EXPLORING CHRISTIANITY - TRUTH

THE BIBLE
Can we trust a book written 2000 years ago?

EYEWITNESS
Did the writers of the New Testament get their picture of Jesus right?

GOD - MAN
Is Jesus really God?

RESURRECTION
Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

RELIGIONS
With so many religions, why Christianity?

SUFFERING
If there is a God, why is there so much suffering?

TRINITY
Understanding the Trinity.

SCIENCE
The complementary nature of Science & Christianity.

FORGIVENESS
What it is and why it matters?

GUIDANCE
How does God guide?

REPENTANCE
What it is and why you can't get to heaven without it.

BORN AGAIN
What does it mean to be converted and born again?

SAVING FAITH
The kind of faith that will get you to heaven

ASSURANCE
Can I know for sure that I am going to heaven?

TRUTH
What is truth and does it matter?

MORALITY
Does it matter how we live? A Christian view of morality.

THE CHURCH
God's vision for his family, the Church. A call to the churches of the new millennium.

PURPOSE
How can I find a great purpose for living?

IDENTITY
Who am I; Finding my true identity as a human being and as a child of God.

SELF-ESTEEM
How can I feel good about my self? The Christian basis for proper sel-esteem.

LIFE AFTER DEATHChristianity's Hope & Challenge.

THE CROSS
Why did Jesus Die? What the Bible says about the Cross.

Grace
The importance of grace in the New Testament.

 

Four major worldviews

It may be helpful to begin by giving a brief summary of four important worldviews that are prominent in the world today. A "worldview" is a way of thinking about truth and reality. It sums up the basic conclusions about life and meaning that a person figures out and lives by, either consciously or unconsciously. James Sire, in The Universe Next Door, gives the following definition of "worldview":

A world view is a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic make-up of our world.

Or we could simply say it is the sum total of what we believe about the most important issues of life.

Sire suggests the following seven questions we can ask ourselves in determining our own particular worldview. In summary, they are as follows:

  1. What is prime reality - the really real?
    To this we might answer: God, the gods, or the material universe.
  2. What is the nature of external reality, that is, the world around us?
    Do we see the world as created or autonomous, as chaotic or orderly, as matter or spirit? Do we emphasise our subjective, personal relationship to the world or its objectivity apart from us?
  3. What is a human being?
    Are we highly complex machines, sleeping gods, people made in the image of God, or "naked apes"?
  4. What happens to a person at death?
    Is it personal extinction, transformation to a higher state, or departure to a shadowy existence on "the other side"?
  5. Why is it possible to know anything at all?
    Sample answers include the idea that we are made in the image of an all-knowing God or that consciousness and intelligence have developed under the pressures of survival in a long process of evolution.
  6. How do we know what is right and wrong?
    Is it because we are made in the image of God whose character is good? Are right and wrong determined by human choice alone? Or have the notions simply developed under the pressures of cultural and physical survival?
  7. What is the meaning of human history?
    Is it to realise the purposes of God or the gods, to make a paradise on earth, to prepare people for a life in community with a loving and holy God, or something else?
"Truth, sir, is a cow; which, when sceptics have found it will give them no more milk, they have gone off to milk the bull"
Samuel Johnson

Whatever answers we give to such questions will obviously have a big effect on such matters as our goals in life - how we make decisions; the way we treat other people; the way we value ourselves; our attitude to material possessions; the way we face death; what we think is wrong with the world and how we are going to put it right; how we relate to human need, to family structure, to those outside our own community, to human rights, or to government. Though recognising that what we say we believe and how we behave do not always match up, our actions often point clearly to what we really believe.

With these questions in mind, let's have a brief look at what are perhaps the major worldviews that people hold in this modern world. It is important to note that the following summaries are extremely brief, and you may well think simplistic. Certainly we could find variations on each of them. However, I give them here in order to underline the fact that they are different and that these differences cannot but affect the way we live. Some tend to pick bits that appeal to them from two or more of these worldviews and end up with a hotch-potch of beliefs, but this is usually the result of not thinking deeply enough about the issues. If, indeed, one of them should be true and the others false, then which one we choose to go with cannot but have important consequences, both for the present and the future.

Samuel Johnson, the essayist and dictionary-maker of the eighteenth century, said: "Truth, sir, is a cow; which, when sceptics have found it will give them no more milk, they have gone off to milk the bull." But milking the bull is not only futile. It can be positively dangerous to one's health!

 

 

Foreward

What is truth and does it matter?

Four major worldviews

Atheistic materialism

Hinduisim, Buddhism and New Age thinking

Postmodernism

Christianity

The Biblical understanding of truth

Why we resist truth

A choice to be made

Suggestions for those searching for the truth

Commitment to the truth

 



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