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When Worldviews Collide: An Evangelical Looks at the Wisdom of Man

When Worldviews Collide: An Evangelical Looks at the Wisdom of Man

By Dr. David Kyle Foster
https://www.restoredhopenetwork.org/
March 27, 2019

What is going on? The world seems to have lost its ever-lovin mind! We're cloning humans, redefining marriage, outlawing help for those who want out of dysfunctional lifestyles such as transgender and homosexual confusion. We're tearing babies limb from limb in their mother's wombs and selling their body parts to the highest bidder.

We're putting the most perverse pornography ever conceived into the hands of the smallest children through the Internet and trafficking them as sex slaves. We're allowing men who claim to be women to shower with young girls and trounce them on the athletic field.

One 52 year-old Canadian father now "identifies" as a 6 year-old girl. A 69 year-old Dutch man sues to reduce his age to 20. One 20 year-old Norwegian woman "identifies" as a cat, a Los Angeles woman "identifies" as a dog and a man "identifies" as an elf.

How did we get here? The most obvious answer is that we have forsaken God and as predicted in Scripture, become foolish in our own wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:19-21, 25). And so, God has "given us over to a depraved mind to do what ought not to be done." (Romans 1:18-32)

One way to look at the destruction of our civilization is to examine a history of worldviews -- how they have evolved and the control that they have had on our thinking, beliefs and actions. According to James Sire (The Universe Next Door), a worldview is........

A commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions which we hold about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being.

Everyone has a worldview though many are unaware of what it is. (If you trust in the authority of the Bible, that does not guarantee that you have a biblical worldview, by the way).

In this article, I'll be relying heavily on Alister McGrath's exceptional work: A Passion for Truth, but first let's look at some of Andrew Walker's musings from, God & the Transgender Debate.

Andrew writes......

A worldview is the sum of the beliefs we hold at the deepest levels of our being -- consciously or unconsciously -- about where the ultimate meaning of reality is found.

Our worldview comes to the surface whenever we need to decide how to live in some way.....how we work out what is right and what is wrong in terms of our beliefs and actions....

Ultimately,....you are looking for a source of:

- Authority: who has the right to tell me what to do?
- Knowledge: Who knows what is best for me to do?
- Trustworthiness: Who loves me and wants what is best for me?

I could choose to listen to my feelings......my reason.....my upbringing.....or to submit to a particular religious code...

The journey starts with the question of how to decide to live....

In this age, when claims to authority are challenged and contested, where is left for us to look for a source of authority, knowledge and trustworthiness?
....Post-modern individualism agrees. The sexual revolution tells me that the highest goal is self-fulfillment, achieved through following my feelings; and relativism makes it possible for me to pursue these goals without anyone being allowed to say, 'No, that's wrong.'

So we decide according to our reason or (more normally) our feelings, or both......( I feel like....or I think that.....)

A better way is to acknowledge that the Creator is the One who possesses perfect authority and knowledge. God has the right to tell me what to do.....the knowledge necessary to understand what I should do -- what is best for me and the world..... the wisdom to know what is best..... and who proved that He can be trusted to tell us what is best for us.

So when we say to others, 'You should obey God,' what we mean is, 'We want what God deserves and what is best for you' (obedience)....Christians have found a better source of authority, knowledge, and trust than our own reason or feelings - or our own traditions or assumptions.

It's crucial to know why we are thinking and deciding what we are deciding.....This is the biggest issue that drives a wedge between an increasingly secularized culture and the Christian worldview......

We do not cast our decisions to reject what God says as the actions of rebels. We really just see ourselves as owners and masters of ourselves -- like Adam and Eve did.....They denied God's authority, doubted God's knowledge, and disputed God's loving goodness....and took up the mantle of their own authority, knowledge and trusted in themselves.

It was Oswald Chambers who famously wrote: "The core of all sin is the doubt that God is good."

So let's take a look at the worldviews that have dominated western culture since the 18th century, so that we can understand what lies behind their beliefs and actions. This is especially important, as worldviews subconsciously direct the decisions that we make in governing, educating, witnessing, ministering and interacting with the secular worldviews that assault us on a daily basis. We will focus primarily on how these worldviews impact the Church.

