Is Christian Religion Sufficient For All Purposes?

Recently this young man, a child of missionaries who went to Bible college, wrote to Rod Dreher about his experience with pornography. Briefly, despite his intense upbringing within evangelical Christian belief and lifestyle, he was completely undone by it.

Isn’t Christian belief supposed to cover all human problems and difficulties? Supposedly, yes, but I am going to say no. Humans need a variety of tools to live well and Christianity can redeem human life but can’t and isn’t intended to start from nothing. Christianity is intended to start from a strong base of natural law and knowledge and revealed law and knowledge that predates Christianity.

Some pagan culture has a sense of the purpose and right conduct of human life. Europeans see this in Greek, Roman, and Germanic culture. Self-control and self-discipline are a foundational part of it. Right conduct prohibits overindulgence and wasteful and frivolous things. Excess of pleasure, certainly of artificial pleasure, and spending time thinking about things you don’t and can’t have is certainly included in this.

Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity have some sense of this, Catholicism particularly in that rules are rules and not to be broken. Reformed Christianity has this to some extend but evangelical Christianity is quite weak in this regard.

Christianity does not refute pagan virtue but adds things to it which it can’t contain. Virtue means strength, and to pursue holiness we need to pursue strength as well.

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