Psalms 111:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.”
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Proverbs 15:33 “The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”
Colossians 2:3 “Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
When we look at the West (this would be true of any country in the world) we see that the battle lines are drawn for the mind of man on whether we will go with man’s thinking and reasoning, or that of God’s.
We see from the Scripture verses listed above in both the Old and New Testament that wisdom and knowledge begins with God and not anyone else, or any government, or any group of ‘know-it-alls.’
That is why intellectual growth and spiritual growth go together. The Lord tells us to take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Yes, we have a Savior for our souls: God, but we also must remember that He is the Lord of all creation and because of that we must interpret every aspect of creation in the light of His revealed Truth. Our problem has often been that we look at Christianity as a collection of truths, but not as the TRUTH.
When there is no “Christian mind,” no shared, biblically based set of assumptions on subjects like law, education, economics, politics, science, or the arts, we then have a choice to make and the Bible teaches us that the overriding factor in the choices that we do make bring out our ultimate belief or religious commitment. In other words, our lives are shaped by the god we worship whether the God of the Bible or the one of our own making.
Since God is the Creator then God must be the premise or foundation of all that we do. When it comes to law, education, economics, politics, science or the arts – where is God and His thinking? We have cast God out. How did this happen? It is not something that happened over night, but over several centuries and we will be looking at these men and their philosophies that have brought us to the place where we are.
To understand a culture we must understand something of the underlying belief system that is there. Taking the axiom that the Lord laid down for us in His Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 7:17-20 “Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
When I consider what the West has become, it is because of what they, the leaders believe; it becomes their belief ‘system.’ This is what we need to change. It starts with us as individuals in seeing our transformation taking place through the renewing of our minds (developing a biblical worldview).
In these weekly letters we will be looking at some of the man-made belief systems that have been brought in through human reasoning and how brick upon brick or idea upon idea a fortress has been built that is keeping us enslaved within that fortress. We are first prisoners in our own minds.
This is why we must develop a biblical worldview. God’s view is not an option as if we consider it among other views; it is a “must.” Nancy Pearcy in her excellent book TOTAL TRUTH said: “Word (worldview) was later introduced into Christian circles through Dutch neo Calvinist thinkers such as Abraham Kuyper and Herman Dooyeweerd. They argued that Christians cannot counter the spirit of the age in which they live unless they develop an equally comprehensive biblical worldview, an outlook on life that gives rise to distinctively Christian forms of culture with the important qualification that it is not merely the relativistic belief of a particular culture but is based on the very Word of God, true for all times and places.”
When we look at the morals of the West we must realize that they stem from its worldview. In order to be effective for Christ’s Kingdom, we have to understand and take on the underlying worldview.
ALBERT WOLTERS said: “A Christian worldview involves three fundamental dimensions: the original good creation, the perversion of that creation through sin , and the restoration of that creation in Christ.”
In the next few weeklies we will look at this: the creation, fall and restoration – before getting into the ‘reasoning’ or ‘philosophy’ of man starting with Thomas Aquinas.