The Celebration of the Incarnation

A recent post at the Rabbit Room by Mr. Andrew Peterson has inspired some expression.

Ah, the Celebration of the Incarnation is upon us. Thankyou, Mr. Peterson, for this gentle reminder of how our savior came to us. I am reminded of the often cast-aside carol “Little Drummer Boy.” It strikes me that we all are the little drummer boy, with nothing at all to offer our Savior, our King, our Maker and Redeemer.

What can we give to him? We can give nothing. Nothing but our voices, our hearts, our glory. Nothing but the beat of a drum. In and of itself, the worthless banging of a child in a homemade drum. But a beating signifying the coming of the Christ. He is Emmanuel. He is God with us. And though all we have to offer is a drum beat, that is all he wants of us. Our worship, our trust, our hope and faith, the drumbeat of our lives. And so the little drummer boy beats out on his drum a rhythm of worship and of reverence and awe.

What are we to think of our King, of Emmanuel, coming in such a way? Being born in a stable that you so insightfully described, “as cruel a place as a cross… amidst the dung” But I ask, what better have we humans to offer. In our sin and depravity, the very best we have is a smelly stable. Our good deeds are filthy rags after all. Why should our fine dwellings be any better than dung-filled stables. The Celebration of the Incarnation is upon us, and what a celebration it shall be. The Coming of the King. The Arrival of a Savior. He is Emmanuel! God With Us.

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Published in: on December 23, 2008 at 2:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Race Brought to the Forefront

America has just elected Barack Obama as its 44th president, and, historically enough, he is our first African-American president. This was done amid cries of racism and bigotry as many who objected to many of President-elect Obama’s policies were questioned by his opponents. It has quickly been followed by affirmation by Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, and the entire campaign was flavored by racist remarks by Barack Obama’s former pastor, the Reverend Wright. All the while, polls showed that there were people who would be voting solely on the issue of race, many voting for Mr. Obama because he is a black man, and many voting against him for the same reason.

All this to say that racism has not died in America. It is alive and well. It is something we must deal with, something Christians must deal with, as we continue to be conformed into the image of Christ.

Here are a few short clips of a pastor named Thabiti Anyabwile speaking on reconciliation of races.

I’ve mentioned Anyabwile on before.  He has written a lot on the African-American church and theology. I feel his comments on race are of utmost importance, and cuttingly insightful. His comments can be found here, from a conference held in Louisville, Kentucky last summer called Together for the Gospel.

Anyabwile holds that we separate ourselves based on race, which is a flawed concept. We are all sons and daughters of Adam, and united in that bond.  We are all on the same playing field. As Christians, it is absolutely imperative that we accurately understand race and ethnicity. Very few things have been affected by the Fall as race has been.  And so we must work to redeem it.  

Christ has showed us the way. On the cross, he suffered and died to reconcile men to himself and to unite men in himself. Just look at his disciples. Many of them were of factions that would have been enemies in Jewish culture. Matthew was a tax collector, a hated man in 1st century Israel. They were seen as having sold out their countrymen for gifts from the foreign ruling power. Also among the disciples was Simon the Zealot, a man sworn to fight against the foreign oppressors. Yet they came together, in Christ.

In Christ (in the Christian Worldview) races are redeemed. Christ is head and his church, in love, seeks not itself, but the good (growth, edification, blessing and joy) of others. As the Psalmist says, let the nations be glad!  They rejoice in Christ – every tribe, tongue, people and nation. And yes, that includes every race.

 

Feel free to comment. I’m trying to figure out race in American culture, just like everybody else.

Published in: on November 11, 2008 at 9:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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Government Mandated Fairness or A Restriction on the First Amendment?

I’ve been studying a lot lately and haven’t had a lot of time for writing.

I did find this article however and I believe it is an interesting thing to talk about.  With some of the more liberal senators speaking in favor of the Fairness Doctrine, and a newly elected and liberal President taking office in a few months, I think this is an important idea for all of us to put into perspective.

This could have some pretty far-reaching effects in the long run. Lets not let it catch us off guard.

