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Summary: When we believe, we possess life-purpose.

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WHAT IS FAITH?

Hebrews 11.1

S: Faith

C: Naturalism

Th: Confusion

Pr: WHEN WE BELIEVE, WE POSSESS LIFE-PURPOSE.

CV: “We will clearly communicate the transforming truth of the Bible.”

Type: Inductive

PA: How is the change to be observed?

• Recognize belief is a matter of the will.

• Seek God with all your heart.

• Live with purpose.

Version: ESV

RMBC 23 November 08 AM

We have been learning about the confusing transition from modernism to postmodernism.

We have been asking questions for the last four weeks, hopefully is a way that will get you keep thinking about them.

Three weeks ago we considered the question…

What is truth? -- Worldviews

This discussion on truth dealt with the concept of worldviews.

We discussed how we have been living in a time of transition.

During the last fifty years, we have shifted from a dominant modern worldview to a postmodern one.

And it is confusing.

Our understanding of the nature of truth has changed.

In the modern worldview, truth was considered objective – absolutes existing outside of us.

In the postmodern worldview, it is considered subjective – depending on one’s experience.

Two weeks ago, we asked the question…

What is sin? – Relativism

It was a study of the postmodern view of relativism.

Relativism is the philosophy of “live and let live,” where tolerance reigns.

There are no absolutes.

Every value, belief, lifestyle and truth claim is equal and valid, therefore, there is no reason to judge or condemn anyone.

Last week, we asked the question…

Who is Jesus? – Pluralism

It was a study of the postmodern view of pluralism.

Theological pluralism believes that all religions ultimately have the same message and the same spiritual end.

According to this line of thinking, the Divine reality has many names – Buddha, Krishna, Allah, Jesus.

And they are all pathways to the same place.

Today, we ask the question…

What is faith? – Naturalism

And we will be talking about the concept of naturalism.

We will be defining it in a moment.

But first I want to speak of the biblical definition of faith.

Faith is not a vague hope grounded in the imaginary (Hebrews 11.1)

The writer of Hebrews says it this way…

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Biblical faith is not a vague hope.

It is a matter of being assured.

It is a matter of confidence.

It is a matter of conviction.

It is not about wishful thinking.

It is the idea that because God is active in the present, that the future is guaranteed.

Our belief in God is not a blind trust contrary to the evidence.

It is not an unknowable leap in the dark.

It is based on the understanding and experience that God revealed Himself through Jesus and His Word.

That’s what biblical faith is about.

Now naturalism…

Naturalism believes that nothing exists but nature.

It is only the material that exists.

There is no God.

So these following concepts are all directly related – materialism, evolution, humanism, atheism, Darwinism.

Naturalism has decided it knows how we got here.

It could be said we came from…

Infantile to the reptile to the Gentile.

Or…

From the goo to you via the zoo.

Well, those are humorous ways of saying it.

Since there is no God…

Naturalism rejects every religious system.

You may remember our studies last year when we studied the new atheists.

One of them was a professor from Oxford, Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion.

ILL Evolution (S)

Richard Dawkins has said:

The more you understand the significance of evolution, the more you are pushed away from an agnostic position and towards atheism.

It is the view of the naturalist that “science has already dissolved Christianity in a vat of nitric acid.”

They like to believe that science has put God out of a job.

As Lee Strobel put it, “The white-coated scientists of the modern world had trumped black-robed priests of medieval times.”

If naturalism is true, so are the following.

There is no evidence for God.

There is no life after death.

There is no absolute foundation for right and wrong.

There is no ultimate meaning for life.

Therefore, according to naturalism, all religion, including the Christian faith, is the figment of humanity’s imagination.

Its service to humanity is no longer needed.

Because…

Naturalism maintains that truth is found only through science.

During these last few weeks, you have heard me before talk about the social upheaval of the 1960s.

Please forgive me, those of you who don’t remember them or were not born yet.

But they were a strategic time.

A lot of the social values were changing.

Relativism was beginning to take hold.

Pluralism was beginning to take hold.

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