We are facing difficult times, and this week brought even more grim news with continued devastating reports from Afghanistan. It is hard to avoid, even though I first wanted to cover a different topic in this week’s DHD. However, no other topic was developing clearly for me.
So, I thought I would share with you my analysis of an excellent commentary about the Afghanistan ordeal.
Before I do that, please consider checking out something the executive committee of Southern Baptist Convention released this week in partnership with Send Relief. It is a prayer guide regarding the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan. The most proper response is to pray for everyone affected, and this prayer guide is a good tool to help us do just that.
The excellent commentary I am breaking down is from Albert Mohler’s “The Briefing” from Monday, Aug. 23. I have raved about Mohler’s talks in the past, and this one is as good as any he has offered and was helpful to me this week.
I welcome your thoughts on this episode of the Briefing as well as on my six takeaways.
- Keep Biden away from national security
“When Joe Biden was running for president,” Mohler said, “not only in the general election but before he won the Democratic nomination, there were those inside the Democratic Party who said that one of their major concerns was that they wanted to keep Joe Biden as far as possible from American national security and foreign policy affairs.”
That’s rather enlightening, isn’t it? Mohler goes on to mention former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served under President George W. Bush and President Barak Obama, strongly believed Biden has been wrong on foreign policies for “the past four decades.”
- Clash of civilizations
“Now, in worldview terms, we simply need to understand that what we are seeing here is the affirmation of what the left has been denying for a very long time, and that is that we are in a clash of civilizations.”
“Worldview” is Mohler’s ongoing theme, and it’s important. His goal in every edition of The Briefing is to analyze “news and events from a Christian worldview.” He is respectful, objective and biblically-focused in all of his Briefing episodes, but at the heart of what he wants to do is help Christians interpret what is happening today through a Christian perspective. In my opinion, no one is better today at offering a look at the world around us with godly wisdom and discernment than Albert Mohler.
As far as this current conflict, he is right that there are those who are misguided about why there is a conflict.
“The elites in the West have been trying to deny that there is a clash of civilizations,” Mohler said. “The secular myth of the West is that all human beings are basically the same as you think about our expectations for life, for security, for civilization, for morality, respect for human rights, and all the rest. But that simply is not the case. It never has been the case in human history. The kind of respect for human rights that you see in the West was hard-won by experience, and it came only from a specific civilizational trajectory.”
- Supportive media source claims ‘Biden’s Debacle’
The Economist could be considered England’s version of the New York Times or Washington Post. A liberal-leaning newspaper that, as Mohler said, affirmed Biden during the last presidential election and is “very much supportive of the Democratic agenda.”
This week, however, a front page headline of the Economist read “Biden’s Debacle.” And Mohler’s conclusion is blunt about this “screaming headline.”
“This is Biden’s debacle,” he said. “He owns it. He rightly owns it. And interestingly, even those who have been his enablers and supporters in the mainstream media are boxed into this situation where they have to affirm that he owns it.”
- Comparison to Chamberlain
Mohler references a Wall Street Journal columnist who made the point that “this is Joe Biden’s Chamberlain moment.” This is an excellent analogy.
If you are unfamiliar with Neville Chamberlain, former prime minister of English, you should brush up. His handling of the Nazis in the 1940s was shaky at best. Thankfully, Winston Churchill replaced Chamberlain and led England and the Allies to a World War II victory. For a refresher, watch the 2017 film, The Darkest Hour.
- A battle over ideas
“… it really doesn’t matter how many armies you march,” Mohler said. “It really doesn’t matter how many helicopters you send; this is a battle over ideas. And those ideas are, whether the secular left will accept it or not, whether the average person on the street in the West accepts it or not, on the Arab street and in the Islamic mind, it is absolutely clear that they are determined not to be conquered, and this means in terms of morality, human rights, political claims, and all the rest, by what they consider to be a Christian civilization. It is not going to happen. They will wait. They will fight. They will resist. And what we’ve seen in the Taliban is as soon as any kind of opening is seen, they will march right through it, and they will reconquer the territory that had been held by the West.”
That’s a strong description Mohler gives. I’m sure someone could argue his conclusion, but it won’t be me.
Part II of this Briefing should be discussed far and wide. This is an important argument that those of Western civilization, especially those with liberal mindsets, are not on the same page as the Islamic Middle East, specifically in Afghanistan.
Mohler once again mentions the “Secular Myth”: “…of course, the great secular myth is that Americans, or for that matter beyond us, Western civilization and its citizens can be united by something that isn’t religious or isn’t theological. Ultimately, I believe that’s going to turn out to be impossible, which is why you see the breakdown of any kind of civilizational consensus.”
Listen or read this entire Part II section.
- Importance of worldview
This is almost a reprisal of my second point, but Mohler concludes Part II with a notice that he plans to continue discussing the conflict in Afghanistan with the emphasis of encouraging listeners to have a Christian worldview about current events.
“We’ll be talking more, as we have in the past, about this clash of civilizations. That’s really what we’re witnessing right now in undeniable terms. But we’re also going to talk about the fact that under that clash of civilizations is a clash of worldviews. And that’s where Christians better understand, at base, this will turn out to be theological, one way or the other.”
Again, please pray for what’s happening in Afghanistan, and here’s the prayer guide to help you pray.