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Darwin’s Horrid Doubt

Charles Darwin argued that the species (humans among them) arose by a process of natural selection. Under this argument, an organism is a machine. It is run by genes which “desire” to reproduce themselves in the next generation. (No, genes dont really have hopes and dreams, they dont desire things. But they act as though they do. Consider Dawkins’ work. He backs this up a lot.) 

It follows (as Darwin admitted) that our lives, experiences, and subsequent actions are simply actions that aim to reproduce our genetic code. The central nervous system, advanced though it is, therefore is nothing more than a machine designed to take stimuli and order them in such a way as to reproduce our genes. 

With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or are at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any such convictions? (Charles Darwin, Life and Letters, vol 1 written in 1881.  Interestingly this was the year before Nietzche declared that God was dead.)

This was Darwin’s horrid doubt. Under the naturalistic worldview (Darwin’s worldview), there is no reason to believe that the purpose of our CNS is to tell us accurately what is going on in the world around us, for their is no reason for us to know anything about our world. The purpose is to manipulate us into reproducing and spreading our genetic codes.  

Patricia Churchland (an influential modern philosopher who works at the University of California at San Diego) asks what the nervous system is for. She says it enables us to succeed in the four “F”s: Feeding, fighting, flighting and reproducing (sorry.). It is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive. Evolution guarantees – if it is successful in that organism, if that organism is naturally selected – appropriate behavior, but not true beliefs. It just makes behavior appropriate for survival.

Darwin therefore doubted that our CNS could give us a reliable picture of the world around us. There is no reason for it to do so. All it does is take stimuli and spit out responses that help us survive and reproduce.

Consider this idea with cows or fish or dogs first, and not with people.

Then consider that we humans arose the exact same way. There is no reason to believe that our reasoning or perception are reliable are any more reliable than a monkey’s.

Naturalistically, then, there is a problem with epistemology. There is no reason to believe that we can actually know anything for sure. (It follows, somewhat ironically, that there is therefore no reason to believe that we can know that natural selection, evolution, etc are true.)

This is what Alvin Plantinga calls an evolutionary argument against evolution. It is based on Darwins very own “horrid doubt” (his words).  I care little however for the way it is an argument against evolution. That is merely a small, somewhat humorous, sidenote. The real concern here is what it says about naturalistic epistemology.  But that hardly has the same ring as “an evolutionary argument against evolution.”

The Christian Worldview breaks with Darwin. It holds that we are created by God in his image, and that he gave us the ability to think and reason and perceive the world around us so that we could accurately perceive Himself and worship Him. We cannot worship what we cannot know, so God has given us a way to know.

Life and Democracy

November is just a few weeks away now, and in the United States of America, that means it’s time to vote.  I hesitate to speak directly to politics here, but the issue of the sanctity of life is so intimately linked to both the Christian Worldview and current political landscape that I can scarcely get around it.  

Is all life precious?  Is all life deserving of life?  That is a question that many are asking these days.  I beg you to consider this question and vote accordingly.  Consider these facts and statements gathered from Dr. Al Mohler’s blog.  

John McCain is fully dedicated to the right to life for our unborn. He supports the reversal of Roe vs. Wade to put the issue back into the hands of the states.  He is fully supportive of life beginning at the point of conception and its being protected from that point.  His running mate, Sarah Palin, is even more devoted to this issue than she is.  As the wife, mother, and professional, I’d say she has a basic grasp on the issue.

Barack Obama, on the other hand sees the issue from a far different viewpoint.  This from an article by Professor George of Princeton University:

First:

For starters, he supports legislation that would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which protects pro-life citizens from having to pay for abortions that are not necessary to save the life of the mother and are not the result of rape or incest. The abortion industry laments that this longstanding federal law, according to the pro-abortion group NARAL, ”forces about half the women who would otherwise have abortions to carry unintended pregnancies to term and bear children against their wishes instead.” In other words, a whole lot of people who are alive today would have been exterminated in utero were it not for the Hyde Amendment. Obama has promised to reverse the situation so that abortions that the industry complains are not happening (because the federal government is not subsidizing them) would happen.

