The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Going for the Head

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In the 1950s, the John C. Winston company, later to become part of Holt, Rinehart and Winston, published “Adventures in Science Fiction,” a series of juvenile hardcover novels that made up a collection of thirty six books. Some of the world’s greatest science fiction writers got their start with the series: Arthur C. Clarke, best known for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ben Bova, Lester Del Rey, Donald Wollheim, and Poul Anderson. The books carried an original price of $2.00. Today, depending on condition, a first edition with a dust jacket can cost as much as $500.00. In addition to the wonderful stories, the books are worth collecting for the cover art. While the books are dated in terms of technology (the use of computers is minimal),[1] the stories reflect the moral worldview of post-World War II America. In addition, a teenager would find a great deal of worldview wisdom sprinkled throughout the 200+ pages.

Here’s an example from Paul Dallas’ The Lost Planet, a story about how two teenagers avert a war between their home planets. The scene takes place just before the teenager from Earth is about to embark on a spaceship and travel to the distant planet Poseida:

“As he spoke, the general seemed to become preoccupied with thoughts of the military situation, and he absently deployed salt and pepper shakers with knives and forks on the table, setting up in front of him an imaginary military problem in the field. ‘It is a basic truism,’ he continued, ‘that wherever possible the best defense is a good offense. Now if we are attacked,’ and he brought a piece of silverware in toward the plate that was obviously representing Planet Earth, ‘not only do we defend the point under immediate attack but,’ and here several pieces were quickly moved from the plate Earth to the butter dish from which the attack had originated, ‘we immediately counterattack at the source of the aggression. After all, if you cut off the head, you have no need to fear the arms.’” [2]

Dallas has General Watkins making an important point on the topic of defense and ultimate victory that can be used quite well to describe the Christian apologist’s task and method. As we will see, the best defense, no matter how good, requires an equally effective offense.

Defending the Christian worldview against unbelieving thought takes understanding that each and every worldview has a centralized guiding principle that serves as the head that directs belief and action to the arms and legs. By going after the head, As Jael did to Sisera and David did to Goliath, the attacking opposition dies, no matter how strong the arms and legs. Christians have a tendency to attack symptoms, the rotten fruit of unbelieving thought, rather than the root that gives life to the tree (Matt. 3:10).

What is the source of what’s wrong in our world? It’s the belief that sacred and secular realms are separate and hermetically sealed domains, both equal in authority and legitimacy. Christians operate in the Neverland of spiritual indifference to this world, while secularists have claimed this world for their operational base. It’s time that we believe what we pray: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). The secularists certainly believe it. Their actions prove that they do.

[1] Science fiction writer Wilson Tucker, who just turned 90 this November and has been writing science fiction since the 1930s, makes an interesting observation: “To my knowledge, not a single writer of the early era foresaw email or the introduction of the internet concept. We were busy with variations of the telephone-radio phones, picture phones and the like. Yes, we missed the boat.”

[2] From Paul Dallas, The Lost Planet (Philadelphia, PA: The John C. Winston Company, 1956), 3.

 

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