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009 Putting Religion in Its Place Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place.

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Presentation on theme: "009 Putting Religion in Its Place Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place."— Presentation transcript:

1 009 Putting Religion in Its Place Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

2 Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place The secular revolution affected every part of American culture-not only higher education but also the public schools, politics, psychology, and the media. In each of these areas, Christianity was privatized as sectarian, while secular philosophies like materialism and naturalism were put forth as objective and neutral, and therefore the only perspectives suitable for the public sphere. - Nancy Pearcey

3 Compromising with a secular mindset Many Christians have adopted a mindset of relativism and pragmatism E.G. Lawyer, a deacon in church, his job was to find a way to break contracts Is he just doing his job? Is his work involving him in breaking moral principles? What would he do if he had a Biblical Worldview? Many Christians learn to adapt – they compartmentalize They do what is necessary in their professional lives while believing, studying, and professing faith in their private lives Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

4 Many Christians keep their faith and religious beliefs in one pocket and their jobs in another Many Believers came to think that to speak about their faith was to show a decidedly Christian bias in the work place Believers were pressured to adopt a naturalistic, secularized approach to the subject matter of their field. Can you think of how this might apply to your own field? Are the concepts you practice in your profession neutral? Should you practice them without regard to a biblical worldview? Do you separate your work and belief into a public / private dualism? Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

5 To bring Biblical truth, Christian truth, back to the work place, we must first understand how we reached this point If we can understand how this public private dualism came to be, we can come to understand how it works in our culture today If we can learn how it works we can develop ways to counter its effect in our culture Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

6 Nature means knowledge of worldly things known by reason alone Grace means the knowledge of God and the mysteries of faith Problem: if it is possible to know the things of this world through mans reason alone; there is little need for grace Grace, the second story, is increasingly irrelevant for our day to day affairs Reason, human knowledge, is quite capable of understanding the state, society, science, economics, philosophy-in fact everything outside of theology Even Christians began accept the split between nature where man came to knowledge on his own and controlled the growing first story and grace where Gods influence was confined to the upper story Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

7 Religion seen as a negative check on what reason was allowed to say It had no positive impact on daily life in the first story The reason/faith dualism grew to a point where grace or faith was understood as being arbitrary, reason was understood as independent source of truth William Ockham denies that God can be understood by an rational category Gods plan of salvation is arbitrary, it is based on His discretion and not fixed by any law that man could discern Religion is not understood from that which is rational but is derived from revelation which is accepted by faith Reason and faith are now seen as two independent categories Why do we need revelation at all? Reason holds truths that are known apart from divine revelation Reason can even be used to judge divine revelation – reason is now the yardstick for judging truth Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

8 Reason is now accepted as the rule, the yardstick of truth Many, now begin to accept Reason as truth and see revelation, religion as less than the truth Moving through 14 th Century Europe Reason becomes more and more autonomous from revelation With flowering of the Renaissance and the period of Enlightenment Reason is accepted as being able to discover truth without the need of revelation Based on the many new scientific discoveries, Reason/science is coming to be seen as the sole source of genuine knowledge Nature is now the only reality and Reason/science the only way to truth Welcome to scientific materialism Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

9 Religion was not the only casualty of scientific materialism, Arts, beauty, creativity, and morals were not subjects for scientific investigation Those who defended the subject matter of the arts, morality, religion, humanities came to be known as Romantics and this movement was call Romantic Movement Romantics rejected materialism and favored idealism instead Idealism understood that the ultimate reality was the mind, the Spirit, or the Absolute and not materialism Unfortunately Romantics agreed that the study of nature was the responsibility of science and that Idealism was concerned only with the upper story of arts and humanities Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

10 Modern Forms of Dualism Romanticism Religion & Humanities Enlightenment Science & Reason The Enlightenment is given authority over the rational world, composed of material, objective and scientific knowledge, (the lower story or the public sphere) Romanticism was allowed authority over religion, morality, the arts and humanities, (the upper story or the private sphere) This is a basic diagram of Modern day dualism or secularization Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

11 Descartes Secular Dualism Mind Spirit, Thought, Emotion, Will Matter A Mechanical, Deterministic Machine 17 th Century Renee Descartes sharp distinction between mind and matter – I think, therefore I am intended as a positive spiritual affirmation – meant to defend the mind, to prove the existence of the human spirit What survived was Descartes concept of a mechanical universe. Mind was placed into the upper story where it was irrelevant to material world known by science. With John Newton and the discovery of gravity, nature, matter came to be seen as a huge machine governed by natural laws Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

12 Nature now seen to be a machine, governed by natural laws Pictured to be like the gears of a clock There was no room for the human soul or spirit Crucial for religion but unnecessary for nature Science/nature seemed to be a better choice The religious wars of the 1500s saw Christians killing Christians Led to the conclusion of many that universal truths are not knowable in religion Gives rise to new philosophies like positivism, scientific materialism, that grant science an exclusive on knowledge (lower story) Everything else is consigned to the upper story which is private beliefs and cultural traditions Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

13 Immanuel Kant Freedom The Autonomous Self Nature Newtonian World Machine Nature is infallibly determined in accordance with the laws of nature Puts freedom in the upper story to accommodate the Romantics Man vs machine Science with its clockwork image becoming the enemy of human values Jean-Jacques Rousseau gives birth to Romanticism – humans are not part of the machine Creation of universal (moral) law was the function of God now it is assumed to be the function of the individual human will Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

14 Kant puts freedom / autonomy in the upper story Autos = self, nomos = law His ideal was to be influenced by nothing but ones own moral will. He defines autonomy as being subject to only to laws imposed on oneself by oneself The lower story is what we know; the upper story is what we cant help believing The lower story is publicly verifiable facts; the upper story is socially constructed values This is the modern dichotomy fact/value Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

15 Todays Dichotomy Value Socially Constructed Meanings Fact Publicly Verifiable Truth Darwinism offers a persuasive explanation for the beginning of life Naturalism is now a complete and comprehensive system The lower story is now without the need for dependence on the upper story The upper story is only that which is human subjectivity; religion and morality are only human ideas Cultural patterns emerge gradually over the course of human evolution, arising by naturalistic causes and lasting only as long as they are expedient for survival Church & Culture009 Putting Religion in Its Place

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