Saturday, 14 May 2016

Summary of four worldviews: 4. Christianity

Note to all fellow followers of Christ. I have no formal theological training but this represents my best understanding of Christian essentials at this stage in my journey since the Holy Spirit entered while writing the first few chapters of 2077:Knights of Peace, around 2009.. The whole Christian world seems to be going through a reformation. Humility is essential and God forgive us if we depart from this.

CHRISTIANITY:  reality is generated from outside space-time by a  Creator with attributes of personhood reflected in humanity regardless of gender, race, culture, creed or family relationship. At a critical stage in history God became incarnate in humanity as Jesus Christ, saving us all  from despair, fear, uncertainty and injustice with the promise of eternal life in God's healing love.

 Creation of universe: by a God having the attributes of personhood through the Word (Christ the Son), culminating in human beings, with both male and female reflecting the image of God.

Duration of material universe : finite, ending in heat death due to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Alternatively it could flip into a different state due to the decay of some as yet undiscovered elementary particle sustaining the whole cosmos (I  believe a few theoretical physicists are working on this concept). God has  an endpoint in view.

Future of whole universe: heat death  according to 2nd Law of Thermodynamics but with 'a new heaven and a new earth,'  free of suffering for those who seek righteousness. There will also be a dark realm for those not seeking righteousness at a deep level and who therefore God cannot reach. The more we do God's will the less painful will be the journey for humanity as a whole. .

Afterlife:  eternal love and fulfillment in God's new heaven and new earth , or self inflicted hell (see below).
Basis for universal morality: yes, with absolute goodness flowing out of the creative love generated by the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and  Spirit, the Triune God (three in one).  To prevent social breakdown God has implanted a conscience into all humans through general grace but this is not sufficient to allow the achievement of God's long term  plan, which depends on a certain number accepting the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit.  The more people do this, i.e. become true righteous Christians, the more easily and painlessly will God 's goal be  reached.

Hope for individual:  assurance that there is an afterlife which is good and that our conscience directs us in whatever direction God wants us to go (righteousness) in order to fulfill his long term plan. For those who God has been made known through Christ this is the only way. Of those who have not been shown the way of Christ (e.g. those born BC), the naturally righteous will reach Christ by some other route known only to God the Father. Submitting to Christ also liberates us  from the crushing burden of guilt so that we can more easily be righteous.
Fears of individual: illness, pain,  accidents, poverty, natural disasters.  Fear of loss of friends and relatives. Fear of a bad eternal afterlife if we fail to be righteous and free of pride. However, Christ saves us from all these fears if we have faith in Him, with the help of the Holy Spirit, because all is put right at the end of time for those in Christ's love.

Free will:  Yes. We are continually presented with the choice of whether or not to act righteously at the deepest level (e.g. to love our enemy, tell the truth or refuse to cheat), even when  sure we will not be found out or will be shunned or punished by our peers. Because so few do this the progression of history is fraught with suffering and injustice but in the end 'all will be harvest' for those who rest in Christ.

Social order: yes, providing we do God's will, so that all the institutions can operate smoothly as the people are able to trust one another in Christ. The turbulence and evil of history to date testifies to the rarity of true Christians even in so called Christian countries and instituion . Cities, nations, and possibly groups of nations, are probably instrumental entities in God's plan.

Justice: arbitrarily dispensed in this life because of human sin, which quantum entanglement, epigenetics and chaos theory (butterfly effect etc.)  suggests could ripple across large distances and between generations.We can suffer the  consequences of other people's sins or the collective sins of nations. But all is put right through the death and resurrection of Christ.
Truth:  Yes, the Truth of Christ in all dimensions of reality - spiritual and physical.  Belief in Truth, i.e. in Christ, sets us free. We are saved from darkness and ignorance.

Science and technology: Thrives, because  laws have been built into God's created order, reflecting the Truth of Christ. Intelligence could be  a basic property of all nature, biological and even physical. The business of scientists  is to uncover the laws and attributes of nature since we have been given curiosity and the desire to ever improve our material well being. The laws of nature revealed to us by our god-given search for Truth are descriptions of the created order which increase our wonder at God's power and majesty. 

John Sears

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