Worldview: Hunger Can Make You Happy
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.
- 2008 Sep 05
A story connecting hunger, happiness, and evolution appeared in Live Science recently. “Contrary to the moans of many dieters, being hungry may make you happy. Or, at least, it can be a serious motivator whose evolutionary intent was to help you find dinner instead of becoming dinner. When our bodies notice we need more calories, levels of a hormone called ghrelin increase. Ghrelin is known to spur hunger, but new research suggests this may be a side effect of its primary job as a stress-buster.
Stories like this afford Christians an opportunity to dialogue at a worldview level with others. That opportunity allows believers to create a cultural milieu where biblical explanations for things are plausible. In such a context, a pathway for the gospel may be generated.
For example, attributing the increased production of ghrelin in our bodies to evolutionary modification for the sake of avoiding becoming some other animal’s dinner is owing to the presuppositions of an evolutionary worldview. There is no evidence to support such a notion. The scientists are simply looking at increased levels of ghrelin and explaining it by their worldview. Christians can certainly say the increase of ghrelin is owing to God creating our bodies to do such a thing under certain circumstances. In so doing, we are offering an explanation based upon our worldview. Each of us is interpreting what we see through our presuppositions.
The point is that we all have presuppositions and interpret reality through them. The question then becomes, which presuppositions offer better explanations for our experience or all of reality? In the end, the Christian worldview does that. When people question their own presuppositions and begin to listen to the Christian position, a door is opened for the gospel to be given.
Why would anyone want to explain hunger by a theory that does not explain what it claims to explain? For example, scientists tell us that it is impossible for something to come from nothing. Yet, that is what evolution asserts as an explanation for the origin of the universe. Evolution does not explain the origin of the universe as the worldview in which it is grounded, naturalism, rejects the possibility of something coming from nothing. There is no explanation of the origin of the universe on a naturalistic worldview. That worldview is fundamentally flawed.
On the other hand, the Christian worldview asserts that God exists outside of time and space and created the universe out of nothing. That assertion makes since on the Christian worldview and is a philosophically justifiable claim. Christianity explains what it claims to explain and therefore makes sense.
Does it not make sense, then, that hunger is a product of the fall of man into sin and the reality that without food we will die? At the same time, does not the satisfying nature and variety of food put God's multi-faceted glory and grace on display? Does not food remind us of our need for a Savior and point us to the Savior at the same time? That is indeed an open door for speaking the gospel.
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