Quill and writing

Spot the difference

I was walking to work this morning & reflected on the MASSIVE contrast between the worldview presented to me in Scripture & the worldview of most folk around me.  It struck me that it is the goal of all of us who call ourselves Christians to supplant the ‘unbelieving’ worldview with the Bible’s own.  We are called simply to look at EVERYTHING through the lens of holy Scripture so that we see ALL things as God sees them.  God’s perspective represents ultimate reality!  What does it look like?  Let’s flesh it out just a little.

God is our Maker; He made all things; not all things are alike; some have a purely material existence (e.g., bridges, motor cars) while other things have BY VIRTUE OF THE LIFE WHICH THEY POSSESS an immaterial aspect to their being (e.g. trees, flowers animals, etc).

Human beings and angels are altogether nobler.  They are higher orders of living creatures which in some mystical sense are LIKE God – they possess His image in their SOUL.

The world’s (i.e. western secular) worldview does not acknowledge these key differences.  It is MONISTIC.  i.e. it says that all things are ONE.  It says that we (human beings) are merely highly evolved structures of atoms & molecules.  Ultimately, as the boffin at CERN told me last year, ‘everything is particles’.

But this is NONSENSE with a capital N.  Moreover, it turns out that there’s a whole load of other stuff which we deal with everyday that’s NOT PARTICLES!  For example: love, fear, hope, numbers, names, laws, rationality, ethics, etc, etc.

The atheist really is a fool (just like Scripture says – Ps 14 & 53) for seeking to comprehend his environment AUTONOMOUSLY (i.e. independently without God).  Van Til calls this UNIVOCAL thought.

So what is REALITY actually like?  It’s like this: God upholds all things by the power of His word.  He is in full & total control of all things & every event.  Nothing happens by chance.  God made everything & though it has been spoilt & corrupted by Satan and sin, etc……………, Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son, is now REDEEMING it all & restoring it.  Its final state (glorification) will be better than its pre-fallen condition.  Thus the commission God gave Adam & Eve to subdue the world & have dominion will yet be realised.  That’s what we’re supposed to be doing now; that’s why we get up each day; that’s what we’re working for collectively, perhaps even unwittingly!

Now, personal salvation is the crucial FIRST STEP.  God redeems men, women, boys & girls that they might get busy with this task of TOTAL CULTURAL REDEMPTION.  But to make personal salvation the ultimate goal is to diminish God’s plan of salvation.  Christ came to save THE WORLD!  Christianity is far more than a ‘Fire & Life Insurance Policy’.  Rather, it’s a world and life view that SHOULD affect EVERYTHING we think and do.  Listen to the difference here.  Barack Obama is typical of modern pietists; Alan Keyes (notwithstanding his Roman Catholic allegiance!) is altogether more sound.

The major obstacle we face as Christians in pursuing this global agenda of winning the nations for Christ, ironically is the (present) Church itself.  Why?  Because she is PIETISTIC.  Or rather, her key leaders & preachers are pietistic.  What do I mean?  Simply this: rejecting Calvin, she blithely imagines that the outlook (i.e. worldview) of EVERYONE is more or less the same.  I see a chair; my unbelieving friend sees the same chair.  We imagine that they see the same thing & attach the SAME SIGNIFICANCE to it.  But they don’t and we shouldn’t!  The chair derives its meaning & significance from its context.  & the context is quite different for the Christian compared with the non-Christian.  Why?  Because the Christian is a COVENANT KEEPER while the unbeliever is a COVENANT BREAKER.

Now, this difference of OUTLOOK (worldview) turns out to highly significant with MASSIVE IMPLICATIONS.  And here’s the really sad thing: most Christians today actually settle for seeing the world as their unbelieving count-parts see it!!!!  They watch the same News channels, they read the same magazines & books (mostly uncritically); they attend their schools, universities & subscribe to THEIR sources of ‘expert’ information.  But why should we trust the unbelievers to tell us the truth?  Why should we accept their SPIN on history, science, literature, music, etc,?

We need to see ALL THINGS as God sees them.  We need to wear Biblical worldview spectacles & look at EVERYTHING in the world through the lens of Scripture.

What does such a world look like?  The answer is provided for us in Scripture itself.  The Psalms especially teach us how to look at what’s happening around us.  They explain why things are the way they are.  They tell us that there are TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF FOLK out there: the righteous (covenant keepers) & the wicked (covenant breakers) [read Psalm 1].

They tell us that the warfare that we’re all caught up in is ETHICAL.  The covenant keeper sees that his duty & responsibility is uphold God’s Law(s) in ALL His doing & thinking.  By contrast, the covenant breaker is a law unto himself & disdains God’s Law.  He mocks, derides & scorns God and His Church.

Now, here’s the really cool part: God promises to BLESS the covenant keeper with fruitfulness in his life; He promises to make him happy, purposeful, successful, contented, etc.  By contrast, God promises to JUDGE the covenant breaker.  An essential part of our ‘gospel’ message should involve warning the unbeliever of God’s impending judgement.  That judgement hangs over the unbeliever’s head right NOW.  But God will display MORE of His judgement as covenant keepers faithfully speak up & warn covenant breakers of their hostility towards God.

NB.  God has made Himself very plain & clear.  He is within a hairs breadth of every one of His creatures.  His creatures all depend upon Him for their life, breath & the pulse of blood in their veins.  They cannot think a thought, marshal an argument, remember an incident or plan an action WITHOUT HIS ASSISTANCE!  For ‘in Him we ALL live, move & have our being’.  Thus, as Van Til wrote, ‘atheism presupposes theism’.  Think about that!!  The unbeliever is just like an infant child being held upon the knees of his father whilst he slaps his father in the face!!

Now, it is our task & duty to make the unbeliever more CONSCIOUS of this reality.  We need to tell him & to show him what he’s doing, where he’s at & how precarious are his feet, etc.  But how??  In short, the principal foundation of our success in this venture is TWO-FOLD: (i) the covenant breaker is a creature made in God’s image & (ii) God has promised to assist in the proclamation of His truth by sending us His Holy Spirit (in regeneration, etc).

Now, what’s needed are a few examples of the sorts of ways in which we might challenge their world-view assumptions & get them to begin seeing the FALSEHOODS of their worldview as just that – FALSEHOODS!  Watch this space!