Wednesday, August 05, 2020

A conflict of worldview this Independence Day

by Bob Shillingstad
| July 4, 2020 1:00 AM

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5

On this day we celebrate our Declaration of Independence in light of protests and tearing down of monuments, which include many of our founders and signers of the Declaration. Your worldview forms the basis of how you interpret reality. Your worldview is a lens through which you look at the world. Your worldview shapes your moral opinions. It affects what you believe about God, marriage, politics, social structures, environmental concerns, educational requirements, economics, the raising of children, etc. It affects everything because all of that which is around you and all of that with which you interact must be interpreted and must be understood in light of your worldview.

Francis Schaeffer, who passed in 1984, was one of the most recognized and respected Christian authors of the 20th century. Schaeffer’s greatest gift, like that of C.S. Lewis, was his concern for the average Christian. He believed philosophy, theology, and ethics should not be reserved for the conversation of learned academics; rather they should be the daily concern of the man on the street.

The price for ignorance of the subjects could be our life, or more importantly, our very soul. Schaeffer was one of the original cultural critics of the 20th century. He believed that mankind, both Christians and non-Christians, was adrift on a sea of irrationality. He further believed that this drift was intensifying to the point that true, orthodox Christianity was being lost.

The Declaration states that all people are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. It was clear that they believed we were created in the image of God- the “imago dei”.

The main source for our Constitution was the Bible and the understanding that we were endowed with these rights from our Creator and not government. Even though the founders failed in eliminating slavery and when faced with splitting into two countries, one slave and one free, they chose to remain as one country.

Importantly they created a government that provided an ability to change and adapt. Even though it took a Civil War that cost 600,000 lives. we eliminated slavery and later emancipated women.

The Christian worldview sees history as a movement from the creation of the world, through the fall of humanity, to the redemption of the world and humanity. It was the fall that destroyed humanity’s relationship with God, each other, and the world. It was the work of Jesus Christ on the cross that redeemed humanity and will restore the world back under God’s good rule in the future. In the meantime we are still in a world that has the conflict between good and evil.

A Christian worldview is not built on two types of truth (religious and philosophical or scientific) but on a universal principle and all-embracing system that shapes religion, natural and social sciences, law, history, health care, the arts, the humanities, and all disciplines of study with application for all of life.

Over the next several weeks we will interview individuals with this perspective in science, law, education, culture and government. I think this is a fascinating and important study for all Christians.

As Francis Schaeffer said, “If we as Christians do not speak out as authoritarian governments grow from within or come from outside, eventually we or our children will be the enemy of society and the state. No truly authoritarian government can tolerate those who have a real absolute by which to judge its arbitrary absolutes and who speak out and act upon that absolute.”

This should be an interesting set of interviews. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”

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Bob Shillingstad’s columns appear Saturdays in The Press. Email Bob: