We saw that when western thinkers rediscovered the ancient Greeks, they described it as a new birth (Renaissance). It was the dawn of a new age. Man was coming of age, and the Ancient of Days was considered too ancient for the new day.
In the beginning, God separated the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:4), and then he named them to highlight the distinction between them. One he called “Day” and the other he called “Night”; but it was the light that he said was good.
In the middle of time, man started playing God. So he also separated the light from the darkness, giving his own definitions to time. What had gone before – the period in which everybody believed in God, or at least in some god – he called “The Dark Ages”. What followed, he called “The Enlightenment”; now everybody would believe in man. And everybody knew that Light is a good thing, so this was the beginning of the good times.
For centuries we have believed the myth of the Renaissance – the idea of a new birth, a humanistic new creation replacing the old order. We call our civilization enlightened. But calling something light does not make it light, especially if God has already called it dark. It helps people believe it to be a good thing, but it does not make it light.
The modern era has been dubbed the Age of Enlightenment, and with God dethroned, the Goddess of Reason was crowned. For centuries we were “leaning on our own understanding” as Proverbs 3:5 told us not to do. “Look where that has got you!” mocked the Post-Modernists as the high-noon of modernity passed and the end of its big day approached. Human Reason and its myth of inevitable progress were discredited; certainty was replaced by doubt amidst the encircling gloom.
But still there was no repentance, no acknowledgment that we had been wrong to call darkness light. Instead we tried to prolong the procession of the blind leading the blind. We replaced modernism with postmodernism. The Age of Enlightenment was perpetuated in the age of the Inner Light. Reason was displaced by intuition. Instead of leaning on our own understanding, we now follow our hearts. But we are still trying to call darkness light.
In the beginning, God separated the light from the darkness. In the middle, man started calling the darkness light. And in the end there will be no darkness, no sun or moon (Rev 21:23). The glory of God will be the light by which the nations walk, and there will be no night there. But actually the Lord has always been our light; there has never been any other light. It was just that because we preferred the darkness we decided to call it light.