When men look at the world through a lens of independence from God, they misinterpret what they observe and do not know the truth. Neither can man ever know the truth concerning ultimate reality or spiritual things apart from the saving revelation of God in Christ Jesus. The Scripture is clear on this point: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools (Rom. 1:20-22).” Further, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).” And, “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart (Eph. 4:17-18).” In the realm of knowledge, apart from God, man is futile in his thoughts by virtue of his darkened heart. He is a fool and has no ability to understand the things of God. His thinking is futile, his understanding is darkened, he is ignorant, and blind to truth.
Man’s commitment to knowledge independent from God goes all the way back to the garden. The very nature of Satan’s temptation of Eve had to do with knowing truth or ultimate things. “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:4-5).’” Satan told her that her eyes would be opened and that she would know what God knew. No longer would she have to be dependent upon God for knowledge. She would be like Him. And note v. 6: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” She saw that the tree was desirable “to make one wise.” She had committed herself to independence from God. Once Adam partook, they both fell, all of creation fell, and the entire human race was plunged into ruin, that is, sin and death. That ruin also included futility in the realm of knowledge apart from the gracious, saving revelation of God.
One’s worldview is critically important, to say the least. As noted earlier, there are those who ignore the question of what they believe and why they believe it and there are those who answer only the first half of the question. Both have committed themselves to their respective worldviews unconsciously and relegated themselves to philosophical futility in the realm of knowledge. There are those who wrestle with the “why” question and are thus consciously committed to their worldview. The problem lies in the fact, as also noted, that they have no rational, philosophical ground for what they believe if they hold to any worldview other than a biblical worldview. They too are relegated to futility.
That leads us to the final category of individuals alluded to earlier: those who believe the Scriptures unto salvation. These individuals alone know what they believe and why they believe it. They alone have a justification for what they believe. They are committed to dependence upon God in the realm of knowledge and they presuppose that He is. They know why they are here: God created them. They have a purpose in living: to glorify God. They have morals and values that come from God. Things like honesty, promises, contracts, and marriage vows make sense on their worldview because God is a God of values. They know there is life after death and they will spend eternity with God. They can justify laws of logic on their worldview because not only is God a logical God but they are not relegated to justifying what they believe from the physical box alone. They believe in the metaphysical. They believe that communication has meaning because God gives it meaning. And, long before Darwin came along and evolutionists contradicted themselves by saying that something came from nothing and life came from non-life, even though it’s impossible on their worldview, the bible declared that God was outside of the box. The bible declared that God is eternal. The Christian can justify the existence of the universe on his worldview: the eternal God who is distinct from His universe created it. The God who is outside of time and space hung the earth on nothing (Job. 26:7). The evolutionist cannot even justify the world’s or even his own existence on his worldview. In other words, he cannot logically explain the fact of his existence. Christians can because they presuppose God.
When one has a biblical worldview, he can make sense out of his world and experience. He can philosophically justify what he believes without contradiction or inconsistency. On the other hand, those with a different worldview cannot justify any number of things on their worldview nor do they really have the truth. Do you want to know what you believe and why you believe it? Do you want to be a philosophical fool or do you want to be philosophically wise? If you want to be wise, be dependent on God. He explains it all.
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About Paul Dean
Dr. Paul Dean is a pastor, cultural commentator, and author. He serves as a Regional Mentor with the International Association of Biblical Counselors, speaks at several conferences throughout the year, and provides training for ministers and churches on a regular basis. Paul resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with his wife and three children.
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