Summary: Five key concepts about what Christians believe about the world for seekers investigating the Christian faith.
Is life nothing more than a roulette wheel? Are the life circumstances you and I face nothing more than random, chance events bouncing into our lives like a ball randomly spins on a roulette wheel? A roulette wheel is driven by chance. In fact, if it’s not, they say the wheel is rigged. Is life on planet earth rigged, with an overlying purpose and sense of meaning, or is it nothing more than a random, purposeless roulette wheel, where the ball arbitrarily stops wherever it happens to?
We’ve been in a series called WHAT DO CHRISTIANS THINK? In this series we’ve been trying to explore the basic beliefs that make up the Christian faith in a way that both irreligious people and Christians can understand. You see, each religion and philosophy in the world offers it’s own unique way of making sense out of life. You might picture every religion and philosophy as a jigsaw puzzle, with each puzzle piece representing a specific belief within that particular belief system. All the puzzle pieces in each philosophy and religion are designed to fit together to present us with a coherent way of making sense out of our lives. So the Christian belief system presents it’s own unique picture, while Islam presents a different picture, Hinduism and Marxism present their own pictures, atheism and the New Age movement present their own pictures and so forth. The question is: Which picture conforms to the way things really are, or--to put it another way--which picture is true? I can no more arbitrarily pick and choose beliefs from different belief systems than I can randomly take puzzle pieces from different jigsaw puzzles and expect them all to fit together and present a meaningful picture. The basic beliefs we’re talking about in this series are related to each other like puzzle pieces, and together they form a coherent belief system that Christians believe most accurately explains life.
So far we’ve looked at what Christians believe about God, and what Christians believe about the Bible. Today we’re going to talk about what Christians believe about the world...is it merely a product of random and purposeless forces like a roulette wheel, or is the world something more?
Now to talk about what Christians believe about the world opens up a deep conflict that’s gone on for almost 500 years. I’m referring to the conflict between religion and science. The roots of this conflict go back to the 1500s, when a Polish astronomer named Copernicus suggested that the sun rather than the earth was the center of our universe. Back then an earth-centered universe was a religious dogma, so Copernicus’ claim sounded like heresy to the church back then. A few years later an Italian astronomer and physicist named Galileo took this idea another step and argued that the planets actually revolve around the sun. The Church condemned Galileo for his view and kept him under house arrest until his death in 1642. The Roman Catholic church finally cleared Galileo, but this came over 300 years after he’d died.