Friday, October 22, 2010

Understanding the Times: Biblical Christianity, Parts 1 and 2

With everyone on different summer schedules, running different directions, it wasn't always easy to gather as a family to watch and discuss this series, but I am glad we made the effort.  We benefited from it tremendously, even in ways we don't yet see.  I know we are better equipped to witness to the lost, but we are also more prepared to disciple the new, growing Christian.  I hope you will one day be able to watch this series of DVDs.  It is money and time well spent.  If you know us and are local to our area, you are free to borrow ours.

Here are links to previous posts where I reviewed the other three DVDs in this series:
(1) Secular Humanism Part 1, Secular Humanism Part 2,
(One Nation Under Man -- not fom UTT, but relates to it),
(2) Marxist-Leninism Part 1, Marxist-Leninism Part 2,
and (3) Cosmic Humanism Parts 1 and 2.

So here I am, finally reviewing the fourth and last DVD, Biblical Christianity.  Actually, because I am a Christian and believe in what this DVD teaches, this time it will be a summary broken down into topics.  It is my desire that you will see how the Biblical Christian worldview pertains to every area of our lives, and is the most rational, real worldview there is.  It is God's truth.


Christian Theology: Theism
Within the Biblical Christian Worldview, there exists a God who is personal and loving.  There are three arguments why we hold this to be true.  First, everything that has a beginning had a beginner (therefore there is a supernatural power).  Secondly, every design has a designer (therefore there is an intelligent Being).  And thirdly, every moral law has a moral lawgiver (therefore we have a morally perfect standard).  This is the God described in the Bible.

Christian Philosophy: Supernaturalism
Christians believe God has revealed Himself in two ways:  through creation/nature, which gives us a general knowledge of God, and the Word of God, which came through the inspiration of many men of old -- Abraham, Moses, Peter, James, John, Paul, etc.  Without the Word of God, man would be left to his own speculation or the speculation of others.

There are four ways we know things.  We use our senses, our mind (reason & reflection), spiritual revelation (the Bible), and natural revelation (reflecting on the way the world is).  Christians believe the natural world is real, but there is a reality that exists beyond the natural world.  Christians do not believe faith and reason are enemies.  They hold to beliefs that are coherent and reasonable.  Christian philosophy embraces a meaningful, purposeful life, with all the wisdom and knowledge of God found in Jesus Christ.

Christian Ethics: Absolutes
Christians believe ethical order is revealed by God.  Moral values are discovered, not invented by humans.  Christian ethics are grounded in the character of God and are revealed in both general revelation (creation), and special revelation (God's Word).

Christian Biology: Creation
Christians believe the universe is orderly and understandable.  Unfortunately today, evolution is being presented as scientific fact, when it is not.  Evolution doesn't fit the fossil record, the genetic evidence, or molecular evidence.  And as if this wasn't enough, living organisms are full of complex operations that evolutionists cannot explain.  The more scientists study the universe, the more they discover Design.  Everywhere where information begins, it has a mind behind it.  There is information in DNA, so there is a Mind behind DNA, and that would be a supreme Being.

Christian Psychology: Mind & Body
The Biblical Christian worldview acknowledges the fallen nature of humans and addresses their sinful nature.  People's sinful natures and desires to rebel against God are the source of most psychological problems.  If we don't understand that human beings are sinful, then we don't understand human beings, and we won't know how to treat them.  Any therapudic method that is built on the inherent goodness of human beings is going to go awry, because we are going to ignore the fact that there is hate in the heart of man.  Unlike humanist worldviews that claim guilt is the byproduct of evil social institutions (the traditional family, church, etc.), the Biblical Christian worldview acknowledges the fallen nature of humans and the guilt that results from sinning against God.

A major difference between humanistic and Christian psychology is in the area of suffering.  Humanistic psychology attempts to alleviate all personal suffering.  Christian psychology believes God can use suffering to bring about positive development in an individual.  There are things God has to teach us about Himself and about ourselves that we could not learn any other way than through suffering.  Finding meaning through suffering is a feature that is unique to Christian psychology.

