Is Your Faith Public or Private?

Date: November 24, 2013
Study: Scripture: Unchanging Truth in a Changing World
Teacher: Jeff Nichols

Scripture is the lens through which we view the world: John 1:1-5

Today’s society is divided into two spheres:

  1. Private Sphere – Personal Preferences
  2. Public Sphere – Scientific Knowledge – “Values have been reduced to arbitrary, existential decisions.” Values are determined by individual choice.

________________________

Facts are binding on everyone. Often so-called “facts” are the tools used to delegitimize the biblical perspective in the public square today. Science is viewed as the great equalizer, the arbiter, in the public space used to evaluate the “rules” for society (example: the exclusion of Intelligent Design in science textbooks for public schools). Science is still a device of man. Science as a tool, without the overtness of confirmation bias, points to God as the Creator. Man introduces biases.

Science sometimes gets it wrong: Amgen, an American pharmaceutical company, tried to replicate 53 studies that they considered landmarks in the basic science of cancer, often cooperating closely with the original researchers to ensure that their experimental technique matched the one used first time round. According to a piece they wrote last year in Nature, they were able to reproduce the original results in just six (source: The Economist).

Developing a worldview is like a “mental map” that tells us how to navigate the world effectively. A worldview provides us with the framework to knowledgeably converse on topics like: evolution, sexuality, marriage, justice, politics, economics. Providing scriptural truths on these topics is needed in this time and age of skepticism.

When we think about our Christian worldview, we must ask oursevles: “Is this framework a tool to pounce on unsuspecting liberals or unbelievers we are ministering to?” If you answer is “yes,” you definitely need to reevaluate your motivations for the worldview you have. Our motivation in developing and discussing our Christian worldview should always be the greatest commandment (Mark 12:29-31, Luke 10: 26-27). Love and compassion should always be infused in our motivation and speech when discussing sin, values, politics, etc (Romans 3:23). There will be times we don’t have an answer. When that happens, we must intentionally seek the answer together.

To grow intellectually, we must first commit to growing spiritually by “taking every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinithians 10:5).

References:
“Total Truth” by Nancy Pearcey

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