that contribute to it, and powerfully so. But the sustenance of puerility may be even worse than decadence. (After all, decadence is chock full of dissolving maggots of maturity, of remnant memories that puerility does not possess.) (68).
The application of this wisdom to the church in America is rather unsettling, to say the least.

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