Archives For April 2013

Hello and welcome back!

I am just sitting here at my desk while reflecting on how beautiful God’s seasons are!  I love all seasons but like most of you I am ready to see the trees blossom out and the flowers to bloom.

 I’m sure that all of you who follow me on Facebook are aware that I have a new granddaughter who is turning 6 months old very soon!  How could you NOT know with all the photos and videos that I have been posting!

Belle and I are gonna have one fine time on our first excursion into nature together soon!

She is getting old enough now to really begin to enjoy new things and to commune with the creation in awe and excitement as the freshly created do!  I get to be a part of that wonderful mystery of life!

Can you sense my excitement?  I am practically grinning ear to ear as I write this!  I will give a special blog report along with photos when this wonderful event takes place!  I can’t wait to share it with you!

Ok, enough of my granddaddy excitement!  Let’s continue with our overview of the mainline worldviews in the world today.  Remember, these overviews are not meant to be comprehensive but to present the worldviews that will be presented in much more detail in the book, 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose.  The purpose of this book will be to present a 21st century apologetic (defending the Christian faith) and to show the 21st century of their need for Jesus Christ in a dying world.

This post begins a new worldview exploration.  We will be considering the worldview of Cosmic Humanism.  What is cosmic humanism?  Another name that identifies cosmic humanism you may be more familiar with.  That name is the New Age movement.

Cosmic humanism or new age movement sees God and the universe as the same.  This concept of God is called pantheism.  Pantheists believe that the terms God and the world are interchangeable.

This New Age worldview believes that the world is God and God is the world.  Cosmic humanism sees the concept of God being everywhere at once to be impossible in the physical world unless he IS the physical world.

“Cosmic Humanism or New Age thinking appears to revolve around a Marxist platform.”

Cosmic humanism sees the world as heading towards a coming new age, an age of peace where all human beings come together in agreement or what they term the Age of Aquarius.  The song, Age of Aquarius was written for the musical Hair in 1967 and recorded in 1969 by the musical group, The 5th Dimension in 1969.  Cosmic humanism views everything that exists is God and the human being is a part of one whole which they state makes everything one.   Bottom line, cosmic humanists are saying: “Mankind is divine, mankind is God.”

Cosmic humanism does not believe in the Bible as being the word of God anymore than is the Qur’an or any other manuscript.  One outspoken cosmic humanist has been quoted as saying, “We can take all the scriptures, and all the teachings, and all the tablets, and all the laws, and all the marshmallows and have a jolly good bonfire and marshmallow roast, because that is all they are worth.”  This direct quote can be found in his book, Reflections on the Christ published by Findhorn Publications in 1982 on page 73.

Although cosmic humanists believe in the supernatural, unlike the other humanists that we have discussed, they do NOT believe in a personal God that created mankind and the universe.  Instead, they believe that THEY are God.  They believe that God IS the creation of which they are like a cup of God that is everything similar to a cup of sea water which makes the cup of sea water the same as the sea.

The cosmic humanist believes that there is no objective truth handed down by a personal, objective God but that all truth comes from the individual because the individual is God.

Jonathan Adolph has made the following statement and I quote: “In its broadest sense, New Age thinking can be characterized as a form of utopianism, the desire to create a better society, a ‘New Age’ in which humanity lives in harmony with itself, nature, and the cosmos.”

According to the description above, cosmic humanism or new age thinking appears to revolve around a Marxist platform.

Here is a quote from a widely viewed website that supports the New Age movement:

“New Age teachings became popular during the 1970’s as a reaction against what some perceived as the failure of Christianity and the failure of Secular Humanism to provide spiritual and ethical guidance for the future. Its roots are traceable to many sources: Astrology, Channeling, Hinduism, Gnostic traditions, Hermeticism, Spiritual Alchemy, Spiritualism, Taoism, Theosophy, Wicca and other Neo-pagan traditions, along with various aspects of Alternative Science and Healing, etc.”

  That wraps up our overview of cosmic humanism.  This will allow you to be able to recognize this worldview’s main concepts regardless of what form you may find it.

Next post, we will consider the worldview of Atheism.

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:  Can you see any connection between secular humanism and cosmic humanism in terms of the age old question, “What is truth?”

Hello and welcome back!

I’m excited to continue our journey of investigating the worldview of Christian humanism as we continue looking at the different worldviews that currently shape the thinking of our world today here in the 21st century!

