Bruce Charlton on Pagan Missionaries

From the pen of Bruce Charlton, a man whose work I must surely read more of. He is a fisherman who has captured a thought which I am sure once or twice has nuzzled my hook as it swam in the mysterious waters of the mind, but which I was never able to carry away in my net:

I sometimes think we need pagan missionaries, almost as much as we need Christian missionaries. …
The jump between secular hedonism is too great – between believing whatever you like to believing a complex set of interlocking propositions (which perhaps don’t make any better sense than secular hedonism unless they are all present and correct).

But maybe, simple paganism could be restored – and later on the person might be amenable to Christianity?

Intellectuals ought to be able to follow the logic of Plato or Aristotle to discover that there must be a god (or gods) for the universe to cohere at a very basic explanatory level… At any rate, if modern intellectuals can be got as far as the intelligent pagans of the Greek and Roman era, that would be an enormous advance in Truth.


And if the mass of ordinary people could be got as far as paganism (even if they denied Christian revelation) – then there is something-to-work on, and a perspective from which Christian conversion might happen in the blink of an eye.

But so long as the modern Western populations are distracted 24/7 by media and gossip and drugs and busyness and the deliberate derangements imposed by the Left… well, for so long no reasoning at all is possible, apparently, no illogic too extreme; and from this unrepentant state where even the need for repentance and the fact that there is anything even in principle to repent seems unclear – Christianity seems almost impossibly remote.