This article is from
Journal of Creation 32(2):35–37, August 2018

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Bestselling British journalist, a gay atheist, confirms the toxicity of Darwinism to the Christian faith

A review of The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, identity, Islam by Douglas Murray
Bloomsbury Continuum, London, 2017

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Author Douglas Murray is associate editor of the Spectator. He also writes in the Sunday Times and Wall Street Journal.

This is not a work on origins. It is largely about the mass migrations of Third-World immigrants to Europe in recent decades. However, author Murray also discusses the decline of Christianity and Christian values in Western Europe (and, of course, in other occidental nations). In doing so, his position, coming from an unbeliever, strongly converges with the ‘fundamentalist Christian’ assessments of the fatal effects of higher criticism and Darwinism.

A synopsis of this explosive book

This book is full of interesting information. The author refutes the argument that mass Third-World immigration to Europe is necessary because white Europeans do not want to have children at even population-replacement levels. He shows that most white Europeans cannot afford to have even one child, let alone several, but would definitely like to have children. Murray also shows the hollowness of arguments involving diversity, compassion for refugees, etc. The author especially takes umbrage with the long-term trend of instilling white guilt that comes by the constant portrayal of Europeans, and their descendants in other First-World nations, as racists, colonialists, and thieves of the lands of native peoples. However, Murray does not go as far as attributing these trends to deliberate agendas of cultural Marxists and globalists. Rather, he seems to see them as uncaused cultural trends.

Europe: once a citadel of Christianity

Douglas Murray writes:

“For centuries in Europe one of the great—if not the greatest—sources of such energy came from the spirit of the continent’s religion. It drove people to war and stirred them to defence. It also drove Europe to the greatest heights of human creativity. It drove Europeans to build St. Peter’s in Rome, the Cathedral at Chartres, the Duomo of Florence and the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice. It inspired the works of Bach, Beethoven and Messiaen, Gruenwald’s altarpiece at Isenheim and Leonardo’s Madonna of the Rocks” (pp. 209–210).

The destruction of the biblical foundation of Christianity

Many creationists (for example, Ken Ham) have spoken about the fall of the building (Christianity) that takes place once its foundations (Genesis 1) are destroyed (Psalm 11:3). Without relying on the Bible, atheist Murray adheres to a very similar template of thinking. He freely realizes that the loss of biblical authority on the subject of factual matters undermines its authority on all other matters. He sagely comments:

“Yet in the nineteenth century that source received two seismic blows from which it never recovered, leaving a gap that has never been filled. The effects of the wave of biblical criticism that swept through German universities in the early nineteenth century is still being felt two centuries later … . Europe had knowledge of the great myths, yet the Christian story was the continent’s foundational myth and as such had been inviolable … . It was joined in 1859 by the other part of the double-whammy to the Christian faith, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” (pp. 210–211).

Implications of modernism: The Bible relegated to a storybook

wikipedia.orgcharles-darwin
Figure 1. Charles Darwin’s ideas did far more than introduce a ‘new’ theory of origins. They rewrote history and undermined the very existence of God.

Even so, liberal theologians and compromising evangelicals have always assured us that it does not matter, to religious belief and practice, whether or not the Bible is factually accurate. Murray parts ways with this disingenuous narrative. He first recounts the long-term impact of the adoption of biblical errancy that was part of the higher-critical worldview:

“Pulled apart by historical comparison, questions of authorship and questions of fallibility, the generation of believers after [David Friedrich] Strauss would have to find a new accommodation with these discoveries. Some pretended that these changes had not occurred, were not relevant, or had all been answered before. But much of the clergy began to realize that a fundamental shift had occurred and that they must shift too” (p. 211).

Murray leaves nothing to the imagination as he informs the reader where modernism has led us: “It was still possible to find wisdom and meaning in the Scriptures, but the Bible had at best become like the work of Ovid and Homer: containing great truth, but not itself true” (p. 211). Indeed! Clearly, the much-maligned Fundamentalists of the early 20th century were on to something.

Evolution is inherently atheistic, period

The issues go far beyond biblical authority. They strike at the very existence of God. Murray quips:

“Where once divine design had explained all that was awe-inspiring, Darwin [figure 1] put forward an entirely new proposal: that, as Richard Dawkins has summed up, ‘Given sufficient time, the non-random survival of hereditary entities (which occasionally miscopy) will generate complexity, diversity, beauty, and an illusion of design so persuasive that it is almost impossible to distinguish from deliberate intelligent design.’ Darwin’s discovery was fiercely debated at the time, as it is now. But the backlash was doomed to failure. The condition of the argument for the divine scheme after Darwin was not good. This was not about a single discovery—it wasn’t even about the filling in of one particularly large gap in man’s knowledge. It was simply the first wholesale explanation for the world we inhabit that had no need for God. And though the origin of life remained a mystery, the idea that the entire mystery was solved by the claims of religion seemed less and less plausible” (p. 211).

