Does Real Christianity require a pre-modern world-view?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Matt Black, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    We all know the bare-bones essentials of Real Christianity™: God is a trinity of persons, one of whom left eternity, became incarnate in the form of Jesus, died, rose physically after a prolonged period of unmistakable death, ate and spoke with his disciples after resurrection, returned to eternity, and promised to return to earth at some future time to judge the living and the dead, granting to some or all eternal life.

    This belief system seems to require a pre-modern worldview to me. This is underscored by the following observations:

    1. Most Real Christians™ seem very open to “paranormal” phenomena, often reminding other Christians that miracles, angels, demons, The Resurrection and Final Judgment are all beyond any “normal” explanation.
    2. Most Real Christians™ seem fairly closed to deep scepticism of the “paranormal."
    3. Christianity seems to be expanding in The Third World and shrinking in the First.

    Am I wrong or does Real Christianity™ require A Pre-Modern WorldView? If it does not absolutely require it, is it not much easier for those with a pre-modern worldview to embrace it? How can Real Christianity™ ever thrive again in The First World unless it convincingly demonstrates the popular, modern, "scientific" worldview is philosophically inferior to Real Christianity™'s philosophically superior pre-modern worldview? Is such a demonstration possible?
     
  2. BobRyan

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    Let's see "Is God premodern"?? When was it that He created the world, proclaimed His Ten commandments and sent His Son to save the world?

    Was it "pre-modern"?? Yep! I think it was!

    Does the Bible speak to "the vain philosophy of man" vs the "truth of God"?? As it turns out - "yes".

    Did man's "vain philosphy" come into being in the last 150 years - or was it around before that? As it turns out "it was here before that".

    When true believers the pseudoscience doctrines of evolutionism try to co-opt science and disquise their pseudoscience religion AS if it were actual science - does Christianity take a back seat or do they form public rejection with cogent scientific data to refute the vain speculations of atheist darwinists?

    Answer: They form scientific groups to refute pseudoscience religious views of atheist darwinists with real science as in the case of e AIG debunking the atheist groups.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. Gup20

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    I think what my good friend BobRyan is saying also has something to do with:

    Ecc 1:9 The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun.
     
  4. BobRyan

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    Amen!
     
  5. D28guy

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    Matt Black,

    Your list there is in error. (I can understand why, however.)

    You left out that one can only be justified in Gods sight, and for eternity, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

    Because that is what miracles are.

    Because we serve a God who still performs miracles.

    God is the one drawing people to Himself. Its His buisness why He does that more in some areas than in other areas at any particular point in time.

    We are to simply be faithful where we are, and go to other places if God gifts us with the desire to do that.

    All that is needed is a faithful, "submissive to Gods leading" world view.

    The scriptures do not speak of any kind of world view of which you are describing.

    They speak of our being faithful to, submissive to, and sensitive to Gods leading in our lives.
    The christian doesnt need to be concerned with any of that. We are to be sensitive to Gods leading, willing to surrender ourselves to Gods will, and then boldly "walk by faith" in the path God leads us to.

    Grace and peace,

    Mike
     
  6. standingfirminChrist

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    No, it just requires one to look to Jesus, not to the winds and waves of this world.
     
  7. Johnv

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    Real Christianity does not require any tipe of world view. Christ reminds us that his kingdom is not of this world, and further calls us to give to God what is God's, and to Ceasar what is Ceasar's. Real Christianity simply requires a Christ-centered view, regardless of the world.
    That's a new one to me. I don't know a single Christian who gives a wit about things "paranormal". In fact, my closest Christian friends think that claims of the paranormal are all power of suggestion hogwash.
     
  8. Matt Black

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    Sorry, perhaps I should have said 'supernatural'; 'paranormal' implies mediums, poltergeists and the like and I certainly didn't want to refer to any extras from 'The Exorcist'. So, 'supernatural', then.
     
  9. Chemnitz

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    I don't think it requires any particular world view. It does help if people who are proclaiming the truth of the bible understands the current world view, otherwise they may end up confusing people.

    In our youth service in an attempt to deal with post-modern world view that what is real is only that which is real to me in my experiences, we are now offering individual absolution instead of corporate absolution. Takes a while but it helps impress upon them that the forgiveness offered is for them individually.
     
  10. D28guy

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    Chemnitz,

    I dont understand. That...individual forgiveness...is the only kind Christ has ever offered.

    We are convicted of sin individually, drawn to Christ individually, we embrace Christ individually, forgiven individually, and sealed into Christ through the indwelling Holy Spirit individually.

    Now...sometimes, for example if an invitation is given somewhere, several people might respond and are born again, and is a group. But only because they were all just happened to be individually drawn at the same time.

