The Supernatural Universe

At present, we are working with the light of truth presented by Dr. Francis Schaeffer from his book True Spirituality where we are discussing the basic considerations of the Christian life, or true Christianity.

Part 21  The next chapter…

The Supernatural Universe 

Our generation is overwhelmingly naturalistic.  There is an almost complete commitment to the concept of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system.  This is its distinguishing mark.  If we are not careful, even though we say we are biblical Christians and supernaturalists, nevertheless the naturalism of our generation tends to come in upon us.  It may infiltrate our thinking without our recognizing its coming, like a fog creeping through a window opened only half an inch.  As soon as this happens, Christians begin to lose the reality of their Christian lives:  that while we say we believe one thing, we allow the spirit of the naturalism of the age to creep into our thinking unrecognized.  All too often the reality is lost because the ceiling is down too close upon our heads. It is too low.  And the ceiling which closes us in is the naturalistic type of thinking.   

All of the reality of Christianity rests upon the reality of the existence of an infinite, supernatural, personal God, and the reality of the supernatural view of the total universe.   

What does this mean…naturalistic view….supernatural view?  According to the biblical view, there are two parts to reality:  the natural world—that which we see normally—and the supernatural part.  When we use the word; supernatural,” however, we must be careful.  The supernatural is really no more unusual in the universe from the biblical viewpoint, that what we normally call the natural.  The only reason we call it the supernatural part is that usually we cannot see it.  That is all.  

Schaeffer suggest that his may be illustrated by two chairs; or two halves.  And there are men who sit in each chair.  The men who sit in these chairs look at the universe in two different ways.  We are all sitting in one or the other of these chairs at every single moment of our lives.  The first man sits in his chair and faces this total reality of the universe, the seen part and the normally unseen part, and consistently sees truth against this background.  The Christian is a man who has said, “I sit in this chair.”  The unbeliever, however, is the man who sits in the other chair, intellectually.  He sees only the natural part of the universe, and interprets truth against that background.  Let us see that these two positions cannot both be true.  One is true: one is false.  If indeed there is only the natural portion of the universe, with a uniformity of natural causes in a closed system, then to sit in the other chair is to delude oneself.  If, however, there are the two halves of reality, then to sit in the naturalist’s chair is to be extremely naïve and to misunderstand the universe completely.  From the Christian viewpoint, no man has ever been so naïve, nor so ignorant of the universe, as is twenty first century man.    

Schaeffer goes on to say….however, to be a true, Bible-believing Christian, we must understand that it is not enough simply to acknowledge that the universe has these two halves.  The Christian life means living in the two halves of reality; the supernatural and the natural parts.  I would suggest that it is perfectly possible for a Christian to be so infiltrated by the ‘thinking’ that is prevalent around us and pounded into our educational systems, the media, the ideas expressed within the world of entertainment, that he lives most of his life as though the supernatural were not there.  Indeed, I would suggest that all of us do this to some extent.  The supernatural does not touch the Christian only at the new birth and then at his death, or at the second coming of Christ, leaving the believer on is own in a naturalistic world during all the time in between.  Nothing could be further from the biblical view.  Being a biblical Christian means living in the supernatural now—not only theoretically, but in practice.  If a man sits in the one chair and denies the existence of the supernatural portion of the world, we say he is an unbeliever.  What shall we call ourselves when we sit in the other chair but live as though the supernatural were not there?   

This means, as a Christian, that we must understand–intellectually, with the windows open–that the universe is not what our generation says it is, seeing only the naturalistic universe.  We must live in demonstration and belief in a personal God who objectively exists and who is Creator and sovereign Lord over ‘all’ aspects of life and existence.   

Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc

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