Christian Apologetics - Lesson 3
Worldviews in Conflict
Two prominent worldviews are Christian theism and naturalism.
Worldviews in Conflict
III. Worldviews in Conflict
A. Definition of a Worldview
1. Everyone has a worldview.
2. Few people understand what a worldview is.
B. Five Important Parts of a Worldview
2. Ultimate Reality
a. How old is the universe?
c. Mind or Soul?
a. Senses or Intellect?
b. Is truth relative?
4. Ethics - What is right and wrong?
5. Human Persons
a. Human consciousness?
b. Freedom vs. Determinism
C. Three Functions of a Worldview
3. Picture Puzzle
D. Two Worldviews
a. Closed box
b. Physical, Material World
c.. Found in Marxism, Humanism, Atheism
d. The "Essence" of Naturalism
2. Christian Theism
a. Open box
i. God exists outside the box.
ii. God created the box.
iii. God acts as a cause inside the box.
b. Miracles of Incarnation and Resurrection
E. Only God's Worldview is True
F. Four Tests of a Worldview
2. Outer Experience
3. Inner Experience
Introduction to Apologetics.
Apologetics involves finding evidence and presenting arguments to defend the Christian faith.
Two prominent worldviews are Christian theism and naturalism.
The law of non-contradiction states that A cannot be B and non-B at the same time and in the same sense.
Explanations and responses to different worldviews.
If God is good and all powerful, then why does evil exist?
Discussion about how the existence of evil is consistent with God's character.
Your noetic structure, presuppositions and view of epistemology are important elements in the formation of your worldview.
Discussion of deductive presuppositionalism vs. inductive presuppositionalism.
Objections to inductive presuppositionalism.
Arguments for and against evidentialism.
Arguments for and against foundationalism.
Discussion of natural theology.
There are valid, sound and cogent arguments for the existence of God, but no coercive proofs.
Discussion of different arguments for God's existence.
One version of the cosmological argument for God's existence emphasizes God as first in time, another emphasizes God as first in importance.
A possible world is a way the real world could have been. Modal logic, propositions, state of affairs and eternal entities are some of the considerations when discussing a possible world.
Something is logically possible if its description does not include a logical contradiction. The existence of the laws of knowledge refute the system of naturalism.
Middle knowledge is a form of knowledge attributed to God by Molina.
Miracles are a dividing line and central to Christianity.
David Hume's rational arguments against miracles and responses to those arguments.
Two miracles central to Christianity are the incarnation and resurrection.
The question of whether or not Jesus is the only savior touches on pluralism, inclusivism and exclusivism.
Pluralism is the view that all religions have salvific value.
Inclusivism is the view that even though the work of Christ is the only means of salvation, it does not follow that explicit knowledge of Christ is necessary in order for a person to be saved.
Salvation is totally the work of God and all children who die in infancy are elect of God.
Discussion from a biblical perspective of God's character and attributes.
Open theists believe that God does not have a perfect knowledge of the future.
Divine omnipotence and divine omniscience are two attributes of God.
When contemplating life after death, remember, Jesus has been there and come back. Will you commit your life to him or reject him?
These lectures were given at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida during the fall of 2001.
