What the World Thinks of Itself

I recently asked volunteers from our high-school apologetics fellowship to write a chapter summary for Chapter 3: “What the World Thinks of Itself” from the book How to Stay Christian in College by J. Budziszewski.

Our students were asked to read a book chapter and write about the fact, truth, idea, or principle that had the most impact on their understanding and why it affected them. Lauren Hale submitted the essay below:

What the World Thinks of Itself – by Lauren Hale

On college campuses today there are three most prevalent worldviews. The first one, naturalism, is the idea that there is nothing beyond the material world. Nothing supernatural exists and to believe anything other than that is “irrational”. These ideas can be seen in many college professors. More specifically these ideas can likely be seen in professors who believe in Darwinism/evolution. They will likely scoff at the idea of intelligent design and a supernatural force behind creation. However, science is not on the side of naturalists! The fine-tuning of the universe (see Symphony: An Insufficient Metaphor blog post !) points to a creator who can make complex life! The next worldview is postmodernism. The belief that everything is fragmented. With no objective truth everybody’s truth is correct. Of course, “That’s true for you, but not for me” would likely be said by a postmodernist. Although the “elephant in the room” for postmodernists is that a life with no objective truth is a life with no meaning. While some postmodernists might try to dance around this meaningless life that postmodernism brings it is unavoidable! The final worldview that can often be seen on college campuses is a Do-it-yourself spirituality. Do-it-yourselfers often pick and choose what they want in a religion. This can lead to a variety of beliefs and a lot of inconsistencies. However, there are three things do-it-yourselfers usually believe. First, although all religions differ greatly in rituals and formalities, they all really teach the same thing. This idea is contradictory to say the least! Another belief do-it-yourselfers usually have is to choose beliefs according to “what makes me feel good” not “what seems likely to be true”. After all, if all ideas really teach the same thing why not choose the parts that I like and make me feel good! The final belief is often putting little stock in logical reasoning. A belief that is “a little of this and a little of that” is not truly consistent. So, of course, it follows that using logic to point out any inconsistencies is not welcomed. This could be seen as intolerant! There are also three things do-it-yourselfers can never consistently believe: that the Bible is a true revelation from God, everything the Bible teaches, and that Jesus was who He said He was. The Bible and Christianity are exclusive! Perhaps a hard pill to swallow for some, but Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). This leaves no room for do-it-yourself spirituality!

Finally, for the sake of clarification two things must be said. It is not a given that people know what group they fall into. Nor does each person fall into one distinct group. A person could be a mix of these beliefs! Although people might not realize what group they fall into it is helpful to realize what each of these ideas and beliefs look like so we can identify them.

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