The ongoing legacy of higher criticism and Darwinism

The author twists the knife into those who ridicule conservative Christians for engaging in ‘the battles of yesteryear’. Precisely the opposite is the case, as he makes crystal clear: “Although almost everybody in Europe now knows some version of these facts, we have still not found a way to live with them” (p. 211).

Murray then specifies the reason he thinks European Christianity went into a death spiral:

“The facts of the loss of belief and faith across a continent are frequently commented upon and indeed taken for granted. But the effects of this are less often considered. Rarely if ever is it recognized that the process described above meant one thing above all: Europe had lost its foundational story. And the loss of religion to Europe did not just leave a hole in the moral or ethical outlooks of a continent, it even left a hole in its geography” (p. 212).

That is, the centre of each village in Europe had been a church.

What’s more, what little is left of Christianity in Europe lacks conviction and authority: “Where faith exists it is either wholly uninformed—as in the evangelical communities—or it is wounded and weak. In very few places does it retain the confidence it had in former times, and none of the trends favour these outposts” (p. 212). In addition: “Even someone who regrets their inability to connect with the faith that used to propel them cannot believe again simply in order to regain the propulsion” (p. 213). This can be generalized: “We sometimes behave as though we had the certainties of our ancestors, yet we have none of them, and none of their consolations” (p. 223).

Radical individualism, nihilism, and selfish hedonism have replaced Europe’s Christian heritage

The Bible warns of the love of pleasure exceeding the love of God—a sure sign of terminal apostasy (2 Timothy 3:4). Pleasure is now the end-all, as there is nothing left to hope for (Isaiah 22:13). Enter the extreme secularization of Western Europe. It has largely reduced the population to pleasure-seeking, and this wantonness shows up more and more in academia and media. Murray offers this parting shot:

“We have not become ‘absolute’ cynics, but we have become deeply ‘suspicious’ of all truths. The fact that all of our utopias failed so terribly did not only destroy our faith in them. It destroyed our faith in any and all ideologies. It does seem, living in any Western European society today, that this particular world-view has caught on. Not only the entertainment industries but also the information industries speak to populations intent only on a fairly shallow kind of personal pleasure” (p. 222).

Conclusions

It is counter-intuitive that a homosexual and atheist would agree with conservative Christians on issues related to origins. Yet bestselling author Douglas Murray, to a surprising extent, does. Of course, other atheists have been candid about the fact that God and evolution are incompatible, but they have usually done so from a condescending, triumphalist mindset. Murray does not. In fact, if anything, he seems to have an element of sympathetic regret about the death of Christianity owing to the axe of higher criticism and then Darwinism.

Issues surrounding the inerrancy of the Bible, and the fallacies of evolution, are far from being hopelessly old-fashioned. They are as relevant as ever. So where do we go from here? If Europe, and other European-descent nations, are ever to experience a genuine (and not simply faddish or fleeting) spiritual revival, it will have to be founded on a rediscovery and unambiguous articulation of the absolute truth of Scripture.

Helpful Resources

Readers’ comments

Jennifer P.
Thanks for the article.
The second quote from page 210...is interesting. Europe had knowledge of " myths" and Christianity had a "foundational myth".
What a misreading of Biblical truth and history. There is nothing mythical about it!
It is the authority of the one True God or it isn't!
Jesus was God incarnate dying on the Cross in time and place in real history or He wasn't!
Nothing mythical about it?
How can a myth be a foundation to base individual or societal actions and behaviours on based on such speculative shifting sands of human invention and imagination ? Douglas needs to be challenged by the Holy Spirit and a Biblical Creationist Christian coming in his orbit of experience?
It is interesting that a hostile witness can still discern the big picture of the UK and post Christian Western democracies moral civilizational decline. Reminds me of Peter Hitchens book " The Abolition of Britain".
Gina T.
I don't know if other readers felt it, but it seems to me that Douglas Murray might be on the cusp of accepting God's truth. Let's all pray for him.
Philippus S.
What is a "gay atheist" ? Since when does people who walk in the way of the Lord use the world created lie calling a homosexual a gay. "Atheist" I can understand, but not "gay", there is nothing gay about a homosexual, they are sad people who need to be called out for what they are and prayed for to repent. Like alcoholics need to admit they are alcoholics! Homosexauls need to admit they are homosexauls and there is noting gay about it , it is a sin the lead to eternal death and condemnation, they need our prayers to repentance and a turn around. Since when does it have meaning for a Christian organisation to draw strength from what a gay atheist has to say about a lost person like Charles Darwin. Need I remind CMI what is said in Romans 1 verse 18 to 32.
Shaun Doyle
We can certainly understand the consternation of seeing a perfectly good word turned to such evil ends. Still, whether we like it or not, 'homosexual' is now the primary meaning of 'gay'. It's just a fact of current English usage. Indeed, the classical meaning of 'gay' (i.e. cheerful or happy) has dropped out of usage so far that many people (especially younger people) may not even be aware that 'gay' used to mean 'cheerful'.