Last post, we began an overview of Christian humanism.  If you have just joined us, I thank you for your interest.  We are all working together in looking at the different worldviews that shape the world of the 21st century.

You may wish to read the previous posts relating to this book blog of my book – 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose. 

The purpose of this site is to blog the book before it is published by introducing the content from the book as blog posts.  To see what part you can play in the completion of this project, please click – Blog: Take a Look!

Of course, the description of Christian humanism has changed over time as humanist worldviews tend to do.

You can find all related posts in the sequence that has been written in the right-hand side bar.  I’m glad you have joined us and I look forward to your participation in this project.

Let’s move forward, and complete our overview on Christian humanism.

I am amazed at the confusion of the literature available concerning this worldview.  In the last post, a brief history was presented which gives the reader information of the historical beginnings of Christian humanism.

(Read Here)

Of course, the description of Christian humanism has changed over time as humanist worldviews tend to do.  Let’s wrap up this topic overview by discovering how it shapes Christian thinking today for those who subscribe to its tenets.

I’m glad that you are with me on this journey!

The following is an excerpt from The Christian Humanist website:

Once we get beyond the mythological language, it is clear that the disciples had a life-transforming experience that resulted in a re-ordering of their priorities toward a new way of thinking about what was seriously important in their lives and led to their commitment to carry on with Jesus’ teachings.

They interpreted this life-transforming experience to mean that the spirit of Jesus did not die with him but was alive in them, challenging them to continue what he had started.  For his early followers it was a life-transforming awareness that the spirit of Jesus was alive in them. They understood this to mean two things: they were to model their lives after his life and they were to carry on his teaching about the kingdom of god and what that implied for the people of the region.

Another excerpt from the above site provides their view of Christianity:

At its core, being a Christian today means exactly the same thing for us as it meant to his first disciples: consciously choosing to be an advocate of Jesus and his teachings. It involves what the medieval theologian Thomas A Kempis called Imitatio Christi, the imitation of Christ. It means to live as Jesus lived and to teach as he taught, to honor truth and show compassion, to stand with the victims of this world against their oppressors, to stand with the weak and the powerless against the abusers and the comfortably powerful, and to maintain one’s integrity no matter the cost. In short being a follower of Jesus meant then and now to be faithful to the spirit of Jesus and his teachings. That is both the meaning and the cost of Christian discipleship.

The bottom line, as will be seen in this last excerpt from The Christian Humanist will provide the reader an overview of the direction Christian humanism is taking since the 3rd century and throughout the centuries up to now:

It is a de-mythologized Christianity, a version without the necessity for god and freed from the theological and mystical baggage of the centuries preceding us, a Christianity that challenges us regardless of our view of god to model our lives after that of Jesus. Being a Christian is not any more complicated than that, but it is at least that.

If you desire to investigate the site above, here is the link: The Christian Humanist.

To be sure, there are other, modified premises of the above (considered unorthodox theology) in many, current Christian humanism versions; however, what they all have in common is this: A Christian does not need to have supernatural beliefs or events in order to be a follower of Jesus Christ of the Christian Bible.  Although some Christian humanists project a version of Orthodox Christianity, humanism eventually leads to secular humanistic beliefs and the true teachings of Christ lead to Deity.

The end result of Christian humanism in the church appears to lead into humanistic thinking and secular humanism over time as we see on The Christian Humanist site.

That wraps up our brief overview of Christian humanism.

Let me say it again.

REMINDER: This is a blog post and does not reflect the depth that will be considered on the mainstream 21st century worldviews that will be found in the published book.  The book will also offer excellent references at the end of each chapter for those interested in further information.

These blog posts are presented for you to reflect upon and to comment on as described in the blog post that describes this blog and your opportunity for involvement.  You can read about it how you can be involved in the Blog: Take a Look!

Thank you for joining me in this consideration of the worldview of Christian humanism in the 21st century!  That’s a wrap!

Next Post, we will consider the worldview of Cosmic Humanism (New Age Movement).

Until next time!

Zach

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Can Christianity be considered true Christianity without the deity of God and Jesus being the foundational reality?

Hello and welcome back!

Now that we’ve finished the secular humanism overview, let’s turn our attention towards another worldview that is prominent today.  This worldview is the 21st century version of Christian humanism.  As we discover the background of many of these different 21st century worldviews, I want to inform you that many of them will possibly unsettle you.

