• Michael Haldas

Worldview


“…modern believers may know that God is real, but He is real…only at defined moments. …In none of them is God steadily the dominant factor in life; in none of them does one live in a permanent awareness of God; in none of them is one permanently turned in the direction of God; in none of them is God at the center of life.” (OCPM, 8/8/2017, Dr. Lewis Patsavos)

“Within the Christianity of our time, the great spiritual conflict, unknown to almost all, is between a naturalistic/secular world of modernity and the sacramental world of classical Christianity. The first presumes that a literal take on the world is the most accurate. It tends to assume a closed system of cause and effect, ultimately explainable through science and manageable through technology. Modern Christians, quite innocently, accept this account of the world with the proviso that there is also a God who, on occasion, intervenes within this closed order.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…a significant part of Christianity in the United States is actually only tenuously Christian in any sense that is seriously connected to the actual historical Christian tradition, but has rather substantially morphed into Christianity's misbegotten stepcousin, Christian Moralistic Therapeutic Deism…The remoteness of God in this kind of theism explains the choice of the term ‘Deism’…It views God as something like a combination Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist: he's always on call, takes care of any problems that arise, professionally helps his people to feel better about themselves, and does not become too personally involved in the process.” (Christian Smith, Melina Lundquist Denton)

“When your child is young, you, the parent, are the center of their life. They depend on you and turn to you for nearly everything. When they become teens, they tend to withdraw as they assert their independence. They tend to turn to you when they want something or need something. Once the want or need is met, they go back to their life and want you to go back to yours. It’s a good way to understand how many believers tend to view and treat God in their life.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“We...should not treat God like a light switch to be turned on only as needed.” (Life Application Study Bible, Micah 3:2-4)

“Even when the Christian faith is not considered an outright fraud, the modern tendency is to consider it merely a useful myth for social control. From this perspective, the Church is reduced to an ethical educator, social club, or “opiate of the people.” Claims to the divinity of Jesus help manage an unthinking, uncritical populace.” (OCPM 5/9/2017)

“The spirit of contemporary culture is foolish, for it never invites us to consider God…The secular utopia, along with its modest religious forms, is the true opiate of the people.” (OCPM 3/29/2016, Father Stephen Freeman)

“...our religiousness is actually an expression of religiosity. This so-called popularity of religion on the American scene is the result of our being enslaved to the doctrine of conformity, and really it is most shallow. This new religiousness is an insincere expression of piety and religious conviction. This enthusiasm for religion is humanistic as opposed to being divine. The present trend to religion is a respectable, comfortable, worldly-minded, easy-going affair that makes hardly any demands on our will, on our conscience, or on our checkbook.” (Bishop John of Amorion)

“…much of what passes for religious faith in America comes down to a belief that it is simply a good thing to believe – it makes you feel better, maybe makes your neighbor behave better; and it makes no difference what you believe, or how vaguely, so long as you are sincere.” (Professor Herbert J. Muller)

“Most people in Western societies today who believe in God see Him as obliged to arrange things for our benefit if we live a good enough life according to our own chosen standards.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Some people see good all around them, while others see nothing but evil. What is the difference? Our souls become filters through which we perceive goodness or evil. The pure (those who have Christ in control of their lives) learn to see goodness in everything because their evil minds and hearts color even the good they see and hear.” (Life Application Study Bible, Titus 1:15)

“Whatever you choose to fill your mind with will affect the way you think and act.” (Life Application Study Bible, Titus 1:15)

“Our thoughts and worldviews are extremely important. They shape who we are and what we do consciously and unconsciously in our lives to include our household, marriages, jobs, politics and all other aspects. Ideally, we should be fully aware of what we are doing and thinking at all times so it is critical we understand what we really believe and not just go through the motions so to speak.” (Sacramental Living)

“Many of us do not seek Christ or seek Him secondarily after we put our energies in other areas first. We tend to feed our minds with thoughts of gain, entertainment, pleasures and other things either in lieu of Him or before Him. But He tells us to seek first Him and His kingdom and all of the things we desire will be given to us (Matthew 6:33). This is not the prosperity gospel guaranteeing riches but rather a message to us that if we seek Him and wisdom first, our earthly life will be one of inner peace and joy, and that our needs will be met.” (Sacramental Living) Our means for pursuing God are"righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. We do well to flee their opposites…” (Dynamis 12/29/12)

