Addressing People’s Worldview – part 1 – No Reason or Knowledge without God

Traditional apologetics gives us problems because people re-interpret evidence based on their worldview (see previous post).  In order for evidence to work, we must address people’s worldview.  Our worldview is our basic view of the world; how we got here, why we’re here, and how we know what we know.  The apostle Paul addressed the issue of worldview in 2 Corinthians 10:5. 

There he wrote, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”  In order to reach people with the gospel, he had to tear down any mindset or way of viewing the world that wasn’t submitted to Jesus Christ. 

In Colossians 2:8, he warned, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”  Our worldview is either rooted in Christ or it’s not.  If it’s not, the Bible calls it speculation, man-made philosophy, empty deception, futile, and vain.

In the next few articles, I’ll show you a 3-step process for tearing down the atheist worldview.  We do so by showing it’s impossible for God not to exist because without Him we couldn’t make any sense of the world we live in.  Here’s the first reason why:  without God, we have no ultimate justification for trusting our reasoning. 

Charles Darwin, famous for his work on “The Origin of Species” had a “horrid doubt” about his theory.  He said “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 at all trustworthy.  Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” Wow!  At least he’s honest!  If there is no God and humans are the result of billions of years of mindless, unguided, unintelligent chemical reactions, what ultimate justification do we have for trusting our intelligence? 

It is impossible for God not to exist because without Him we couldn’t make any sense of the world we live in.

Undoubtedly, articles have been written in response to Darwin’s “horrid doubt,” but do you know what all those articles have in common?  The authors defend our ability to trust our reasoning by using their reasoning.  But to say, “We have used our reasoning to determine that we can indeed trust our reasoning” is circular and proves nothing.

Neuroscientist Francis Crick recognized where his atheistic worldview takes us.  In “The Astonishing Hypothesis:  The Scientific Search for the Soul,” he argued that human beings are nothing but “mere collections of fundamental particles of nature…you, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.”  In the atheistic worldview, we’re nothing but bags of protoplasm, so how do we have any basis for trusting whether the purely chemical reactions in our brain are producing rational thought? 

Physicist and theologian John Polkinghorne described Crick’s position as self-defeating in his book “One World:  The Interaction of Science and Theology.” “If Crick’s thesis is true, we could never know it…it destroys rationality.  Thought is replaced by electro-chemical neural events. Two such events cannot confront each other in rational discourse.  They are neither right nor wrong.  They simply happen…the very assertions of the reductionist himself are nothing but blips in the neural network of his brain.  The world of rational discourse dissolves into the absurd chatter of firing synapses.” 

Romans 1:21-22 says, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools.” 

The atheistic worldview is touted as the “intellectual” and “enlightened” view, but taken to its logical end, it’s futile and vain.  In the end, if we can’t know whether we can trust our reasoning, we can’t know anything at all.  The atheistic worldview forfeits knowledge altogether. 

Of course, the atheist will ask Christians how we know we can trust our reasoning?  Well, in our worldview, we were created by an intelligent, rational God who created us in His image with the ability to think and reason like He does.  The Christian worldview provides ultimate justification for knowledge; the atheistic worldview does not.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov. 1:7).  “In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:3).

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