Take a sampling of today’s political talk radio and TV programs, and you’ll hear vigorous arguments about solutions to the world’s visible problems. These impassioned people believe they are really getting at the “stuff” of life, but sadly, this vapid marketplace of ideas never is able to deliver the goods and answer the questions behind the questions.
Surely there must be a path from mere talk to discovering ultimate issues such as truth, goodness, and beauty. But we are hopeless if we do not have the Word of God as our compass. How else can we get to these issues? Only the Christian worldview can make sense of reality — a reality of absolutes and universals, where invariant laws are possible, and truth, goodness, and beauty are definable.
Faith in the one, true God and His Word produces men and women who rise above the speculations of talk-show hosts and who make a real difference in the culture. Many of us are familiar with the “hall of faith” of Hebrews 11. These trophies of God’s grace are magnificently displayed for the church as examples of how to obey God and manifest His presence in our relationships and vocations. Just as the heavens declare God’s glory, real people exhibit God’s reality: the artist working in post-9/11 New York, the medical student in his first hospital internship, the mother helping her recently divorced daughter with the kids.
The first verse of Hebrews 11 makes clear the fuel that fired the engines of these ordinary men and women: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” All these saints saw something beyond their present life situations. The invisible was visible to them. They did not lean on their own understanding; rather, they feared the invisible Lord and obeyed Him by faith.
Imagine God’s people leading today’s culture out of its nihilistic despair. Imagine them reflecting the objective standards for truth, goodness, and beauty. The idolater takes refuge in lies and suppresses the truth in unrighteousness, leading to futility. The Christian embraces reality as it is revealed in God’s Word. If we are going to avoid derivative imitations of culture in our art, music, literature, families, churches, politics, classrooms, and businesses, everything we believe, do, and say must be informed by God’s reality and His revealed truth.