“People cannot make sense of anything without attaching it to a story line...And if you get the story of the world wrong—if, for example, you see life here as mainly about self-actualization and self-fulfillment rather than the love of God—you will get your life responses wrong, including the way you go about your work.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“The term"worldview,” from the German word Weltanschauung, means the comprehensive perspective from which we interpret all of reality. But a worldview is not merely a set of philosophical bullet points. It is essentially a master narrative, a fundamental story about (a) what human life in the world should be like, (b) what has knocked it off balance, and (c) what can be done to make it right.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Only the Christian worldview locates the problem with the world not in any part of the world or in any particular group of people but in sin itself (our loss of relationship with God).” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Understanding worldviews helps us understand ourselves and other people, hopefully generating a level of tolerance in us in the proper sense where we respect others and their way of life without compromising our faith, morals and actions.” (Sacramental Living)

“Tolerance, despite its modern connotation, does not mean accepting what we believe is wrong or capitulation. It does mean respect and compassion which is far easier to do and feel if we understand other people.” (Sacramental Living)

"Reality can be known in three ways: 1) through the"eye of the senses" which is empirical science; 2) through the"eye of reason" which consist of logic, reason and the mind; and 3) through the"eye of contemplation" which is part of the spiritual nature of man which is expressed through prayer and worship." (Pitirm Sorokin)

“We humbly accept the fact that when we speak of absolute values, we are dealing with truths beyond our intellectual capabilities and experience.... we are at the very least obligated to be open to and tolerate of the views of others. Even the most complete and comprehensive sentence or definition of God can neither appropriate nor approach the fullness of the divine nature which always remains, incomprehensible, indeterminable and unqualified.” (Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew)

“While we may humbly disagree on the partial truth we know dimly about God, we in fact approach one another in our recognition that the absolute truth cannot be conceived, contained, or exhausted.” (Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew)

“The word secular should never be confused with atheist. Instead it refers to a separation between our daily life and God.” (Fr Stephen Freeman)

"Secularism is the compartmentalization of God and religion, and everything else, into autonomous and unrelated parts of our lives. Secularism does not deny that God exists, but rather states that He has His place and does not necessarily affect other areas of our lives.” (Metropolitan Jonah)

“Searching the Scriptures restores our right perspective on life. Secular humanism refers to a world devoid of God, or marginalizes God as an idea confined to people with a particular interest in religion. Scripture, by contrast, approaches God as the primary actor amidst all of human history. He alone offers salvation to all nations, and He alone makes sense of everything that bewilders us.” (Dynamis 1/16/2015)

“The secular worldview says there is only this world. The here-and-now material universe is the only reality. The natural is real, there is no supernatural. The immanent is real, there is no transcendent..." (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"There is no separation …between the"sacred” and the"secular”: the whole of life is lived as"before the face of God” (David Atkinson)

"Some people call themselves atheists, but they do not know that in their hearts they long after God. For when someone yearns for justice, love and truth, he is really yearning after God." (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“The true atheist is either foolish or wicked—foolish because he ignores the evidence that God exists or wicked because he refuses to live by God’s truths." (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 14:1-3)

“The defiance of the good atheist hurled at an apparently ruthless and idiotic cosmos is really an unconscious homage to something in or behind that cosmos which he recognizes as infinitely valuable and authoritative: for if mercy and justice were really only private whims of his own with no objective and impersonal roots, and if he realized this, he could not go on being indignant. The fact that he arraigns heaven itself for disregarding them means that at some level of his mind he knows they are enthroned in a higher heaven still.” (C.S. Lewis)

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their mouths and walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.” (Brennan Manning)

"We become atheists in practice when we rely more on ourselves than on God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 14:1-3)

“Genesis 4:16-26 describes the history of Cain and his descendants, whom we might call the first “secularists.” Cain shows us what becomes of human life when it is devoid of any awareness of God. Here we see into the heart of secular man: his existence is entirely organized around the material and psychological dimensions of life, where the passions reign over the spirit.” (Dynamis 3/12/2014)

“Reliance on human solutions to mankind’s intractable problems is bound to fail. Life will only become uglier and more bitter. We find wisdom when we quit trying to solve problems of the heart by technical means, for scientific methods alone never will relieve spiritual disorder.” (Dynamis 9/18/2013)

“Our greatest problems have spiritual roots: we disdain to lift our hands to God, worshipping and opening our hearts to His grace, which alone makes our works wholesome and worthy. Human methods alone will never solve our problems apart from a meek spirit and a pure heart.” (Dynamis 9/18/2013)

"For people of faith, God is in control, and God’s love will see the world through. Whereas for secular people, it’s all up to us. We’re alone here. That’s why I think that, for secular people, there can be an additional layer of urgency and despair.” (Larissa MacFarquhar)