Dr. Ronald Nash
Worldviews in Conflict
I'm going to give you my message. WorldViews in Conflict. So here is my first overhead. What it does is this. It gives you a definition of a worldview. As more and more books are published talking about worldview thinking. Each of these books comes up with its own definition of what a worldview is. I think my definition is the best because, number one, it's the clearest. It's the shortest and it's the simplest. My definition of a worldview is this. It is the sum total of answers that a person gives to the most important questions in life. You take all of the big questions in life, compile your answers, and however coherent the system that may result from these answers may be, that is that person's worldview. Now, while this definition is on the screen, let me make some additional comments relating to worldview thinking. Comment number one, Everybody has a worldview. Absolutely everybody. Now, in the case of children, in the case of children, that worldview is evolving even as we speak. And in the case of children who are blessed to live in a family where they love and they respect their parents, and their parents are engaged properly in the education of their children, a child's world view will tend to reflect the worldview of his parents. Now, that's hardly a brilliant comment. So if you get parents whose worldview is a disaster, you shouldn't be surprised when the worldview of their children turns out to be a disaster. Second point, even though everybody has a world view, very few people in the world understand what a worldview is. I'm amazed as I go around the country giving this particular message and people are saying to me, I never knew that. Now, in total, in the audiences that I spoke to in both Russia and Ukraine, I guess I spoke to close to 2500 university graduates in those two nations. And I think to a person. Their response. Their first response to me was, I never knew that I had a worldview. I didn't understand that the Soviet system of education was in fact indoctrinating me in a particular worldview. Well, I can understand that happening in a system where the public schools are controlled by Marxism-Leninism. But to think in the United States that people don't understand when a professor and a college professor or a high school teacher is not teaching the subject, but is in fact simply indoctrinating their students in not only a worldview but an anti-Christian worldview. So everybody has a worldview. Hardly anybody knows that they have a worldview and hardly anybody knows the content of their worldview. And frankly, most people's worldview is a conceptual disaster. It is just a mess where people pick up a belief from here, from a television program, pick up another belief from a psychology course, pick up another belief from one of Madonna's movie videos. You know what a place to get a worldview belief from Madonna's videotapes and so on and so forth. And when I talk about a worldview being a conceptual disaster, what I mean is you've got a haphazard collection of beliefs that are full of contradictions. And so what people believe about God or what people believe about ultimate reality or what people believe about the theory of knowledge often contradict each other. Okay, that's my first overhead. And here's my second overhead. What I do here is give you the five most important parts of a worldview. There are more than these five important parts of a worldview. And maybe I'll mention some of them in a moment, but these are what I call the five big questions. Of course, each of these is not a singular big question, each of them. There are many parts to these these particular things, but let me identify them for the sake of people listening by tape and who may not have this information in front of them. Here are the five big questions and the answers that people give to these five big questions and of course, make up their worldview. First question. God. That's the start. If people are wrong about the question of God. Everything else is going to be wrong. The second area is what we call ultimate reality. If this were a philosophy course, the technical word we would use here would be the word metaphysics. But we don't need to use that word ultimate reality. The third big question is knowledge. The fourth big question is ethics. And the fifth big question concerns human persons. Now, in your book, Faith and Reason, I spend quite a bit of time, first of all, explaining the collection of ideas that belong to each of these five questions. And then I think it's in chapter three or four, I give you a fairly detailed introduction to what the Christian position is. That is what the what the Christian component of his of our worldview is with respect to God. What a Christian approach to ultimate reality ought to be, what a Christian approach to human knowledge ought to be, and so on. And you can get the specifics of that. And sometime along the way, maybe later today or perhaps next week, we'll actually turn to one of those pages in the book, Faith and Reason. And we're going to what I say in there is so important that I want to draw special attention to it today. Okay. Now, before I return to these five points, what would some other parts of a world view be if we had the luxury of talking about point six or point seven? Well, certainly number six here would be a person's beliefs about history and the meaning and the purpose of history. And we're not going to deal with that in this course. I do deal with that to some extent in the history of philosophy course, where we use a book I wrote called The Meaning of History, that would be an important