The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

You gotta dance with the one who brung ya.

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Before Kenny Rogers embarked on a solo country and pop musical career, he had been the lead vocalist for The First Edition. One of the group’s most popular songs was "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)." In countering the tenets of unbelieving thought, we can change the song’s title to help us understand the best biblical and rational way to present, make sense of, and defend the biblical worldview: "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition Your Precondition Is In)."

A precondition is a necessary starting point for doing something. For example, the precondition that an automobile is self (auto)-mobile requires that it has an operating engine and other working parts and fuel. Without these minimal requirements, the machine isn’t going anywhere unless someone pushes it. In a similar way, in order to account for certain beliefs, it’s necessary to meet certain philosophical preconditions.

All rational thought is based on specific preconditions. The Christian worldview holds these preconditions necessary to do contingent thought: The precondition that the God of the Bible exists, that He created the cosmos, and sets the conditions for living and operating in it. As a result, the Christian can account for an ordered and predictable universe, the reliability of logic and reason, and the necessity for morality. We can go further and maintain that unbelievers, even the most vocal and strident atheists, attempt to reason against God’s existence only by first adopting certain biblical preconditions such as rationality and principles of logic. What they cannot do, however, is account for these preconditions within their own system. Phillip E. Johnson concisely summarizes their dilemma:

Our logic cannot supply its own beginning. Logic is merely a way of reasoning correctly from premises to conclusions. The premises must come from elsewhere. Rationalism is inherently self-defeating, because the rationalist must pretend to derive his first premises by logical reasoning, which always rests on other premises. Empiricism faces the same dilemma when it becomes a total system because the empiricist always needs to know more than he can observe. Premise-evading philosophies like logical positivism or scientific materialism last only until the dilemma becomes too evident to be concealed, and then they wither. That is why the guardians of such systems when under pressure often become fanatics who try to impose authoritarian control. Forbidding examination of the premises is the only way they can control to rule.[1]

There’s a saying that goes something like this, "You dance with the one who brung ya." The development and prosperity of Western civilization came by way of philosophers, academicians, and scientists who followed presuppositions inherent in the Christian worldview.[2] Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) understood that to understand the cosmos, a scientist must understand God. He stated it this way: "O God, I am thinking thy thoughts after thee."[3]

Kepler’s sense of order and harmony was intimately linked with his theological understanding of God the Creator. Repeatedly he affirmed that geometry and quantity are coeternal with God and that humankind shares them because human beings are created in the image of God.[4]

Now that success has been achieved, today’s scholars and scientists want to discard the worldview that brought them to the dance.

Endnotes:

[1] Phillip E. Johnson, The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning and Public Debate (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 89.
[2] Alvin J. Schmidt, Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001).
[3] Quoted in Charles E. Hummel, Galileo Connection: Resolving Conflicts between Science and the Bible (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986), 57.
[4] Hummel, Galileo Connection, 76.

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