Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lenses that Organize

I prefer a more organic style of Christian living. So I am content to read my Bible and strive to live in front of God and with my fellow man in a way that is consistent with the simple Word of God. I know, however, that there are some who need a more systematic mechanism in order to do anything. If you are one of these people you will notice that the preliminary steps to good Biblical counseling, which is what this course is made up of, look an awful lot like Presuppositional Apologetics. Let me take a few minute here to explain how this works.

Presuppositionalists believe that there is no neutral ground on which to discuss the issues. Everyone has presuppositions that color everything they think and believe. Everyone sees everything through the lens that organizes their lives. Buddhists see everything through Buddhist eyes. Muslims see everything through Islamic eyes. When a Christian tells a Mormon that “God saves us by Grace” the Mormon is happy to heartily agree. But what he means by “saved by Grace” is very different than what the Christian means when he makes the statement.

Additionally the Presuppositionalist, because he is a godly Christian, understands that the world is the way it is because the God of the Bible created it to be that way. Not only this, but this same triune God is intimately involved in his creation, so that nothing happens without his having ordained or caused it. Because this is true everything that happens can be explained according to the revealed word of God. Everything is either done in accord with God’s will or it isn’t. Men either sin by rebelling against what God has ordained should happen or they walk in righteousness by living according to the light revealed in the Bible.

Non-Christians live in God’s world, but to do it, and remain independent from Him, they must try to explain how things around them came be that way without attributing anything to God. Consequently, because men are rebels and to admit God would admit some sense of inferiority, every godless system man has devised holds a strong element of chance. In the western world evolution is the system of chance we deal with. Evolution teaches that time acting on chance is responsible for what we see around us. The problem with this is that time acting on chance cannot produce anything, if it started with anything in the first place, and if somehow it could, there could be nothing in the world that could be consistent. If it is up to chance who can say with certainty that the sun will come up tomorrow? Does it make any sense to say that the sky is blue, when it might very well be red tomorrow? And even using the word ‘sense’ makes no sense in a world governed by chance. Thus facts would not be facts at all, but the current event that just happens to have happened this time, but which might not happen next time.

Non-Christians live in a world where facts are facts, however, and things that happened one time will happen the next time given all the same circumstances. They know this and thus most of the time, except when they are talking about beginnings, don’t live or talk like they really believe that things happen randomly at all. Non-Christians live like God really did create the universe while proclaiming loudly that he does not exist. This is what is meant when Christians say non-Christians “borrow” from God in order to live according to their own system.

The fact is, however, that the world works the way it works because it was created and is run by the Triune God of the Bible. God created the heavens and the earth, and God is God almighty. All of creation works the way it should work because God made it that way. No other system explains the way the world works the way the Bible does—fitting everything that is with every other thing that is.

The goal of the Presuppositionalist in giving an answer to the hope within him, then, is to show the non-Christian two things: first, that the system he has created for himself is inconsistent with itself and it is inconsistent with the real world. Second the Presuppositionalist must show the non-Christian that Christianity is consistent both with itself and with the world that God created.

Finally, because the non-Christian is rebelling against God in his mind and in his behavior, he builds his kingdom on his own light. He looks around him, sees the God of all creation in everything he sees, but because he wants to be the king of his own life, he rebels against God by ignoring him or by outright rebellion. And because this rebellion is created from his own mind and is not in accord with the will of God, it cannot be logically consistent either with itself or with the world in which God created.

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