Worldview # 1 - The Enlightenment

"The Enlightenment" served up a worldview that dominated western thought and belief (including the thinking of many of our Founding Fathers) from approximately 1650-1880. Its primary proponents were Thomas Hobbs, John Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hegel and Immanuel Kant. In some circles, it lingers, even today.

"The Enlightenment" promoted secular and religious thought that was based upon the theory that there are universally valid and accessible norms and resources, such as reason, experience, and culture. It was a grand theory based on what proponents believed to be 'universal foundations.'

[Note: Unless otherwise noted, every quoted passage from Alister McGrath's book, A Passion for Truth, will be italicized from this point forward. Used with Permission.]
Dr. McGrath suggests......

They believed that Jesus Christ was just one of the many religious teachers who told us things that anyone with a degree of common sense could have told us anyway. Reason reigned supreme.

The notion of 'supernatural revelation' was deeply offensive to Enlightenment thinkers, who regarded it as a challenge to the autonomy of the thinking individual......Reason was capable of discerning and disclosing all that needed to be known and could be known about God.....Both salvation and revelation were accessible to the unaided human faculties.

Theirs was a flight from authority and tradition, which they regarded as virtually synonymous with the political oppression of the feudal system prior to the French Revolution in 1789.

In essence, the Enlightenment taught that human beings were perfectly capable of constructing their own ideas about God, without divine revelation.

In contrast, an axiom of the Christian faith is that only God can reveal God and that only God can save. To put it another way, the Cross is the exclusive ground of salvation and the center of all Christian thought.....Additionally, it is Christ alone who embodies the contours of the redeemed life.

"Rationalism" (which is much more than just being reasonable or rational) was a part of the Enlightenment. It dominated western culture from 1600-1950. Its primary proponents were Baruch Spinoza, Rene ("I think therefore I am") Descartes, Immanuel Kant, and Noam Chomsky.

Rationalism is an 18th Century belief that there is no need for supernatural revelation from God (should He exist) because man is capable of reasoning his way through the exigencies of the world on his own.

Reason is the basic human faculty of thinking, based on argument and evidence......Classical Christian theology makes full use of reason..... to which it adds faith, which goes beyond reason, having access to truths and insights of revelation, which reason could not hope to fathom or discover unaided.

Rationalism on the other hand, puts an exclusive reliance upon human reason alone, with a refusal to allow any weight to be given to divine revelation. In essence, rationalism does not allow human reason to be corrected by God.

Rationalism teaches the primary authority of reason, which leads to Christ being accorded a partial and secondary authority..... Whatever authority He possesses is derivative, rather than inherent.

A good example is Thomas Jefferson, who filtered out those aspects of the teaching and ministry of Christ which he found unacceptable. For Jefferson, the prior views of the investigator determine the outcome of the investigation.....The Christ that he saw was merely an indirect affirmation of Jefferson's own authority -- a form of narcissism, or a desire to worship one's own likeness.....

On the other hand, Thomas Aquinas wrote that Christianity is like a cathedral which rests upon the bedrock of human reason, but whose superstructure rises beyond the realms accessible to pure reason.

John Calvin wrote that although reason was perfectly capable of arriving at the knowledge of God, saving knowledge of God could be had only through revelation.

In a western cultural context in which the right of individuals to create their own worlds is vigorously asserted, evangelicalism declares that it is a movement under the authority and sovereignty of Christ.

>Worldview # 2 - Evangelicalism

Although it could be argued that evangelicalism was born with the birth of the Church, modern evangelicalism began around 1730 and survives to this day. It emerged in the revivals of the First and Second Great Awakenings in America and the Methodism movement in England. Some of the main actors have been John & Charles Wesley, George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham, B.B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, Carl Henry, John Warwick Montgomery, Francis Shaeffer, Norman Geisler, D.A. Carson and J.I. Packer.

Evangelicals have been forced to defend the idea of divine revelation against Enlightenment thinking -- to defend the use of the Bible in theology against modernists who argue that it is outdated, irrelevant and devoid of authority.....

