Transformation or Progress as the Goal of Human Striving

Gerald R. Baron
12 min readSep 26, 2022
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The sixteenth and final post in the series on what is good about Christianity. This defends the proposition that the goal and purpose of Christianity of transformation is better than the secular humanistic goal of human progress.

Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor in A Secular Age identified transformation as the goal of life in Christian understanding before the Enlightenment. With enlightenment and the scientific age, the goal became a secular-humanistic one of human-driven progress. What is better, to seek transformation or progress?

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121, English Standard Version

We looked up. For tens of thousands of years, even as far back as 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. We looked up to the sky, the “heavens” for help, for answers, for meaning, for hope. Then, it changed. Slowly, but with increasing momentum. Robert Browning wrote:

“God is in his Heaven,
All’s right with the world”

We went from relief that God was safely ensconced in his vaporous hideaway, and not bothering with us cantankerous humans, to the “God is dead” conclusion of Friedrich Nietzsche. The skies were now empty. If things were going to be better, we could not…

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Gerald R. Baron

Dawdling at the intersection of faith, science, philosophy and theology.