Pillars & The Role of Reason


How Combining A Rigorous Intellectual Life With A Vital Spiritual Devotion To Jesus Forever Changed My Life.

“Nearly all that we call human history … is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.” 

 — C. S Lewis, Mere Christianity


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Fragments
Like many Evangelical Christians today, I am eager to create opportunities for and contribute to conversations that help us as a greater community to move beyond a purely privatized faith in a way that effectively engages our culture.

One key aspect of my apprenticeship to Jesus that has been under construction for the last 8 years or so has been when it comes to the life of the mind and the role that reason plays in my spiritual life. For much of my life I had a very fragmented spirituality. By that I mean that I’d read my Bible at home, go to church regularly, and I’d only speak about my faith when it was easy.

As I’ve matured a bit and as I’ve begun raising my own children, I’ve recognized that I had missed one of the key tasks of my Christian life. I had subtly acquiesced to the idea that my faith was to be compartmentalized and have no bearing on my public life at all. Since I viewed God as only applicable in my private life, my public life echoed that division.

The key for me in all of this is that my life did not echo a transformation. It did not tell of an alternative story. In fact my life very much mirrored the life of my unbelieving peers, so what was the deal with that? Wasn’t my life supposed to be fundamentally different with Jesus at the helm? Had I just managed my sin poorly? Had I just not spent enough time reading my Bible or doing social justice? What was my deal?

Without realizing it, I was splitting my life up into parts. What I mean by that is that there were some things/activities that I had considered to be sacred while there were other things/activities that I had considered to be secular. That fragmentation of my life led to all sorts of divisions within my mind, my heart, my body and my spirit which represented a confusion in my whole person.

In effect the way that I was doing the Christian life was actually quite different than Jesus’s definition of what it means to be human. It wasn’t until the last 8 years or so that I’ve begun to intentionally address the root causes for that and also some of the solutions to that.


Here’s What I’ve Been Learning

Applying Biblical principles to areas like work, academia, business, and politics means much more than not lying and not smudging numbers. I’m beginning to sense that I’m not the only one who’s struggled to identify this area of lack in my spiritual life. Instead I’m actually learning from my peers that there’s a hunger to understand how our faith can directly penetrate every facet of our lives, privately or in the public arena.

People are feeling that fragmentation and it’s unsustainable. There’s a thirst for a different, more holistic way to be human, way to love, and way to be spiritual than most of us prescribe to inside and outside of the Christian church.

Many of us are aware of the secular/sacred divide that our culture very much prefers when it comes to religion. This is the sort of split that keeps people’s faith locked in a very private sphere of “religious truth,” and should have no bearing on the rest of our lives in the public square.

What that divide creates though is this inability to live whole lives as followers of Jesus. It demands that we stay in a form of cultural captivity where religion is thought to be merely a category of heart, emotions, and feelings to be kept at home and for Sunday mornings whereas all of the rest of secular culture is assumed to operate from a place of purely objective fact and logic. 

By acquiescing to that fragmentation we lose sight of Jesus’s definition of what it means to be human. His vision for human flourishing is in fact a socio-economic, socio-political and socio-emotional vision meaning that God’s design is that all of life is connected and that all of life is to be lived out through the lens of apprenticeship to Him. 

Charles Spurgeon once said, “The gospel is like a caged lion. It does not need to be defended, it just needs to be let out of the cage.” Today many evangelicals completely accommodate the sacred versus secular split which by implication reduces Christianity to a matter of private belief. It’s likely that as some of you are reading this, my guess is that you’re perplexed as to what on earth I could be suggesting.

In the words of Francis Schaeffer, I am in fact implying that, “Christianity is not merely religious truth, it is total Truth—Truth about the whole of reality.” By nature of the statement, that implies that our faith has relevance for us beyond our private lives. So how do we live that out?


How Did This Split Happen? 
Up until the time of the early twentieth century Evangelicals had enjoyed a position of cultural dominance in the United States. After the Scopes trial and the onset of theological modernism (where some Christians were trying to make Christianity fit into more modern philosophical and evolutionary theory) some of the more conservative Christians turned inward as a response to their current culture moment. They circled up the wagons and went into a separatist sort of sub-culture mindset.