However, in trying to defend the reasonableness, credibility and integrity of their position, and to make it more attractive to a world steeped in rationalism, many evangelicals during this period drifted into an anti-supernatural, rationalistic stance.

We see this "drift" happening in our day, as a church unknowingly steeped in postmodern assumptions tries to make itself seem reasonable and relevant in order to "win people to Christ" or at a minimum, so as to be liked and to appear non-judgmental.

McGrath's definition of evangelicalism includes..........
1. A focus, both devotional and theological, on the person and work of Jesus Christ, especially His death on the Cross, -i.e., Christianity possesses an intrinsic authority which is grounded and focused in Christ's own person and work.
2. The identification of God's self-revelation in Scripture as the ultimate authority in matters of spirituality, doctrine and ethics.
3. An emphasis upon conversion or a 'new birth' as a life-changing religious experience.
4. A concern for sharing the faith, especially through evangelism.

Reason plays a part but is always secondary and confirmatory, rather than primary and foundational.

Evangelicalism affirms the particularity of Christ's cross and resurrection and His call to believers to be salt and light to the world, being in the world but not of it. Christ is the self-revelation of God, who offers a relationship of intimacy with Him and His Word.

The present fixation of evangelicalism on the American therapeutic culture of 'feel-goodism' is much to blame for the intellectual weakness of the movement.

A second problem is the dominance of pragmatism in evangelicalism, which emphasizes church growth, feel-good preaching and styles of ministry informed largely by secular psychology.....No longer is theology regarded as integral to maintaining and nourishing Christian identity in the world, or as a seminal resource in forging new approaches to ministry.
Seeking to be a Christian in the modern world has been transformed into a search for techniques with which to expand the church and master the self, techniques that borrow mainly from business management and psychology......Theology is seen as an applied science, oriented towards the practical life of the church.
Evangelicalism today is thriving, although there are many who have drifted away from it while continuing to cling to the title - thus watering down its true identity as well as many of its historic tenets.

Worldview # 3 - Modernism

Modernism began around 1870 and died as a serious worldview by 1945. Its main players included Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Marcel Proust, Eugene O'Neill, Freud, Fyodor Dostoevsky, James Joyce, and the Tubingen School.

Modernism reflects a desire to control, seen at its clearest in the Nietzschean theme of 'will to power'. Humanity needs only the will to achieve autonomous self-definition; it need not accept what has been given to it, whether in nature or tradition. In principle, all can be mastered and controlled (think Hitler, Stalin and Mao). A belief in the autonomy of human reason -- that authority and tradition are dead - basically the deification of humanity and its technology....Religious feeling is a social product.

Feuerbach declared the divinity of humanity; that the human is God. Yet after a century and a half of experience of this 'god', evangelicalism feels it has every right to question the outcome of this affirmation in light of the rise of Stalinism and Nazism.....This modernist quest for mastery has led to a culture of illusion and oppression, in which human power has become a controlling influence.

Modernists want to be free to construct their own realities, and so they do not consider Scripture to be divinely inspired or authoritative. They see it more as thoughts and stories (some true, some not) that are riddled with inaccuracies. Their view is well-illustrated by the infamous "Jesus Seminar" whose 50 members voted on which parts of the Bible were true and which were invented, by casting colored beads into a bucket.

Red beads -- indicated the voter believed Jesus did say the passage quoted, or something very much like the passage. (3 Points)
Pink beads -- indicated the voter believed Jesus probably said something like the passage. (2 Points)
Grey beads -- indicated the voter believed Jesus did not say the passage, but it contains Jesus' ideas. (1 Point)
Black beads -- indicated the voter believed Jesus did not say the passage--it comes from later admirers or a different tradition. (0 Points)

A confidence value was determined from the voting using a weighted average of the points given for each bead; the text was color-coded from red to black (with the same significance as the bead colors) according to the outcome of the voting.

"Jesus Seminar" members included Robert Funk and John Dominic Crossan. It disbanded in 2006 after doing much damage to the cause of Christ.

