The World is a Battleground—Both Literally and Figuratively – An Excerpt from The Essentials of Christian Thought
In today’s excerpt from The Essentials of Christian Thought, eminent theologian and church historian Roger Olson explains what leads to confusion and accommodation to nonbiblical, non-Christian life and world perspectives.
The Biblical-Christian Perspective on the World
The world is a battleground—both literally and figuratively. Here both senses are in view. First, conflicting worldviews and metaphysical belief systems see the world as radically different things. And that can make a great difference in ethics. How we should treat nature, and all that is in it, for example, can depend very much on what we believe it is. One theory about the environmental crisis lays the blame for the rape of nature by human industry at the feet of Judeo-Christian religion; another theory lays the blame at the feet of Enlightenment secularism. Both…
Advice for Integrating the Essentials of Christian Thought with Learning
Doctrine. Politics. Church government. Moral issues. Christians disagree on just about everything under the sun. Yet a unity remains, centered around a core view of God and the world. This unity is rooted in the Christian vision for ultimate reality—a vision challenged by culture and often shunned by Christians.
Which is why Roger Olson’s new book The Essentials of Christian Thought is so important.
This book contains an archeology of the implicit philosophy of the Bible—the Bible’s assumed view of reality…this philosophy is foundational to everything the Bible teaches, and orthodox, thinking Christians of all denominations throughout the centuries have believed it. (10)
He wrote it not only to help Christians distinguish between the Bible’s vision of reality and competing ones from culture.…
Two Competing Stories to the Christian Worldview
As Koukl explained, “[Christianity] is an account or a description or a depiction of the way things actually are” (23). And the way things actually are can be traced along a four-act story, familiar to many Koinonia readers: creation, fall, redemption, restoration.
Perhaps the most important part of this story is how it begins. Creation tells us how things began, where everything came from (including us), the reason for our origins, and what ultimate reality is like. Koukl explains it like this:
on the Christian view, God and the world—mind and matter—are two different kinds of things. Both are real. The first (God) is maker and sovereign over the second (everything else).…