part of a worldview. Obviously, there are any number of other components as well. Now, let's go down this list very quickly. First, what a person below believes about God is the starting point for that person's worldview. Please recognize the error of ever suggesting or accepting the claim that there are some people who have no component to this part of a worldview because there is no God. They are atheists. Therefore, we could just eliminate God from their worldview. Don't. Don't succumb to that. Please understand that even in the case of an alleged atheist, everybody has the God part of their worldview as well. Even an atheist, when we call him an atheist, all we're really saying is they do not accept. They do not accept the concept of God that we find in the theistic religions and the major theistic religions that interest us right now would be Christianity and Judaism. The other third kind of theistic religion would be Islam, and there are a couple of other minor religions that do that as well. What we mean by theism is the belief in one supreme personal, spiritual deity who is the cause of everything else that exists. That's theism. So if someone says I'm an atheist, he's not. No matter what he says, he cannot mean that there's there is for him no support, nothing, nothing of supreme and ultimate significance. He's simply saying he rejects he rejects the view of God that you find in one of the theistic faiths. Everybody has a god. Now, it's pretty easy to identify what a person's God is. A person's God is whatever is the most important thing in that person's universe at any given moment. Because you see, for people like that, the content of their notion of God changes from moment to moment. So it might be money, it might be power, it might be fame, it might be pleasure, might be sex, it might be Little League baseball, might be Major League Baseball. Whatever is most important to you at any given moment is your God. Now, there are many there are many views of God. So we have to talk about that here as well. There is a theory called pantheism. Pantheism is simply a belief that God and the world are somehow equivalent or identical, that everything that exists is somehow divine. There is polytheism. There are beliefs. In many gods, there is. Well, you can read about some of the other views of God in your textbook. The basic concern of ultimate reality parts of a person's worldview includes such questions as these. How old is the universe? Has the universe always existed, or did it have a beginning in time? And if the universe did have a beginning in time, what brought it into existence? How did it get here? Here's some other questions. Is everything that exists material in nature that is is materialism true? This is this is where material materialism would enter into a person's worldview. In a few minutes, we'll be talking about a worldview in which everything that exists is matter is materialistic. Or is there something that exists other than body? Is there such a thing as mind or soul? Third part of a worldview is what we believe about knowledge. Here are some related issues here, which is the most important access to knowledge. Does it come through our bodily senses or is it what we know through our intellect, through our mind, through intelligence, through thinking, rather than sensing? And perhaps the most fundamental issue of knowledge is truth, relative, or are there objective, absolute, unchanging truths that must apply to every human being who lives today or whoever has lived? Now, today, we live in an area, an era in which a lot of people believe the truth is not objective. Truth is subjective, and truth is also relative. That stuff is totally inconsistent with the biblical worldview. There is no room for relativism with respect to truth in the Christian worldview. If you run into somebody who is a fan of relativism, I suggest you start paying attention there because that is beyond the bounds for the Christian worldview. And I'll give you arguments to support that later on. Ethics. What sorts of behavior are right and wrong? And maybe, as is so often today, people believe that anything can be right for somebody and wrong for somebody else. That is that ethics is relative. The Christian worldview is an enemy of ethical relativism, and it is an enemy of epistemological relativism. And then fifthly, what about human persons? What is a human being? What am I? Am I just a body? And when this body dies, does that mean the end of conscious existence? Or is a human being more than just a body such that when our body dies, human consciousness still exists? Those are very fundamental issues, and the Christian worldview has answers to that. And then, of course, finally, am I. Do I possess real freedom or is everything that I do and is everything that happens to me determined? And even within the context of a worldview in which the real existence of the kind of freedom that most people think they possess. Are there different senses of freedom? Are there different kinds of, well, what we might call determinism here? Now, that's just a brief overview. But notice one thing here. All of these questions and all of the relevant answers are philosophical in nature. So that even if somebody has never studied philosophy, never cares about philosophy, their worldview every day confronts them with issues in which they hold philosophical beliefs. Since none of us then can go through a single day of our life without making philosophical judgments on all kinds of matters. Why not spend a little time to become a little bit more expert in this business of philosophy? Okay. What you have on your screen