    Could you eloborate?

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  11. Chemnitz

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    Each person is forgiven individually in a general way when corporate absolution is pronounced in the midst of the Divine Service. Using individual absolution gives it more of personal touch, nothing different is offered. It is only offered in a different manner.
     
  12. Gup20

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    Since this is a debate board... lets debate your observations. We'll replace "paranormal" with "supernatural".

    This demonstrates a lack of understanding of what Christianity is. In a nutshell - God created mankind as eternal beings who did not experience death. The first man, Adam, sinned and brought death - the only punishment for sin - into the world. This damned humanity for all time in that now everything experiences death. Jesus Christ came to earth to die in our place so that we could have eternal life. This is a free gift, but God does not impose the gift upon anyone. Those who believe in Jesus Christ, recieve the free gift of eternal life.

    By it's very definition, Christianity is the belief in the supernatural. However, consider that what we see as natural today is not the "origninal natural". In fact, there was a time when death was the supernatural, and eternal life was natural. Indeed to God and the Angels, isn't the spiritual and eternal more real than this temporary life? God calls it a vapor. In the span of eternity is our ~70 years on the earth significant? Hebrews 11 is the 'fatih hall of fame'. It describes great men and women of faith in the history of Christianity.

    Hbr 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
    14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
    15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
    16 But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

    Like these, we believe that what we are experiencing now is not natural. It is the un-natural. It is a perversion of the original creation. To put it lightly, it is a great assumption to say that what Christians believe is supernatural, while what is currently observable is natural. The Bible gives us the details on how things began, how things were prior to the Curse (the corruption of the original design) and how things will be again in the future once that last great enemy death is defeated:

    1Cr 15:26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.

    These things are not "beyond natural explaination". The 'nature' of 'natural' has simply been changed at present. In fact, the reality of death should only serve to confirm the scripture's validity. The Bible says that Adam sinned and death entered the world. It says that Satan has come to the earth to kill, steal, and destroy, and that he is currently the god of this world. Therefore at present, we should be able to observe the effect of this - and we do. We see death naturally everywhere.


    It's obvious why, isn't it? Christians are out-evangelized in the First World, but have the upper hand in the Third World! For example, how many secular TV networks are there compared to Christian TV networks? How many bars, liquor stores, etc are there compared to churches? With the rampant humanism in American Public education system (evolution, homosexuality, etc) schools and universities are churches to humanism. With the ammount of money spent on sex, drugs, alchohol, etc, how can the ammount of money spent on preaching the gospel even hope to compete for the attention of perishoners?

    Of course, people in third world don't have money to spend on such things. In most cases, missionaries to the 3rd world are being funded by those in the First. For example, lets say the good Baptists decide to go and build an orphanage in Peru. Through funding from the United States, they care for children and teach them God's Word. This is the equivalent of Budweiser setting up shop in a remote village you can't get to without a donkey and giving away free beer and water for a few generations.

    These have nothing to do with being pre-modern, modern, or post-modern. There really is nothing new under the sun. It's simply a matter of effectiveness and effort. The church in most First World countries has compromised to humanism far too much. For example, you have many Christian leaders who support evolution -- an idea which directly contradicts the Bible. Why would anyone take what is said as genuine when the ones offering it don't even truely believe it? Why should anyone believe the Bible if it isn't authoritative and true?
     
  13. D28guy

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    Chemnitz,

    Could you share, with a reasonable amount of detail, what you mean by...

    1) "Divine Service"

    2) "absolution is pronounced".

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  14. Matt Black

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    So, Gup, why then are conservatives and fundamentalists so opposed to a Modern world-view?
     
  15. Gup20

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    Define what you mean by 'modern world view'.

    For many the modern world view begins with the age of reason or science. Conservative/fundamentalists are concerned with the biased assumptions upon which the modern worldview is built because it stands in direct contrast with scripture, science, history, and with what conservative and fundamentalists see as reality.

    For example, the evolution scientist might say that a modern world view has lead to the discarding of the 'religious crutch' upon which used to hang origin science. They will view advancements in evolutionary theory as evidence of this world view. However, as can be demonstrated, this evidence is little more than assumption and faith based upon wishful thinking.

