October 25, 2007

Secularism Under God

As I was riding on the train today, I was (of course) thinking about how secularism is both the result and the cause of fragmented thinking and why it is that some choose separate one's values from the realm of truth and reason. In article in Harvard's Under-Current, a student writer proposes that "[w]hen a person attempts to use both eyes simultaneously to reach a decision on a particular issue, he discovers that the two eyes often see things differently. Ultimately, he either follows God—a feeling for which he has no evidence—or he follows reason. No other alternative is possible." This is the typical view had among secular thinkers, a view to which Christians could provide a more explicit response. To reduce belief in God to a feeling reveals the assumptions made about religious belief by this writer.

As a Reformed presuppositionalist, I get it. Faith is a gift from God, unbelieving man suppresses the truth in unrighteousness, the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit, and so on. The secularist who hasn't had an encounter with God doesn't yet understand how faith and reason are not incompatible. I believe that this is part of our ministry to them, responding to the negative assumption that faith and reason are foes, and responding positively by establishing their necessarily correlation. Conversations with my 14 year old reveal the priority of this dialogue for all believers, not just academics. He asks about the veracity of Scripture, how we know God exists, the relationship between science and faith, etc. And as we discuss these matters, he's hard-pressed to respond to the arguments that (1) because God exists it's not unreasonable to believe that he would communicate to us through the Scriptures and (2) that by subjecting God to our own authority we are placing ourselves in a higher place than God.

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