Friday, November 24, 2006

Fruit of "The Fall": A Gospel Presentation for the Secular Humanist

While subjectivism and religious skepticism are quite rampant throughout society today, the rational mind can find the Truth in the midst of competing worldviews and systems of philosophy. To begin, in a journey for what is reasonable and correct, one must first come to a conclusion about the nature of Truth.

Truth, by its very nature, is objective (unchanging and correct, with or without acceptance by all). The argument that Truth is subjective is quite easily disputed. For example, the subjectivist would declare that all truth is subjective. The declaration is self-contradictory because the subjectivist must make an objective statement of truth in order to prove their claim of subjectivism. Similarly, the argument for skepticism must make a claim it is true that we cannot know truth, thus also negating itself. Hence, the necessity to prove subjective claims only with the use of objective rationale is ridiculous.

Next, one must understand the capability and extent of human knowledge in relation to what is refutable as non-truth. While humanity has amassed a great amount of knowledge, according to The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles, “We are citizens of the universe and are excited by discoveries still to be made in the cosmos (”

In realizing the complexity and unfathomable borders of the universe, as well as the limited capacity of human beings to exist in one place at one time, a person can only claim what they are able to grasp by the human mind, with occasional misunderstanding. A Secular Humanist Declaration makes the statement that, “Since human beings are prone to err, we are open to the modification of all principles, including those governing inquiry, believing that they may be in need of constant correction (” In accordance with this likelihood to err, and because a person cannot be all places at all times during all time, it is impossible then to make a declaration, for example, that God does not exist.

To make this claim, an individual must first claim both to be omniscient and omnipresent, having the abilities to be everywhere and know everything. Human wisdom is not limitless and these claims would be irrational. If this is the case, then one must understand how they are to use empirical and non-empirical evidences to examine truth.

Likely the most influential is the Theory of Evolution based upon Charles Darwin’s work, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Although the most popularly used argument against God and Creation within the modern scientific community, the question was whether or not one may use the empirical evidences presented as a means to know the Truth. Despite its popularity, A Secular Humanist Declaration has this to say about the Theory of Evolution: “Although the theory of evolution cannot be said to have reached its final formulation, or to be an infallible principle of science, it is nonetheless supported impressively by the findings of many sciences (” So, all communities can agree at a minimum that Evolutionism is imperfect, fallible at points, and still a scientific theory, not a law. Ultimately, the Theory is dispensible in regards to human logic as an argument against God. This is because it has not been completely validated nor does it leave room for the existence of God, that which has already been shown as incapable of being disproven by human reason and power.

n the opposite side of the spectrum, there is the Holy Bible. Modern science has major qualms with using Scripture because of the presence of such claims as miracles and events related to the supernatural. While the Bible is commonly dismissed as drivel by those who cling to Evolutionism, the Scriptural claims cannot be logically dismissed, just as the existence of God, because of the limits of human ration and capability previously discussed.

The empirical arguments that are easily used from Scripture are the following: The existence of people groups (Jews, Egyptians, Ethiopians, Greeks, etc.), the existence of languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic [now a dead language]), the existence of places (Jerusalem, Bethlehem, etc. [along with many other provable locations that have since been renamed]), the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls between 1947 and 1956 which place the oldest surviving document of Scripture known to exist as early as 21 B.C. (, and historical accounts found in Scripture and corroborated by such non-Christian historians as Josephus.

While most non-empirical evidences within Scripture are generally unacceptable to modern science, similar non-empirical arguments can be given from modern science. As an example, there is the atom. The atom cannot be seen by the human eye, tasted, touched, smelled, or felt, but atoms are believed to exist. Similarly, a scientist would say of God that He cannot be proven by the use of the five senses, but that due to this He does not exist. If this is the only justification, it is reasonable to call the double-standard an illogical dose of hypocrisy. In light of the faith one must have in the sciences, just as the faith one must have in the God of creation in addition to the empirical evidences discussed, it is reasonable to human logic to use the Holy Bible as a source of objective truth.

