The Bible teaches that though man is hopelessly lost, he is not nothing. Man is lost because he is separated from God, his true reference point, by true moral guilt. But he will never be nothing. Therein lies the tragedy of his lostness. For man to be lost, in all his uniqueness and wonder, is truly tragic.
We must not belittle man’s achievements. In science for instance, man’s achievements demonstrate that he is not junk, though the ends to which he often puts them show how lost he is. Man is special and significant. Man can influence history, including his own eternity and that of others. The Christian view sees man, as man, as something wonderful.
In contrast to this there is the rationalist who has determinedly put himself at the center of the universe and insists on beginning autonomously with only the knowledge he can gather, and has ended up finding himself quite meaningless. It comes to the same thing as Zen-Buddhism, which expresses so accurately the view of modern man: “Man enters the water and causes no ripple.” The Bible says he causes ripples that never end. As a sinner, man cannot be selective in his significance, so he leaves behind bad as well as good marks in history; but he certainly is not zero.
Christianity is a system which is composed of a set of ideas which can be discussed. By system we do not mean a scholastic abstraction. We mean a total, from beginning to end, system with cause and effect and answers and solutions. The Bible does not set out unrelated thoughts. The system it sets forth has a beginning and moves from that beginning in a noncontradictory way. The beginning is the existence of the infinite-personal God as Creator of all else. Christianity is not just a vague set of incommunicable experiences, based on a totally unverifiable ‘leap in the dark.’ Neither conversion (the beginning of the Chrisitan life), nor spirituality (the growth) should be such a leap. Both are firmly related to the God who is there and the knowledge He has given us – and both involve the whole man.
Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – Escape From Reason