I was in the shower, listening to NPR, when the program was interrupted for breaking news: at 8:46 a.m. a plane had crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Quickly I wrapped a towel around myself and ran dripping wet to turn on the television just in time to witness an unbelievable scene: a second commercial jet piercing the south tower. This was no accident!
The date was September 11, 2001, and I was witnessing a turning point in history.
From a cave somewhere near the Khyber Pass in the rugged Tora Bora region of Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, the founder of the jihadist al-Qaeda, was waging war against the United States. The world would never be the same.
Ten years later, we are in a war for the hearts and minds of people and souls of nations. It is a battle of conflicting visions shaped by three big ideas.
Moral anarchy-license is the ideology of the atheistic materialism and secular humanism of the West. Truth, morals, and beauty are relative; people are free to do what is right in their own eyes. The symbol of this way of life is the condom.
Another big idea, one that has enveloped many nations throughout history, is tyranny. This was the reality of communism and fascism in the twentieth century and is currently espoused by the jihadist minority of fundamentalist Islam. Tyrants rule over others through oppressive and often violent ways. The symbol of tyranny is the sword.
The third big idea, freedom, comes from Judeo-Christian theism—the biblical worldview—which is the root of Euro-American civilization. Freedom is the foundation of all thriving cultures and nations. It flows from the gospel of Jesus Christ lived and proclaimed. The symbol of this way of life is the self-sacrificial cross of Christ.
These three narratives represent a struggle between the disorder of modern/postmodern atheism, the tyrannical order of the jihadists, and the freedom found in the kingdom of God.
This war will not be won by swords, bullets, and bombs. It will be won by the side most convinced of the truth of their moral vision. It will be won by lives lived well and even sacrificed for others. It will be won by truth over falsehood, justice over corruption, freedom over tyranny, liberty over license, love over hate, and beauty over vileness.
It will be won by those with the best set of ideas or “theology,” a theology fleshed out in the midst of our poor and broken world.
– from the introduction to a forthcoming book by Darrow Miller on the Great Commission in the modern context of Jihad from the East and the Culture Wars in the West