Before delving into Scripture, one must first come to terms with the moral nature of Truth. Rather than use the term moral law, subjectivists use the term moral values. This enables morality to be changeable and abstract as it relates to each individual, becoming “my values”, “your values”, and “our values.” Because the objective nature of Truth has already been proven, it doesn’t make sense to apply a subjective nature to morality which is the response of doing what is right and good in relation to the understanding of Truth.

Additionally, A Secular Humanist Declaration makes the point that, “We wish to encourage wherever possible the growth of moral awareness and the capacity for free choice and an understanding of the consequences thereof.” With troubling bigotry, the very next point stated is that, “We do not think it is moral to baptize infants, to confirm adolescents, or to impose a religious creed on young people before they are able to consent.” While the theological acceptance or disapproval of these acts can be debated, the issue here is that one cannot promote moral awareness and free choice while condemning available decisions. Seemingly, tolerance is bestowed in all instances with the one exception of Christian faith. Just as is evident with the growth of political correctness, censorship limits the growth of human wisdom in the ability to find the objective Truth due to a perceived offense.

An important congruence to make between secular humanism and Christianity is the principle of the right to exercise free inquiry. A Secular Humanist Declaration instructs that, “The first principle of democratic secular humanism is its commitment to free inquiry. We oppose any tyranny over the mind of man, any efforts by ecclesiastical, political, ideological, or social institutions to shackle free thought.” If this is the case, then looking at Christianity through the belief window of secular humanism with an imposed and preconceived ideology is unacceptable. Even God’s Word allows the free inquiry touted by Secular Humanism with Joshua 24:15 which states, “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (NASB).” With that important correspondence between the free will of Christianity and free inquiry, the first principle of Secular Humanism, one can finally review the message of Scripture in regards to the right of everyone to have choice with knowledge.

The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles indicates that, “We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation (” This appears to be a contradiction to the aforementioned A Secular Humanist Declaration, which states that, “Since human beings are prone to err (” Either human intelligence is perfected or it is prone to error. Because the fallibility of systems of philosophy have been shown here, it only makes sense that human wisdom is imperfect. The Bible tells us, “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25, NASB).” This is not a denigration of human wisdom, because the maker is always greater than that which was made. Who is greater, the man who made the car or the car itself?

Understanding that a Creator is greater than His Creation, and that human wisdom is prone to error, one must come to terms with their pride and how it tends to cloud the avenues of reason. Knowing already that humanity is not perfect, the Bible tells us that, “…And our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment (Isaiah 64:6, NASB).” Additionally, Scripture teaches that, “not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:9, NASB).”

It is obvious that humanity comes short, but the real concern is how short it actually comes. Romans 3:23 identifies that, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (NASB).” This point isn’t made so that all are found worthless, but so that none are seen perfect. However, there is a price to pay based upon the guilt which is a consequence of sin. That price is revealed in Romans 6:23 which states, “For the wages of sin is death (NASB).”

Many are turned away from the Bible because they believe this is too harsh a punishment. Here is the good news: Unlike humans, God is perfect. He is both perfect in justice and perfect in love. Because of His perfection, breaking His law comes at a price. Additionally, because of His perfection, He has offered Himself in the sinner’s place to take the punishment of the world upon Himself. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (NASB).” Romans 5:8 tells us that, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (NASB).” So, the punishment is in fact not too harsh because God has provided grace through His love.

The way that one can receive this grace is by seeking God’s forgiveness of sin by confession and repentance through faith. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, NASB).”

Confession plays a larger role than just admitting sins to a holy God. In order to receive salvation from God, one must confess through faith that they have accepted God’s Son Jesus Christ as their Savior. Because it is a free gift, understand that, “For by grace you have been saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8, NASB).”

So if forgiveness is offered by grace through faith, what does it mean to believe? James 2:19 puts it this way: “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder (NASB).” Believing isn’t just agreeing that God possibly exists somewhere, but believing as it relates to faith is giving control of one’s life over to Him. The Apostle Paul breaks it down very simply in Romans 10:9-10 by stating, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation (NASB).”

If one believes and is willing to do that in true faith, God has promised that they will be saved for eternity and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Finally and convincingly, in the search for Truth in the battle between worldviews, Jesus Christ has proclaimed, “I am the way, and the TRUTH, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6, NASB).”