About Jesus Steve Sweetman
And The Christian World View
Some of you may remember
Francis Schaeffer who wrote
at least 23 books from the early 1960’s into the 1980’s.
His books concerning philosophy, science, culture, law, ethics,
church and the Christian world view warned Evangelicals about the
encroachment of non-Christian philosophy into Christian thinking.
I’d recommend his writings to anyone interested in philosophy
and social concerns and how they relate to Christian thinking.
Schaeffer wasn’t the
only one who warned Christians about non-Christian philosophy. In
Col. 2:6-8 Paul writes, “...
as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted
and built up in Him… See to it that no one takes you captive through
hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the
basic principles of this world and not on Christ”.
Our English word
“philosophy” comes from the Greek word “philosophia”
that Paul uses in Col 2:8.
“Philosophia” denotes the love and pursuit of wisdom,
knowledge and the understanding of things”.
Of course your presuppositions and approach to finding wisdom,
knowledge and understanding will determine the outcome of your pursuit
as seen in your belief system. Paul’s
presupposition was Jesus, thus his belief system was built upon this
Paul tells people to
receive Christ as Lord, and then be rooted in Him.
The temptation always exists to forsake Jesus as our foundation
to truth and turn to the prevailing thinking of the day.
One reason why some Christians forsake this foundation is because
they never “received Christ as their Lord” in the first place, as
Paul says. They’ve been
told that they just need their sins forgiven, so they’ve stopped at
that. Handing your life over
to the Lord Jesus and sticking with Him through thick and thin is what
being a Christian is all about, something that seems to be missing in
some circles these days.
Paul says that the
philosophy of the world is based on human tradition, something he knew
He spent his whole pre
Christian life in the pursuit of God through human effort and human
tradition, being the educated man that he was. Not
that education is bad because Paul as a Christian used his intellectual
capabilities in defense of the
truth of the gospel. He
understood the importance of an “objective” approach to truth, and
so do I.
Yet there’s more to all
of this than the objective approach as Paul realized after his
confrontation with the Lord Jesus Christ.
His objectivity was abruptly balanced with what some call a
subjective experience. He
no longer approached life from intellectual objectiveness alone, but
allowed the Holy Spirit to be the balancing factor in his thinking
Even with these warnings
many didn’t heed Paul’s words. They
began to rethink their faith by giving themselves to the prevailing
philosophies of the day which led them to deny Jesus altogether. Nothing
has changed since those days. Scheaffer
and others have warned us over the last 50 years about this, but for one
reason or another the prevailing philosophy of our day has led some
Christians away from the Biblical Jesus.
Post Modernism, Relativism, Humanism, and Religious Liberalism
are a few examples of philosophies that have undermined the central
truths of Scripture in some people’s thinking.
It’s now time to
address these issues again in a systematic and objective way, with the
balancing factor of the Holy Spirit’s involvement. Some
may say that such talk of the Holy Spirit is way too subjective for them
and has no place in critical thinking.
From a Christian standpoint this is far from the truth.
Even though the Holy Spirit is sometimes associated with
hyper-emotionalism, we know that He is more than that.
Jesus calls Him the Spirit of truth who can lead us into truth.
I know many Christians have no real desire to think of philosophical issues, but whether you realize it or not, the prevailing philosophies of the world are more prevalent in Christian circles than you might think. Therefore some of us do need to come to this table in both an objective and the subjective manner. We cannot neglect one or the other. May Jesus really be our Lord and may He be the foundation of all we think and do as we seek wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.