Considering the failure of its key claims and promises, "Modernism" as a serious worldview is dead.

Worldview # 4 - Liberalism

Liberalism had its genesis in 1790 and sputtered to an ignominious end around the year 2000. Its proponents included men like Friedrich Schleiermacher, Walter Rauschenbusch, Rudolf Bultmann, Paul Tillich, John Dominic Crossan, John Shelby Spong and Hans Kung.

Liberalism grounds the gospel in cultural trends and enslaves it to cultural ideas and values......Scripture is acknowledged as authoritative only when it happens to endorse or resonate with human experience and culture, which makes Christian theology a hostage to the dominant cultural theology.

Consequently Scriptural authority changes from generation to generation, rendering the concept meaningless and hypocritical.

This allowed the mainline German church to cast their ballot with Hitler during WW II -- something we rightly criticize today.

But we are doing the same today, by allowing ourselves and our churches to follow societal norms and values, irrespective of their origins and goals. To allow our ideas and values to become controlled by anything or anyone other than the self-revelation of God in Scripture is to adopt an ideology, rather than a theology; it is to become controlled by ideas and values whose origins lie outside the Christian tradition -- and potentially to become enslaved by them.

Liberalism's famous declaration 'that human nature is good, that the world is capable of being made a desirable abiding place, and that the evil of the world is the fruit of bad education and bad institutions'....... has been left in tatters in the aftermath of the 1st and 2nd World Wars, especially as the horrors of the Nazi extermination camps became widely known.

In recent years, 'liberalism' has degenerated from a commitment to openness and toleration into an intolerant and dogmatic worldview, which refused to recognize the validity of any views save its own.....It attempts to control -- whether through marginalization or appeasement.

The new dogmatism within liberalism is itself a sure indication of a deep sense of unease and insecurity, and an awareness of its growing isolation and marginalization within mainline Christianity.

An infamous example of liberal "scholarship" was Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong who, freed from the strictures of Scripture, wove imaginary fantasies such as: The Apostle Paul was a homosexual and that the virgin Mary was a rape victim.

As William Inge (former Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London) noted: 'If you marry the spirit of your own generation, you will be a widow in the next.'

Liberalism also grounds its beliefs in the subjective feelings and emotions of human 'experience'.....In contrast, Martin Luther, taking the event of the crucifixion as a paradigm, argued that experience must be corrected by doctrine. In other words, experience (which is often seriously unreliable) is what requires to be interpreted, rather than the interpreting agent itself.

Luther and Calvin both stressed that to be a real theologian is to wrestle with none other than the living God -- not with ideas about God, but with God Himself.

Augustine said of God: 'You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.'

C.S. Lewis noted that there is a profound and intense feeling of longing within human beings, which no earthly object or experience can satisfy.

The Psalmist wrote: 'As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God.' (Psalm 42:1-2)

Scripture was never intended to be defined by experience. Rather, it exists so that experience can be transformed.

Worldview # 5 - Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism existed from 1910 until 2000, with remnants still hanging on today. Leaders have included Lyman Stewart, J. Gresham Machen, Dwight Moody and Charles Hodge.
Fundamentalism is a term taken from a series of 12 books published in 1910 entitled, The Fundamentals, which were written as a religious reaction to the rise of the secular culture [then dominated by Modernism]. Written by 64 different authors, they were meant to be a statement of the cardinal doctrines of the faith -- the fundamentals of Christianity - and to defend it from liberalism, socialism, modernism, atheism, spiritualism, evolutionism, Catholicism, higher criticism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, Christian Science, etc.
Today the term carries a distorted connotation of "religious extremism" in general.

Worldview # 6 - Neo-Orthodoxy

Neo-Orthodoxy existed from 1920-2000. Primary theologians included Emil Brunner and Karl Barth.

Neo-Orthodoxy was an attempt to rehabilitate dogma outside of the restraints of Enlightenment thought.

It's primary leader, (Karl Barth), was extremely critical of evangelicalism and taught that the Word of God was divinely inspired only when it spoke to the person, thus doing away with the idea that it is objectively inspired and authoritative whether it speaks to someone or not.