    The Bible defines faith as:
    Hbr 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Consider - that if evolution is true, then people 'evolved' millions of years after the dinosaur went extinct. Yet we have much information about the lives and habbits of dinosaurs. Under that theory, no person has ever observed a living dinosaur, yet we have much imperical "observational" evidence concerning the lives of dinosaurs. Evidence of things not seen by man, though the remains and effects can be seen. The way those remains fit together is chalked full of assumption who's only basis is naturalism and humanistic atheism (an a priori commitment to materialism). The basis of the interpretation of evidence will form one's worldview. Yet, many see the evidence itself as the reason for their worldview. It is this circular logic - based upon assumptions that are rooted in an a priori committment to materialism that has many convervatives and fundamentalsists shaking their head at the absurdity of belief in the modern worldview. They see the Bible as a written record of history from the One Witness who was there at the foundation of the universe who can tell us how it really happened. Moreover, they see that Witness as having un-impeachable character and honesty.

    Moreover, the conservative and fundamentalist realize that the age of reason and science came to be because of christian creationists. Those christians saw God as a ordered being. They saw that the Bible describes the universe was created by God. They assumed that a universe full of laws was the result of an ultimate lawgiver.

    For example, Isaac Newton - considered one the greatest and most pioneering scientists of all time - was a creationist. He was certainly a significant contributor to the modern worldview and age of reason. Yet, his beliefs - rather than hinder his work - is what drove his reason. So it is demonstrable that the modern worldview is not a necessary component to science or scientific advancement. This underscores the position that the modern worldview is a system of beliefs based upon faith rather than an imperical evidentiary construct. Therefore, because it is a system of faith, and because that system of faith contradicts the faith described in scripture, those who are 'fundamentalists' or 'conservatives' see no reason to abandon their current system of beliefs and faith for this new system of faith.

    Returning to our defiinition of faith:
    Hbr 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Those who oppose belief in modern world view see very little substance of hope in that belief system. If you are evolved pond scum who's existence has no purpose but to serve one's self, then what hope does one have? Alternately, if you are part of an eternal plan and have a destiny and a purpose which is greater than yourself, then you have great hope.
     
  16. Chemnitz

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    Divine Service is what we call the worship services in our hymnals. It can be understood as "In the Divine Service, God serves us. He gives us His Word and Sacraments. Only after we have received the Word and the gifts He offers do we respond in our sacrifce of thanksgiving and praise. The Divine Service (liturgy) is God giving to us and our responding to him." - Lutheran Worship: History and Practice.


    Absolution pronounced - simply is their sins are forgiven. In more detail this section from Luther's Small Catechism will hopefully suffice.

    What is the Office of the Keys?*
    The Office of the Keys is that special authority which Christ has given to His church on earth to
    forgive the sins of repentant sinners, but to withhold forgiveness from the unrepentant as long
    as they do not repent.
    Where is this written?*
    This is what St. John the Evangelist writes in chapter twenty: The Lord Jesus breathed on His
    disciples and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if
    you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven' (John 20:22-23).
    What do you believe according to these words?*
    I believe that when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, in
    particular when they exclude openly unrepentant sinners from the Christian congregation and
    absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain,
    even in heaven, as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us Himself."
     
  17. Matt Black

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    Gup, I guess evolutionism is an example of the Modern world view. Essentially, it is by-product of rationalism and the Enlightenment; a belief also in scientific progress and that everything that exists can be demonstrably proved as such. It also demands that we deal in empirical absolutes, eg: if A is true then B is false. In such a system, the supernatural is dismissed out of hand: since it cannot be quantified or measured then it cannot exist. That is not such good news for the Christian.

    Post-modernity, OTOH, does admit the supernatural at the expense of rationalism (good news) but relatavises it eg: Christianity is relegated to only one of many ways to God or spirituality (bad news).

    Only a Pre-modern view, which admits the supernatural but also insists on epistemological absolutes, is an environment wherein Christianity can flourish.

    Discuss!
     
  18. Gup20

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    I have found the opposite to be true. Most of the time it is those who support a modern worldview who claim there are no absolutes.

    For example - is there such a thing as Good and Evil? Is there such a thing as right and wrong? For these abolutes to exist, there must exist an absolute good and an absolute evil. A world where abolsutes exist is a world where Christianity flourishes. There is no longer moral relativism, but moral absolutes. There is no longer a sense of relativistic truth, but Absolute Truth. This is exactly what the Bible claims to be -- it claims to be aboslute truth. If there is such as thing as absolute truth, then the Bible can be believed aboslutely.

    Again, the example of the dinosaur is a strong one. According to evolution, dinosaurs died out millions of years before man came to be, yet we have all of this "imperical" evidence on how they lived and behaved. Furthermore we have a litney of 'transissional fossils' which not a single soul ever 'observed' transforming, yet it is accepted truth that they did transform from lower form to higher form when no one has ever observed this process.

    What I have found is that 'empirical absolutes' are not as 'absolute' as they claim to be. Every science textbook will have to be written, ammended, re-written, re-ammended for all time. Yet God's Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Which seems more aboslute to you?
     

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