A Matter of Worldviews

Often neglected in our world is the importance and evaluation of worldviews. When participating in apologetics we are quick to treat the symptoms without going to the disease, and what I mean is that the real battlefront in apologetics is one’s worldview. You see, a worldview determines values and behavior, it is built upon presuppositions, and it is the lens by which individuals see the world.

How we see the world is determined by our worldviews and worldviews are key to understanding the big truths such as reality, being, truth, beginnings, and ethics. While the list previously mentioned is not exhaustive, worldviews answer the ultimate questions of life. It is vital that Christians know and hold to a consistent biblical worldview, and challenge the worldview of others. Today I want to examine the consistency of the biblical worldview when pitted against naturalism.

In the examination of a worldview we must first point out that a theistic worldview does not automatically mean the same thing as a biblical worldview. Theistic worldviews can include religions such as Islam, Judaism, and others. We must remember that all worldviews comprise of presuppositions, such as Naturalism, which presupposes that there is nothing supernatural.

While many would deny such presuppositions, we quickly realize that everyone has presuppositions and we need to evaluate them. The Biblical worldview goes beyond the naturalistic presupposition mentioned in stating that God is the means by which humans are rational and the universe is orderly.

Thus, we begin with the basic presupposition of the biblical worldview, that God exists and has revealed himself to human beings. The evaluation of the reasonableness of a worldview shows the basis for the biblical worldview, the Bible, to be rational. The biblical worldview is a worldview of revelation, not metaphysical theory or speculation. In this worldview God, an intelligent, living being, is free to communicate to humanity in any way He pleases. The Bible, being the primary result of God’s communication to man provides the groundwork for the biblical worldview, which is consistent with reality, reason, and science. 

To write an exhaustive treatise on worldviews would require much more space and time than we have here today. We can, however, compare the predominant secular worldview, naturalism, with the biblical worldview. The most prominent features of the naturalistic worldview consist of an evolutionary view of origins and empiricism, although not all naturalists are empiricists. Naturalism is best understood as being a worldview based on the idea that the world can be understood by science and all things have a natural explanation. What needs to be noted here is that while Naturalism claims objective scientific inquiry, there are many presuppositions that arise such as: the presupposition that there is nothing beyond the natural, that the world is orderly, and that our senses are totally reliable.

Issues abound when it comes to origins, however, as Naturalism cannot account for order through natural causes and processes. Neither can it claim that our senses are reliable given the unguided, blind nature of evolution. The alleged accidental, chance-driven processes which created human beings cannot ultimately justify any type of objective knowledge. The naturalistic worldview can only begin by presupposing those things which cannot fit within its system. Namely, existence of knowledge, orderliness of natural law, and of course, the assumption that our senses are reliable despite their origin. The naturalistic view is limited by limiting its conclusions on what is repeatable and observable only in the physical realm. The glaring issue in naturalism is that if there was a point in which nothing existed, then nothing could ever exist, yet presuppositions abound. For the empiricist there comes a bigger issue, how can the empiricist know that all knowledge is gained through observation when that very premise cannot be observed?

Next, we will summarize those things which are consistently found within the biblical worldview. Many have pointed out that what is necessary for a worldview are the preconditions of intelligibility. Otherwise, how can we know anything about anything? Christianity has an answer for these issues. That is, God is the source of knowledge, and he provides it through creation and revelation. What is the source of intelligence? Can it be that intelligence, order, and logic can come from chance? In the face of the claim that we are merely bags of chemicals, how is objective knowledge even possible? While there are many issues within the worldview of naturalism, I’d like to focus on two, morality, and logic.

Firstly, the issues with morality. Within the evolutionary model, morality must be a construct. In a universe of chance there cannot be a definitive right or wrong. As the naturalists claim it is wrong to teach creationism in schools, they assume a morality by saying so. But it is merely arbitrary without a standard behind it. Any claim of morality must be subjective within the worldview of naturalism, and some will happily claim moral relativism all the while stating that we should not force our morality on others. The issue, of course, is the fact that this statement is a moral statement.  When one states “we should not” they are making a moral claim and, in this statement, they enforce their morality upon the listener. In a system of moral relativism, truly, nothing is wrong, not even the actions of Hitler who saw his work as noble. There have been many types of explanations of morality in the evolutionary or naturalistic model, but they all fall short in the simple fact that ANY established standard, by whomever, is subjective and does not need to be followed at all. Nor does it make sense when we are products of mere chance with no inherent value. Within the Christian worldview, the standard is the nature of God and the objective standard He has given us in his Word. In fact, God even points out the absurdity of everyone doing “what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:15).

Second, is the issue of logic. To use logic there must be laws in which we can base our rationality off of. A major forfeit of logic is seen at the beginnings of naturalism, that is, that nothing became something (and everything). There must be a basis for our rational thinking, where things are sensical, and in fact, language easily conveys logic in that if logic was not so then nothing could be coherent. We take it for granted that logic is universal and we assume that the laws of logic will work tomorrow and further into the future. Why? Because, there is a standard by which we think. In Christianity, logical thinking reflects the mind of God. Some will ignore this reality by saying that logic is a construct as well, but this raises a number of issues in that reasoning is being used when making such an argument. Logic and reasoning are seen every single day, even when it is poor reasoning that denies the reasoning being used.

The issues within the naturalistic worldview is that morality, logic, uniformity in nature, reasoning, senses, and more, are all assumed to be fully functioning. However, without a standard, how could this be? It is quite difficult to fit this discussion in such a format, but as we examine evolutionary naturalism, there is no logical basis for logic, claiming morality, or observing nature in accordance with their suggested origin. How can intelligence actually exist? How can anything truly be observed when we are merely bags of stardust reacting to happenstance? We would be no different than vinegar and baking soda operating in the world with no true reason to pursue knowledge of any sort. While they want you to think they are objective, the naturalists take a lot of presuppositions for granted that can only be accounted for if there is a standard to which to appeal. The Biblicist, however, has a standard to appeal to, the existence of a God who has all knowledge, designed the world a specific way, and with specific laws, and with a very specific purpose, His own glory.

Written by Nick Campbell. Follow Nick on Instagram @christ.is.the.cure, also follow Nick’s great podcast, Christ is the Cure on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Google Podcasts.

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