Thursday, March 25, 2010

Worldview Class #2 – Part 7 – Biblical Christian Philosophy

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.


We have defined philosophy as the “rational investigation of the principles of knowledge.” Put more clearly – How do we know what we know?

Unlike the humanistic worldviews, Biblical Christian philosophy centers around one very unique belief – there is a God who exists and who is markedly different from the “natural” world. While most humanist viewpoints limit all things to only the natural world, or in the case of the New Age movement, a “non-natural” world ruled by man’s spirit, the Christian worldview opens the door to the “supernatural”.

As we will see in the future sessions on biology, it is “bad science” to eliminate the possibility of God at the outset of a philosophy, simply because one chooses not to believe. A tottering, ever-changing philosophy can be constructed - but is it wise to assume with no evidence to support it, that God does not exist? For this reason, many philosophers have come around to the idea that the Biblical Christian philosophy is the one which makes the most sense. C.E.M. Joad, once a staunch humanist, made this claim late in his life - “I now believe that the balance of reasonable considerations tells heavily in favor of the religious, even of the Christian view of the world.” In discussing philosophy, Sir Francis Bacon said, “A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”

The universe tells of a Divine Creator. Many scientific principles support the claim of intelligent design far better than that of humanist worldviews – non-spontaneous generation, DNA theory, and the delicate balance maintained between oxygen and carbon dioxide in our atmosphere – all of these tell of something much greater than random events. My favorite scientific principle to discuss is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which I like to summarize as “Things fall apart”. We all experience this natural tendency toward decay and disorganization in our everyday lives – dust falls on our mantle and picture frames, junk mail piles up on the counter, the garage begins to tend toward disarrangement shortly after we clean and organize it. Such tendency toward disarray is accepted as normal in our minds. So why is it so easy for some philosophies to accept the idea that something so complex as the human body could be created from nothing, though a series of random events? Such a belief radically violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics – and yet scientists stand by it, claiming that anything is possible given enough time.

For the Christian, we live in a world which moves gloriously to God’s principles and laws. Gravity – a law unto itself – works without fail, because God made it so, and because he wants the consistency of such a principle to tell of his constant and unswerving nature. If gravity were random, life would be far more unpleasant, and such a life would not speak of an unvarying Divine presence. God made gravity to be the way it is for a very distinct reason.

Finally, God made our minds to be a reflection of His mind. We are created in His image, making us unique among all of God’s handiwork. As such, He has given us curiosity and the desire to learn and know. Philosophy is not a thing which should be avoided by Christians – quite the opposite. We possess a philosophy which not only explains everything around us – we possess a philosophy which is right. It is unfortunate that our world pushes aside the Biblical Christian viewpoint as being irrelevant, or not belonging in the same class as other humanist philosophies. In fact, the dedicated Christian should be willing and prepared to defend his or her own philosophical viewpoint with anyone. Supernaturalism explains more than simple naturalism. C.S. Lewis summarized the concept brilliantly,
“The Naturalists have been engaged in thinking about Nature. They have not attended to the fact that they were thinking. The moment that one attends to this it is obvious that one’s own thinking cannot be merely a natural event, and that therefore something other than Nature exists. The Supernatural is not remote and abstruse; it is a matter of daily and hourly experience, as intimate as breathing.”
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