Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Prior Commitments and Distaste for the Divine Foot

Our views are governed by our assumptions, and our assumptions are governed by the desires of our heart. Therefore, the Apostle Paul observed:

·        The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved…and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (2 Thes. 2:9-12)

Why will people believe these Satanic “counterfeit miracles?” Because they want to! Paul asserts that “they refused to love the truth and so be saved,” but instead “delighted in wickedness.” Our desires – our loves – determine our thinking and believing, even if it costs us salvation.

We believe what we want to believe. The same principle pertains irrespective of educational attainments. It even pertains to the leading scientists of the West, according to evolutionist and geneticist Richard Lewontin:
·        We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism [that nothing exists apart from matter and energy]. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, …Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

The “Divine Foot” opens the door to extra-material explanations – the very thing that many oppose. However, they can’t oppose it on the basis of science, but rather their almost-religious “commitment to materialism.”

Although our desires and commitments control us, this doesn’t rule out objective truths or answers. It should simply alert us to our powerful underlying motives and how they pervert our conclusions.

Of course, many will turn this around upon the Christian: “You believe because you need a crutch.” While this is true, Lewontin admits that he too has his crutch – materialism.

While the idea of God will comfort some, the idea of no-god (materialism) comforts others. One atheist friend admitted that he is an atheist because it helped him to deal with his guilt and shame. He understands that if there is no God, then there are no higher standards to which he is accountable. This thinking also gives the atheist some insulation against the fear of eternal judgment.

Even though what we believe is a very personal thing, they also might have an existence apart from what we think about them. I might believe in Christ for very personal reasons, but this doesn’t mean that I lack objective, evidential reasons for my belief.

However, as Lewontin seems to acknowledge, there is absolutely no evidential support for materialism. While we all believe that there are material explanations – there a the laws of physics that allow us to predict – this doesn’t mean that this is all that there is. In fact, these very laws point powerfully to the extra-material:

  1. There are unchanging. They impact everything in the universe, but nothing seems to be able to impact them.
  1. They are universal. They act uniformly throughout the universe.
  1. They seem to arise from outside of the universe. All sources of power/energy are localized within the universe. Consequently, the closer to the source, the greater the force it exerts. Those closer we are to a bonfire or radio-station, the stronger the waves. The laws of physics do not loose their force. There is no issue of proximity. It’s not an issue. Instead, the laws seem to originate from outside of this created order.
  1. They are elegant and can be described by simple formulae, suggesting that they were intelligently designed.
All of these considerations should argue persuasively against materialism. However, the “Divine Foot” is not in favor with our secular elites.

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