Naturalism takes us one step further than Deism. Because they do not see any practical benefits to belief in a supreme being, Naturalists remove God from the equation. Human reason and scientific method are given full authority to discover and control the material world. This is the default worldview taught in American public schools and so Naturalism is deeply rooted in our society.
KEY POINTS / BELIEFS
- The physical universe is prime reality. Matter exists eternally and is all there is. The world as it is came to be by time and chance.
- The cosmos is real, eternal and exists as a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system. The cosmos, including the world, is understood to be in its normal state; there is no special revelation. All that we see came about through an unplanned and un-designed process. Time plus chance equals this world.
- Human beings are complex machines; personality is an interrelation of chemical and physical properties we do not yet fully understand.
- Death is the extinction of personality and individuality.
- Through our innate and autonomous human reason, including methods of science, we can know the universe.
- Ethics is related only to the human being, determined by him/her based on situation and autonomous reason. Humanity decides what is right and wrong.
- History is a linear stream of events linked by cause and effect but without an overarching purpose. We are not headed anywhere.
- Naturalism itself implies no particular core commitments on the part of any given naturalist. Rather, core commitments are adopted inadvertently or chosen by individuals.
WHAT MAKES IT ATTRACTIVE / RELEVANT?
Naturalism promises control and results, without requiring patience. It empowers us to be masters of our universe. We are explorers, investigators, decision makers and judges of all, mastering nature through science and society through economics and politics. Why wait on a God to rescue us when we can make it happen ourselves?
RUBS WITH CHRISTIANITY
Naturalism sees this world as normal, not fallen. Human being are not marred by sin, but evolving as planned. What you see is what you get, there is no help outside of us so we must help ourselves. History has no end goal in which to look forward to. Does this leave any room for hope?
GOSPEL RUB = Is your worldview gospel-centered?
Romans 8:18-30 – “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
- This passage teaches that something is broken.
- Proof is in the way creation groans and human beings feel that something is not as it should be. If something is broken, it is realistic to believe that it might be fixed.
- “For who hopes for what he sees?”
- There is more to the world than what we can see, what we see is NOT all we get.
- True hope is patient, because it is not contingent on us. Our hope is contingent on someone outside of ourselves, on the transcendent Creator God. And He proved our hope in Him is not in vein when God rose Jesus from the grave.
- Engage in deep and meaningful conversations.
- WHY? What’s the point? What is the goal, the purpose, the meaning of our existence and all our striving?
- Is life but a meaningless Breath?
- Honestly reflect on your own worldview.
- Do you truly believe in the hope, meaning and purpose that the gospel represents?
- Listen to this week’s sermon on our website.