Monday, December 12, 2011

As the Waters Cover the Sea, 3

Continued from "As the Waters Cover the Sea, 2"

Goals and Strategy

In the struggle to reclaim all knowledge to the service and glory of  Christ, the victory belongs to His people. Nevertheless, to achieve that end the Church needs clearly defined goals and a winning strategy. This requires that Christians carefully derive their objectives and methods from Scripture.

Perhaps the greatest danger in doing this lies in adopting the attitudes and practices of integrationism or syncretism. Integrationists follow a modern version of the Thomistic approach.

They reason, "Since all truth comes from God, we can pick up truth wherever we find it. And since the truth we find in Aristotle or modern biology has equal validity to the truth we find in Scripture, we can simply put them together."

While this may sound enticing -- for all truth does indeed come from God -- the integrationist does not give God's Word its rightful place as the final arbiter of truth. Therefore, he fails to see the necessity of corrective measures to knowledge propagated by those in rebellion to God.

This does not deny that unbelievers have a capacity to apprehend certain functional  knowledge which permits them to live and act in the world that God created. But the integrationist fails to acknowledge the basis and nature of the unbeliever's knowledge.

You see, the unbeliever is actually double-minded. At base all men know God as His creatures, but as sinners all men refuse to acknowledge their Creator and live by His revelation. Hence we can say that men both know and do not know God; they know Him in judgment and in virtue of natural revelation, but they do not know Him in blessing unless it is in virtue of supernatural revelation and saving grace. Though hampered by his moral condition, the unbeliever's scholarship is not completely defunct. he can attain knowledge despite himself. In principle his unbelief would preclude understanding of anything, for (as Augustine said) one must believe in order to understand. However, in practice the unbeliever is restrained from a consistent self-destructive following of his unbelieving system. (Always Ready, Greg Bahnsen [Robert R. Booth, ed.], Atlanta [American Vision] and Texarkana [Covenant Media Foundation], 1996, p. 38)

As a consequence of the unbeliever's double-mindedness -- which results from suppression of the truth at a presuppositional level -- every fact he knows carries with it the taint of unbelief. In order to redeem knowledge from the unbeliever's grasp, the believer must discern what the unbeliever has apprehended that conforms to God's created order and place it within the context of Biblical presuppositions.

To be continued

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