Summary: A look at the three main branches of worldviews, pantheism, atheism and theism to see which makes sense.

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2. The Isms


Imagine I put two items in front of you: a Jar full of jelly beans, and an IPod. Then, I ask a question:

- Is choosing your worldview, more like guessing the actual number of Jelly Beans in a jar, or more like picking your favorite song from a IPod playlist?

If you’re like most Americans you’d say, it’s like picking your favorite song. If you were here last week, you’d say, no it HAS to be more like guessing the number of Jelly Beans in a Jar. Why? Because truth is ABSOLUTE.

So now we’re ready to evaluate large, worldview options,

which is a way of examining the number of jellybeans they each say is in the jar, to see which gets it right.

Now, you might think, “Man, Rick! You mean, to be intellectually honest I have to test EVERY worldview that’s out there?” I understand there are a million worldviews to consider, Marxism, Materialism, Mormonism, Mary Baker Eddyism!… I get it, it’s overwhelming.

(SLIDE) But that’s why AC3 is here! We will simplify the process! Because if you look at your choices, you see that ALL worldviews fit inside 3 big CATEGORIES. What you’re going to see is that worldviews can be nicely grouped by their common answers to all these key questions:

- What is the nature of God?

- What is the nature of Reality?

- What is the nature of People?

- What is the nature of Morality?

So let’s start with the biggest question of all. What is God like? Because this is where the overarching name for each categories comes from (SLIDE).


- THEISM, and


(SLIDE) EXAMPLES: show how broad. new age, deism

So what do these groups say about God (SLIDE)?

- ATHEISM – literally means, without God belief. It’s the idea that God is a nothing. God is merely a human idea that corresponds to nothing in reality.

- PANTHEISM – literally this means, Everything God, or ALL God. For Pantheists, there is nothing that is NOT God. Cancer, Trees, Starlight, Granite, Blood, Ideas, Numbers, Everything. The universe is God and God is the universe.

- THEISM – believe in a Personal God who made the universe, but who exists separately from the universe. So:

o Nothing is God

o Everything is God AND


(SLIDE) The question of REALITY, flows out of the question of God. What is ultimately REAL?:

- ATHEISM SAYS, ultimate reality is physical. Only Atoms exist. Molecules in Motion, is all that is or was or ever will be.

- PANTHEISM SAYS, ultimate everything is actually One thing, so distinctions in the physical universe are merely an illusion.

- THEISM SAYS, ultimate reality is spiritual, but the created universe is also real. So now reality is both spiritual and physical.

(SLIDE) The next question has to do with humans. What are People?

- ATHEISM says that people are biochemical machines. We are accidental byproducts of the natural laws acting on matter.

- PANTHEISM says that people are God! People are part of the cosmic “ALL” – though we are ignorant of our inherent divinity.

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