Brunner treated revelation purely as a 'personal presence', by stressing the informational content of revelation. The evangelical response to Brunner is to affirm the informational content of revelation, not to deny its personal aspects. To reduce revelation to principles or concepts is to suppress the element of mystery, holiness and wonder to God's self-disclosure.

Worldview # 7 - Postmodernism

Postmodernism began its rise to dominance as a worldview in secular culture in the late 20th century and exerts a dominant influence even today. Its proponents have included Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard and Michel Foucault. Sadly, it is unknowingly a major worldview in the church today.

Postmodernism was birthed out of the failure of modernist promises and a reaction to having all hope dashed by the disasters of 20th century warfare such as the Stalinist purges and the Nazi holocaust.

Like modernists, postmoderns want to be free to construct their own realities.....They teach that the world is a collection of perpetually shifting fragments rather than a unified, stable and coherent whole.

Postmoderns live by mantras such as: "Your truth is your truth", "It's all relative" and "Truth is not an objective reality. Rather, it is a construct of one's own will and an invention of one's own reality."

But isn't the claim that there is no fixed truth a claim to a fixed truth?

Postmodernist Allan Bloom wrote (in The Closing of the American Mind) that 'Relativism is necessary to openness and this is the only virtue. Openness and relativism...is the great insight of our times. The true believer is the real danger.'

Yet beneath all the rhetoric about openness and tolerance lies a profoundly disturbing possibility -- that people may base their lives upon an illusion, upon a blatant lie, or that present patterns of oppression may continue, and be justified, upon the basis of beliefs or outlooks which are false.....

To allow criteria such as 'tolerance' and 'openness' to be given greater weight than 'truth' is, quite simply, a mark of intellectual shallowness and moral irresponsibility.

Ask them -- how about the person who believes it's true for them to burn widows alive on Hindu funeral pyres, or that it is okay to gas millions of Jews?

How about the person who believes that it's okay to molest children or for Mao Zedong to murder 45 million undesirables in his "Great Leap Forward"? After all, it's their truth and who are we to judge?

Postmoderns eschew reason. They suggest that 'being reasonable' too often amounts to an authoritarian demand to 'accept my way of thinking.'

In essence, it is at war against authority, including biblical authority.

But as Luther put it, we read Scripture not simply to learn of the 'commands of God' but to encounter the 'God who commands', and to be transformed as a result.

In his book, The Second Coming of the New Age, former New Age leader Steven Bancarz reflects on Jesus' claim to not only be the truth (John 14:6) but to also bear witness to the truth (John 18:37c) ..........

In order for Jesus to 'bear witness' to the truth, the truth must exist.....Jesus would be unable to bear witness to something with no existence......

This truth must exist in a way that is objective.....[it] exists in a concrete manner independent of anybody's opinion......
.....there is an external world with a real state of affairs consisting of facts and events. Apart from the human mind, there is a real world. A true proposition is one that expresses an accurate reflection of the real world. Not only did Jesus believe this, but the Bible as a whole teaches that to believe the 'truth' is to believe accurately about the way things are........

Truth is something we align ourselves with, not something we create for ourselves. It's something we discover, not something we fashion......

In the New Age movement [as well as in postmodern thought], truth is in the eye of the beholder......'truth' is up to each individual to define and create.....How you define truth is up to you......nobody can step into a person's world and tell that person what he or she believes is false......

This means that everything that Jesus came to reveal to us has been rendered void right out of the gate.......

If there is no set of facts about the world to which Christ's teachings ultimately correspond, then we have no reason to value anything He says.....since [His teachings] are neither true nor false. They simply exist as subjective points of view able to be adopted or rejected according to each person's liking.......

[This] removes Jesus' attribute of omniscience.......It would not make sense for Jesus (or the Father) to possess all knowledge if knowledge and truth doesn't exist. Sure, there might be a general set of claims that Jesus holds in particular and believes to be His own truth, but these beliefs of His aren't actually true. They are justified by virtue of the fact that He is convinced in His own mind of them, but they don't really correspond to the world.

