How Does Our Christian Faith Match up with Human Experience?

How Does Our Christian Faith Match up with Human Experience?

In some ways, worldview is a difficult thing to work with because there is no physical evidence available to empirically prove any particular point of view. We simply cannot show any kind of physical artifact which unequivocally establishes any worldview belief in physical terms. After all, a worldview is a set of assumptions.

But this does not mean that just any point of view is correct. Contradictory beliefs cannot both be true at the same time. There is something that is objectively true and we ought to be able to figure out what it is. And if something is true, everything else has some element of falsity to it.

The fact that we don’t have “material” proof to support our beliefs also does not mean that it is impossible for us to have confidence that our worldview represents actual Truth. There is evidence that can be brought to bear. It is just that we have to use an approach which does not rely exclusively on empirical evidence. Notice that I said exclusively. Where empirical evidence is available (scientific enquiry, archeological evidence, etc.) the worldview beliefs must match up. While this kind of evidence can’t prove a worldview, it can help point us in the right direction and it can serve to disprove wrong directions. But there are also other kinds of evidence which can be brought into play to help us out.

Today we are looking at one of those other lines of evidence. As we live life out in the world, there are certain things that are common to the experience of all humans. No matter what our worldview, we all deal with certain issues. As we look at these matters, we necessarily evaluate them based on our worldview.

This, though, brings us to an interesting point. Some of these common human experiences do not fit very well with the beliefs of some worldviews. In cases where they do not fit well, the worldview must come up with some way of explaining why its beliefs do not match up with our life experience. It must judge either that the experience we have in life is not real or that we must understand the experience in a way that is different than what seems right on the surface.

While this, by itself, is not empirical proof that a particular worldview represents actual truth, the degree to which our human experience and the beliefs of the worldview match up is a good indicator that it does, indeed, represent the actual structure of reality. Let’s take a look, now, at some of the ways that we experience life and see how our Christian faith matches up with them.

1) We experience life as personal, self-aware beings.

  • The Bible teaches that God is a personal, self aware person and that mankind is created in his image.

2) We have a sense that there is an actual transcendent existence. Human beings in virtually every society throughout the ages have had a sense that there is an afterlife and that there is a God.

  • Based on the Biblical revelation, God is understood to be a transcendent person who exists in a spiritual reality outside of the physical universe.

3) We experience life in relationships. The structure of the human psyche and social organization is based on human relationships.

  • Scripture teaches that God desires personal interaction with mankind and has provided a means by which individuals may know him in a personal relationship.
  • The Biblical account of creation also indicates that mankind was created to live in relationship with his fellow human beings.

4) We experience life based on spiritual qualities. Mankind operates in this world as a spiritual being. This is manifested in such things as: self-conscious personality, intelligence, morality, creativity, ability to self-consciously communicate, etc.

  • The Bible teaches that God is a spiritual being with the qualities mentioned above, and that man is made in his image.

5) We experience life based on natural laws.

  • The Biblical revelation affirms that material reality is based on a fixed set of natural laws, while also acknowledging that God can supernaturally intervene in material reality.

6) We are capable of knowledge.

  • God is revealed in Scripture as a person with knowledge, and mankind is created in his image.

7) We have a sense of morality.

  • God is revealed in Scripture as a being with a particular character which defines the boundaries of morality.
  • Man is understood to be created in the image of God. This includes a sense of morality as an innate part of our being and is evidenced by the fact that we have a conscience.

8) We experience time as linear. Time only has meaning within the context of a temporal physical structure.

  • Scripture reveals that God has established material reality as a time based, temporary reality.

9) We experience the world as an objective reality.

  • God is revealed in scripture as an objectively real person who made the material universe as an objectively real creation.

In this line of worldview evidence we have not tried evaluate how non-Christian worldviews match up with human experience. We have only tried to show that our Christian faith corresponds nicely. This give us powerful evidence that our Christian faith matches up with the way reality is structured.

If this were the only evidence available, it would not be enough to be totally convincing. Fortunately there are other kinds of evidence which also back up the contention that our Christian faith represents actual Truth. But the fact that it does match up so nicely provides us with very strong support and confidence that what God has revealed to us in Scripture does indeed represent the Truth.

© 2007 Freddy Davis