“Rudolf Bultmann wrote, “It is impossible to use electric lights and the wireless, and to avail ourselves of modern medical and surgical discoveries, and at the same time to believe in the New Testament world of demons and spirits.” This is a quintessential statement of the modern mind as it evaluates the supernatural and, in particular, the New Testament. Rudolf Bultmann serves as our paradigmatic figure, our great illustration of the modern trajectory, as he says, in effect, “I am a modern man; I think like a modern man. I use electricity, and no man who uses electricity believes that Jesus walked on water. You walk into a room, flick on lights, and there is light. You listen to the radio. You go to the emergency room. Therefore, you do not really believe in a virgin birth, do you?”
Bultmann famously suggested that for the church to survive, Christianity must undertake the project he called the “demythologization” of scripture. He said that the New Testament is full of myth. Primitive people in their primitive time and culture used their primitive language in creating their primitive myths–all in an attempt to produce an explanation of reality. Bultmann argued that modern humanity knows better now, so we must demytheologize these myths. Once we scrape away all of the supernaturalism and get to the real human dynamic of the scripture, we will find a connection between the existential concerns of primitive and modern persons.”
What starts out in the ‘ivory towers’ of academic institutions and philosophy books eventually ‘trickles down’ into everyday thought and culture. I think the above description quite clearly describes the culture that we in the UK swim around in– a strident anti-supernatural and thus anti-biblical worldview!