Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Battle of World Views

We are in a major battle between two world views.  One is shaped by the Bible and the other is shaped by "naturalistic science."  In a recent article in USA TODAY, Tom Krattenmaker calls for creationists to let “science be science, and let religion prevail in the vast areas where science has little or nothing to offer."  His argument sounds convincing until you question the premise of it.

For many years, Evangelical Christians have been willing to fight on what appears to be the front line of a battle between our world view and other opposing views.  We have been involved in one battle after another, all too often losing ground.  Krattenmaker suggests that we cannot win against the massive giant of empirical evidence called science.   Christians fight the decline in morals, the drifting of our once biblically based culture into paganism, the increased acceptance of perversion, the lowering of public morality and the skyrocketing of  legions of cultural problems.  If we are losing ground in the culture, it is because we are not attacking the real source of our battle.

I am convinced that while we must show up for the battle when a clear and present danger appears, we need to strategize to defeat other world views at the core of their belief.   For instance, instead of fighting the decline and redefinition of marriage, we need to attack the root of the problem - the origin of marriage.  The discussion of origins is the key battle.  If one accepts that man evolved, then there is no absolute truth and no ultimate judge of all mankind.  If, in fact, we are not uniquely created by God, then we have no intrinsic value, meaning, or purpose outside of ourselves.  Mr. Krattenmaker advises people of a biblical world view to go home and continue to privatize "religious beliefs" and leave the science to professionals with a naturalistic world view.  

Mr. Krattenmaker is asking Christians to do what all too many have
already done.  Sing hymns, preach sermons, hold meetings, but do not interrupt scientists as they shout down the evidence with bold declarations that  are, in fact, full of inconsistencies. Krattenmaker seems to believe that when evidence is lacking, the best answer is to tell those who are offering another opinion to go home.

Krattenmaker raises this question: "Do religious believers really want the truth of their faith wagered on an attempt to prove that countless scientists have somehow botched their reading of the fossil record?" Mr. Krattenmaker, you speak of these "countless scientists" as if they hold all empirical truth in their hands.  My world view teaches me that humans are quite capable of error when they are looking at evidence through the lens of a philosophical perspective.  What about men like German geneticist Richard Goldschmidt and famed evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould who promoted the theory of punctuated equilibrium.  This is the speculation that there were quantum leaps from one species to another.  Why would they theorize such things when there is no compelling evidence for evolution in the fossil record?

If we heed Krattenmaker’s counsel we will continue to lose important battles.  Most tragically, we will  continue to lose the hearts and minds of the next generation.  We will abandon them to a world view without God, and we will cower in the corner of irrelevance taking our place with the cowards of history.  No Thanks!

Ed Litton