Secular man refuses to see himself as merely an animated cog or self-asserting animal, having no real future but only a day after tomorrow empty of lasting life and purpose, a temporary phenomenon without substance and weight that finally succumbs to and in nothingness.

The dilemma of secular man is this: In order to escape the nihilism and personal worthlessness implicit in naturalism, he invests his life with sequestered meanings and values that naturalism cannot sustain

Man is not born with the naturalistic prejudices about reality, and they go against his deepest intuitions and his own essential humanity. The secularist is an intellectual abstractionist who has elaborated a network of premises that even the majority of modern men consider artificial….

The contours of secular life relate the contemporary naturalist to a horizon wider and deeper than his narrow theory of reality permits. Both his attitudes and actions show the contemporary secularist in his authentic selfhood to be a much more complicated being than naturalism itself allows. At the critical point of the nature and destiny of man, he refuses to accept the authority of secular thought, and evaluates other human beings and estimates himself by a standard remarkably different from the naturalistic perspective. The undeniable contrast between man’s actually lived experience and the basic naturalistic world view which the secularist claims to accept, his pursuit of behavior patterns incompatible with this secular Weltanschauung, supply evidence that the contemporary materialistic criterion does not finally and absolutely determine his self-understanding of human existence in the modern world. In the course of daily reflection, decision and action, secular man is involved in concerns of reality, truth and value that exhibit him as a character with an ongoing role in a larger theatre of being and life than his secular perspective would suggest.

Carl F Henry

God Revelation & Authority, vol 1

Secular Man and Ultimate Concerns