Second:

He has promised that ”the first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act” (known as FOCA). This proposed legislation would create a federally guaranteed ”fundamental right” to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, including, as Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia has noted in a statement condemning the proposed Act, ”a right to abort a fully developed child in the final weeks for undefined ‘health’ reasons.” In essence, FOCA would abolish virtually every existing state and federal limitation on abortion, including parental consent and notification laws for minors, state and federal funding restrictions on abortion, and conscience protections for pro-life citizens working in the health-care industry-protections against being forced to participate in the practice of abortion or else lose their jobs. The pro-abortion National Organization for Women has proclaimed with approval that FOCA would ”sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies.”

Third:

Obama, unlike even many ”pro-choice” legislators, opposed the ban on partial-birth abortions when he served in the Illinois legislature and condemned the Supreme Court decision that upheld legislation banning this heinous practice. He has referred to a baby conceived inadvertently by a young woman as a ”punishment” that she should not endure. He has stated that women’s equality requires access to abortion on demand. Appallingly, he wishes to strip federal funding from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that provide alternatives to abortion for pregnant women in need. There is certainly nothing ”pro-choice” about that.

In addition:

In an act of breathtaking injustice which the Obama campaign lied about until critics produced documentary proof of what he had done, as an Illinois state senator Obama opposed legislation to protect children who are born alive, either as a result of an abortionist’s unsuccessful effort to kill them in the womb, or by the deliberate delivery of the baby prior to viability. This legislation would not have banned any abortions. Indeed, it included a specific provision ensuring that it did not affect abortion laws. (This is one of the points Obama and his campaign lied about until they were caught.) The federal version of the bill passed unanimously in the United States Senate, winning the support of such ardent advocates of legal abortion as John Kerry and Barbara Boxer. But Barack Obama opposed it and worked to defeat it. For him, a child marked for abortion gets no protection-even ordinary medical or comfort care-even if she is born alive and entirely separated from her mother. So Obama has favored protecting what is literally a form of infanticide.

Senator Obama, though he claims to be a devoted Christian, is clearly out of step with the Christian Worldview on the issue of abortion.  What shall we say about this inconsistency?  Maybe he doesn’t allow his religious views to affect any aspect of his life outside of church-on-sunday.  Maybe he has sold out to parties that disagree and despise the view that all life is sacred.  Maybe he isn’t the devoted Christian he claims to be.  I have no idea.  

Clearly though, Obama’s actions and statements and views on abortion speak for themselves.  He is clearly out of step with the Christian Worldview.  And as Christians I beg you, in view of God’s stance on the issue of life, to consider closely who you will vote for this November.

Published in: on October 15, 2008 at 9:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Faith and Knowledge

It seems that far too often you hear people referring to science pertaining to knowledge and religion pertaining to values.  I haven’t quite figured out what values are or why it is OK that they are not based in knowledge.  As far as I can tell, values flow out of something like truth that is unconnected to knowledge and is also unconnected to objective truth.  We seem to live in a world where scientific knowledge is the only thing that is objectively true, the only thing from which knowledge springs.  Values, religion, faith exist in some separate area of our brains that is unaffected by knowledge and even goes against knowledge.  

According to many, faith is diametrically opposed to knowledge.  It would seem to fly in the face of scientific knowledge.  After all knowledge can be tested; it can be explained; it can be attested to.  But faith, on the other hand, has no basis in knowledge; it is blind and, insomuch as it is blind, it is foolish.

I wouldn’t argue that a completely blind faith that set itself up against observable fact and knowledge is foolish.  But I wouldn’t characterize faith as such.  I dont think many of the great Christian thinkers throughout history would either.  This is how faith is described by Francis Scheaffer, a man who resided in Switzerland, at a place called L’abri and held classes for anyone who showed up at his front door.

Scheaffer argued that we really have two separate things we call faith.  The are different enough, he says, that there probably should be two different words.  But alas, we have but one.  Faith.  

