Dan Phillips – Competing Wisdoms

The Bible is a very binary book. It does not wallow in greys and pastels, but sets out the grand issues in bold black-and-white terms that demand of us a commitment, a response, leaving us no place for dithering. Jesus famously said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matthew 12:30). There is no middle ground!

Paul told the Corinthians that his commission from Christ was “to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void” (1 Corinthians 1:17). This message would be seen as folly to those lost in their sin, but welcomed as the power of God by those whom He is saving (1 Corinthians 1:18–19). Thus the “wisdom of the world” (1 Corinthians 1:20) is at loggerheads with the saving, Christ-centered, cross-centered “wisdom of God” (v. 21).

Paul sets up two competing wisdoms between which there can be no compromise. But he did not invent this state of affairs. In fact, this dichotomy goes back to nearly the beginning of Scripture. The first collision occurs in Genesis 3.

In Genesis 3, we witness the introduction of the world’s wisdom, as set forth by its first philosopher, Satan:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)

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Avery Foley and Ken Ham – Atheism: Hopeless, Meaningless, Purposeless

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In our secular Western culture, the religion of atheism is on the rise, especially among the millennial generation. Young people are increasingly abandoning the religion they grew up with and turning to life without God. But all they’ve done is replace one religion with another one — the religion of atheism.

The Religion of Atheism

Now, when I call atheism a religion on social media, many atheists get very upset. They hate having atheism referred to as a religion or a belief system. But that’s exactly what it is. One of the definitions of religion is:

A cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.1
Atheism is a system of beliefs that atheists cling to with both ardor and faith. Below are some of the tenets of this belief system. Notice that none of them are scientifically proven (and even go against science!)—that’s where atheists’ faith comes in. They accept these assertions based on faith that they are true.

– There is no God or gods.
– There is no supernatural.
– Everything is the result of naturalistic processes over time.
– Life evolved from a single-celled organism.
– Death is the end — when you’re dead, that’s it.

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Jason Lisle – Atheism: An Irrational Worldview

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Atheists are “coming out of the closet” and becoming more vocal about their message that “there is no God.” Professor Richard Dawkins (Britain’s leading atheist) is encouraging those who share his views to express their opinion. Author of The God Delusion, Dawkins says he wants to “free children from being indoctrinated with the religion of their parents or their community.” Will Christians be prepared to “give an answer” to the atheists’ claims?

Materialistic atheism is one of the easiest worldviews to refute. A materialistic atheist believes that nature is all that there is. He believes that there is no transcendent God who oversees and maintains creation. Many atheists believe that their worldview is rational—and scientific. However, by embracing materialism, the atheist has destroyed the possibility of knowledge, as well as science and technology. In other words, if atheism were true, it would be impossible to prove anything!

Here’s Why

Reasoning involves using the laws of logic. These include the law of non-contradiction which says that you can’t have A and not-A at the same time and in the same relationship. For example, the statement “My car is in the parking lot, and it is not the case that my car is in the parking lot” is necessarily false by the law of non-contradiction. Any rational person would accept this law. But why is this law true? Why should there be a law of non-contradiction, or for that matter, any laws of reasoning? The Christian can answer this question. For the Christian there is an absolute standard for reasoning; we are to pattern our thoughts after God’s. The laws of logic are a reflection of the way God thinks. The law of non-contradiction is not simply one person’s opinion of how we ought to think, rather it stems from God’s self-consistent nature. God cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13), and so, the way God upholds the universe will necessarily be non-contradictory.

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Dave Jenkins – Engaging Worldviews

This is part one in a three part series looking at what it means to engage worldviews, Paul’s use and methods in Apologetics, and the use of Apologetics in preaching and teaching the Gospel. In this first post we will examine engaging worldviews.

In Acts 17:17-21 Paul engages the worldview of the Epicureans and Stoic philosophers. Jesus called His disciples to “go forth and make disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, Mark 16:15). In the process of making disciples the Christian inevitably faces the task of dealing with worldviews. Understanding what a worldview is, and what distinguishes the Christian worldview from opposing worldviews, is vital. At this point, defining which doctrines are essential to Christianity, and what doctrines are not essential to evangelical theology, would be important before we define what a worldview is. By understanding the essentials of the Christian faith one will be able to distinguish what separates biblical Christianity from the rest of the world’s religions.

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Dr. D. A. Carson – The Worldview Clash

In this article, Dr. D. A. Carson argues that in our evangelism we need to confront people with the ‘big story’ of the Bible. From an article originally published in Southern Cross Quarterly.

Don’t worry me with questions of culture, or the receptivity of hearers, fraormeworks, or worldviews, just let me get on and preach the gospel…

This is a complaint we often hear and part of me wants to sympathize with it. It is crucial that we learn the gospel and proclaim it. But it is also vitally important to understand that the people to whom we speak bring with them their own particular prejudices, backgrounds and biases. The way we go about communicating the gospel will need to vary depending on the audience.

Of course the gospel is the power of God for salvation, and evangelism is a spiritual activity. People are blinded by sin and it is the Holy Spirit who compels belief. However, if the example of Paul is anything to go by, we must address the cultural presuppositions of our hearers so that we do not unwittingly obscure the gospel.

Paul’s speech to the Athenians in Acts 17:22-31 is the longest sermon recorded in the New Testament where a Christian is evangelizing people who do not have any knowledge of the Bible. (Compare this with Paul’s sermon in Pisidian Antioch in Acts 13 where he is evangelizing people who are familiar with Judaism.) In Athens, he is dealing with people who have never heard of Moses, never read the Old Testament, and are clearly polytheists. They had a different worldview.

Today, in the West, we are in a similar situation. Increasingly, we are dealing with people who are biblically illiterate and hold a modernist or postmodern worldview (or perhaps a combination of both). Up until fairly recently we could presuppose that 80 to 95 per cent of our hearers had a Judeo-Christian worldview, or at least were informed by it. Accordingly, if we were dealing with an atheist we were dealing with a ‘Christian atheist’ in the sense that the type of God this atheist disbelieved in was the Christian God. Accordingly, in evangelism one could explain the significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the need for repentance and it would be fairly well understood. Continue reading “Dr. D. A. Carson – The Worldview Clash”

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