Apologetics: Worldview Comparison

Here is the second half of my worldview assignment for Apologetics class. You can read the first half, a paper giving an overview of the Christian worldview and how it affects my life, here. For this assignment, we were supposed to compare the Christian worldview with one of the other worldviews that we had studied in class (Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Secular Humanism, etc.). I chose Secular Humanism because, as a teacher, this is a worldview that I will often have to contend with. I received a grade of 98% for this assignment. My professor’s main qualm was that I mostly focused on the origin of life, without including other inanimate things as well. It is rather difficult to cover all appropriate ground within the word count restrictions.

Secular Humanism in a Biblical Light

Part I: The Secular Humanist Worldview

Secular humanists use science, intellect, and personal opinion as the basis for answering life’s most difficult questions (“Humanism…,” 2003).

The Question of Origin: Secular humanists believe that life is “self-existing” and came about through the process of evolution (“Humanism…,” 2003, para. 5). Since they reject the idea of a Creator God, secular humanists rely on “naturalistic science” to explain the world around them (Noebel, 2008, p. 444).

The Question of Identity: In their own words, humanists are “committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity” (“Humanism…,” 2003, para. 6). The humanist’s identity is found in his or her unhindered self-expression, perception of self-esteem, and “liberation” from any theocratic authority (Humanism…,” 2003; McCarthy, 1990).

The Question of Meaning/Purpose: According to the Third Humanist Manifesto, meaning and purpose in life is found in forming relationships, bettering society, and bettering oneself (“Humanism…,” 2003). Noebel (2008), however, revealed another goal of secular humanists: to wage war against Christianity in the education system and political area and replace it their own man-centered philosophies.

The Question of Morality: The motto of the American Humanist Association (n.d.) is “Good without God.” Ethics is based on what is in the best interest of oneself and others within each unique circumstance (“Humanism…,” 2003; Edword, 2008). Farmer (n.d.) stated that morality for the secular humanist is “relative to human consequences” (as cited in McCarthy, 1990, p. 469).

The Question of Destiny: Secular humanists reject the idea of any future hope of an existence after physical death (Edword, 2008). Those who take such a position can only hope to leave behind a rich legacy to keep their memory alive (Weider & Gutierrez, 2011).

Part II: The Biblical Worldview

The Question of Origin: Rather than all things animate and inanimate evolving slowly from simple matter, the creative power of God’s words brought forth the “heavens and the earth” (Ps. 33:6, NKJV; Gen. 1:1). Much like a potter, He then sculpted the first human beings out of earthen clay into His own image (Gen. 1:27; Is. 64:8) and breathed His own life into their bodies (Gen. 2:7).

The Question of Identity: Humans are to be valued, loved, and respected, not due to their natural self-worth or the free expression of their sinful nature, but because of the unmerited worth Christ places on them (Rom. 5:8). Christians should invite others to find their identity within the family of God (Rom. 8:14-17).

The Question of Meaning/Purpose: The Lord does want His people to invest in life and improve the gifts He has given them (Matt. 25:14-30). However, they must remember that true peace, joy, and happiness cannot be found apart from Christ (John 14:27). Once they have experienced His saving grace, their ultimate purpose is to share the message with others (Mark 16:15).

The Question of Morality: God absolute standard of morality is His law, which is a blueprint of His holy character (White, 1910). Yet, in and of themselves, individuals have no capability of reaching this holy standard (Rom. 3:23). Even someone’s best behavior is viewed by God as “filthy rags” (Is. 64:6) because it still proceeds from a nature tainted by sin (Weider & Gutierrez, 2011). People’s only hope of fulfilling the “righteous requirement” of the law is by the power of God’s spirit within them (Rom. 8:3, 4).

The Question of Destiny: Rather than viewing natural death as complete annihilation, the Bible calls death a mere sleep (Ps. 13:3). At the resurrection, the righteous will be raised to their reward of eternal life with God (1 Thess. 4:16, 17). It is only the wicked who will experience the second death in the lake of fire that brings an eternal extinction of body, spirit, and personality (Mal. 4:1).

References

American Humanist Association. (n.d.). [American Humanist Logo]. Retrieved rom http://americanhumanist.org.

Edwords, F. (2008). What is humanism? [web article]. American Humanist Association. Retrieved November 25th, 2014, from http://americanhumanist.org/humanism/What_is_Humanism

Humanism and its aspirations [web article]. (2003). American Humanist Association. Retrieved November 25th, 2014, from http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_III

McCarthy, M. M. (1990). Secular humanism and education. Journal of law and education, 19(4), 467-498. Retrieved from the HeinOnline Law Journal Library.

Noebel, D. (2008). Secular humanism. In E. Hindson & E. Caner (Eds.), The popular encyclopedia of apologetics (pp. 443-446). Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers.

Weider, L. & Gutierrez, B. (2011). Consider. Virginia Beach, VA: Academx Publishing Services, Inc.

White, E. G. (1910, February 1). God’s eternal law. Signs of the Times. Retrieved from http://text.egwwritings.org/publication.php?pubtype=Periodical&bookCode=ST&lang=en&collection=2&section=5&QUERY=ST+February+1%2C+1910&resultId=1&isLastResult=1&year=1910&month=February&day=1

One of the hardest barriers to overcome when reaching out to Secular Humanists with the gospel message is that Secular Humanists, rather than feeling the inadequacy of their views and their need for a savior, feel they have something better than Christianity offers–a view that frees humanity from the burdening ideas of sin (Edwords, 2008) to allow them live up to their inherent potential. What they don’t realize that it’s impossible to have “good without God.” It’s not irrational, primitive, and superstitious to believe the Bible–in actuality, Bible offers the only explanation for logical reasoning and rational thought.

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