“...the Christian view is that the meaning of life is to give up one’s individual interests for the sake of God and others, it is to give up one’s freedom in order to live according to God’s will and to the benefit of one’s neighbor. But this is directly opposed to how Americans are taught to live.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Most Americans are still drawing some water from the Christian well. But a growing number are inventing their own versions of what Christianity means, abandoning the nuances of traditional theology in favor of religions that stroke their egos and indulge or even celebrate their worst impulses." (Ross Douthat)

“...most young American adults are"practical Deists”—though few of them have ever heard the term…they see God as a being whose job it is to meet their needs. The implicit but strong cultural assumption of young adults is that God owes all but the most villainous people a comfortable life. This premise, however, inevitably leads to bitter disillusionment.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"A right conception of God is basic to practical Christian living. There is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God." (A.W. Tozer)

"Even when the Christian faith is not considered an outright fraud, the modern tendency is to consider it merely a useful myth for social control. From this perspective the Church is reduced to an ethical educator, social club, or"opiate of the people.” Claims to the divinity of Jesus help manage an unthinking, uncritical populace. We, on the contrary, boldly affirm that since"grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17), we are all called to repent of our opposition to Christ – moral, intellectual, and spiritual – so as to worship Him in purity.” (Dynamis 5/13/2014)

"Uninhibited pleasures in life are a principle reason for refusing to cultivate a robust faith. The world offers only what can be touched, consumed, held, and tasted. Committing to Christ may imply forgoing momentary pleasures. However, when we consider the confusion, bitterness, and sterility that often accompany unbridled indulgence, then the promises of the Gospel – love, hope, faith, life, light, integrity, and purity – shine brightly with beauty.” (Dynamis 2/10/2014)

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” (Søren Kierkegaard)

“Our society feeds us the lie that life is boring and meaningless unless it’s constantly filled with fun, success, money, and recognition. Almost subconsciously, we focus on what we are getting out of life rather than what we are putting into it.” (Kasey Van Norman)

“Man is becoming as narrowly"practical” as the irrational animals. In lecturing to popular audiences I have repeatedly found it almost impossible to make them understand that I recommended Christianity because I thought its affirmations to be objectively true. They are simply not interested in the question of truth or falsehood. They only want to know if it will be comforting, or"inspiring,” or socially useful.” (C.S Lewis)

“The difference between believers and atheists or agnostics is that the secular crowd does not believe that anything exists beyond what can be sensed or measured. Everything is a this-world quantity. Christians understand the world to be a shadow of the reality of its Creator and that this greater reality-God-is rightly the focus of our lives.” (John Granger)

“Modern culture tells us there are no moral absolutes and everyone must choose his or her own standard for right and wrong, yet it then turns and says we must respect human rights and honor the freedom and dignity of every human being."But on what basis?” Nietzsche would ask, if there are no moral absolutes, then how can you arbitrarily declare that there are? If human beings are simply the product of the same natural processes that formed rust and rocks, why does every person deserve to be treated with equality and dignity?” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"Many contemporary secular philosophies have concluded that the world, and humanity itself are a cruel joke, a freak accident…Such notions have become the unquestioned and implied worldview of many leaders in the academy, in elite mass media, and in the arts. No wonder then so many gifted people are plagued by depression and joylessness.” (Kyriacos Markides)

"A main plot device of The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the corrupting effect of the Ring of Power. When you put on the Ring, it magnifies your own will to power; and in doing so, it turns you evil. In a number of places where one of the hobbits puts on the ring, the description says something to this effect: ‘When the Ring goes on, you become the only real thing. You are a little, dark, solid rock in a ghostly world. Everything else is vague and shadowy.’ In some ways, our contemporary culture operates like the Ring of Power, magnifying the self-serving nature of sin in every human heart. It tells us in myriad ways every day that nobody has the right to tell us what is right or wrong for us—that in the end there is no standard or authority higher than the Choosing Self.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"The spirit of contemporary culture is foolishness. It does not invite anyone to consider God. Thus, many do not think to turn to the Lord"until they [are] struck”. What an accurate definition of godlessness! And the"nicest” people are guilty of indifference.” (Dynamis 4/2/2013)

“Life is deep and simple, and what our society gives us is shallow and complicated.” (Fred Rogers)

“The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life but that it bothers him less and less." (Vaclav Havel)

“Philosophers have been debating the existence of God for millennia, and I will not bring an end to that debate here. But again, I want to appeal to your common sense—something philosophers don’t always have in abundance. Doesn’t it make more sense to believe that our story has an Author than to believe that everything we see and experience is meaningless and without purpose?” (Richard Stearns)

