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Much of the Christian worldview movement centers around response to critical issues in our culture. ColsonCenter.org and our sister sites address these issues in many ways. The following sections from the left column of our navigation bar will help to orient you on issues we are addressing.
|Christian Worldview Issues|
By: Shane Morris|Published Date: February 21, 2014
One of the most crucial questions we must ask in order to understand life is, "Who are we?". That's that's been the focus of our four-part series on the image of God. As John Stonestreet said recently on BreakPoint, being human is both honorable and shameful. We are glorious creations, fallen from innocence, marred by the sin which constantly degrades the image of God in us. The Christian worldview teaches that we retain value, despite the degradation of our Divine image, and this worldview has bequeathed to us a legacy of freedom, democracy, and justice in much of the Western world. Great evil occurs most readily where that conviction gives way to other conceptions of the human person; worldviews which give the wrong answer to that vital question of who we are.
But on an even more fundamental level, we must ask another question. This question is the most important anyone could ever ask, because it deals with the One who gives life itself meaning and value. It is, of course, the question of who God is, and whether we worship Him, or another deity.
As John explains in this week's "ReSeries" video, in order to understand the image of God within us, we must first fix our eyes on the God who stamped it there. When we fail to do so, worshiping idols of our own making rather than our Creator, something ugly happens to us. We start to resemble our idols more than our Author, becoming deaf and blind, even as a hand-carved god of wood or stone is deaf and blind, and cannot save.
Technology, says John, has taken on the role of a modern idol for many. It allows us to accomplish incredible feats, creating tools, staving off diseases, and sparing lives no one could have just a few generations ago. But technology cannot ultimately save us. In fact, the same advancements that seem to work miracles can also debase us, commoditize us, and ultimately kill the most vulnerable among us.
That's why in order to value the image of God in every human person, we must value and worship the God whose image it is. Without that foundational belief in the infinite worth and authority of the One who created life, we have no basis for the dignity of every individual. Technology, instead of preserving, protecting and enhancing life, becomes a false god whose endless demands consume those deemed less intrinsically valuable.
We encourage you to learn more about this and start a study with your family, friends or church small group with our "In His Image" study series, available now at the Colson Center Online Store.
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By: John Stonestreet|Published Date: February 14, 2014
The twentieth century was the first century in human history that saw entire societies rebuilt on atheistic assumptions. And it was also the bloodiest century in human history. As John Stonestreet says in this week's "ReSeries" video, that's no coincidence.
It was German philologist and moral philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who wrote near the end of the nineteenth century that human science, philosophy and aspirations to transcendent knowledge had effectively killed God, or left Him unnecessary. Reflecting on the consequences of this, he writes in "The Parable of the Madman":
"The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. 'Wither is God?' he cried; 'I will tell you. we have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?..must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?"
Nietzsche taught that we had to become gods because ridding ourselves of the God of the Bible left a vacuum of ultimate meaning. For him, a world without God was one where man was the measure of all things, and the will to power replaced good and evil.
But as you'll learn from John in this week's video, that philosophy left us acting not like gods, but like animals. When man becomes the measure of all things, man becomes nothing. And without the Christian concept on the Divine Image imprinted upon every human being, the results are truly inhuman: genocide, eugenics, forced sterilization, euthanasia and abortion.
When God "dies," it turns out a lot of people do, too. That's why rediscovering and reintroducing the Christian view of humanity is crucial. And it starts with the Image of God. We encourage you to learn more about this and start a study with your family, friends or church small group with our "In His Image" study series, available now at the Colson Center Online Store.
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By: Shane Morris|Published Date: February 07, 2014
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights..."
These words represent a view of humankind significantly out-of-sync with the majority of human history. Where did the American founders get the the idea that all people are of equal value by virtue of their creation, when it seems so obvious that everyone is different in size, strength, sex, nationality, appearance, intelligence and a whole host of other factors? What was it that informed this historic and high ideal, even if the founders themselves didn't fully live up to it?
The answer, says John Stonestreet in this week's "ReSeries" video, lies in the Christian view of man, and how radically different it is from all other worldviews. As tehologian T. M. Moore points out in his most recent "Talking Points," atheism and the Darwinian view of man cannot account for altruistic instincts which run counter to the interests of survival. And John Stonestreet reminds us this week that no other religion can substantiate a claim to human equality.
