Sunday, 18 October 2015 15:33

World views: Ideas have consequences

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INTRODUCTION

  • Have you ever wondered what makes a nation poor and another one prospers? Why is it that Africa is the only continent to have become poorer over the last two decades?
  • How we define the problem will shape our answer 

1. THE BATTLE FOR NATIONS ID THE BATTLE OF IDEAS

The fact is:

  • Ideas have consequences
  • Societies are influences by the dominant ideas

The question we need to address is:

What is true?

Darrow Miller proposes that the four basic world views are as follows:

The Biblical world view on the other hand seeks truth in God’s word and world, it rejects the malformed:

  • Fideism - revelation without reason
  • Rationalism - reason without revelation
  • Irrationalism - neither revelation nor reason

The above truths lead us to the ultimate question, which is:

What is Truth and how can it be known?

The Reformers referred to the above as General and Special revelation. General revelation referred to His works (nature) and Special revelation referred to His Word- the Holy Scriptures.

Three other Reformers- Campenella, Comenius and Alsted- spoke of three books as the source of truth:

  • The book of revelation- Special Revelation- The Bible
  • The book of Nature- General Revelation- Science
  • The book of the mind- Reason or logic- Philosophy

VERITAS (truth) is found at the intersection of the books of Scripture, nature (science) and reason (sense). Comenius wrote of this “tripartite” revelation of truth as follows:

“The only true, genuine and plain way of philosophy is to fetch all things from sense, reason and Scripture”.

He went on to say “the end of all scholarly endeavour is not to merely add to the wood pile of human knowledge, but to grow a living tree that forms its roots to its boughs and fruit reflects the image of the words and works of its divine Creator”

William Ames (1576-1633) the French Huguenot Educational Reformer wrote of the three books:

“Thus, let us not become the slaves of anyone, but performing military service under the banner of free truth, let us freely and courageously follow the truth…Testing all things, retaining that which is good, let Plato be a friend, let Aristotle be a friend, but even more let truth (VERITAS) be a friend”

The Puritan fathers of Harvard University enshrined the three books in the college shield with  this mission statement:

“Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, John 17:3 and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning” 

Christ is the focus of all of life and vocation. And thus was laid the foundation of Christian culture and government.

The deceiver of nations[TH2]

  • There is a global spiritual battle raging over the nations of the earth.
  • Just as it is God’s intention for whole nations to be discipled, so too Satan has plans to disciple whole nations, teaching them his ways and baptising them into his nature of cruelty, fear, and depravity. His plans are not merely limited to individuals, but he wants to keep whole people groups in oppression and poverty. In fact, in Revelation 12, we see that he is the one who ‘leads the whole world astray’ (v9) and in Revelation 20 that his plan is to ‘deceive the nations’ (v3, 8).

John 8:44

When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Gal 4:8-9

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God - or rather are known by God - how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

Col 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

2 Cor 10:3-5 NIV

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to DEMOLISH STRONGHOLDS. 5 We demolish ARGUMENTS and EVERY PRETENSION THAT SETS ITSELF UP AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and we TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT to make it obedient to Christ.

 Vishal Magalwadi said:

“The kingdom of Satan begins when we turn away from truth to believe falsehood. When the mind is darkened, our behaviour quickly becomes immoral. When most people in a society turn away from truth, then that society confuses right with wrong and wrong with right. After affecting our mind and behaviour, Satan then affects the social institutions, which our darkened minds build and govern. The human institutions so affected become corrupt, wicked and oppressive.”

  • We need to replace the lies with the truth of the Kingdom of God.

2. STRONG, HEALTHY SOCIETIES ARE BUILT ON TRUTH

The diagram below shows the link between the amount of truth in our foundations and the health of a nation. Every culture, nation or society has both lies and truth that it believes. We need to constantly be seeking and living out increasing amounts of truth

Hosea 4:6 NIV

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

3. LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR MIND

Tolstoy

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”[TH3] 

Prov 23:7

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

 

Good intentions + bad ideas = devastation

 

Col 2:8 NIV

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

Matt 22:36-38 NIV

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

Biblical World view + Good intentions + Good ideas = Success

In summary,

  • Ideas have consequences!
  • And as a result, nations are shaped by the dominant ideas of the people.
  • The more truth in the foundations of a society or nation, the more health and strength that society will be.
  • Lastly, no matter our age, our personality, our calling, every single one of us helps to shape the world around us by our thoughts. We need to love God with all our minds so that we will walk in ever-increasing truth!

Charles Colson

“In every action we take, we are doing one of two things: we are either helping to create a hell on earth or helping to bring down a foretaste of heaven…We are either advancing the rule of Satan or establishing the reign of God.”




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