A while ago a friend recommended a philosophical kind of book called, Total Truth, by Nancy Pearcy. I have found it a fascinating read. Basically she demonstrates the significance of one’s world view and how often it appears that people who profess the Christian faith don’t reflect that kind of perspective in the things that they actually do. They may say they are Christians but then espouse opinions or practices that are actually in conflict with Christian doctrine. For example, people who profess Christianity may end up supporting causes such as abortion, euthanasia or universalism — all of which are really anti-Christian. This is especially so in these post-modern times in which the tendency is to measure the validity of something based on one’s relative satisfaction in any particular experience.
Pearcy proposes that any particular world view always seeks to deal with three issues: the question of origin (where did we come from), the question of evil and suffering, and the matter of salvation or deliverance from evil. She refers to this as a grid by which one can evaluate any particular religion or philosophy. The world view of communism, for example, is that the material world is self-generating in some way, that the notion of private property is the source of evil, and that salvation comes in the form of overthrowing the oppressors to once again establish a state of shared property. For New Age pantheism, existence comes by way of some universal spiritual force, evil consists in individualism, and redemption is found in being united with the one spiritual essence of the universe.
The uniqueness of the Christian world view is that a personal good God is the creator of the world and of life, that evil and suffering have come from Satan who tempted people to disobey God, and that redemption from evil is achieved through the sacrifice that God provided in His Son, Jesus Christ. The details of this world view have been given to us in the sacred writings handed down to us through the Jews who heard from God through His prophets among them.
Through human history, as demonstrated by the Christian philosopher, Francis Schaeffer, there has been a steady inclination to create a separation between what he called the upper story of God’s revelation of grace from the lower story of humanism in all of its secular forms. As a result, in our day, it’s popular to relegate spiritual matters to the religious aspect of our lives in a way that divorces their connection or influence upon the other aspects of our every day lives. So we have a kind of dualism taking place that popularly separates between what is considered science and spirituality.
This divide, says Pearcy, is especially evident through the development of a world view that considers evolution to be the most valid explanation for the origin of all things. Evolution has become so pervasive in education that Christian students are easily tempted to relegate their spiritual lives to a kind of non-rational experience as they pursue their secular studies in the name of science. As a result Christians are inclined to treat their Christian faith with less devotion and seriousness because they’ve concluded that it doesn’t relate substantially to the real world.
Pearcy challenges this idea to its very core. She contends strongly for the validity of a Christian world view that effectively answers questions of origin, for example, on solid rational grounds. She takes pains to demonstrate that a naturalistic world view with evolution as its explanation about origins has no substantial rational foundation to it. She illustrates that there are huge fallacies in evolution theory because there is absolutely no real evidence to substantiate its claims. For example, while it is certainly the case that significant changes have occurred within species because of environmental adaptations, there is no real evidence of evolution from one species to another, but that the latter conclusion is merely an extrapolation in order to promote a particular world view. When honest evolutionists are pressed concerning these inconsistencies they are willing to acknowledge their bias. It is really more a position of “faith” than of substance.
On the other hand, Pearcy points out the substantial evidence for intelligent design as the best explanation for the existence of life and material things. The sense of design in what exists is evident in microbiology, in cosmology, and in biology. In the latter case this is especially so in the structure of the DNA code of a living cell.
The point is that Christian faith need not, should not, and must not be divorced from a rational understanding of the material world. What makes the Christian world view valid is that it is well able to effectively integrate faith and true science in a way that commends both. More than ever, we need Christians who are keen to demonstrate the relevance of faith to the real world in which we live. Christians should not be so quick to acquiesce to a world view that is ultimately quite irrational. They should be keen to engage the secular world thoughtfully and wisely while at the same time holding a strong Christian faith and perspective.