Bestselling author, radio host and Livonia parishioner examines how culture twists lies into truth — and how the Incarnation is the antidote
LIVONIA — In 1951, author Arnold Lunn criticized the idea that scientific advances meant science, and not the Christian faith, had taken a monopoly on reason.
On the contrary, Lunn wrote, Christian belief is far more reasonable — and explains much more of reality — than the scientific method, as useful as it is, ever could.
Seventy years later, Lunn’s argument in his book, “The Revolt Against Reason,” has resonated with Catholic apologists such as Gary Michuta, who has spent the better part of his life explaining the reasonableness of the Catholic faith and defending it against secular attacks seeking to undermine its claim to be the fullness of truth.
Throughout the Church’s history, forces have always conspired to minimize, marginalize and even criminalize God’s plan for man, Michuta says. But in recent decades, even reality itself seems to be coming under attack.
From crimes against children, born and unborn, to wholesale rejection of marriage, sexual morality and gender norms, to scientific experiments that violate the very nature and dignity of human beings, “we seem to be living in an age of insanity,” Michuta told Detroit Catholic.
This insanity isn’t just a product of mistakes, Michuta said, but the end result of a long and continuous rebellion against God’s plan for peace and human flourishing.
Michuta’s latest book, “Revolt Against Reality: Fighting the Foes of Sanity and Truth - from the Serpent to the State” (Catholic Answers Press, 2021), seeks to expose how centuries of lies, manipulations and errors begot today’s anti-Christian culture, and how Catholics can fight against the tide using the Church’s age-old wisdom.
The book is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon.com.
The idea for the book came about “a couple of years ago,” said Michuta, a parishioner at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Livonia and the author of five widely published books, including “Making Sense of Mary” and “Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger.” Michuta also hosts a weekday radio program, "Hands on Apologetics," on Virgin Most Powerful Radio.
“It just seemed like things were spinning out of control and not making sense,” Michuta said. “So I decided to look at some of the deep causes for the insanity that we see today. The book traces these causes backward through history, all the way back to the Incarnation, which is the pivotal moment of sanity when God becomes man.”
As the centerpiece of God's plan to redeem the human race from sin and tragedy, the Incarnation is the pinnacle of reason, Michuta said, which makes it the centerpiece of the devil's attempts to undermine truth.
“As I was working through these causes, I noticed how much all these revolts throughout history echo the lie of the serpent in the garden that we could become our own gods,” Michuta said. “The whole problem began with an attack on marriage and family with Adam and Eve.”
The book traces important “revolts” in human history, from creation to the incarnation of Christ, heresies in the early Christian period and the Protestant Reformation, ultimately concluding with modern “revolts” that see Christianity as little more than an idea or suggestion, rather than the basis for reality itself, Michuta said.
“The reason it seems like the ground is falling out from beneath us is we’re living in the end result of several revolutions against reality,” Michuta said. “A small error in the beginning causes the large error at the end, and we’re standing at the endpoint of a long history where people have sought to unify humanity apart from Christ.”
Just like a math problem, Michuta argues, one misstep at the beginning of a long equation has disastrous consequences later on.
“The same is true for heresies,” Michuta said. “A very small error — like saying the Son is ‘like the Father,’ but not the same substance as the Father — when you push it to its logical conclusion, you come up with all sorts of weird things.”
When mankind rejected the Incarnation, he didn’t just reject an idea, Michuta argues; rather, he constructed for himself an alternate reality that was doomed to fail, leading to a rejection of truth in many other areas of human life.
“The blinding light of the Incarnation caused people to shrink back and try to come up with an alternative,” Michuta said. “And when you do that, it causes problems. Then you need to fix those problems, which causes even more problems. By the time you’re done, you end up with what we have today, where the only way to make things seem right is by totally ignoring biology, natural science and common sense.”
Like a house of cards, foes of the Church removed the culture's solid foundation one brick at a time, Michuta said. As each inhibition fell — first theological truths, then the idea of Christianity as an explanation of reality, and finally, the social morality underpinning a Christian society — the culture began to feels its effects at a quicker and quicker pace.
The result is a modern society forced to reckon with the flimsy reality it's constructed, Michuta said, from population implosions resulting from low birth rates and abortion to basic denials about the reality of man and woman.
But “Revolt Against Reality” is not all doom and gloom, Michuta says. In the book’s last chapter, titled “Reality Strikes Back,” Michuta outlines some reasons for hope, including the rebounding influence of Catholic education and the resurgence of Catholic piety among even some “spiritual but not religious” individuals, who are rediscovering the beauty of devotions such as the rosary and pilgrimages to Catholic shrines.
In other words, you can knock truth down, but it will always get back up.
“The Incarnation is the epicenter of the revolution of thought that ripples throughout centuries and creates civilizations," Michuta said. "You can deny reality and sweep it under the rug, but in the end, reality is the only thing that’s true and real. Because Christ is real. And with those insights of Christ’s revelation of God in himself, we have the winning formula.”
'Revolt Against Reality' study series
Gary Michuta will discuss his new book, “Revolt Against Reality: Fighting the Foes of Sanity and Truth — From the Serpent to the State” (Catholic Answers Press, 2021), in a six-part series on Tuesday evenings starting April 26 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of St. Michael the Archangel Parish, 11441 Hubbard, Livonia. For information, call (734) 261-1455 ext. 200.