It is reasonable to begin with God. I refer to the eternal, intelligent, personal Being who created all else. I am not referring to the “God” as some scientists do, a first cause that is only considered to be an undefined force of some sort. Though it often sounds good to hear a credible member of the scientific community refer to God, if it is the “first cause force” version, it is simply an attempt to explain naturalism without the obvious dilemma most naturalists simply ignore. That dilemma involves, first, the fact that nothing is incapable of producing something, and second, the something with which one chooses to begin, must be eternal (or we are back to nothing creating something). Choosing a “God” that is simply an eternal force provides no sufficient explanation for intelligence, personality or moral agency. Begin with the eternal, intelligent, personal, moral agent and there is a reasonable foundation from which to proceed in explaining meaning, value, love, morals, relationship, destiny, etc.
Next, it is important that we do not simply imagine or make up a version of the eternal, intelligent, personal, moral agent. The recognition that God has, in fact, given sufficient revelation of Himself is important to face. There is a foundational level of revelation that is placed within us and all around us (Ro.1:19-20 – which most have suppressed) but, to fill in the details, we must draw information from the document of which He has been the Editor (2 Ti.3:16). This document, known popularly as the Bible, not only informs us of His nature, character and infinite worth, but by extension, provides valuable information about all aspects of living a fruitful life on planet earth as moral agents (individually and corporately) created in the image and likeness of God.
Proper study of this document is crucial. A shallow, poorly developed grasp of the truth therein does not lead to the maturity that encourages the Biblical worldview to gain prominence in the land, thereby producing the restoration, healing / health and peace promised. Those who have embraced the task of serving as teachers (and even pastors – especially in our age when many get their dominant Biblical information from a 20-minute sermon per week), have a significant responsibility in this regard. Each person is ultimately responsible for the formation of their understanding and perspective but there is important truth in the statement, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Ep.4:11-16; also see Jms.3:1).
Sadly, in the marketplace of ideas, naturalism has become a dominate foundation from which cultural affairs proceed. As a component of this weak and shaky foundation, humanism plays a central role. In the pursuit of our humanistic goals, pragmatism has become our compass. This is an apt description of building on the sand.
I close with an observation about the peace (mentioned earlier along with restoration and healing) that God offers. There are three levels to peace. First, an individual, through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, can have personal, inner peace with God (Ro.5:1). Next, we are to pursue reconciliation and peace in our personal relationships with other individuals (Ro.12:18) without compromising Biblical standards. Finally, the ultimate challenge we face is to promote “peace in the land” (Lev.26:6). This requires that Biblical principles are employed on a wide-scale level in the operations, spheres and institutions of society. This was God’s goal with the nation of Israel and is God’s goal in the mission of the church (Mt.28:19-20). Though this is controversial, this does not necessitate that all individuals in such a society are Christians, anymore than for a socialist agenda to capture the culture requires that all individuals be socialists. Biblical principles applied on an objective level will produce great fruit. Not in a perfect way, the United States of America has tasted of this fruit that quickly rots before our eyes. It is unfortunate that naturalistic, pragmatic, secular humanism is “winning” the day as the fruit it will ultimately produce is destruction and bondage while the false prophets of our day declare, “Peace and liberty,” where there is no peace as liberty shrinks.
“If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble. I shall also eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your land.” (Lev 26:3-6)