"It is a mistake to think that the Christian worldview is operating only when we are doing such overtly Christian activities. Instead, think of the gospel as a set of glasses through which you"look” at everything else in the world.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Truth [Christ] becomes the foundation for our worldview, and worldview becomes the basis for our actions and behavior.” (Richard Stearns)

“Whether we acknowledge it or not, every one of us has a worldview, and it influences almost every dimension of our lives: our attitudes, our values, our decisions, and our behavior. It influences the way we relate to our neighbors, our communities, and even other nations. It influences our education, our career choices, and the way we use our money. Perhaps most importantly, our worldview even influences the way we understand our faith.” (Richard Stearns)

“A world-affirming world view is one that essentially sees the world as good despite evils and sufferings and people of this view try their best to change the world for the better believing that God’s grace and love is with them in their struggles. People of world-denying views see the world as a place of suffering and evil and strive to detach themselves from it. Secularists tend to think everything can be solved through human ingenuity and reason and that since there is no God there is no real meaning in life other than what we decide to give meaning to.” (Os Guinness, Sacramental Living)

“We had better stand on a foundation of rock because we live in a world where the rain beats down, the waters are rising, and the winds will blow and beat against us. It is a world that unrelentingly assaults our senses and confronts our values. It is a world filled with temptations— money, sex, power, fame, and pleasure. It is a world characterized by crime, violence, racism, poverty, injustice, inequality, and deceit. We live in a world that constantly challenges our understanding of truth and demands that we make choices. And those choices matter.” (Richard Stearns)

“Almost no one argues that the world is just fine as it is and that there is nothing wrong with the human race. So what can change our condition? If you are looking for the Christian answer to that major philosophical question, then you have to change the question a little bit. The right question is, Who can put us right? And the answer, Christians believe, is Jesus.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"To fall into pessimism …occurs when men do not wait upon God.” (Dynamis 4/16/2013)"Unbelief blinds people to the truth and robs them of hope.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 13:58)

“If we have come from random insignificance and when we die there is nothing but insignificance, then there is no significance in between.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)"Everything is relative (except perhaps for the statement that"everything is relative”).” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

"Just as the Christian has his moments when the clamour of this visible and audible world is so persistent and the whisper of the spiritual world so faint that faith and reason can hardly stick to their guns, so, as I well remember, the atheist too has his moments of shuddering misgiving, of an all but irresistible suspicion that old tales may after all be true, that something or someone from outside may at any moment break into his neat, explicable, mechanical universe.” (C. S. Lewis)

“We are confronted today with a choice no less momentous than the Israelites’ choice between the Lord and Baal. Here is a broad road that leads down to destruction; there, a way narrow and difficult that leads upward to life (Matt. 7:13–14). God doesn’t share devotion with anything or anyone. We have to make the choice to be on God’s side—we cannot serve two masters. We will either gratify self, conforming to the corrupt pattern of this present age, or glorify Him who alone is worthy of worship.” (Foundation Study Bible, 1 Kings 18:21)

“We must realize that many “truths” are promoted, even pressed upon us, for unthinking adoption. Bullied by a welter of competing ideas and demands, it is easy to lose our way. Be alert against indifference to divine truth, for our secular culture is actually resurgent paganism. Its idolatry is akin to the Canaanite cults that spread across the Promised Land prior to the coming of the ancient people of God: indulgent and heartless, but crafted to appear superficially attractive.” (OCPM 5/29/2016)

“For many contemporaries God has dwindled into a noble abstraction, a tendency of history, a goal of evolution; has thinned out into a concept useful for organizing world peace—a good thing as an idea. But not the Word made flesh, who died for us and rose again from the dead. Not a Personality that a man can feel any love for.” (Joy Davidman)

“Seldom in the history of mankind has there been such real concern for our fellow man, than there is today. There are the demands that poverty should be wiped out. There are the protests against the horror of war. There are the struggles against unjust racial discrimination. Concern about man and unconcern about God. Demand for action and disregard for prayer.” (Father Mark Gibbard)

“The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers the only antidote to the ills that plague our society." (Bill Bright and John Damoose)

“There are many devotees of the idolatrous cult of technical know-how…Many tragic and deadly problems hold the world in thrall: epidemics, wars, inexcusable hunger, repression, crime, despotism, and the loss of arable land and clean water. Many of these are intractable problems that technical solutions alone cannot fix…Technology and social engineering cannot correct people who devise wickedness and scheme evil on their beds.” (Dynamis 9/18/2013)

“Reliance on human solutions to mankind’s intractable problems is bound to fail. Life will only become uglier and more bitter. We find wisdom when we quit trying to solve problems of the heart by technical means, for scientific methods alone never will relieve spiritual disorder.” (OCPM 7/25/2016)

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