The truth that exists in the mind of Jesus is no more valuable or correct than the 'truth' in the mind of Judas or Lucifer.

All of the Bible verses about the character of God, the function of the cross, the necessity of faith in Jesus for salvation, the reality of Heaven and Hell, and all other claims made in Scripture lose significance the minute we determine that 'truth' is something other than correspondence with reality. If 'truth' is something we construct inside our consciousness instead of something outside of us that we discover, then the words of Jesus lose all authority and significance. Jesus had His opinion and you have yours. Correspondence with reality doesn't matter; what matters is how this belief serves you and feels when you decide to subscribe to it.

In the 1960s , "Postmodernism" began to insinuate itself into the thinking and training of culture and its gatekeepers (-e.g., Education, Theology, Psychology, etc.). Those who have been taught by it in our school systems and by our culture have known nothing else and are unaware that their thoughts, beliefs and actions are subconsciously grounded in the ludicrous concept of relativism.

Worldview # 8 - PostLiberalism

Birthed in the late 20th century, this worldview is championed by men like Stanley Hauerwas, Hans Frei, George Lindbeck and Yale & Duke Divinity Schools. It is so new that it's hard to pin down everything that it believes. Alister McGrath writes.....

A reaction to the failure of Enlightenment thinking and modernity, postliberalism recognizes the importance of returning to the particularities of the Christian worldview but only goes halfway, supporting plurality and diversity. It is to be understood as a culture and a language.

On the other hand, for evangelicals, postliberalism reduces the concept of biblical 'truth' to 'internal consistency', not ontological reality......For us, however, Christianity is about recognizing the truth of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

For evangelicalism, theology is grounded upon, and evaluated on the basis of, the self-revelation of God.....Evangelicalism insists that theology must be concerned with the question of telling the truth about God.

Evangelicals insist that the prioritization of Scripture rests in its inspiration, regardless of whether a given community or individual acknowledges it as such.

The Secularization of the Academy

The days are long since past in which the 'academy' was equated with learning, wisdom and personal integrity......The modern American academy seems to have more to do with elitism, ideological warfare and rampant anti-religious propaganda than with learning......

The ideology of 'secularism' found in todays academy aims to eliminate religion from the public arena.

A further point of importance concerns the postmodern aversion to questions of truth in the academy. Consequently, we see the exclusion of competing ideas and the imposition of 'political correctness' on both faculty and students.

How Then Shall We Bear Witness to the Truth?

In the early period of the formation of Christian theology, some of the clothes of Greek philosophy were stolen in order to ensure that it received a hearing in the Hellenistic world. While the initial concerns may have been apologetic -- that is, to gain a hearing for the gospel from a secular audience -- it seems that the 'dialogue' ended up with Christianity being decisively influenced by the ideas and worldviews of those it sought to address......

Evangelicals are under an absolute obligation to ensure that their central ideas are Scripture-based, not the result of the influence of the Enlightenment. To fail to do so is to allow ideas and values originating from outside the Christian faith to exercise a controlling influence within -- and thus inevitably to increase the degree to which theology is culturally conditioned.

Enlightenment influences may detract us from a proper understanding of.....
1. The nature of Scripture -- which should not be just a sourcebook for propositional truths.
2. Spirituality -- which should include an emotional involvement with Scripture and the use of imagination. We need to recover the relational, emotional and imaginative aspects of biblical spirituality.....Luther insisted that Christianity concern itself with the 'entire human person', not just the human mind.
3. Apologetics -- In the case of postmodernism, evangelicalism finds that its foundational assumption of universal categories of evidence and rationality is rejected from the outset, thereby preventing an effective presentation of the gospel.
4. Evangelism -- rather than our Enlightenment-influenced concept of truth as only being propositional correctness, we need to understand 'truth' more biblically as "something that can be relied upon, someone who can be trusted, covenantal faithfulness, confidence -- essentially the trustworthiness of God and the Gospel.' Jesus alone is the truth......

Truth in the New Testament sense....is personal, and involves the transformation of the entire existence of those who apprehend it and are themselves apprehended by it.....To know the truth is to be known by the truth. A theology which touches the mind, leaving the heart unaffected, is no true Christian theology.

