Does a worldview have to be livable?
Published: 29 May 2010 (GMT+10)
Following Lita Cosner’s reply to Canadian correspondent Samroon R. about his questions concerning Hitler, the Dalai Lama, sin and salvation, Samroon responded:
Grace to you in Christ. Thank you so much for the reply. You really helped me think clearly. May God bless you richly with wisdom and understanding. Anyways some questions again.
Do you believe that a worldview or philosophy, if true, has to be liveable. Suppose if a worldview denies freedom to human beings can we say it’s a false worldview since it denies a basic need of human beings such as Islam or suppose in Buddhism to attain nirvana or to reach a spiritual higher level you have to give up desiring which is not humanly possible since trying to reach nirvana has started as a desire in the heart. So do you think we can judge a worldview if it’s true or not by checking if it’s liveable or not. I hope you see what I mean.
And during evangelism when people are presented with the truth of Jesus Christ sometimes they would believe what they want to believe rather than what they should believe. Do you think this is because of the pride we humans have and this pride is there because of the original sin? Would you agree that God allowed that we inherit sin nature without our own choice so he can teach us submission which is opposite of pride? What is your take on this—I would be looking forward to your response.
Thanks & God bless you!
Lita Cosner answers:
I believe that the ‘livability’ of a worldview is evidence for its truth. For example, there is a worldview that says men are perfect, and only want education or wealth or whatever else to achieve this state. We can see that it is patently false when we see that the most educated and wealthy people, far from being the most benevolent and kindest, are sometimes capable of committing the worst sort of atrocities.
G.K. Chesterton actually used this as one of his main defenses for the truth of the Christian faith. To paraphrase his argument in from Orthodoxy, it’s not that one thing proves that Christianity is true, it is that everything fits when one presupposes Christianity. When one assumes the basic tenets of the Christian faith, everything from the huge philosophical questions concerning where we came from and why we’re here, to the everyday problems of why little Johnny keeps pulling his sister’s hair, come into focus. Any worldview may fit a few truths in it; Islam can explain a few things about the condition of humanity, and the Eastern religions might have a little truth in them too; it’s very hard for anything to be completely wrong at every single point. But this is like a stick fitting a hole in a rock; it is something that could easily happen by accident. Chesterton argues, however, that the way Christianity fits reality is more akin to a key fitting a lock; and when a lock fits a key, we can be sure that it is the right key.
I think there are any number of reasons why people claim that they can’t accept the Gospel; for some, it is the problem of evil. For others, it is that they like living with their girlfriends and they don’t want a moral system that will tell them that it is a sin. For some, they don’t want to be told that there is such a thing as sin. But I think that all these reasons can be described as symptoms of the main problem: the desperate wickedness of the fallen human heart. The unregenerate man is utterly hostile to God and His truth, which is the reason why no one is able to come to Him without the influence of the Holy Spirit. Not only can’t he come, he doesn’t want to, and that is why it is a culpable offense. Not only does he have a fallen nature that will sin and cause him to be hostile to God, he cooperates with it at every stage.
I think that there would have been far better ways for God to teach us submission than to cause us to inherit a trait that makes us utterly hostile to Him and incapable of submission to His will. Rather, our sin nature is something that we inherit by default because we are descended from the first sinner, Adam. We cannot submit to God until He regenerates us with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and even then not fully; we remain sinful as long as we are in the fallen creation, and we have to wait for the Resurrection for the complete defeat of sin.
I hope these further answers have been helpful for you.
Creation Ministries International