In the 40’s and 50’s a group of Evangelicals began to argue that their approach had been wrong and that instead of removing themselves from the surrounding culture that they should engage it as believers, not only as individuals in a private way but also as institutions and within social structures. 

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The problem was that it rendered an increased Evangelical obsessions with politics as the quickest and easiest way to make an impact on culture in the name of moral reform. To be clear it’s not that entering politics was a bad thing. It’s simply that they viewed politics as the primary means to an end.

Just as a side note please spare me any email feedback on that last statement such as an argument about people’s religious values having no place in politics. The truth is that people’s values (for the better or for the worse) are vomited all over in politics and inform the majority of the motivations behind the decisions made in public policy and otherwise. Humans are incapable of being value-free. That is (in part) why justice is such a skewed and almost relative notion in politics and that’s also why it’s imperative for people to understand the implications of their own worldview and how it drives the decisions they make. Every one of us have values that inform how we think and act, agreed? Moving on… 

So by way of Evangelicals entering politics at such a rate they certainly had made some great advancements for public life, to be sure. The point however is that the impact was far less than what they had hoped for. That was due in-part to the fact that they had put nearly all of their eggs in one basket. Politics tends to reflect culture, not the other way around. Legislative victories still reflected that the culture was moving away from Christian principles and farther into secularism regardless of their efforts. 

The beauty however of that era was found in the learning curve.

What some of those Neo-Evangelical reformers came to discover is that the most effective, life-changing work that actually has a chance at effecting culture is done by ordinary Christians fulfilling God’s calling to reform their culture within their own local spheres of influence, meaning through their families, churches, neighborhoods, work places, professional organizations and civic institutions.

Nonetheless, after the Enlightenment and with the backdrop of Post Modernism, the Christian church has and is always struggling to move upstream to uphold it’s values in a fair and practical way in the public sphere. 


The Divide Is Born
Even with all of that in mind, at some point Christians acquiesced to the idea that their faith is only permitted in their private life and should have no bearing on their public life. Christians then accepted a dumbed-down, theologically inaccurate version of Christianity that fractured what it means to be human according to the Biblical Narrative.

We as a religious group have made our faith so separate from the rest of our lives that it is nearly impossible to become the sort of person who actually ‘dies to self,’ and who allows the life and teaching of Jesus to actually inform their entire person and their entire life. 


What would it even look like to defragment our lives and make them more holistic
and integrated as followers of Jesus?


 When was the last time that your church had classes that were divided up by vocations, or rather classes for thinking Christianly as a lawyer, a businessman, health care professional, educator, and so forth? There are plenty of parachurch organizations that have made wonderful tools for training the private, “Spiritual” life of converts. But where are the tools that take a handful of university majors and spell out issues and resources for integrating ideas for those majors with Christian Theology? 

We have plenty of organizations for businessmen for example that emphasize personal testimonies, devotional reading and the like. But where or how do these organizations train businessmen to develop a Christian understanding of Economic theory, a Christian understanding of capitalism, business ethics, or moral issues in the employer/employee relationship?

The point is that if there are few Christian intellectuals today who write college textbooks from a Christian lens, it may just be because our evangelical culture is simply not producing that calibre of people because we do not place a high enough value on the intellectual life. 

For a disciple of Jesus the whole purpose of college is not just to get a job. Instead, it is actually to discover a vocation and to identify a field of study in and through which they can serve Christ and the world around them. One way to serve God is to learn to think about your discipline from a Biblical Worldview lens. As Dallas Willard said, “You need to figure out what Jesus thinks about your discipline.”

A person’s spirituality doesn’t begin in a dorm Bible study when class is over. It is meant to permeate all of one’s life, including how we think about our discipline or our college major, our marriage, our friendships, and our involvement in our communities.

As theology Carl Henry said, “Training the mind is an essential responsibility of theme, the church, and the school. Unless evangelicals prod young people to disciplined thinking, they waste — even undermine one of Christianity’s most precious resources.” 

