Free-Spirited Bacchanalia, Monkeypox, and Restlessness Hank Unplugged Short

Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute and host of the Bible Answer Man broadcast, has been reading a profound book by Benjamin Storey and Jenna Silber Storey, Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment (Princeton University Press, 2021). In the midst of his reading, he received notification of an NBC News article titled “How Monkeypox Spoiled Gay Men’s Plans for an Invincible Summer,” by Benjamin Ryan (https://www.nbcnews.com/nbc-out/out-health-and-wellness/monkeypox-spoiled-gay-mens-plans-invincible-summer-rcna45326). More than a hundred gay, bisexual, or transgender people talked to NBC News about the “sex they never had” as a result of monkeypox. How monkeypox “upended a summer that was supposed to be a well-earned opportunity” to once again “revel with their gay brothers.” In the article we hear about “resurgent sexual liberation” through “hookup apps,” which “have made meeting sexual partners as convenient as procuring takeout.” That “post-Covid” everyone “went crazy, and there were sex parties all over town”—“free-spirited bacchanalia.” But, alas, the “long-awaited libertine summer” was “sharply curtailed” by monkeypox. The NBC News article is very sympathetic. What all these men have in common, as Storey and Storey make clear, is the acceptance of the notion that fleeting pleasure is a substitute for solid joy. These men have bought the lie that permissiveness will make them happy—that voyeuristic curiosities will make them whole. At the root of all this is a materialistic worldview—a worldview that denies transcendence. A failure to recognize that a thinking being is of necessity more than merely material. Why are we restless? So often we see the world as merely molecules in motion, and if we are mere molecules in motion, everything is permissible. The book, Why We Are Restless, includes a chapter in which the philosophy of Blaise Pascal is unveiled, showing why it is metaphysically and practically bankrupt to consider ourselves merely material beings, and why God veils His presence. God veils Himself because He does not want to force Himself upon those who do not seek Him. Once one seeks after Him, the veil is removed.

For further study, see Benjamin Storey and Jenna Silber Storey, Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment.

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