Going Deep Into Philosophy - How Did We Get Here?

News headlines repeat almost daily the same themes – violence, greed, class divisions, racism, self-interest, cruelty, etc. As I hear contemporary pundits ask, “How?” And “Why?” I would offer that there’s a disconnect because widespread behaviors stem from pervasive beliefs. America may have Christian roots (now barely identifiable), but our harvest has been planted over the last several generations – a harvest of Secularism.

In word origin, secular derives from the Latin term for worldly, or of this age (vs. eternity). In philosophy, Secularism is the belief that everything is separate from religion; that all existence is ultimately just chemicals + time + chance. There is no ultimate purpose – only a grand random accident. There is no creation – only a cosmos. To secularists there is no Creator – only a Big Bang. And the Darwinian logic at the heart of Secular biology is that the strong eat the weak in order to survive, because it is a great big jungle out there. Survival is the achievement of the fittest.

If this perspective controls most public forums, a lot of things make sense. God has been banished from conversation at school, on the playground and pretty typically at work. Morals all become relative, because “Who’s to say what is right or wrong?”  And the loss of any deep-seated belief in eternity means all focus is on here and now (because heaven is a myth right?). One thinker put it this way: “In the 1700’s the Bible died. In the 1800’s God died. And in the 1900’s man died on an unprecedented scale.”  Who can fathom what our century could hold?

As we work our way further into the book of Romans we are going to see how the Gospel is counter-cultural and contra-secular. Jesus coming to this earth to redeem sinners from every tribe, nation and tongue produces a new humanity – a new basis for identity (in Christ), a new way of relating (grace-based relationships vs. performance or transactional relationships), and a new sense of hope and purpose (living as part of God’s kingdom working to extend it). And over the next several weeks I will try (emphasis on try) to help you think out how the ramifications of GRACE fight back against the vanity and tragic shortsightedness of our time. AND we’ll see how Jesus offers hope, power, love and purpose against despair.

Things to pray for:

–  Vision. We need to see our times realistically. Ask the Father to give you spiritual sight by which to behold HIM and to wisely see what’s happening all around you.

–  Wisdom. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom as you read His Word, as you dialogue with other believers and as you live as a pupil (it IS what the term disciple means).

–  Love for the Truth. It’s the only antidote to lies, and thankfully, all truth is God’s truth. So ask the Lord Jesus – who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life – to make known to you what is real and what isn’t.

–  Courage. (Again, we pray for courage)  Pray that the Father will anchor you, secure you and fill you in Christ so that you could stand up to lies and stand up for Him.

Tim Rice
Lead Pastor & Director of Church Planting