The concept of worldview — or how we view the world around us — allows us to have a window into the thinking and beliefs of others.  Without this basic understanding of what others are about is the basis of unfruitful argumentation and is the foundation of misunderstanding which is never fruitful.  Therefore, our investigation into the different mainline worldviews provides the opportunity to understand what others believe regardless of whether we see eye to eye with their beliefs or not.

History of Christian Humanism

The history of Christian humanism is almost as old as Christianity.  In fact, the second century church father, Justin Martyr, is credited by some to be the father of Christian humanism based on his use of classical (Greek secular knowledge) teachings into teaching non-Christians of the day about Christianity.

Christian humanism has continued from these beginnings throughout history.  In the 12th century, Peter Abelard, a French scholastic philosopher, brought logic to theology that was touted as correcting contradictions of the early church fathers.

This thinking was instrumental in bringing a new theological discipline of combining philosophy with Christianity which was heavily disputed by the 12th century church.

Thomas Aquinas was able to make a case for Aristotelian philosophy being utilized in forming Christian theology.  Throughout the renaissance, the reformation, and up to the Enlightenment—Christianity and classical philosophy influenced one another.

The United States Constitution is said to be an influence of Christian humanism brought about by John Locke, an English philosopher who expressed the idea of God-given rights above any government authority.

The above historical overview is a mere skimming of the complexity of the subject of Christian humanism but provides a snapshot of how classical Greek philosophy and Christian thought developed together from the 2nd century to the Enlightenment.

The Enlightenment was the beginning of the split between traditional Christianity and Christian humanism.  Christian humanism is credited with the Biblical criticisms and the liberalism that is now rampant in Christianity today.

Next post, we will complete our investigation into Christian humanism in the 21st century and move on to the next worldview.

My book, 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose will expand on the history as well as provide excellent references for further study and investigation of the many worldviews presented within its pages.

If you are interested in further research into Christian humanism before the book is available, please make a request in the comments section below for this blog post.

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:  What are your thoughts about Christian humanism?

Hello and welcome back!

How are you doing?  I hope this finds you and your family well and productive!  As for me, my wife and I are doing well as are our children.  The weather is improving here by the day.  It’s nice and warm most days and I enjoy running around without wearing a jacket.  Have you ever given thought to what is your favorite time of the year?  I used to consider spring to be my favorite season.  As the years pass, I find that every season has its pros and cons and what one season lacks we receive in the next and so on.

“Do you consider it important to compare the worldview you hold to discover if it answers life’s important questions adequately?”

Life itself is like that, isn’t it?  What one season of life lacks we usually discover in another season of our life.  Some things that we take for granted in one season either takes on more or less importance in another.  The same goes for worldviews at times.  A worldview is the product of many factors.  We are influenced by our culture, our community, our family, and by our own, subjective thoughts revolving around these influences.  Notice that I said our subjective thinking revolving around these influences.  Do you consider it important to compare the worldview you hold to discover if it answers life’s important questions adequately?

There are many worldviews that we will be examining in this category and will now continue with our final examination of secular humanism.  We have taken a look at this worldview in terms of its outlook of human design.  We considered its tenants revolving around humanity’s origin, destiny, and what human life is all about.  In this last post on secular humanism, let’s continue where the last post left off.

In the last segment, we examined secular humanist considerations of important concepts revolving around the human condition.  Such topics are:

 

1)    Existence

2)    Self Responsibility

3)    Reality

4)    Concept of Self

5)    Societal Responsibility

 

This brings us to the wrap-up on secular humanism before we move on to another worldview overview.  We have examined several things in this overview:

 

  • A brief history of secular humanism.
  • The values, morals, and ethics of this worldview.
  • Secular humanism’s human existence theories.
  • Humanity’s purpose.
  • The value of human life.

 

If you wish to review all the posts on secular humanism, they are available in the categories list under secular humanism in the right-hand side bar.  If you wish excellent references for further study on secular humanism, please ask in the comments for this post.

Please comment on the question below to stimulate conversation.  See why this is important here.

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:  DOES YOUR WORLDVIEW ALIGN WITH SECULAR HUMANISM?  If NOT, WHAT DO YOU DISAGREE WITH IN TERMS OF SECULAR HUMANISM?