Monday, February 02, 2009

Worldview and Two Masters

The Bible sets up a struggle between two forces: sin and righteousness. Every man, woman, and child belongs to one or the other of these groups. Indeed, we are all born slaves to sin, dead in our transgressions. Yet, we who believe in Christ are alive to righteousness and have died to death. Christ himself said that no one can serve two masters, but is either mastered by sin or mastered by righteousness.

This antithesis is underscored throughout the whole of Scripture and is an important concept for Christians to understand, for it tells us who we are and where we are going. But what does this notion of either being of sin, or being of righteousness have to do with worldviews? When discussing the truth about reality, does this distinction between saint and sinner have any relevancy? I propose that it does. In the context of belief and knowledge, the ideas we hold concerning reality dictate how we perceive and understand reality. There is no middle ground to be had. We cannot serve both sin and righteousness. Neither master will suffer to share us with the other.

In 1 Corinthians 1-2, Paul instructs the saints on how those yet in sin perceive and understand the Gospel. To such men, Christ is folly and a stumbling block. Not just as foolishness, the world also sees Christ crucified and raised as weakness. Paul, however, notes that Jesus Christ is not only the power of God, but also the wisdom of God. Thus, Christ is regarded as folly by the world and wisdom by Christians.

It seems that Paul meant that there is a difference between the Christian and non-Christian understanding reality. If they disagree on the nature of Christ, will they not also disagree with things of lesser consequence? That non-Christians are unable to correctly understand God indicates that there might be something wrong with the way they think and believe. In Romans 1, Paul indicates that sin causes them to reject the the truth of God for a lie, and to suppress the Truth in unrighteousness. The root problem is sin. Because sin darkens and twists the hearts and minds of men, they will not see Christ as the Wisdom and Power of God, but as folly and weakness.

One additional thing needs addressing: this does not mean that non-Christians are stupid or ignorant people. From His own goodness, God showers blessings on both the righteous as sinful, including glimpses of true reality. The consequences of these few paragraphs is not that only Christians are smart, but that prudence needs be used when interacting with people of different worldviews. Rather than viewing apologetics through an either/or lense of Evidential versus Presuppositional methodologies, the charitable Christian will seek to understand where each person he meets is at, and give his defense for the faith according to what wisdom dictates. Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are not interested in hearing about evidential arguments. They are so darkened by sin that they will not heed. Thus, presuppositional questions are appropriate, especially when used to gentle show inconsistencies in their worldview and create doubt as to the veracity of their claims. For the non-Christian who, by God's grace, is honestly interested in exploring the historicity of Christ or arguments against Darwinian naturalism, the time for evidential arguments is at hand.

1 comment:

holly daniele smith said...

"One additional thing needs addressing: this does not mean that non-Christians are stupid or ignorant people... The consequences of these few paragraphs is not that only Christians are smart, but that prudence needs be used when interacting with people of different worldviews. Rather than viewing apologetics through an either/or lense of Evidential versus Presuppositional methodologies, the charitable Christian will seek to understand where each person he meets is at, and give his defense for the faith according to what wisdom dictates."

Excellently stated. Very true.