Your World View - by Dr. C. Matthew McMahonApologetics - A Reasoned Defense of the Christian Faith
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How should Christians look at the world?
Philosophy and world views rest on an important element, of which, everyone thinks they have the truth. Truth is a widely misconceived element in today’s society. Everyone seems to have truth; Hindu’s pilgrimage to it, New Agers hum to it, and Roman Catholics continue to create it – everyone measures truth by their own standards. This is an immediate leap back to Protagoras! Truth cannot be right in everyone’s owns eyes. Truth must have an objective standard which dictates what truth is and how it is to be believed. This standard has been present in God from all eternity and his natural being constitutes its unwavering nature. But what is it?
Our Noetic structures have been formed in a certain way. They accommodate all the necessary beliefs in order to set up a world view. A world view consists of all that we believe to be true in order that we may have an outlook on life and a standard to believe and live by. Sound world views are hard to come by. Most people that I know who reject Christianity embrace an empirical world view such as Naturalism or Materialism. Naturalism can be illustrated by a box with the world inside in. There is nothing outside the box and all that exists is that which can be empirically sensed inside. Things such as “miracles” cannot be explained because the belief in anything other than natural or material is unaccepted. It is a closed box to the One I would call God.
If everyone in the Christian faith felt as I do about those who believe such drivel, then their task in engaging various world views (i.e. personal philosophical understandings of the place they live and believe in) would lead them to utilize the realm of apologetics. Christians have an obligation to refute such contradictory, and self-defeating world views as naturalism and materialism. Because people are not immediately exposed to the holiness of God’s being, as they will be before the judgment seat, they have a hard time investigating and researching certain aspects of the Noetic structure of philosophy. Theology, Ethics, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Anthropology are the five main Noetic structures of philosophical thought. Its seems to me that Theology, Epistemology and Metaphysics are quite difficult for people to do any real searching into since it takes a great deal of thought and time to come into any sort of rational conclusions about such things. Oftentimes people are simply unwilling to do the seeking and searching needed – they find pleasure in the realm of contradiction. However, we must have a clear conception of these five areas if our world view will uphold the test of Reason and Practice. World views must not be contradictory, nor false in any type of basic belief within that view, or the world view would immediately begin to crumble and collapse. If a person were to believe a certain world view, and insisted on its veracity, though it is plainly demonstrated as to the defects of that world view, they would be living a lie. The way we see God (if at all), ethics, knowledge, the world, and the people in the world, have a profound affect on how we communicate to others.
What if everyone, each individual person, were to hold their own unique world view? Conflicts would arise everywhere. People would not be able to communicate and live effectively together in any society. For instance, what do we make of the Roman Catholic Pope kissing the Koran?
What we say is this: again the inconsistency of the Roman Catholic position rears its ugly head in blatant blasphemy against the Holy Scriptures and God’s attestation of Himself in the Bible. To accept, propagate, or kiss the Koran in any way is to show that his world view is extremely contradictory. It shows the pope has no idea what he really believes or stands for in terms of the ultimate truth of God’s Word.
A humorous argument is running through the philosophical circuit and involves a world view. Some are saying, “If you Christians believe in God and see belief in God as a basic belief, a properly basic belief, then why can’t Linus believe in the Great Pumpkin?” Can’t Linus have his own world view? Can’t the Pope kiss the Koran?” Linus can have his world view, and the Pope can kiss the Koran – but the question is not “can they do it or believe it?” rather, the question is, “is it true?” I think we could shift the analogy to make it somewhat clearer, “If someone believes something, does that make it so?” A person’s world view must not contradict itself within the realm of Reason and Practice of God’s self attestation of Himself to the world; the outer and inner world. There is more than just what is inside the box of naturalism. If any view is logically contradictory then it cannot stand. We must be able to reasonably prove that what we say is true and we must be able to live according to our beliefs. For example, the relativist (“what’s good for you may not necessary be good for me”) cannot live out his relativism. If he were to go to the bank with his $500 weekly check and decide to deposit $10,000,000 in his account just because he believes the check to be worth that much, that does not mean the teller is going to follow through. His check is only worth $500 no matter how much he may believe otherwise – he is wrong.
Another help to understanding how a world view must serve us Reasonably and Practically is following the law of non-contradiction. This teaches us that a thing cannot be both “A” and “non-A” at the same time and in the same relationship. The Christian God cannot be the God of the Bible and the God of the Muslims at the same time and in the same sense. Someone is wrong. God is either the God of the Bible or the God of the Koran, but He cannot be both. For the atheist God does not exist. For the Christian He does exist. God cannot exist and not exist at the same time and in the same relationship. Likewise, I cannot be both a man and a car at the same time and in the same relationship. This violates the law of non-contradiction. In nay way we look at it, contradictions show us what can and cannot be. It is our job to make sure that our world view does not lie in any contradictions.
World views cannot be stalemates. There are right views and wrong views. Apologetics helps us to sort through those views by searching out and discovering the truth. There is one truth about God and Jesus Christ. There are not 5 truths, just one. Do we hold to a right view? This would depend upon where our view is held without contradictions. Does our view hold to the laws of Reason and Practice or not? Are our view free from the scrutiny and just condemnation of others or not?