We have reached the final step in Nancy Pearcey’s 5 principles to analyzing any worldview in her book Finding Truth! We’ve looked at how to look for clues to where someone has replaced God with an idol, and then how to identify that particular idol’s reductionism, and then two steps on how to test that idol. The final step, after having tested the idol (and found it wanting) is to replace that idol-based worldview with the Christian worldview.
Replace the Idol: Make the case for Christianity
In apologetics, we are certainly engaged in tearing down arguments and strongholds (2 Cor. 10:3-5) but that is only half the story. Lovingly dismantling an idol-based worldview will leave a hole that needs to be filled. The final step in the process is to fill that hole with the only whole worldview in existence: Christianity. This step is adaptive, because each idol-based worldview will have different flaws, and so you will want to show how Christianity is able to properly account for what that particular worldview does not.
I’ve used the general relativistic worldview that is so prevalent in our society as an example several times, Using it again, you will notice that no sooner do moral relativists tell you that there is no such thing as absolute or objective morality, they will turn around and tell you that (for example) that your belief that homosexuality is sinful is a morally repugnant view to hold. We can’t avoid making moral statements or judgement, yet on their view, they have no ground to make “should/should not, aught/aught not” statements about any belief. Unfortunately, the problems don’t with controversial issues, either.
I mentioned before the story of my friend and her inability to truly condemn the holocaust. Moral relativism sounds good on paper, but in reality, it does not give anyone a foundation to condemn things that are truly evil. In such a situation, it is helpful to point how their worldview is unable to say that racism, say, is wrong. Yet they know that it is wrong. In this scenario, you point how their worldview is unable to account for such a judgement, and then how Christianity’s objective morality is able to give them a firm ground for pointing how things can be truly wrong, and not just unpleasant or personally offensive. How does this work? If they must act as if Christianity is true, even though their beliefs deny it to be so, there must be an answer as to why that takes place. Unsurprisingly, the Bible answers that exact question in Romans 2. Christianity accounts for objective morality (covered here).
They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them – 2:15
This also works with people who say that it’s arrogant of Christians to say that they know for certain, answers to questions that many people have different answers to. In other words, people who are skeptics regarding certainty on things like the existence of God, or objective truth. They might say there is no such thing as objective truth, and while that statement itself is self-refuting (do you know that statement to be true?) , it often tends to go hand in hand with them claiming that “science” has proven some particular belief or position of theirs. How can science come to any sort of reliable truth when nobody can know for certain whether things are true or not? At this point, you can point to how Christianity can account for us being able to trust our reasoning process, and the necessity of objective truth (covered here).
Each conversation with a person will be different, and it will take some time and patience, loving and careful questioning to figure out what a person’s worldview is. Following principles #1-4 will allow you to figure out where that particular idol-based worldview falls short, and then test it, and that will allow you to demonstrate how Christianity is not merely a better worldview, but the correct one. Each person is an unrepeatable soul, and our love for them will determine that we care enough about them to learn their worldview, and point them to the truth.
Next week, we’ll (probably) wrap up this series, as I take a look at some current events, and apply Pearcey’s five principles to them.