If faith and reason are polar opposites and if discipleship training is merely a sacred and a private matter but college studies are secular and public, then discipling the intellect will not be valued as a part of teenage mentorship for Christian youth. That is often times why discipleship material from churches or at home leave Christian young people vulnerable to atheistic professors with an ax to grind. The point is that when we separate what was always meant to be cohesive, Christians lose their bearings and our positive effect on culture diminishes. 

Example 
The best example of how this plays out in our cultural moment here in 2018 is this all-too common situation: A teacher at a Christian school will walk to the front of the class and begin to draw on the chalk board.  On one side is a picture of a heart and on the other side is picture of a brain. He/she will say something like “The heart is what we use for religion while the brain is what we use for science.” The implication of course is that faith has no bearing on the natural order of the universe and that our faith is based purely on our feelings and emotions. “Blind faith,” if you will. 

I can tell you that as someone who was in many similar academic conundrums, at some point you realize that you don’t want to be the idiot in the class who isn’t smart and who only lives through their feelings, right? Or like one of my upper division philosophy professors at the University of Oregon once said to me, “It’s so cute that you have faith. That’s really sweet, but the rest of the world has moved beyond God because we know better now.” The implication there is that we have moved intellectually beyond the need for God to explain anything. 

Personal Application
In the name of being a whole, well-integrated person however, how then do you love God honestly with all of your faculties and therefore let it be a part of your whole person in the public square without being dubbed the emotional idiot in the room?

I’m fine with being a minority or being mocked for my faith because that’s expected. But my question eventually became how do you love God with your mind and your heart and your whole person, like the Bible reveals is our truest calling and is the ultimate design for human flourishing? Can the Bible be true and Science also be true? Can God be real but also offer sound reasoning to defend its truth claims over and against the competing claims? 

In my last year of college I realized that I needed to develop the role of reason in the life of my mind in order to sort through some of the tough existential questions that always seem come up in the classroom and with friends and neighbors.

The rhetorical skills and eloquence of speech from some of the church leaders in my life in college could only go so far when answering some of the tough questions that I was facing in class, and they usually fell short of well-reasoned claims. I felt the pressure from the academic culture around me to deny my faith on intellectual grounds and yet I could not get myself to doubt that if the God of the Bible was real and if He made me and the natural world around me, I would be able to find Him with my brain as well as with my heart. 

This process of developing the life of the mind over time simply amplified my faith’s potency in my life’s story. I began pouring into all sorts of philosophical work. I began sitting under mentorship that placed a high value on worldview studies and on apologetics. I just soaked up whatever I could get my hands on to help me to develop sound reasoning for the most challenging aspects of the Christian faith from a critical and philosophical perspective.

Little by little God revealed Himself to me in reality as expressed through the intellect as well as the heart and the rest of my whole person. That process took me roughly 8 years to come to a point of clarity and I’m still learning so much. What I would give to go back now and sit in on those same classes that I could never muster up the reasoning or the courage to speak up in. 

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My Story Is Not Unique
Young people are constantly pulled down by the undertow of powerful cultural trends. That is a tangible, visible statement when we look across the younger generations today. Young people face an uphill emotional, social, and political journey no matter what worldview they adhere to and/or whether they know what they believe or not.

If all that Christian kids have to hold onto when they leave home is that of a “heart” religion, it won’t be strong enough to counter the other cultural voices that have alluring ideas that run in the opposite direction of the Biblical Worldview. The statistics speak to that fallout. 

If we believe that Jesus is God and that the Biblical Worldview speaks to and points to the Truth that explains all of what we experience in all of reality, then this concept matters deeply. It’s not that alternative ideas are bad. In fact hopefully at this point you’d be able to recognize that I personally believe that it is imperative for any of us to be well-versed in the competing worldviews so that we can better decipher and navigate the claims of our own. The point is however that ideas have consequences and have all sorts of implications for who we do or do not become and what we do or do not do. 

I believe like many other Evangelicals do that young and old people alike need a “brain” religion, too. The importance of reason and a Christian intellectual life is clearly taught in Scripture.