And why appeal to someone so opposed to Christianity to argue for it's goodness? Precisely because he is opposed to Christianity. As a homosexual who rejects even God's existence, he can see that Christianity provided a solid foundation for society in Europe, and that the loss of that foundation is a major reason for Europe's current decline. If he can see it, the implication is that it's so clear and compelling that other critics of Christianity don't have a reasonable excuse for not seeing it.
Mike C.
I must confess that my reaction to this article is to ignore it. If the enemy produces an article that in some way supports the Christian position, it is so that he can attack us at a later date. A bit like a Trojan horse. We don’t need Mr Murray’s support, and, noting that he has produced it and may, at some time, move in the direction of truth, I would recommend we ignore it.

The other articles on your website are utterly wonderful, and I am so grateful for you all for producing and making them freely available. Thank you!
Shaun Doyle
I'm glad that you find most of the articles on this website helpful. Still, it's not the first time we've referenced a skeptic in support of our views. It's not about seeking his support; it's simply about making a compelling argument for our views: if a skeptic agrees with us, it makes our views harder to write off.
Pratha S.
The Bible is clear -- ANY nation that forgets God will,at some point,experience destruction.Just look at all the the previous great nations of the past.They all forgot God and today are all gone.Whether they were invaded by a foreign power or 'rotted' from within,God's word doesn't lie -- any nation that forgets God will be turned into hell.The lesson from history is there for all to see.
Peter H.
To the reader who objected to Murray's usage of the term "myth", Murray is not using the word in the sense of a story that is false, but in the sense of a story that explains origins and gives meaning.
Peter H.
I wanted to comment on the following quotation from Murray's book. "Where faith exists it is either wholly uninformed—as in the evangelical communities—or it is wounded and weak". Although at one level an informed believer may well agree - at least in part - with Murray's assessment of the reasons for the decline of Europe, I don't see how we can let the above-quoted statement pass without comment. The assertion that in the evangelical communities faith is "wholly uninformed" is arrogant and uninformed in the extreme. One wonders whether Murray knows any evangelicals. While some may be uninformed as to the issues raised by biblical criticism and Darwinism, others have thought about these matters in considerable depth and have concluded that Darwin was wrong and that while we can learn some valuable things from the academic discipline of biblical criticism, the Bible is essentially reliable.
Miss Yvonne R.
They had no need of GOD statement is because they do not know GOD. Pagans believe themselves to be self sufficient and when they do well and earn a lot of money, that for them confirms they do not need GOD. JESUS CHRIST is above religion and must never be placed in line with pagan religions. To so do is one way of placing Genesis and the whole bible as not plausible. Wishing on a star, wishbone, wishing well, are used by non Christians and Christians alike. Wish is another name for the Norse god, Oden. Crossing fingers, touch wood are expressions that fail us every time we use them yet they are so well used, due the habitual bad habit. I listened to Douglas Murray on youtube. He is an atheist standing against the influence of atheism but he does not have any answer to solving what he sees as an ever increasing problem. Praise to GOD for the right person to challenge him. Then he would have no hope. Gay is also a Christian name for a lady coming from Gaynor. Christian now replaced by first name or given name. - To all Christians please use Christian name - We must not comply with the world. This is how Christians can serve GOD by the use of godly words, godly phrases, godly terminology. Christian ways of expression to be used again - to set the world standing in amazement by the help of the HOLYSPIRIT. Douglas Murray stated that homosexuals can be better qualified than Christians for a particular promotion. That would be due to their parents influence or their particular training but then not knowing GOD for wisdom, discernment, truth, enlightenment, how can they be better than Christians, who are suitably qualified. One could say that Douglas Murray is better qualified because his books have been well received. Christians would not have any interest in his books.
Nicholas A.
This was good and helpful, well worth reading. Thank you. I agree with your correspondent on the use of the word gay, I do use the given word homosexual in conversation when I have to. It comes down to the fear of God and the foundation of the world in Creation every time we consider the problems we have in the world today.
Bill P.
I believe "The Word of God" IS TRUTH. I love The Word of God, even when I come across something that brings conviction to my heart. I once thought as the world thinks today, and it was that way UNTIL I at last began to read Scripture for myself, (also learning along the way) the history of Israel in their relationship w/The True and Living God Creator of heaven and earth. I have no doubt that Israel is "The Apple of God's Eye" but I've also learned that their history is a lesson for ALL the nations. When Israel's relationship w/The Lord was True in the heart's of the people of Israel (which even in their history was rare) they were blessed by The Lord and lived in peace. Their Golden Age would have to be during David's and Solomon's reign, and even then there were bumps in the road but that was because the heart's of the people turned From The Lord and towards the things of this world. In history all the world has done the same thing even as early as the days of Nimrod. At that time "the Flood" of Noah's Day was a recent event. I have no doubt they were told about it from the very people who were on the Ark. Yet look what the world did, they decided to disobey God and make a "great name" for themselves instead. When Israel started to turn their hearts towards the things of this world, blending in "the lies" of this world w/Holy Scripture and refused to repent, they suffered. This is what the Western World has also done. The moment they allowed in of the ideas of this world w/God's Word, (even in the churches) they suffered the same fate. The time for nations to repent I think has past, (I could be wrong). YET The Lord still has grace and mercy towards the individuals who repent and believe Him. BUT, from what I study, Scripture tells me that time is getting short.
Dan M.
Quote, "It was simply the first wholesale explanation for the world we inhabit that had no need for God".
It's not that they cannot believe in God or that God has been disproven? It's that they don't want to believe and Darwinism gives them a weak excuse.
(Rom 1:28)  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
The worlds problem, IS a debased mind and always has been. It's just becoming epidemic in these last days.
Quote, "And though the origin of life remained a mystery, the idea that the entire mystery was solved by the claims of religion seemed less and less plausible”.
Yes. And it still is a mystery! Atheists still can't give a valid scientific example of macro evolution, (how it all got started) and after nearly two hundred years of frantic search, nothing. The idea of an all powerful creator may seem less plausible to atheist's in light of Darwinism but it is still the only rational conclusion given the order found in our universe and the massive amount of information in our genes that begs a programmer. Macro evolution is still a scientific impossibility and always will be.
You have to really go out on a limb to deny God's reality. The truth is, Darwinism is a replacement religion, period! Now people are seeing the fruit from the Darwinist tree and they don't like it. Well in the words of Richard Dawkins, "That's just tough if you don't like it"! You wanted it, now deal with it! Or better yet, get saved and be sure of God's love and your Heavenly destination.
I thank God for His long suffering towards us and His love for us!
Joe B.
I have to agree with Gina T. that perhaps Mr. Murray is on the cusp of accepting the Lord. I would be curious to know if CMI sent him a copy, or better yet a link, to this article as it is both supportive of his writing and does not condemn or attack his philosophy. If so, then perhaps he might just find enough information here to drive him to explore the truths of Creation, the Bible and the Gospel message. We will need folks who have seen the Light and repented of their sins to help spread the Word to an otherwise dying world.

