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The One Thing Church & CultureThe One Thing. Church & CultureThe One Thing Ideas have consequences. - Richard M. Weaver.

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Presentation on theme: "The One Thing Church & CultureThe One Thing. Church & CultureThe One Thing Ideas have consequences. - Richard M. Weaver."— Presentation transcript:

1 The One Thing Church & CultureThe One Thing

2 Church & CultureThe One Thing Ideas have consequences. - Richard M. Weaver

3  Review of last session “Divided Minds”  What is “the one thing”  Reason is not a repository of infallible truths  Reason is a human capacity, an ability to reason from premises  The key question is what does a person accept as their ultimate premises?  The one thing – the starting point from which everything else flows Church & CultureThe One Thing

4  Something has to be taken as self-existent  We might call it the “ultimate reality” “The source” of everything else  There is no reason for it to exist-it just is  It has been reduced to its simplest terms and cannot be reduced any further  Examples  Materialist – the one thing, the ultimate reality is matter – everything is reduced to material constituents  Pantheist – the one thing is a spiritual force or substratum – goal of meditation is to reconnect with that spiritual oneness  Darwinist – the one thing is biology and everything, even religion and morality is reduced to a product of Darwinian processes  Empiricist – all knowledge is traceable to sense data, and anything not know by sensation is unreal Church & CultureThe One Thing

5  Every system of thought must begin with an ultimate starting point  If not God then some dimension of creation  The material, the spiritual, the biological, the empirical  Some aspect of created reality will be absolutized as the starting point, the ultimate reality, the one thing, the source of everything else  The uncaused cause, the self-existent Church & CultureThe One Thing

6  The one thing functions as the divine to use a religious term  Defined to mean the one thing upon which all else depends for existence  This starting point has to be accepted by faith  You cannot get there from here by prior reasoning  Otherwise it cannot be the ultimate starting point for all reasoning  Something else must be the ultimate starting point and we have to digger deeper to find it and start there instead Church & CultureThe One Thing

7  An alternative might not involve ritual or a worship service but it identifies some principle or force in creation as the one thing, the self- existent cause of everything else  This functions then as an idol or a false god  This is why the Bible addresses the reader as though they already believe in God or some God surrogate  Faith is a universal function  “Faith is a universal function, and if it is not directed towards God it will be directed toward something else.” - Philosopher Roy Clouser  It is not the case that Christians have their faith and secularists base their convictions purely on facts and reason  Secularism is based on ultimate beliefs, the one thing, just as much as Christianity is  Some part of creation – usually matter or nature – functions in the role of the divine  The question then is not which view is religious and which is purely rational, the question is which is true and which is false Church & CultureThe One Thing

8  Since the Fall, man has divided into two distinct groups  Those who follow God and submit to their minds to His truths or:  Those who set up an idol of some kind and organize their thinking to rationalize their worship of that idol  This is what Augustine meant by his image of the two cities  Peoples’ ultimate commitments shape the choices they make  Peoples’ perspectives are molded to support those choices  False gods lead to the formation of false worldviews  Christian must identify the dominant intellectual idols of our culture and then construct biblically based alternatives Church & CultureThe One Thing

9  Christians and non-Christians often are in agreement on a wide range of subjects  Non-Christians are often more capable than Christians in a variety of tasks and occupations  The reason for this is found in the doctrine of creation:  We are “all” made in God’s image  In order to live in God’s world, our faculties were designed to give us real knowledge of the world  This creates a significant range of agreement between believers and non-believers Church & CultureThe One Thing

10  The Bible teaches us the doctrine of common grace  Special grace refers to salvation, common grace means God’s providential care  Providential care is the way God upholds His creation (Mt 5.45)  The Bible teaches that non-believers are capable of effective functioning in the world, including cognitive functioning  Mt know how to give gifts, be good parents  Mt Since they were able to interpret the signs of the weather Jesus expects them to also be able to discern the meanings of history Church & CultureThe One Thing

11  The Problem Comes with Explaining What We Know  Using Mathematics as and example  Most would agree that = 12  But the problem comes with how to justify that answer  Ancient Greeks while inventing Euclidean Geometry did not believe that the material world exhibited a precise mathematical order  They believed that matter existed independently and thus would never “obey” mathematic rules completely  “The possibility of an applied mathematics is an expression, in terms of natural science, of the Christian belief that nature is the creation of an omnipotent God.” – Historian R.G. Collingwood  Said another way: The existence of mathematics is a product of a Christian worldview Church & CultureThe One Thing

12  Math is no longer regard as a body of truths  Today math is understood as a social construct – like a game of baseball  Three strikes and your out is an arbitrary rule  It is not true or false: it is just the way we decide to play the game  Math rules are regarded as just the way we play the game  “Mathematics is man-made, that it is arbitrary, and solutions are arrived at by consensus among those considered expert.”  If math is arbitrary then there are no wrong answers-just different perspectives  Children are taught to be tolerant of multiple math worldviews  Not as important to find the right answer as it is to work together to achieve consensus  Just one example of the impact worldview has on knowledge  It will grow larger as we move up the ladder to more complex issues of biology, economics, law, ethics, etc Church & CultureThe One Thing

13  The danger for Christians is that if we don’t develop a biblical approach to a subject then we might unconsciously or consciously absorb a secular philosophical approach to the subject  If Christians don’t develop their own tools of analysis then they might borrow someone else’s tools – that are generally accepted in their field or in the culture at large  “They are borrowing not an isolated tool but a whole philosophical toolbox laden with tools that which have their own particular bias to every problem.” - Os Guinness  Using tools that are non-Christian is like trying to walk in someone else’s shoes – the results are blisters and pain  The tools shape the user  “In other words, not only do we fail to be salt and light to a lost culture, but we ourselves may ended up being shaped by that culture Church & CultureThe One Thing


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