Suppose we are climbing in the Alps and are very high on the bare rock and suddenly the fog shuts down The guide turns to us and says that the ice is forming and that there is no hope; before morning we will all freeze to death here on the shoulder of this mountain. Simply to keep warm, the guide keeps us moving in the dense fog further out on the shoulder until none of us have any idea where we are. After an hour or so, someone says to the guide: “Suppose I dropped and hit a ledge ten feet down in the fog. What would happen then?” The guide would say that you might make it till morning and thus live. So, with absolutely no knowledge or any reason to support his action, one of the group hangs and drops into the fog. This would be one kind of faith, a leap of faith.

The man who jumps down in the fog like this has no idea if there is a ledge there to land on. He simply knows that IF there is, he may survive. This is how some view Christianity – a shot in the dark, a blind leap of faith. There is some outside chance that it may be accurate, but simply not great enough to base life on and certainly not some kind of foundation of knowledge and truth. Now lets look at the other kind of faith – the kind that is practiced by Christians around the world.

(I’ll employ some paraphrase here, because his argument is rather lengthy.)  Suppose we’re in the situation he presents above, but instead of taking a blind leap we, enshrouded in fog, hear a voice saying “You cannot see me, but I know exactly where you are… I am on another ridge.” The voice claims to be that of a man who has lived in the mountains all his life, who knows these mountains very well. He claims that there IS a ledge just below and that we can easily drop to it and make it through the night.

We would likely not immediately drop, but ask the man questions to find out if he really knows what he is talking about and if he is a friend or foe. If convinced by his answers, we would then drop to the ledge and survive the night.

This is faith, but obviously it has no relationship to the first instance… The historic Christian faith is not a leap of faith in the post-Kierkegaardian sense because “[God] is not silent,” and I am invited to ask the sufficient questions in regard to details but also in regard to the existence of man.  I am invited to ask the sufficient questions and then believe him and bow before him metaphysically in knowing that I exist because he made man, and bow before him morally as needing his provision for me in the substitutionary, propitiatory death of Christ.

I need not say more.  Excerpts here are from “He Is There and He Is Not Silent.” This book and Scheaffer’s Escape From Reason are two of my favorites. I highly recommend them.

The fog can really close in!

Presuppositions, Presuppositions

Reading Salvo Blog this week, I found a post on Bill Maher and his new movie, “Religulous.” Here’s a link to it. It’s a video of Maher on Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart talking about his movie. I must concur with Bobby Maddex in saying that Bill Maher is just as “religulous as the rest of us.” Only difference is, he doesn’t realize it.

I don’t have the video, the link above will take you to it on Salvo’s website. Suffice it to say that Jon Stewart nearly falls out of his chair as Bill Maher blasphemes his way into the Jon’s audiences’ collective heart. They really yuck it up over Maher’s telling of the biblical narrative.

This is followed by Maddex’s cutting commentary. If you are familiar with Ravi Zacharias, you will understand the “road-runner tactic” Maddex uses. The commentary is priceless.

Here’s the crux of the matter. Bill Maher is just as religious as anyone else. His religion is just a lot different than mine – may be the same as yours. His religion, like mine rests on certain philosophical presuppositions – which are nothing like mine. His are such things as: there is no God, Darwin was right. Whatever else these are, they are philosophical presuppositions. There is no way for him to know these things. They aren’t demonstrable. They aren’t things that can be known in the same way that it can be known that the sky is blue. They are simply things he believes to be true.

Two things:

First, his religion goes nowhere. All meaning is lost. Everything in life, including life itself, is an accident. There is no value in life, love is nothing but chemicals in the brain, loyalty is an illusion as we all strive put our genes into the next generation – survival of the fittest and all that. 

Secondly, the basic presuppositions mine rests on, namely that God is the creator and sustainer of the world and that he has a plan that he is working out in his own time and means, has been accepted by most people throughout all of human history. On top of this, it was written down by men who I identify with on a family level.  How do we know Jesus rose from the dead? We saw him. We saw him. The church, my family, whom I belong to, whom I trust, saw him. And I have faith that it is true – objectively true. As true as “Noah’s flood.”

