Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Worldview Premises: Culture vs Christianity

According to Paul David Tripp, current culture rests upon seven premises: (1) human beings are autonomous (not under authority); (2) pleasure is an ultimate end; (3) effort must be undertaken to meet "my needs”; (4) love of self is the greatest need; (5) “bigger pleasure is better”; (6) “a constant pursuit of instant gratification” is essential to my pleasure; and (7) physical is more important than spiritual.

All of these premises are contrary to the Biblical worldview, in which: (1) humans are not autonomous, but rather theonomous (our authority, whether we submit to Him or not, is God); (2) pleasure is good, but never as an end in itself - personal holiness and the glory of God are the ultimate ends; but they go together for the Christian, and there is pleasure in seeking them (for the joy of the Lord is our strength); (3) our focus should not be on meeting "my needs," because we know that God provides for our needs; instead our focus should be on the things of God and His revealed will; (4) love of God is the greatest need, and the love of others flows from that; there's nothing wrong with love of self, but we must allow that to overflow to others (love your neighbor as yourself); (5) bigger pleasure is still only temporal at best and sinfully achieved at worst; therefore, holiness and obedience are better than temporal pleasures, because they form a personal character that is prepared to embrace eternal pleasure that starts here and continues forever in the next life; (6) instant gratification may enhance temporal pleasure, but patience is an underestimated virtue (the best things come to those who wait); I can be joyful regardless of circumstances, because God is good; (7) the natural man cannot understand spiritual things, so "physical" certainly seems more important than "spiritual," but once we have the Holy Spirit, we learn to realize the infinite value of perfect and permanent "spiritual" realities, compared with the imperfect, temporal, and constantly fading "physical" experiences.

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