are three examples of how world views work. I'll only mention one. A worldview functions as a kind of spectacle or eyeglasses. A worldview can function as a map. A worldview can also function as a picture puzzle. Well, let me let me say a little bit more than I had intended. Let's take this picture puzzle business life. Every day we're getting information that functions much like the pieces of a puzzle. What do we do with a big picture puzzle? Well, we look for a some kind of a photograph on the cover of the box that helps us put the pieces of the puzzle together. It's that picture on the box that functions as a kind of worldview guide. What we need as the pieces of the puzzle keep flowing into our consciousness. We need a worldview that will say to us, This information goes here. This information should be rejected because it's inadequate or false or something else. So that by the time we've thought about this for 30 or 40 years, we can look down and say, This is my picture of the world. This is how everything fits together when we're in strange territory. We need a map. A worldview functions as a map. And a lot of people in the world are lost because they're going through the world. They're going through life following the wrong map. Maybe following the devil's map. A worldview that is destined to lead them into serious spiritual difficulty and trouble. The Christian worldview gives us the map that we need to find our way through the valleys and the swamps and the mountains of life. Finally, a worldview functions like a pair of spectacles. I often use this example. Let me pick up this book of mine and I'm opening this book of mine and I'm taking off my glasses. And all of a sudden, without my glasses, I can't read a single word in here. I do know that whichever on these pages is brilliant, but I can't. I can't tell that. So I put on my glasses and all of a sudden I see I recognize the brilliance. Oh, I hadn't read this in a few days. Pardon me. This is really. Mm hmm. Is page 147 of Faith and reason. Oh, but we must continue. Okay, well, I'll read it later. Well, the relevance of my analogy is this. A lot of people are going through life trying to make sense of reality, but they've got the wrong prescription glasses. Maybe they've got the devil's glasses. All right. Nothing makes sense. Nothing fits. When somebody says to you, give tell me the meaning of life, what they're really asking is, give me the right prescription glasses. So all of a sudden, I'll know where everything fits. Okay, Now I'm now putting on the screen three pairs of circles. In the case of the first pair of circles. These two circles overlap almost identically. This would be this would be analogous to two people whose two worldviews are very similar. Of course, it's highly unlikely that in the case of any two people, their worldviews will match. Precisely. Then we have two circles that overlap to a much lesser degree. This would be two people who agree on a few issues, but who disagree on a great many a larger number of issues. This is more likely the situation that we encounter in life. My goodness, if you're dealing with someone whose worldview doesn't make some kind of contact with yours in any way whatsoever, you're wasting your time talking to a person like this. If you've got two people whose worldviews don't, don't make contact at all, it's very likely that this person's in jail right now. Okay? Because he's totally out of sorts with the culture and the civilization and the ethics and everything else. But in the final case, we have two worldviews that make no contact at all. I don't know how they can talk to each other. I don't know how they can reason with each other. When I give this message to teenagers, I usually say this. At this point, I say to people like this should never get married. And the reason why there are so many divorces in the world is because too many people like this, whose worldviews have absolutely nothing in common, are getting married left and right. They do have some kind of attraction, but it has nothing to do with the mind. Okay. Now my next overhead is a tribute to my artistic ability. Let me describe this for people who cannot see our screen. I have two boxes on the screen with a line drawn down the middle between the two boxes. And then I have a name that is given to because each of these two boxes represents a worldview. Let me tell you something that you may find interesting. This the use of this kind of example first occurred to me when I was getting ready to give my first worldview messages and what was then still the Soviet Union. It was May of 1991. The Soviet Union didn't break up until later that year. And I guess I should tell you that my lectures had nothing to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Okay. Now, the worldview on the left is represented by a sealed box, a four sided box that has no openings. This worldview is a way of representing this box as a way of representing the worldview we call naturalism. Now, when I was preparing to give this first message in Moscow in May or June of 1991, my translator said to me, we can't we Russians can't use the word naturalism because the Russian equivalent of naturalism is not what you want to talk about. The word we have to use is the Russian equivalent for materialism. And I knew they were right. And, you know, in our part of the world in that what I call naturalism is simply as a synonym for materialism. Here are the basic elements of naturalism. A naturalism, a naturalist is a person who believes that everything that exists is a part of exists in a physical material system. Notice the box. The box