-Joe
Seth K.
If God's people will not cry out the truth, the stones will.

Christianity in Europe is a shell of its former self. Creationism is almost entirely non-existent. I hope some day that Creation Magazine, The Journal of Creation, and all other CMI books and DVD's will be offered in other languages, such as German, French, Swedish, etc. I don't know what it would take to get something like this started, but I would love to contribute to an effort to open offices in non-English speaking European countries.
Stephen N.
It is a sad situation that a homosexual atheist has more insight than many professing Christians, at least on some issues. However, let us not lose heart. Christianity is advancing in some parts of the world. God often works in ways that are unseen, and he is in ultimate control. One of the central messages of the Bible is that God wins and Satan loses ( Satan has already lost and will be finally removed in God's good time). The depth of God's love for humanity is so great that we cannot begin to fully understand it. Let us always remember these facts, and not lose hope.
Tammy S.
I must agree with Gina T! Persons wholly opposed to God rarely make statements that support spiritual truth ON PURPOSE. We never know which hearts of which men will be drawn by the Father to the Son. John 6:44 NKJV: No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Jaroslav L.
Thank you for this article! Murray’s regret might be beginning of the Good News for some of the gays. It seems to me that he works for God whatever he realizes s it or not.
Stephen G.
Its good to see creation.com reviewing this important work by a sympathetic unbeliever. Maybe a review will be forthcoming of Tom Holland's latest work Dominion on how Western freedoms and beliefs in the equality and essential worth of all human beings are founded on Paul: "He was indeed - just as he proclaimed himself to be - the herald of a new beginning" (p78).
Lillie T.
What do you mean by a "conservative Christian"? I know what some politicians claim it means. Do you simply mean a Biblically sound Christian or are you also making a political statement of some sort?
Shaun Doyle
In the context of the review, 'conservative Christians' are those who continue the fights against higher criticism of the Bible and Darwinism, since those two pillars have formed the foundation for Europe's rejection of Christianity.
David G.
Great article. I read much of Murray's work and watch his interviews on You Tube. He is a perceptive cultural commentator, and unlike many homosexuals, doesn't parade his inclinations. I also bear in mind that as one outside the church he is not to be judged by us, but to be sought respectfully for the gospel. It is too easy for us to forget that not only is homosexuality sinful, but so is lying, greed, glutony, cheating...

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