Sometime soon, I will speak more about this faith. Or I will hearken to Francis Scheaffer on it.  Until then, consider Maher, Maddex, and leave a comment if you so desire.

Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 7:20 pm  Comments (7)  
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The Battle At Kruger: These Water Buffalo Are NOT Darwinists

Here is a YouTube video I saw recently with a friend. Its pretty amazing. It isn’t your typical “When Animals Attack” video. Check it out (and turn the sound down if you don’t want the colorful commentary.)

Some Notes:

Richard Dawkins writes about the “selfish gene” – his words, not mine. He makes a great argument. He’s a very intelligent man. And the Selfish Gene is a comment on natural selection. Dawkins argues, and the majority of evolutionary biologists today concur, that natural selection selects, not for a population or species or individual organism, but for a gene. Its almost as if the gene itself is selfish and wants to reproduce itself in the next generation.

If the gene is for a desirable trait – a beneficial protein – that increases the chances of reproduction for the organism that carries it, then that gene will be naturally selected for.  Over time, that gene will persist in the population.  That gene may increases an organism’s survival rate by making it run faster or increase its reproductive rate by making it more attractive to a mate or increase its ability to thrive in its environment by allowing it to digest a different food source.  But if the gene is a negative factor, then it will be lost.  Now its not the gene itself that is lost, but the population that carries it.  

For example if there are two populations of an organism, and one has a gene that allows it to blend in with its surroundings while the other has a gene that makes it stand out, the theory goes that the one that blends in will reproduce more young.  It will thrive meanwhile the other population will die out.  Thus it is the gene that is reproduced and essentially stays alive throughout many generations.

This mechanism is commonly referred to as the survival of the fittest.  A good gene would allow survival if it aided in the four Fs – feeding, fleeing, fighting or … reproducing.  (so says Patricia Churchland in almost as many words).  Survival of the Fittest makes a lot of sense.  The one who runs best from the lion or the tiger or whatever the case may be, will survive to reproduce again, and thus continue the line.

Dawkins argues, and most evolutionary biologists concur, that this idea of acting for the benefit of the population is hogwash – my word, not his.  It is not populations that want to survive.  It is genes.

If you’ve watched the video, The Battle at Kruger, you will see something quite amazing, in light of this reasoning.  You will see water buffalo putting themselves in the way of danger, stepping up to fight lions – the most fierce-some of the the wild beasts – on behalf of another.  

These buffalo seem to have forgotten that the world operates on Darwin’s idea of the survival of the fittest (note the sarcasm).  They are not killing the lions so that they will never be bothered again by the pesky cats.  They are merely running them off, one at a time.  How long will it be before these hunters regroup and attack again?  No one can say.  But chances are, it will be much sooner if they are hungry than it would have been if they had just devoured a nice juicy buffalo.  Chances are the herd would be further away had they run from the lions and left their calf to the jaws of its predator.  

But alas, it seems that these buffalo have forgotten the rules of nature.  It seems that there isn’t a darwinist in the entire herd.

Published in: on September 28, 2008 at 9:03 pm  Comments (3)  
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Save the People! Recovering Dignity in a Postmodern World

Salvo Magazine is a quarterly publication by St. James Fellowship (which also offers Touchstone) about life in the west. A clever tagline of theirs is “Recovering the only worldview that actually works.”  It regularly comments on science, ideologies, sexuality, art & entertainment – a host of things, really, all culturally relevant.  As always, there’s a link to their home page to right.

This week I was reading an article of theirs on Human Dignity.  It was called Yodelay Cuckoo!  And in a way only Salvo has thus far delivered, it dealt with the arguments and issues of human dignity, setting it in Switzerland where some of the undoubtedly craziest ideas on the subject don’t just originate, but are turned into law.

The article by Michael Cook gives a quick look at Switzerland’s policies extending dignity to anything and almost everything.  “In 2006, for instance, a researcher was forbidden to give thirsty monkeys a drink of water because a reward mechanism to get them to carry out a task was deemed harmful to their dignity.” And “the Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology, recently released a discussion paper about the dignity of plants.”  Apparently mowing the yard could soon be classified as a felony offense.  People for the Ethical Treatment of Plants are on their way.

