The New York Times posted a scary article the other day about Europe. It is a far cry from the mantra heard just a few years ago that Europe was "way ahead" and the U.S. “falling behind.” The Telegraph, in London, posted an even bleaker article: "The euro crisis is a judgment on the great lie of ‘Europe.'" It is an interesting link to follow, if for no other reason than to study the grim faces on Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy in the lead photo.
The current financial crisis in Europe is just the tip of the iceberg and a symptom of a deep, systemic ill. Europeans themselves are sensing that the tread of their humanist-engineered societies is wearing thin.
Add Time Magazine to the bunch. It just published an article called "Baby Gap: Germany's Birth Rate Hits Historic Low." It starts off with: “Germany is shrinking — fast. New figures released on May 17 show the birth rate in Europe's biggest economy has plummeted to a historic low, dropping to a level not seen since 1946. As demographers warn of the consequences…” It goes on to paint little hope for Germany to rebound as the strong leader it has been — there just aren’t enough young people.
Remember, this is not writing from National Review or some conservative think tank. These are large, mainstream media outlets that were very favorable to the dominance-of-modern-Europe-philosophy so prevalent a very few years ago (the Telegraph excepted, of course). These articles are not written by American journalists dreaming a dream. They are written by European journalists facing a reality.
There is no Schadenfreude in this. I spent almost ten years in Austria and Germany and love the people and the countries of Europe. There is much good there, and many dear people. But as a Christian I constantly had to deal with the semi-idolatrous attitude that many held towards their bureaucracies and their institutions. It was very hard for most to find room for God surrounded by the Geist of that human-engineered paradise. It will be a very difficult adjustment for them, and scary for the whole world. We dare not forget that the two most horrible wars in history were waged over a short, 40-year period because Europe lost its way on its secular-humanist “journey.”
Some of us living there were calling years ago for a rebirth of the Judeo-Christian worldview: that kind of thinking that had originally brought Europe to prominence. Few listened. Christians must stand again, stronger than ever. We pray that more may listen now.