John Calvin wrote that a man cannot be true to their nature unless the reality of life inflamed with a passion for God and accustomed to communion with God is given a central place.

In so many cases, we have not operated out of a passion for God, but out of a need to be right -- a fallback to rationalism. This error must be replaced with a genuine love and concern for the temporal and eternal health of the one to whom we witness. We need to employ both logic and love, but major on the love, not only as an inner motivation, but as the ground for witnessing.

Andrew Walker writes of the slings and arrows of public witness and provides some good examples.

In a 2016 Family Policy Institute interview of college students, they all agreed or affirmed that a 5'8' tall, straight white man in his 30s could be....a woman....Chinese....a 7 year old, enroll in a class for 7-year olds....6'5" tall....a Chinese woman....a 6'5" tall Chinese woman.

One approach to a transgender person would be to tell them that if they will only wait on Him for the redemption of their bodies, God promises in Philippians 3:20-21......'We await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject all things to Himself.'

Share with them the hope that springs from God and His promises.

Other approaches that should guide us in our witness are informed by......1 Corinthians 13:6, which indicates that 'Genuine Love' shares the truth.....'Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.'

And Proverbs 15:1.....'A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.'
Colossians 3:12.....'Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.'
1 Corinthians 13:4.....'Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.'
1 Thessalonians 2:7-8.....'We were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.'

Walker has us consider these poignant thoughts from Melinda Selmys - a woman who struggles with gender dysphoria.....

Suffering in Christianity is not only NOT meaningless, it is ultimately one of the most powerful media for the transmission of meaning. We can stand in adoration between the Cross, and kneel and kiss the wood that bore the body of our Savior, because this is the means by which the ugly meaningless atheistic suffering of the world (the problem of evil) was transmuted into the living water, the blood of Christ, the wellspring of Creation. The great paradox here is that the Tree of Death and Suffering is the Tree of Life. This central paradox in Christianity allows us to love our own brokenness precisely because it is through that brokenness that we image the broken body of our God -- and the highest expression of divine love. That God in some sense wills it to be so seems evident in Gethsemane: Christ prays, 'Not My will, but Thine be done,' and when God's will is done it involves the scourge and the nails. It's also always struck me as particularly fitting and beautiful that when Christ is resurrected His body is not returned to a state of perfection, as the body of Adam and Eve in Eden, but rather it still bears the marks of His suffering and death.

After learning all that has been stated here, let's move now to the practical questions that come up in any public witness to sexually bound and broken people.

Why? Because people in the church today are being influenced by rationalism and postmodernism without even knowing it. Some of us are trying to make rationalist "truth" arguments without engaging the heart with the hope that an intimate relationship with the God who loves them enough to die for their sins, will transform them in such a way, that all of their felt needs will be subsumed in Him.

Others of us are being diverted from proclaiming the truth by antinomian, relativistic and emotion-laden arguments from the activist community, especially of late, in regards to homosexuality and transgenderism.

It should be noted that every one of the worldviews that we've examined (except evangelicalism) emerged from the failure of previous worldviews. Why? Because they could not withstand the witness of reality and the consequences of their rejection of divine revelation from a personal God and His Savior, Jesus Christ.

Postmodernism will eventually collapse for the same reason. It will expire because reality cannot be sustained through a denial of objective truth/reality. Its temporary throne has been constructed of paper mache, much like a Hollywood set, and will come tumbling down just like all of the secular worldviews that came before it.

As with the satanic slogan, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" this ridiculous worldview of postmodernism tickles the ears of those who wish to live without constraints. This is why western culture has descended into the absurdity that we see today. We have lost our fear of God and His truth and have become fools. The Bible aptly describes the situation this way: "Every man did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 17:6; 21:25).

Dr. David Kyle Foster (M-Div, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; D-Min, Trinity School for Ministry) is the author of Transformed Into His Image, Love Hunger and The Sexual Healing Reference Edition and is the founder/director of Pure Passion Media (www.PurePassion.us).

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