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"Worldview in Conflict
Pt. 8"


In the course of considering the development of western world-views from the Renaissance through Secular Humanism, we have found that God has not only been dislodged from the center of the Western worldview, that place is now occupied by humanity itself. Man has become the arbiter of truth and the measurement of reality. Secularism has relegated religious convictions to the fringes as personal experience became the measure of truth. In today’s society, people are pressured to keep religious convictions private allowing no room for such convictions to inform their engagement with the secular world. However, that is simply not possible.

Contrasting Secular Humanism And Christianity

It should be apparent how secular humanism contrasts with the Christian worldview. The Gospel is not simply some inner experience. Christianity is based on objective events that occurred in the realm of time and space. The Gospel is historical. When Paul summarizes the Gospel in 1 Cor 15, he does not describe it in terms of subjective intuition or private beliefs. The Good News is rooted in verifiable, historical fact. The Gospel claim is that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. The risen Christ was seen by the disciples (over five hundred eyewitnesses at once), James, all of the apostles, and finally, Paul himself. As Luther declared, the Gospel is “outside of us.” It is an objective reality. Elsewhere, The Apostle Paul warns the Galatians that if anyone, including himself, one of his associates, or an angel from heaven, proclaims any other Gospel than what had been preached to them, let that person be accursed. Even Satan may transform himself into an angel of light. The subjective view of the Gospel suggested by secular humanism is indeed, “another gospel.” Human beings are not the measure of truth. We must look outside of ourselves.

The effects of this perspective can be seen in the development of Protestantism in America. Arminianism gained such a hold because it is so compatible with the American way. The popularity of democratic church government grew along side the development of American democratic government. The rationale of man was made the measure for determining truth. A 51% majority vote must surely represent the truth! However, each vote is based upon the existential reflections of the individual. Choosing for oneself has became a major axiom of our society. Nonetheless, from a Scriptural perspective, the reason of man is clearly faulty. Throughout biblical history, the truth was generally found in the camp of the minority! The gospel has been refocused on man. He is encouraged to receive Christ as his “personal savior.” We are told that salvation is based upon man’s decision for God. The message is all about meeting man’s need and helping him find self-fulfillment. There is little presentation of a Holy God who stands outside of creation as self-existent and self-sufficient.

Society is not very interested in a God who is necessary to the continuance of the universe. They are oblivious to the fact that this God is responsible for our continued, moment by moment existence. We have little time for a God who directs all the affairs of created order, including the lives of humanity. We are uncomfortable with a dangerous God whose righteous character will consume all rebels. Nonetheless, that is the plain teaching of Scripture.

These established truths must precede the declaration of a God of love in order for that love, as well as His mercy and grace, to be seen for what it really is. The incompatibility of this message with the philosophy of the Enlightenment and secular humanism is the reason why Calvinism has been so unpopular among American Christians. As Americans, we are far more comfortable with a man-centered gospel than the God-centered declaration of Scripture.

Next month, we will bring the conclusion to our examination of Western worldviews as we consider the ramifications of the belief system by which we live.

- Stan McGehee Jr