here. The closed box includes the whole universe. With everything that exists in the universe. And if anything exists, it's inside the box, which we call here the natural order. If anything happens, it is caused by something else that exists inside the box. And if the person is a naturalist, then he must believe that there is nothing else in the universe that exists outside the box. Outside the box. There is no God. There is no spirit. There is no mind. There is nothing. Okay. Now naturalism plays an essential role in all kinds of worldviews. Marxism-Leninism is a form of naturalism. Every member of those audiences that I talked to in Russia and Ukraine had been indoctrinated in this worldview. Now, there are mother. There are other forms of naturalism. Just plain old humanism is a form of naturalism, just plain old American country style. Atheism is a form of naturalism. But everybody I was talking to in Russia had been indoctrinated in the naturalistic worldview. That doesn't mean they accepted it, but that means that they were taught it. See? Often after I was finished giving this lecture, large numbers of people would stand up and just to shake my hand and talk to me. Right now I'm having a mental image of what city this would have been. The city of Ivanova of Russia, about 200 miles northeast of Moscow, which incidentally, I'm told, was the birthplace of Russian communism. I didn't know that, but that's what I was told. And these people were saying, you know, before today, I had no idea that I had a worldview. They were speaking English. Many of them were English teachers. Before today, I had no idea that I was a naturalist. Now, Dr. Nash, many of them would say, I'm not telling you that I am ready to become a Christian, but I am ready to tell you that never before in my life did I think that I would even give a hearing to Christianity. Hmm. Now, let's say a little bit more about naturalism. I'm now going to give you a quotation from perhaps the most famous naturalist in America. I'm going to hide his name. Many of you will know who we're talking about. This famous quotation. Let me try and quote it in the same way in which its author used to say this The universe is all it is. Or ever was or ever will be. Now who said that? Carl Sagan s a g a m. Let's see if you're right. There it is. You win the prize. Carl Sagan. Now, who was Carl Sagan For? People who don't know, he was an astrophysicist who foresaw and he taught, as I recall, at Cornell University before he became rich and famous. And American Public television gave him a a television program that I think used to be on Sunday nights. It's called Cosmos. Then he came on with another show a little bit later on, but he always began his program or ended it with those words, The universe is all it is or ever was or ever will be. Now, Sagan was an atheist. Sagan was a naturalist. This sentence right here is the essence of naturalism. If I ever asked you to define naturalism, I would accept this definition right here. Okay. Now Carl Sagan. Carl Sagan died a couple of years ago. And I'll be frank, you know, I'm I'm kind of committed to my faith. And I didn't like the fact that American taxpayers money was being used to pay for the propagation of an anti-Christian religion on public television. Because this is religion. Naturalism is a religion. And Carl Sagan was making big bucks teaching religion on public television. So I tended to regard him as the enemy. Okay? I didn't pay much attention to him for a period of some 20 years. And then I read a couple of I read about, oh, six months ago now that he had died of a form of Lou Gehrig's disease. I think I'm right on that. And wherever I was reading this, I noticed that Carl Sagan, before his death, had called his son, who would have been nine or ten years old, called his son over to his bed in his home, placed his hand on his son's head and uttered this sentence. Son, I love you. And I find myself moved at that statement. I really did move by it because I can empathize with a father or a grandfather whose time with someone he loves is very brief. And I had a a few tears came to my eyes. And then a couple of months ago, I was having dinner in a local restaurant with and and a Christian astrophysicist named Hugh Ross. I mentioned that information about Carl Sagan to you, Ross, and here's what you Ross told me. He said, Well, you don't know the end or you don't know you don't know very much about what happened in the case of Carl Sagan before he died. And this is what you Ross told me. He told me you Ross told me, the Christian astrophysicist, that there are very small number of astrophysicists in the world. There may be only 20 or so in America. I didn't get the precise number, but he said, whatever the number is, we make up a very small community and we go to the same meetings and we know each other personally, and all of us know Carl Sagan and Carl Sagan knew us and we witness to Carl Sagan. He heard the gospel from us. Okay. But when the news leaked out that Carl Sagan had this fatal disease, one of these Christian astrophysicist emailed him the following message. She said, Dear Carl, I've just heard about your Well, this is what he said, actually. He said, Dear Carl, I understand that you have a very big test coming up. I hope you're studying for this test and I hope you're going to pass it. Well, that's the way astrophysicists witness to each other. Okay. Two weeks after that, Carl Sagan emailed Hugh Ross and every other Christian on his mailing list. With this short message, Please pray for me. Now let's put again our little picture of the naturalistic worldview. I am here to tell you