The Details: Nature vs. nature

Nature vs. nature

As we have discussed in the previous two posts, it is the job of Christians to first educate themselves on the worldviews of today so secondly, they can educate their own generation and those to follow. We must identify and question the secular, naturalistic worldview that is abundant in literature, music, movies, and all areas of study so that we can teach and proliferate the Christian, biblical worldview bestowed by God. In so doing, we will further the gospel movement and thus the great commission (Matthew 28:20)

What does this look like in everyday circumstances? I have written previous apologetic posts that I think would help to explain such methods (here and here), but I feel a recent example is profitable.

I deeply love classic literature. Texts rich in vocabulary and bursting with the arts are part of everyday blessings that I desire to give my children. A well-written book, be it fiction or non-fiction, is inspiring to the psyche, it enriches our lives, and shapes the culture.

One such gem of children’s literature is Kenneth Grahame’s classic tale, The Wind in the Willows. Prior to reading this text with my children, I had only read portions of this story; never the full text.

Aside from the rich vocabulary, the artistic descriptions of scenery, character, and plot, I began to notice an underlying belief system of the author. In the infamous chapter seven, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, two of the main characters, Mole and the River Rat, have a religious experience filled with worship for, Pan, the Greek god of the wild…nature. As I was reading this chapter to my children–keep in mind I had no idea this was approaching as this was my first read–I recognized immediately that significant nature worship was being depicted. Not only that, but the word nature itself is capitalized throughout the text thereby attributing anthropomorphic, human qualities, to a non-human concept. To capitalize nature is to equate nature with a god-like being responsible for the world we see today. It is to equate nature to God and His creation.

wind in the willows

…then in the utter clearness of the imminent dawn, while Nature, flushed with fullness of incredible colour, seemed to hold her breath for the event, he looked in the very eyes of the Friend and Helper; saw the backward sweep of the curved horns, (The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame, emphasis mine)

Immediately, I used this as a teachable moment.

I reinforced the idea that people worship the created rather than the creator. Just as we talk about evolution as one way to help explain the world around us to the exclusion of God, they can in turn attribute deity to Nature. I explained that this doesn’t mean we can’t read this book or other books like it simply because of a different worldview. However, in reading such texts we should be aware of the underlying worldview and values from which the author is writing.

Making this chapter, or other literature with conflicting worldview narratives,  taboo may heighten such texts to forbidden fruit. Conversely, openly discussing worldviews and other religious beliefs with our children in an environment where questions are welcomed and answers provided or looked up together, equips our children to handle future questions independently.

The saying, the devil is in the details applies here. We can equip ourselves, our children, and peers to recognize worldviews in the details so that we can sharpen our understanding of worldviews held by others and speak the truth of the Bible and a Christian worldview into the everyday situations of life.

More to come on Friday!

signature

2 Comments

Cracking Creation: Why it Matters and What It Means to Your Faith

Typically I would initiate a spiritual conversation with a question similar to this, “What do you believe happens to you when you die?”

However, I am questioning this tactic after reading the following from Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey:

In today’s post-Christian world, many people no longer even understand the meaning of crucial biblical terms. For example, the basic term sin makes no sense to people if they have no concept of a holy God who created us and who therefore has a right to require certain things of us. And if people don’t understand sin, they certainly don’t comprehend the need for salvation.

Consequently, in today’s world, beginning evangelism with the message of salvation is like starting a book at the middle–you don’t know the characters, and you can’t make sense of the plot. Instead, we must begin with Genesis, where the main character, God establishes himself as the Creator, and the “plot” of human history unfolds its first crucial episodes. And the scientific evidence supporting these episodes is powerful.

~p. 98, How Now Shall We Live? 

It was three years ago that I began to pay attention to the science of the Bible. After studying the Noetic Flood and considering the true implications of such  a world-wide catastrophic event, I realized I was scratching at the surface of the science within the Bible and creation.

Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey was the next step in opening my eyes to the necessity for Christians to understand and defend creation. This book identified and equipped me with a source which enables Christians to articulate the differences between creation and Darwinian evolution. For evolution is a tool, oddly enough, created from a staunch philosophy of naturalism: that all which exists comes from natural causes and laws in the known universe apart from any supernatural being.

The whole point of his (Darwin’s) theory was to identify a natural process that would mimic intelligent design, thus making design superfluous. ~ p. 94

It is nearly impossible to see the need for salvation apart from believing the evidence of intelligent design. Apart from knowing there is a God who created us, there is no need to build a relationship, or more accurately reconcile a relationship, between said God and man. 

Most people sense instinctively that there is much more at stake here than a scientific theory–that a link exists between the material order and the moral order…Our origin determines our destiny. It tells us who we are, why we are here, and how we should order our lives together in society.  Our view of origins shapes our understanding of ethics, law, education–and yes, even sexuality. ~p. 92

The Christian community of our day must equip itself to answer the tough questions and challenge the status quo which is: man is not above the animals but derived from them.