As Rodney Stark argues in his book, "The Victory of Reason," Christianity, particularly its affirmation that all people are created in the image and likeness of God, has been transforming cultures for thousands of years. Even in its earliest days, the Church refused to accept female infanticide and exposure of unwanted children in the Roman Empire. And its influence has been felt in every period since then, abolishing slave trades, ending sex trafficking, and fighting oppression of all types—all on the basis of the Bible's affirmation that all people are image-bearers, infinitely valuable in the eyes of God.
We hope you'll check out the resources below from throughout our family of websites, and invite your family, friends, and church members into this conversation about one of Christianity's greatest and most enduring legacies—and why we must fight to maintain it.
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By: Shane Morris|Published Date: February 02, 2014
T. S. Eliot once said that when you want to know what something is, there are two questions you need to ask: "What does it do?" and "What is it for?"
But as John Stonestreet points out in this week's "ReSeries" video, it matters in which order you ask those questions, especially when it comes to discovering the identity of humankind.
One need only look around to discover all the ways in which people have put one another to use—and many of them aren't pleasant to behold. Much like someone who finds a laptop computer could put it to use as a paperweight, a serving platter or even a skipping stone, the human person has a variety of possible uses. But not all of them result in flourishing, love, or wholeness. As with the computer, putting a person to the wrong use will ultimately destroy him or her. That's why it's so important to first ask the second question: "What are we for?" or to phrase it another way, "What was our designer's intent?"
For the answer to that, Christians go back the Genesis 1-3, where we read that God created man and woman in a unique way. The very language suggests a shift in purpose and gravity from all the rest of creation. Instead of merely speaking humankind into existence, God forms them, and with His own breath, He brings them to spiritual consciousness. He then gives instructions: "Be fruitful and multiply." "Fill the earth and subdue it."
With this account, says John, Judeo-Christian anthropology offers a radically different answer than any other worldview to the question, "What is the human person for?" Watch this week's "ReSeries" video and explore the links below for more on the uniqueness of this answer, and how it should shape how we think and act.
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By: Shane Morris|Published Date: January 24, 2014
What's the most unique thing about Christianity? Other religions have scriptures, teach a creator god, and even offer systems of salvation. Certainly the Christian belief that God became a man and dwelt among us is unique. No other religion has such a view of God. But nearly as remarkable is the Christian view of man.
As John Stonestreet explains in this week's "ReSeries" video, every other faith either promotes or demotes humanity. For instance, in secular materialism in the modern West, humans are seen as nothing but highly-evolved animals. This worldview explains evil and suffering by asking, 'What do you expect?'. If we're just animals, no one should be surprised that we behave accordingly. When we behave like the scum of the earth, that's because we evolved from scum, and have no true moral significance. In fact, morality itself is seen as a mere convention or instinct agreed upon for convenience's sake, not because a Creator commands it. But where do our persistent ideas about right and wrong--which transcend even our instincts and often urge us to disobey them--come from? How has humankind achieved such distinction among the animals? Secular materialism can explain why we act like beasts, but it cannot explain why we reason like spirits.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Eastern religions, especially the pantheistic varieties, which view human individuals as expressions of the universal Divine. In these worldviews, we receive a drastic promotion. We become, in essence, God. But in erasing the distinction between us and God, these religions also erase the distinction between good and evil. Evil, itself, becomes mere unfulfilled desire, leaving us promoted to an unduly lofty place.
17th-century mathematician Blaise Pascal believed that Christianity, alone among the world's religions, struck the paradoxical balance which rightly describes the nature of mankind. According to the Bible, we were created in the image of God--a fact which explains us at our best and brightest. But Scripture also tells us that we're fallen as a race. We're even called "children of the Devil" apart from Christ, and told that none of us are righteous or seek God by nature. (Romans 3:10-18)
This understanding of mankind as fearfully and wonderfully made image-bearers who are nevertheless "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1-10) is the foundation for grasping the Christian concept of man, and how we relate to God. And it's one of the things that makes Christianity stand out among all the religions of the world.
Make sure to watch and share this week's video, and keep on the lookout for part 2 of this new series from John Stonestreet.
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