With all that dignity being shelled out all over the place, you would think the lives of people would be of utmost importance.

But Switzerland is one of the few countries in the world where assisted suicide is legal.  Heck, its a business.

Its easy to look at the Swiss and these crazy laws and say “Wow, overboard.”

But the Swiss are not alone.  Baroness Mary Warnock, an influential medical ethics specialist has recently made the statement “If you’re demented, you’re wasting peoples’ lives.” She thinks you should be “put down.”

Growing up on a farm, I learned that when a cow was sick beyond the chances of recovery, it had to be put down.  Are humans on the same level of dignity as cows?

Cook goes on to blast American forms of the same idea.  Although it hasn’t been acted upon nearly to the same degree here in the states, the loss of human dignity is just as prevalent and just as extreme.  

And why not?  After all, thats where postmodernism leads.  If we forget all about objective truth, if we forget that we are made in the image of God, then where can human dignity come from.  This is where Michael Cook doesn’t go far enough.  Lets connect the dots.  If Darwin was right, if there is no God, if we, humans, are just one long string of cosmic accidents, where is dignity?  Think about it, if a particular bacteria, eons ago, had had a different mutation, we could have all ended up as bacteria!  If the dignity of the person, is built on an accidental gene mutation, then there’s no room for dignity at all.  

In fact, there’s no room for personhood.  If a person is only some random genetic mutations, then we are just like trees and frogs and fungi.  There’s no personhood there.  We see in our personhood that we are not random mutations.  And we see, in the Bible, what we really are – human beings, made in the image of God.  I’ve written about this before and described this dignity with Francis Scheaffer’s term “Manishness.”  Its at the bottom of who we are, at our core.

We should not forget this.  If we do we’ll be swayed by every wind of ideology that comes along.  We’ll give grass a place that should be reserved for men.  This darwinistic worldview is what these outlandish governments and “thinkers” have as their working base.  Its their way of understanding the world around them.  As Christians, we must not think this way.  We must learn to think in God’s way.  And he declared man and woman “very good.”  Let’s be the people who don’t forget who we are.  Let’s be the people who remember in whose image we were created.  And lets save the people from having their dignity thrown into the gutter so that grass can be dignified.

Published in: on September 25, 2008 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Constructing a Christian Worldview: Redemption

This is a follow-up from the previous two posts.  It will make more sense if you’ve read the first two before this one.

When last we left off, the world was in a horrible predicament: fallen.  Thats no good way to be.  All constructed worldviews must have at least these three phases: creation, fall, redemtion.  Every worldview has a theory of origins, a beginning to the world and ourselves, the world’s inhabitants.  For the naturalist, this is merely a cosmic coincidence, an accident somewhere in space-time; and for the darwinist, we humans accidentally evolved.  Every worldview is then conflicted in some way.  It is met with a problem that has messed up something.  Just look around, the world is not all that we wish it were.  There are people starving, people killing each other, people sick and dying.  There are problems.  For the naturalist, these problems are merely the root of having not evolved and developed quite enough yet.

Then there is redemption.  What is going on now?  How should we struggle against this problem?  What is the proper course to righting these wrongs?  Again, for the naturalist, believing that there is no God, the problems are right in front of us – poverty, hunger, disease, war, etc.  And if we band together we can eradicate the world of these problems.  We can end hunger and starvation one bowl of soup at a time.  Meanwhile, science holds the answer to all of our medical delimmas.  The glaring problem with thinking this is that death comes.  It comes to all.  Last I checked, nobody gets out of here alive.  And even with all our scientific advancement and humanitarianism, death will still be the last great undefeatable catastrophe.  Death is coming.

But the Christian Worldview is far different than the naturalist worldview.  It is based on a God who is all powerful and all loving.  And especially One who has revealed to us His worldview.  So what does this worldview say about our present state?  It says in big letters:  REDEMPTION.