If you are willing to take the initial, or next sequenced step, toward the study of creation and developing a Christian world-view, then I highly recommend reading How Now Shall We Live? by Nancy Pearcey and the late Chuck Colson.

That is what I am reading this Wednesday. Thank you for joining me.

Leave a Comment

Creation: Why does it matter?

 

 A single visit to the ocean on one vacation will likely not be enough to produce a deep love and appreciation for God’s creation. A single museum visit or concert will probably not instill a deep understanding of how God’s creative image inspires people to create. But moment by moment, as we take time to reflect on creation, sketch a favorite mountain scene, write a poem of praise, or admire the new buds on a tree–and share all of these things with our children–we have the opportunity to cultivate an appreciation for God’s creative greatness in their souls and invite a grateful, in-his-image creative response. ~Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood, p. 195

 

 

 

As in stooping low we serve, bending the knee we humble, and pouring out we teach, so in quiet observation the created studies the creation and creating overflows. Man cannot help but attempt to create beauty from the beauty observed in creation.

Every gardener knows that in digging down deep, planting a seed, and tending to it regularly new life springs forth from the ground. In the same way newness of life is observed in those who abide with their Creator God. When we hide His word in the soil of our hearts a seed is planted and a harvest is sure to come.

Chance it to say that most outward, outright sin begins as inward iniquity…sin of the mind.

To take the inward iniquity of man and simply deny the outward temptations will not work forever. We must hide God’s word in our hearts that we may not sin against God. Scripture memory gives us a replacement thought, a living Word, to combat inner uttering and outward pulls toward our weak flesh.

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. ~Matthew 26:41

Even a father in the faith, Paul, cried out,

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. ~Romans 7:15

We are no better and no worse than Paul… and neither are our children. That is why we must teach them God’s word and creation science so that when they are old they will not be easily persuaded to leave the path.

I am very far from having all the answers. However, we are as close to the scriptural truths as we place ourselves.

We must, in the words of Bro. Bill Anderson, put ourselves at the spout where the blessing comes out. Both you and I must do this. Meditation and memorization of God’s living word will bring us closer to this point. Involving our children in this will bring them closer with us.

Today, as we were outside playing in the dirt from which we came, I proceeded to recite the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:1-20 that I have attempted to memorize the past weeks. At the beginning of the first attempt, Emily asks, “What are you doing?” “I am reciting the scripture I have memorized.” “Like me in Cubbies?” she replied. “Yes, except my verses are all lumped together.”

She and Joshua heard me recite this portion of Scripture around four times as it took that many takes between questions from the children, a settlement of property dispute over a bubble-wand, and other happenings.

In creation, the created was creating and the Creator was glorified.

My children were watching and then followed my lead. Emily picked up her camera and began recording Joshua and the leaves, trees, and grass around her. She also prompted him to recite one of her Cubbies verses. Joshua, in turn, was given my camera and snapped shots of the “birds.” As he aimed the lens at the trees, we watched birds fly in and out as they were singing their praises to God.

 

 

 

Many in our culture would have you believe that religion is for the spirit only. The God who created us made us both intellectual and spiritual; therefore we must teach the Bible, creation, science, math, and everything else under the sun in relation to God, the truths of the Bible, and the evidence of Intelligent Design.

I was first introduced to such thinking above in the book,Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, by Nancy Pearcy. I was not sure that I was smart enough to read this book…the verdict is still out. However, I finished it. When the final page turned I was met with a quest to learn more, study more, and become more of a worker approved rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

In order for our little children to grow up and not depart from the faith we are teaching them, we must give them the tools they need to defend their faith against our culture, “scientific” theories such as Darwinism, and other worldviews they will encounter.

This begins with a solid foundation of hiding God’s word in their hearts.

Next, we continue equipping them via instruction at age-appropriate levels while engaging them in activities within God’s created order.

By providing evidence of God’s work in nature, it restores Christianity to the status of a genuine knowledge claim, giving us the means to reclaim a place at the table of public debate. Christians will then be in a position to challenge the fact/value dichotomy that has marginalized religion and morality by reducing them to irrational, subjective experience.  ~Nancy Pearcy, Total Truth, p. 178

Here is our video with recitation of the Sermon on the Mount. For the non-blogger friends of mine, it is called a vlog. So, listen and watch til your “vlogging” hearts content. Thanks, if you make it through its entirety.

 

Linking up with:

 

4 Comments

The Sermon on the Mount

I have  stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. ~Psalm 119:11

I have decided to join Ann in memorizing the Sermon on the Mount.

I need to sow the Word into the recesses of my mind and heart.

God’s word replacing my wayward thoughts.

Meditation on all that is good.

Following her lead, I have opted to document this with a simple video post.

While Ann’s videos have been in beautiful Canadian snow, I thought I might try the sunny, sandy beaches of Florida. Today however, the setting resembled the nursery rhyme,

One misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather…

Visit here if you would like to download materials to memorize the mount with us.

Thank you for reading and visiting This Temporary Home! You are a welcome guest.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Leave a Comment