Augustine and his friends Ambrose and Pontitianus had it right that according to the Bible, developing a Christian mind is part of the very essence of discipleship unto Jesus.

For me this whole thing comes down to this: If we plan to equip our children with a faith that can withstand the intellectual elitism of our day, then they need training in worldview and apologetics to the degree that they’re able to discern for themselves the philosophical and often times ideological roots that even modern scientific claims assert against Christianity. More than that though, Christians have to actually believe that the Biblical Worldview holds up against competing world views? Do you think that it can stand the test of reality as we experience it? Do you believe that? If not, this journey is for you too.

Peeling Off Layers: There Is More At Play Than Logic Alone
It is a total fallacy to believe that everyone else (other than Christians) operate without ideological bias in their various disciplines, as if their biases do not affect their work in deeply implicative ways. I don’t care what your discipline is, what your ideology is, what your economic or political theory is or even how much you pride yourself on being logical, there are philosophical underpinnings beneath your motivations that are a stronger driving force than your logic itself.

There is no longer any disagreement amongst the major disciplines that there are only two factors that drive any decision we make when it is reduced down to its most preliminary motivation: It is either driven by fear or it is driven by love. That is one of hundreds of reasons why the Enneagram is such a beautiful tool in the matrix of Spiritual Formation because it gets at the motivational factors beneath our behaviors and thinking. 

Our lives are shaped by the God we worship, whether it be Jesus or Materialism or Politics or the approval of others. Let’s not forget that Spirituality is not a Christian thing, it is a human thing. Every single one of us are being shaped by someone or something every single day.

The Marxists claim that human behavior is ultimately shaped by economic circumstances, and Freudians assert that everything stems from repressed sexual instincts, and behavioral psychologists simmer us down to a mere stimulus-response brain on legs. The Bible teaches that our ultimate beliefs are the overarching factor in the choices we make. 

A passion of mine individually is to become equipped to analyze and critique the various competing worldviews that are on offer because I want to be a student of life and a critical thinker that offers the same skills to my children. I want to be able to reveal the beauty of this alternative story through my life itself and through my reasoning.

The fact is that if you are a follower of Jesus, you are now the minority in America. If you are a Jesus dude or dudette you sit on the margins of society. In fact, the tolerance and the diversity anthems of our culture which equate to the barometer of good and evil in our present moral order, praise almost anything other than the Christian faith. (If you disagree with that, that would probably indicate how far removed you might actually be from the real feelings and experience of people of the Christian faith in a Post-Christian secular culture). 

So at this point, it’s a matter of necessity to be able to “give an answer for your faith,” to anyone at anytime if you hope to engage our culture effectively without being totally lame about it. Also it seems important to understand what is at the core of what other people think and believe so that we can understand the lens through which they look at life. The goal with that is to develop understanding and compassion for others as we learn to see life from another’s perspective. That should in the end help us to develop empathy and should inform and sharpen our own worldview. 

Understanding and Overcoming the Split
My stance like many others at this point after years of wrestling with all of this on my own is that if we want a fighting chance in culture today to maintain our faith let alone have any positive effect on our culture, that we (the Christian Community) have to overcome the sharp divide between the “heart” and the “brain.” 

It is an original Biblical notion that there is no division of the self. It is God’s idea that we are whole and integrated beings of whom are capable of trust in the living God. If our faith is genuine, it should permeate every facet of our personhood. If that is the case, we should not acquiesce that sacred things in life are limited to things like personal morality and worship over and against secular things such as politics and economics, etc.

If we succumb to that dichotomy then the gospel loses its power, or its “saltiness,” if you will. There are plenty of Christians all over the world and throughout all of history who have lost their lives and have suffered on account of actually living out their faith. Present day Nigeria, anyone?  

The opportunity and the invitation is to begin this journey of discovering a more whole, integrated way to be human. It’s the ability to identify where modernization has bred this unsustainable divide of the human story and of the human person. 

