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The caption under a Reuters photo accompanying an anti-Christian article reads: The power of religion in the US defies logic and science.
Then there is this:
“I simply don’t know how so many Americans have remained impervious to evolution, 162 years after the publication of Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species and why two-thirds of the population still believe in God while the rest of the western world has largely secularized, adhering to science rather than belief.”
This is a pull quote from an op-ed written by Alan Kohler in The New Daily. The headline of this article was, “Pray for America as Radical Christian Right Vies for Power.” His bio lists him as an “Award-winning business journalist.” It also notes that he is “Editor in Chief of The Eureka Report, and an ABC regular” who writes twice weekly for The New Daily.
In the article Kohler stated that he spent his time over the 2020 Christmas holiday season reading in an attempt to understand “why America is still largely a fundamentalist Christian nation, having started life as a secular Enlightenment project in 1776.”
In an attempt to back up that point of view he said, “It’s true that the place was settled 200 years earlier by deeply religious Puritans, but neither the US Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence mentions God, and the framers of the Constitution saw themselves as Enlightenment thinkers, inspired by Voltaire and Hume among others to entrench the separation of church and state.”
You would think that someone as supposedly intelligent at Mr. Kohler would be better informed. But his comments show just how clueless he is. He is so ensconced in his own naturalistic beliefs that he is totally and completely lacking in knowledge and understanding about the two things he was writing about in his article – the nature of the Christian faith, and the history of the United States. It is not that information about these topics is unavailable. Rather, he is so immersed in his naturalistic echo chamber that he doesn’t consume anything that is not written or spoken by people who believe like he does. On top of that, he doesn’t seem to have even a little bit of curiosity to search out the truth.
But lest you think Mr. Kohler is an outlier, you need to recognize that around half the country has the same mindset he does. In fact, I frequently have dialogs on social media with people – just regular people – who share the same mindset and use the same arguments he puts forth.
To most Evangelical Christians, this just seems plain weird. How could someone who is, evidently, highly educated, and has grown up in America, possibly be so clueless about this topic? And the answer is, Kohler, and those who think like him, literally live in a different reality, with an entirely different understanding of what is real and what is fantasy.
While it is obvious to nearly everyone that this difference exists, its magnitude is not obvious to the vast majority of people. And the reason it is not obvious is because it is hard for anyone to imagine that what they consider to be real could be disputed by other people. Yet that is exactly the situation that exists. It exists for the non-Christian as they believe that Christians live in a fantasy world, and it exists for Christians as they believe non-believers to be merely looking for an excuse to reject God and his requirements. It doesn’t seem to register with most people that those on the other side actually believe, with all their hearts, that their beliefs are true.
For Christians, as we live in the pluralistic world that now exists, if we want to have any possibility of leading people to faith in Christ, we MUST come to understand this difference, as well as how to communicate across that barrier. After all, why would non-believers want to come to Christ if they really believe Christianity is pure religious mumbo jumbo?
The concepts most Christians hold regarding Christian discipleship training do not correspond to the world that exists in the 21st century. We must reimagine it to include notions that take us beyond the traditional inward focus, and expand it using a worldview paradigm. Oh, the old approach will still be useful when we interact with people who already have an inclination to accept that the Christian faith is true. But it will never do if we wish to reach the half of American society that has completely moved into a naturalistic worldview reality.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
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