that no consistent naturalist would ever say to anybody, Please pray for me, because a naturalist believes there's nothing outside the box to pray to. And besides, if you're a naturalist, prayer accomplishes nothing. Okay. Moreover. In a naturalistic world view, there is nothing that corresponds to the love. That Carl Sagan. Spoke about when he put his hand on his son's head. No naturalist can say. I love you. If he does, he's cheating. He is slipping some. He has. He has really started the abandonment of the naturalistic worldview. Just keep that in mind. Now, let me say a couple of other things about naturalism. If you're a naturalist, you've got to believe that the box is eternal. Every naturalist that I know of would, would, would never admit that there was a time when nothing existed. If a naturalist does admit that he's in real trouble, because every naturalist knows that you can't get something from nothing, therefore there must have always existed a material order, whatever the structure, a form of that material order was. Secondly, if you're a naturalist, you've got to believe in evolution. You've got to be an evolutionist because there is no other way that you could arrive from whatever the primitive order of things was billions of years ago to whatever the order of life is today. You've got to believe in some kind of evolution. But of course, it cannot be an intelligent evolution. It can't be guided by reason or principle or purpose. That's a tough worldview to defend. Okay. Now to the right of our screen. I give you a picture of Christian theism. Here again, we have a box. Only in this case, the box is not a sealed box. It is not a closed box. It is a box that has an opening. And outside that box. I've written the word God. And then from the word God, I've drawn an arrow through the opening in the box to the middle of the box so that my little portrayal of the Christian worldview ends up making three basic points. The first point is this God exists outside of the box. God exists outside of the natural order. Please notice some consequences here. First of all, we Christians have no quarrel with the box. We have no quarrel with the natural sciences. We've got no defect. It's not science that is the enemy here. It is a religious interpretation of science that we are at war with here. It is a philosophy of science that we are at war with here. I'm not anti physics, anti biology, anti chemistry. It is a worldview that turns those scientific collection of scientific beliefs into a metaphysical worldview. So God exists outside the box. Then I come the second point to the second point, and I tell you this, even though I haven't been in Russia or Ukraine now in nine years. There was tremendous electricity in the auditorium when this second point was made. Because here's the second point. God exists outside the box. Second point. God created the box. Wow. You could see light bulbs going on all over the auditorium. What a simple point. And yet, you see, when you're enslaved by a materialistic worldview, which is the only thing you've been taught all of your life by the schools of the Soviet Union. To suddenly be told that everything that is important to you was brought into being by God, the God that your system denies. Wow. Exciting time. And then thirdly, God acts as a cause inside the box. Now, how does God act as a cause? I'll just mention one way. God is a God of miracles. Notice these two worldviews. There is no room in naturalism for miracles. If a naturalist ever began to believe in the possibility of miracles, he was on his way to abandoning naturalism. God doesn't just create the box and then leave it go on its own. He's constantly involved with his creation. See, Now watch this next point. Nobody can be a Christian in the New Testament sense of the word unless they believe in miracles. And that means they really have to hold to this kind of worldview. Do I have any biblical support for that? Sure. Listen to these verses. Listen to this verse, rather. Romans ten. These verses. ROMANS ten. Nine and ten. Paul says that if thou shall confess with thy mouth, Jesus says, Lord. Let's pause. What's that mean? Paul's here talking about the deity of Jesus Christ. He's talking about the miracle of the incarnation that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. To call Jesus Lord is to believe that He is God. Okay, That's a miracle. That if they also confess where they mouth Jesus's law, that's the miracle of the incarnation and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead. That's the resurrection. Thou shalt be saved. Now, in plain, simple language, you can't be a New Testament Christian if you don't believe in the Incarnation, because if you believe in Jesus, who he is, who he is, is crucial here. You're not just a carpenter, a human being. He is the son of God. So if you don't believe in the Incarnation and the Resurrection, any talk you make about being a Christian is just phony baloney, rock and roll nonsense. Therefore, when you witness to the Christian faith, you'd better be in a position to defend these two miracles. And that's what we do near the end of the book. Faith and Reason. In case you need any help, we'll help you defend the incarnation and the resurrection. Now, there are a lot of people in the world who don't believe in miracles when Christians witness to them. And the Christian walks away. And this is true in your case, too. People will often say, well, you know, Joe is such a nice guy and Betty is such a nice lady. They're so pleasant. They're so friendly. They seem so intelligent.
And yet, you know, they believe in miracles. They believe in.