For example there are powerful institutions such as the state, academia, large corporations etc that claim to be “scientific” and “value free.’ That assumption then renders private life, or the realm of family, church, and personal relationships to be relegated as a private sphere of personal choice or preference. That means that values have been reduced to arbitrary, existential decisions (relative to only particular groups) and that the public sphere is authoritative (universally valid) in that it is rational and verifiable. That leaves the private sphere as nonrational and nonconginitive. To be human is to be spiritual and we’ve fragmented what was always meant to be whole. 

This entire shift that completely divides the human person into fractions of itself is what delegitimizes the Biblical perspective in the public eye today. Religion is consigned to values which takes it out of the realm of true and false altogether.

Most people are too politically correct to attack religion itself or debunk it as false, so instead the just make it irrelevant. That way it can still be “respected,” while still denying that it has any merit or relevance to any part of the public realm. In other words, we are assured that things like science do not rule out religious belief as long as it does not claim to be knowledge. In other words, as long as it is kept as a matter of private feelings and private life, there’s no problem. It likes to pull from the Christian ethics of liberty and dignity, but it does not recognize the King. In the words of my all-time favorite Cultural Commentator Mark Sayers, they want “The Kingdom without the King.”

All of that is why our culture feels and detests this tension from Christians about our voice and our place in society. In the world that that we inhabit, in a post-Christian secular America, Christians struggle to live as integrated people whose lives echo a fundamental truth because we are required to chop our lives up into sacred things versus those that are secular but we were never meant to live that way.

Christians crumble in this environment without the proper conceptual tools to know how to discern their way through our culture of doubt. We could begin to dissect how that fragmentation directly effects mental and emotional health but we would need another 10 essays to cover the depths of that correlation. 

Post Modernism is the anthem of the late modern west and yet people cannot live with that reality either. In the words of Philosopher William Lane Craig, “ People are not relativistic when in comes to matters of science, engineering, and technology; rather get are relativistic and pluralistic in matters of religion and ethics.” In short, our culture applies its own principles and skepticisms selectively. 

Philosopher Louis Dupré says it this way: “We experience our culture as fragmented; we live on bits of meaning and lack the overall vision that holds them together in a whole.”

The result is that people feel the need for self-integration and that is why we are still tribal in the late modern west. Christianity has the power to integrate our lives and create a coherent personality structure, but only if we accept it as the total Truth that pulls together all the lesser truths. Anything less is neither beautiful nor compelling enough to stir up a passion that is capable of actually transforming our character.  

Part of my passion is to become a student of life and of Jesus in a way that leaves me unable to fragment my faith from my experience of reality. That pursuit is the most exciting and motivating thing that I can think of, to incorporate my faith into every facet of my life.

As i’ve gone on this journey, not only has it increased my appetite for more of Jesus as his way continually proves to be more satisfying and more holistic than the other alternatives, but it also has increased my love for God’s people and for His truth that has a profoundly gentle way of subverting even the most seemingly logical alternatives when they are reduced down to their assumptions.

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The Nitty Gritty: Take Nothing For Granted & Test Everything

I find it liberating that the Biblical definition of faith offers a call to “Test everything” that qualifies or makes up the whole of the Christian Worldview and the pursuit of truth. I like that so much because it’s a robust mindset where the people of God are expected to think for ourselves, to question authority, to thoroughly examine any evidence, and press for answers to help us make sense of the world that we inhabit. Not anarchy or anti-authoritarian — it’s simply a posture of examine. 

The Biblical position is that nobody is under any obligation to affirm that something is true if they have not personally examined it completely. Beyond that, after careful examination, if a claim is falsified by the evidence, then it should be discarded as such. The Biblical faith is not exempt from philosophical justice, in that sound reason and the weighing of evidence reveals its vitality. 

When the Jewish religious leaders of Jesus’s time were angry about his claim to forgive sins, he didn’t make an argument to appeal to the “heart” or make a cut and dry claim about his own divinity. Instead he provided physical evidence for his claims. 

In Mark 11:2-5 Jesus says, “That you may know that the Son of Man has the authority to forgive sins’ — he said to the paralytic — ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.’ And he rose immediately and picked up his bed.” 