I must admit that it is a monumental task to even take on speaking of redemption.  It is such an all-encompassing, all-reforming idea, that I will not do it justice.  But what I want to do, is make you think about it.  I want to give you something to ponder, something to focus on and set every part of your life toward.  As Christ set his face toward a cross, we must set ours toward redemption.  And Christ is redemption.

Remember way back at the beginning, in the created order which God called “very good.”  He gave mankind a job, one known as the Cultural Mandate – that is to fill the earth with civilization and God-honoring cultures.  Thanks to the fall, we initially failed miserably.  But because Christ’s substitutionary work on the cross, all is being redeemed.  Remember, God subjected creation to futility in hope.  In hope of what?  “That the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

Thats where we’re headed.  Thats where the Christian Worldview points.  It points to freedom from the effects of the fall.  It points to ultimate redemption.  We are to set about at the task of the Cultural Mandate.  We are to be a part of redeeming everything to the glory of God.

It is not enough to have our sins forgiven and our hearts redeemed.  Every part of our lives must be saturated with the redeeming grace that has freed us from death to life.  That is a part of discipleship.  And it is not an easy part. But when our minds are turned to the mind of Christ, our lives are transformed.  As Christians, we must not be conformed to the worldly ways of doing things and separate our spiritual lives from our public lives, from our relationships, from our work, from our thinking.  We must make Christ supreme over every part of our lives.  We must be a part of this Redemption.

Pearcy describes it this way:

A young woman working as a technical writer once told me that her job was merely a way of establishing a financial base to do the things she really wanted… but she was mistaken in regarding her earthly vocation as merely a temporary expedient.  In our work we not only participate in God’s providential activity today, we also foreshadow the tasks we will take up in cultivating a new earth at the end of time.  God’s command to Adam and Eve to partner with Him in developing the beauty and goodness of creation revealed His purpose for all of human life.  And after He has dealt with sin once for all, we will joyfully take up that task once again, as redeemed people in a renewed world.

This comprehensive vision of Creation, Fall, Redemption allows no room for a secular/sacred split.  All of creation was orginally good; it cannot be divided into a good part and a bad part.  Likewise, all of creation was affected by the Fall, and when time ends, all creation will be redeemed.

This is so exciting.  Everything is being redeemed.  We are part of God’s plan to redeem all creation.  The proper Christian Worldview has answers to questions that we never even think to ask.  Everything, even death, is being redeemed.  It is not longer wrath and punishment, but grace, that we may say with Paul, for me to live is Christ and to die is gain… My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

Now lets take one more minute here and roll back to another worldview and look at its idea of redemption.  With creation and fall, I dealt with Kant’s worldview of communism, in which it was private land ownership and competition which ruined everything and brought about the fall.  What would he then say of redemption.  Give all land and property to the state.  Let men work for the state and let us all aim for the good of the state and humanity with our work.  If private ownership is the problem, then state ownership is the solution.  Only problem is, just as with naturalism, death is coming.  Giving everything to the state doesn’t fend off or redeem death.  Its still the end, the very end, the last great opponent that we, ourselves, cannot overcome.  But that simply highlights the goodness of Christ and the Redemption He brings – True Redemption, Ultimate Redemption, where even death is a grace.

In closing I would just like to hit on the topic of Consumation.  Some will argue that the worldview has a fourth part and that is the final consumation of the redemption that has been initiated.  And I would say yes.  There is a coming consumation.  It will be the completion of this redemption that we currently experience.  And giving it its own category is a worthy idea.  I mean, look around, redemption is not complete.  We still have hunger and sickness.  But I would answer that Consumation is that final completion of the redemption that is now ongoing.  We must keep in mind that we are the redeemed and all creation is going toward a point where everything is redeemed.  That day is not yet come.  But let us hold on to the hope that it is coming.  If we should put it in its own category, that is OK with me.  But if we should see it as the completion of that which we now experience that is OK with me too.  For me it is easier to think about the Big Three – each separated by a turning point:

Creation.   Fall.   Redemption.