Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Worldview Class #2 – Part 3 – Sacred and Secular

While teaching a Sunday morning class at church on the topic of various worldviews, I plan to share some of the more significant findings which our class is learning. The main text for the study is The Battle for Truth by David Noebel. A good deal of this class is also based on personal research.


A number of the topics in this class are rather intimidating. When we mention that a worldview must contain opinions on all ten of the listed topics – theology, philosophy, ethics, biology, psychology, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history – it may tend to drive some people away. This feels too much like reliving some of my least favorite college classes.

After all, aren’t these subjects of a more worldly concern? Topics like economics, biology and psychology surely don’t belong in a Sunday morning Bible class, nor should they be a great concern to professing Christians. Shouldn’t we spend our life on more spiritual matters? Aren’t there really two compartments in our lives – one secular and one sacred?

Actually, the follower of Christ should be concerned and knowledgeable about these subjects and should profess a godly opinion for each. Each item should be rooted in biblical truths, straight from God’s word – not just a high-minded opinion of each. We should search the scriptures for God’s stamp on each of these issues.

The first nine chapters of Genesis alone deal with all ten of the topics listed above. For example, Genesis 2:9 tells of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil”, clearly dealing with the topic of ethics. Genesis 1:28 says “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it”, which gives us some direction on the topics of sociology and ecology. The Bible is filled with references which spell out God’s design on each of these topics.

An excellent verse to memorize and commit to heart is Romans 1:20-23:

“For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”
Pay particular attention to the part of the verse in bold, that is, that we can glean God’s design by looking at what has been made. From a Christian worldview, the ten topics mentioned above are reflected in aspects of God's nature and the creation and order that He established…which makes all of these topics sacred, and not secular.

That’s right – our viewpoint on a subject such as psychology should reflect what God has revealed to us about the science of human behavior. Similarly, we should treat economics with knowledge given to us by God on the best way to deal with finances. Does the Bible talk about these subjects? It absolutely does.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, “There are not two realities, but only one reality, and that is the reality of God, which has become manifest in Christ in the reality of the world.” And so, we conclude that there are not two distinct compartments in our life, but rather, there is just one. Everything created by God is sacred and set apart for His purposes. We do not live dual lives – a “religious” one on Sunday, and a worldly one the rest of the week. Instead we “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” This is no small task, but it is important for us to realize that every good thing is sacred in God’s eyes.

Next: Worldview #2 - Part 4 – Secular Humanist Philosophy
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