Miracles. Of course, these are the same people who will have their children reading the Harry Potter books. See? They believe in miracles. And the reason why many people don't believe in miracles. Well, there are two basic reasons. Number one, people don't believe in miracles because they think they're smarter than you are. Isn't that a shame? Such an idiot, such an ignoramus. He probably came from the barefooted swamps of Tennessee before he moved down here to Florida. They think they're smarter than you are. And they also think they went to better colleges. Why? Where did we go to? We went. I went to the University of Central Florida. Why? That's. That'll do it, won't it? Or I went to the University of Florida or Florida State or take your pick or, you know, some very liberal Southern Baptist College. Most Southern Baptist colleges are liberal. And in case that didn't get across, I'll say it more directly into the microphone. I am a Southern Baptist, but 48 or so of the 50 Southern Baptist colleges in America are basically pagan institutions. And I hope my editors leave that in their. There are pagan institutions. They don't believe anything about the Christian worldview. They'd sooner hire a sun worshiper to teach New Testament. Okay. Now, why don't people believe in miracles? Here's the answer. People don't believe in miracles because their world view won't let them believe in miracles. It's not because they're smarter. It's not because they went to a better school. It's because their worldview has blinded them. They are a slave to an anti-Christian worldview. And you just can't get through that grid, that filter that stands between them and the truth. So when you start witnessing and people say, well, you know, you can't get to first base with me because I don't believe that Jesus Christ was a son, you might just as well stop witnessing and you better start doing apologetics. Because they're not going to hear a thing that you say. Now everybody has a world view. Should we believe then that every worldview is as good as another? Of course not. How many worldviews are there that are true? Answer one. Just one. Because if two worldviews differ in even one respect and one of them is true, then the other one can't be true. That's simple logic, and I'm going to defend the role of logic in all of this next week. Now, if there is only one true world view, which one is it? Answer It's God's worldview. It's not Nash's worldview. It's not Alex Moreno's worldview. There. Alex, I made you famous. In a few months, all over the world, people will be saying, Who's Alex Moreno? Okay. And I'll tell you right now, you strangers. He's Mexico's greatest philosopher. Okay. Only one word. So our task in life is to get our worldview as close to gods as we can. And how do we do that? We'd better start paying attention to Scripture, because that is one of the functions of Scripture, not only to tell us about our need for a savior, not only to tell us how we can find salvation. God's Scripture tells us gives us the basic rudiments of the worldview that is the map that will help us go through life. Now, what I have on the screen here, and we're getting close to the end of this message, are four tests that we can use and should use in evaluating any worldview. Bring on your worldview and and we'll even test the Christian worldview this way. The first test of a worldview is the test of reason. I'm not going to elaborate on that now, because that's what we're going to talk about next week. Testing a Worldview by the laws of logic. The law of non contradiction. Any time a worldview contains a contradiction, something is wrong in that worldview. And listen to me. Before this course is over. I will defend the Christian worldview from the charges of inconsistency within our worldview. There are no logical contradictions in the Christian worldview. People say, Well, what about the incarnation? The belief that Jesus was fully God and fully man? I'll answer that objection before this course is over. If you can't wait. I answer that objection in the book Life's Ultimate Questions. Just start digging around. It's at the end of the chapter on Aristotle. So the test of reason. My goodness. Can you imagine a new age worldview passing the test of reason?
Oh, that's the easiest thing in the world to refute.
Anybody who says there's no place in my worldview for reason. They're dead ducks. All you have to do is pull that out. Secondly, the test of outer experience. A worldview should fit what we know about the world outside of us. Take a Christian science worldview. They deny the existence of pain, suffering and death. How do you refute that? Simply ask where all of those people are right now. Okay. Where are all of these Christian scientists from 50 years ago? There's no pain, suffering and death. But test of inner experience. Read what we say in your books. The sense of moral obligation. Where does that come from? The sense of moral duty. Anybody who doesn't feel certain moral obligations about some things may no longer be a human being. And the sense of guilt. If you're a naturalist or new age, you really have to say that the sense of moral duty and the sense of guilt are illusions. They don't really exist. And they also have to say this about love. And then finally, the test of practice. What good is a worldview if you cannot live it and cannot live it consistently? What we saw in the case of Carl Sagan was the worldview by which he lived. His whole professional career, failed him at the ultimate test of life. He couldn't follow that worldview to the grave. I don't know whether he became a believer, but I do know that he was abandoning naturalism as his life crumbled around him. Non-Christians cheat because sooner or later what they do is slip in elements of our world view. Well, we should remind them when they do that, that they're cheating. They may not like it when you do that, but that's what we need to do. Now, I want to close with two stories. Well, one story and one point. First of all, here's a little point. A person can believe intellectually the Christian worldview and still not be a Christian. Did you know that? That happens to be important to me because I grew up in an American religious denomination. I won't name it here in which all of my relatives were baptized as