Christian Sociology: Family/Church/State
Athiests believe man is only an evolving animal.  Christians believe man was created in God's image.  They believe in individual freedom and responsibility.  Others believe society determines people's consciousness and actions.  Christians believe that while society does influence people, they have the freedom to choose between right and wrong, and to shape society.  Both individuals and society are accountable to God.

God ordained three institutions.  The traditional family, the church, and the state, with not one overpowering any other or interfering with the rights of each other -- all equally accountable and answerable to the Creator of the world.

Christian Law: Biblical and Natural Law
God has revealed law in both His created order as well as in the Bible.  The foundation of divine law is the nature of God Himself.  As an expression of God's nature and will, this law is eternal.  Christians hold that an absolute legal standard does exist, and we must discover it and obey it.  Law is grounded on the firmest foundation, and so it doesn't change or evolve.  God has revealed much of His law through nature (natural law), and has also made His law known through the Bible.  Every person has a conscience, some inherent sense of right and wrong.  Man made laws are constantly changing, because fallen people will constantly recreate the law to better suit their selfish needs. 

Christian Politics: Justice/Freedom/Order
Christians are to obey and support human government, which is established by God.  Human governments are obligated to uphold justice, freedom, and order.  The American founders understood human beings' fallen nature.  They also understood that humans are created in God's image.  These two beliefs deeply affected how they established America's government system.

Because of man's fallen nature, the founders developed the government in such a way that the branches of government had specific powers, and these powers are counter-balanced by the other branches.  Government also needs government, so our government was designed to provide checks and balances and limitations to the expression of the sinfulness of man.

Christian Economics: Stewardship of Property
God designed the world in such a way that humans are His creative stewards of it.  Through the ownership of property, people are motivated to greater stewardship.  This right of property stems from the duty to work.  God grants people private ownership of His creation, but they are accountable to Him for the way they use their property.  They are to serve God and others with their property.  While some humanistic economic systems demand economic equality for every person, the Bible contradicts this belief: "...if any would not work, neither should he eat." -- 2 Thess. 3:10.  Each person should be rewarded for their work.  This leads to economic inequality, since some will work hard, and some will not work at all.

Christian History: Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Unlike many of the world's religions, Christianity is no mere philosophy.  It is firmly grounded in history.  The only place you can ever come to know God is in history.  God does not reveal Himself outside of space and time.  When God reveals Himself in history, He does so by the things He says and the things He does.  God is not a concept, he is an Actor in human history.

For the Christian, history is linear.  There is a past, present, and future.  History is progressing toward a certain end.  But unlike the Marxist and secular humanist worldviews, Christianity acknowledges that God is the Lord of history.  There are no impersonal forces guiding history, and evolution does not provide the guiding hand.   Either human history is ordained by God and is directed by Him toward an ultimate goal, or human history began randomly and is simply a product of chance.  Although humanistic worldviews declare that we humans can save ourselves, the Christian worldview holds forth a living hope in a living Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Impact of Christianity
Christianity has impacted culture more positively than any other worldview in history.  Christianity has done more to alleviate poverty than any other worldview.  Much of the charity today is fueled by the love of Christ.  Christianity holds a high value of human life.  It has also made numerous contributions to health.  Jesus is called the Great Physician and spent much of His time on earth healing the sick.  Christianity has had a profound impact on science and education.  Modern science finds its basis in the Christian worldview.  Christian scientists believed in a rational God who created a rational and understandable world.  Many early scientists were Christian or were greatly influenced by the Christian worldview.  Christ's life has impacted every area of life.

Other worldviews paint a bleak picture of reality.  The Bible gives people a view of reality that allows them to live healthy lives and to function well within society.  It is a worldview that does not crumble under investigation.  The Biblical Christian worldview is a comprehensive and coherent worldview, and holds a realistic view of human nature and human needs.

Ideas have consequences.  Those who embrace ideas contrary to the Biblical worldview do so at great cost.  The 20th century is strewn with the tragic consequences of those who chose to ignore the truth of Jesus Christ.  The Biblical Christian worldview is the only worldview that is consistent with reality.  The record of history is clear:  When a society recognizes the truths of Christianity, there is peace, justice, and prosperity.  Those who ignore these truths have set for themselves a course for ruin.  God or bad, ideas will have a profound impact on the generations to come.

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