That was a typical Jesus response to the intellectual elite, the religious elite, and the political elite of his day. He would counter with a robust response that allowed room for dissent and discussion in his presence. His ministry was a public display of exquisite question and answer. He would leave his disciples and those observing his life with subversive propositions that could be discussed and he invited them to observe his public miracles in their present tense. 

For sure not everyone in Jesus’ time would have been able to physically observe all of his miracles, be able to hear every teaching, or encounter the physical Jesus post-resurrection. Nonetheless the totality of his actions, miracles, and his communications reveal a posture of openness to examination so that the curious and inquisitive people were welcome to investigate his claims and his life. 

As if the multitudes of people who were martyred for refusing to deny that Jesus was the Messiah after seeing him alive post-resurrection weren’t evidence enough, the entire historical backdrop of the Biblical Worldview is that the events and the facts that make up the Christian message are an accurate description of reality – not a belief system about it meaning that evidence is available. 

The Role of Faith
Faith is the substance of our relationship with Jesus to be sure and it is in fact the requirement for eternal life. Grace and compassion is God’s default posture towards us, and faith is the beautiful response to our loving God. And yet we also have ample reason to trust in Him with our faith.

That’s why I love the intellectual climate in which the foundational truth claims of the Bible are situated in because it makes all the difference. It is a way of thinking about the Biblical narrative where people are liberated by verifiable truth to then “test everything.” 

Despite that beautiful heritage that we have as followers of Jesus, there are many in the faith who find some degree of solace in accepting society’s dumbed-down version and redefinition of faith as something that is completely privatized to the point where evidence and evaluation doesn’t matter to them. Yet that approach is a far cry from the whole and holistic respect for information that characterized the entire Biblical Worldview. 

There is nowhere in Scripture that encourages the idea that faith should be separated from evidence or exempt from the life of the mind. We are in fact instructed by Jesus to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. That means our mind, our body, our emotions, and our spirit – our whole person. 

Faith will always be a choice but we also have sound reason for it. That should feel extremely helpful to the seeker because it allows us to freely acknowledge that a falsified faith should be discarded. And likewise that a confirmed faith, or perhaps better said, a well-grounded trust, is completely worth embracing. In fact the concept of “trust” versus “faith,” more accurately describes the commitment that is presented in the Biblical narrative. 

A Life of Examine

The call here is simply to live a well-examined life, in every facet. We can take nothing for granted. That sort of approach offers a deeply profound respect for the human being who is made in the image of God who has affirmed the mind as “good.” Has there ever been a better time to identify truth that actually merits our trust? Our culture claims that truth is relative but that is so cheap and dishonest.

Even the claim that, “Truth is relative,” is a truth claim in and of itself, meaning that we cannot even live within our own parameters or reckon with the implications of that worldview. The invitation of Jesus will always be to critically consider the possible answers to the most ultimate questions. 

I couldn’t ever overstate the value and the necessity of this particular phase of my faith journey where I was finally able to consider the verifiable historic Christianity and how it, in the words of Nancy Pearcey in her book Finding Truth, “Outperforms all competing worldviews while fulfilling humanity’s highest hopes and ideals.” 

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The beauty of that process for the believer and the non-believer alike is that there are in fact several key strategies through which we are able to evaluate the authenticity and the genuineness of any other worldview in academia, in the work place, in the news, or amongst your peers. Doctrines of materialism and atheism, postmodernism and relativism can be put to the test for the purposes of discovering if they are worthy of the informed trust of people because frankly our lives hang in the balance. 

To underestimate the potency of our worldview and how it deeply shapes who we are and how we think and how we see the world is a huge error. The ramifications for worldview error is provocative because people begin to order their lives in a way that is less humane as soon as the Biblical Worldview is discarded.

We here in the West completely take for grated the beautiful and dignified view of the human person that the Biblical Worldview uniquely offers and that cultural Christianity left in its wake. When that isn’t present, a less-humane treatment of the human person is visible in societies who adhere to lesser worldview. I do not mean “lesser” in that their lives do not matter as much— I mean lesser in that their worldview does not treat the human person with nearly as high of a value as the Biblical worldview. 