children, went through catechism and did whatever else was. And I'm not telling you what denomination this is, but they would have they would have died to defend the inerrancy of the Bible. But there wasn't one of them who understood the new birth. Intellectually, you can accept all of the elements of the Christian worldview and still not be a born again Christian. Now, this is certainly true in the case of C.S. Lewis. C.S. Lewis was one of the great Christian authors of all time, even though he had some theological difficulties eventually. But people don't know that C.S. Lewis underwent two conversions early in his life. C.S. Lewis was a naturalist. He rejected miracles. He accepted the naturalistic worldview. And then he came to recognize that naturalism was false, and he converted intellectually to the Christian worldview. But then Lewis came to understand that just believing the right propositions wasn't enough. C.S. Lewis somehow came to recognize that he still wasn't a Christian, even though his worldview was Christian. And then he underwent that second conversion, which the Bible calls the new birth. So I'm not I'm not suggesting in the slightest degree that just believing the right propositions is sufficient to bring a person to saving faith. In fact, when you read the last chapter of the book, Faith and Reason, I make it very claim that there must come a time in a person's life when the Jesus who was important to us is the personal savior whose death and resurrection made our salvation possible. Then a little story, and then I'll be finished with my official presentation. I like this. The minute I heard this story, I knew it was something I was going to have to tell for the rest of my life. I was scheduled to speak at a conference a little bit north of San Francisco. I forgotten the name of the town. It's not. Well, anyway, we we were riding in a bus from the San Francisco airport, a chartered bus across the Golden Gate Bridge. And I was sitting next to a young lady who was probably. 21 or 22 years old. And she told me this incredible story. I should have put it in the book. Incredible story. She told me that her mother and her father had been professing Christians younger and young and in their youth. But the more education they got and the more wealthy they became, they became naturalists. Their worldview had become an anti-Christian form of naturalism. And so because they despised the Christian faith of their youth to such an extent, they wanted to protect their one and only daughter, their precious child, from any contaminating influence from Christianity. And so when it came time for the little girl to go to college, the mother and the father said, Where can we send our daughter so that she'll be safe from the Christian worldview? And to me, this is so funny because this is so much this is so similar to the attitudes of many Christian parents. Where can we send our precious child so that he or she will be safe from the contaminating influence of a naturalistic worldview? If the if the parent Christian parents understand what naturalism is. So finally, the mother and the father agreed. They had found a college where they knew their precious daughter would never hear about Christianity. It was Harvard University. They said, Our baby girl will.
Be safe at Harvard. She will never hear about Christianity.
After about a year or two, I've forgotten this young lady's name. She called her mother and she said, Mom, I got to talk to you and dad. Something has happened and I've got to come home and I've got to tell it to your face to face. And the mother said, Dear, dear, don't let us hang here. Please tell us right now what's wrong. No, Mother, I've got to talk to you personally. I don't want to identify too carefully where this family lived because the father had become a rather well-known American historian in a major East Coast university. So the daughter that the mother hung up, she told the father about the call. And then this conversation ensued. All right. The mother said to the father, You don't suppose she's pregnant, do you? And then watch the liberal. Not that there's anything wrong with being pregnant. See, this is a play off of the Seinfeld show. And incidentally, in case you don't know this, you can preach the gospel when people watch the Seinfeld show. Because notice every time those people did something wrong, they talked about their guilt. With the exception of Cosmo Kramer, who's too dumb to be guilty about anything. Okay. You don't suppose she's pregnant? Not that there's anything wrong with being pregnant. You don't suppose she's become a lesbian? Not that there's anything wrong with being a lesbian. This is the way liberals think. This is the worldview. So the daughter comes home and she says, Mom and dad, I think you ought to sit. And the mother and the father say, Listen, dear, we're strong enough to take anything you can give us. Talk to us. Well, okay. Mother and Dad, the first thing you need to know is I believe that God exists. The mother collapsed in a chair and the father said, Oh, my. And he uttered another word that I won't repeat here. Okay. Oh, my. My daughter believes in God. Does this get any better? Daughter said, yes. I have become a born again Christian. Then the father collapsed. Well, I said to the lady, the young girl, I said, How did this happen? Because I knew that she hadn't heard about this at Harvard.
Okay. How did you come in contact with the Christian worldview?
This was her answer. She says, I got it from my grandmother. Every time my mother and dad went away, they left me with Grandma. And grandma. I'm getting a little emotional here. Even though I've told this story a lot of times, I do get emotional. Every time they went away. They left me with grandma and grandma would put me on her knee and she would tell me about Jesus. Now when I'm preaching this, I got a powerful punch line here. Never underestimate the power of a grandmother. Harvard doesn't stand a chance. All right. So long as grandma's got her worldview. All right. Well, I think that's a great story. And I think it's so funny in the sense that these liberals. They they manifest the way in which their worldview controls their thinking. And they're so much like us, except they have no idea what's going on. They have no idea what's going on.