I have started watching a video series entitled “Welcome to Negative World.” That would be our world. The speakers are Aaron Renn, Joe Rigney, and James Wood. I am only into the second video of seven, so I cannot speak to the value of the entire series. However, I am so far finding it of value. I discovered the series via a video by Paul VanderKlay, where he examines the first video in the series.
The second video in the series is a talk given by Joe Rigney: The Three Worlds and the Tao. He presents the case for natural law as what has been broken in our society – yes, there was always sin, but it is today where the sin is codified, celebrated, even mandated by the law.
Toward the end of the talk, he cites from a letter by CS Lewis to Clyde Kilby of Wheaton College (beginning here):
The Tao is the necessary expression in terms of our temporal existence of what God by His own righteous nature is. One could even say of it that it was begotten, not made. For is not the Tao simply the Word itself, considered from a particular point of view.
It is a powerful statement. Paraphrasing Rigney: The Tao is God’s nature in creation. Behind the Tao is the Word, the logos – Jesus Himself.
Yes, natural law was there from the beginning; per Lewis, it was begotten as the Son was begotten. As Doug Wilson often says: our choice is Christ or chaos. While natural law doesn’t contain the salvific value that comes with Christ, one could also say – in this temporal world – our choice is natural law or chaos.
As I have written often, the search and struggle today is because we no longer hold that it is proper to act in accord with the Tao - objective reality, or, dare I (and CS Lewis and Joe Rigney) say, natural law. This meaning crisis discussion, held by people like Jordan Peterson, Paul VanderKlay, John Vervaeke and Jonathan Pageau, among others, will come to realize and explore this point or it will never be more than a passing intellectual exercise in a little corner of the internet.
Yes, there has been positive impact on individual lives via this online discussion; this is not a small thing. But this is only because the conversation is occasionally speaking to natural law ethics and objective reality without acknowledging it is doing so.
The search for solutions to both the meaning crisis and our loss of liberty will eventually come to the same place: the necessity of natural law ethics. I outline this here, in two books.
Merry Christmas to you all.