All worldviews cannot be correct and be true at the same time because so many of them contradict each other and redefine what it means to be human on their own terms. So then it is a worthy task to put them under examination and prayer and discernment to allow the evidence to speak for itself. Truth will be true regardless of opinion — that’s the whole point.

In the name of progress, political correctness, tolerance, and fairness the impact of removing the option of God in our worldview is actually regressive. It produces a narrative with data points that become more and more fragmented, not more whole. How else would we explain a climate like America right now? If you think or say that it is the result of one president, you’ve already lost credibility. 

Beautiful Jesus
My passion for the philosophical undertones of each worldview stems from a passion to address the fallout from the church in more recent years. I know first hand what it is to feel as though you’re the idiot in a classroom who is barely hanging onto faith by a thread, but who has no answers in a philosophical discussion where Dawkins, Freud,  and Nietzche seem to have all the answers to the tough questions. I feel privileged to have been the student of some of the literal (modern) best and brightest on these topics and to have come to the other side of the table now where I’m not intimidated by existential philosophy like I used to be because I’m confident that my faith offers plausible answers to life’s most difficult questions.

At some point I said goodbye to empty answers for my faith and through that quest I found livable solutions to the great questions of my life and of my dissenting peers. The answer has always been Jesus. My faith has always been there. It’s been dim at times, but I’ve always trusted God at His word. The difference now is simply that the reasons are much more developed and more acute than they used to be.  

The beauty of Jesus and the holistic nature of the Biblical Worldview is that it recaptures and reconnects the solutions for our highest aspirations and our deepest, most tender longings. This journey is for open-minded people only and a tremendous touch of humility would serve any one of us well as we embark on this sort of study.

I’ve spent the last 5 years developing Biblical Worldview content for very specific areas of our lives – central disciplines that have direct implications that shape who we are and how we inhabit the world around us. Our lens matters. 

Intellectual Dissent
I have a particular heart for those with a primarily intellectual dissent against the Christian faith. I love to engage other people’s ideas and learn from their stories. I’ve never had the luxury of being one of many secular people in a room who’ve been able to take for granted that everyone around them likely thinks very similar to them. My experience has always been from the sidelines. 

The beauty of that however is that i’ve had the luxury of being completely submerged in every other worldview except that of Christianity. I know well the arguments against it and I feel well-acquainted with the reasons why people do not like Christians and what their objections are to almost anything the Bible teaches. I say all of that because I hope that it helps you to know that I do not approach these topics ignorantly or lightly, as if I have not lived in a world that is completely opposed to what I think and believe. I’ve always been the least common denominator and I am overwhelmingly grateful for what I’ve been afforded to learn and observe from that position.

Our worldview affects our definitions of life and quality and peace and worth and depth and justice and liberty. In my years where I was not really following Jesus, I actually tried to go to bat for other worldviews as a devil’s advocate of sorts, only to find that the mental dichotomy (dualism) and the reductionistic nature of them rendered them untrustworthy with a shocking low view of the human person, in my humble opinion.

For me, the introspective study of these competing worldviews has left the Biblical Worldview a stunningly verifiable, beautiful option. 

The life of the mind and the role of reason have played a tremendous role in my apprenticeship to Jesus. My appreciation for the Christian faith has grown exponentially as I’ve intentionally sought to understand the layers of it, as well as the layers of competing worldviews as well.

I view it as one of my key tasks as a mother to teach my children the same tools by which to assess and dissect ideas. Ideas have huge implications and I am blessed to serve a God who is big enough to handle my honest and hard questions. I am also blessed to love a God who embodies Truth and who is faithful to reveal Himself to the humble and to those who genuinely seek the Him.

-Jenna

Recommended Reading:

  1. Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
  2. Love Your God With All Your Mind by J.P Moreland
  3. Finding Truth: Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and other God-substitutes by     Nancy Pearcey
  4. Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis
  5. Orthodoxy by G.K Chesterton

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