In the soon to be blockbuster best-seller, The Persuasive Christian Parent, I tell the story of “the clicker.” Yes, that clicker, more commonly known as the remote control. As you’ll read in the book, the clicker is a great tool for engaging popular culture with our children, and teaching them the incredible explanatory power of the Christian worldview. An example comes from a movie we recently watched called Conspiracy. This gut wrenching film dramatizes a day long conference that took place on January 20, 1942, where Nazi officials discuss the “Final Solution of the Jewish question.” This solution was of course the attempt to murder all Jews in Germany, and it was hoped beyond. The cold, calculating demeanor of most of the participants as portrayed in the film is chilling. To figure out who would be included, they discussed blood percentages, parentage, and whether they were German citizens or not. The goal was complete extermination, and it was difficult at times to realize they were talking about human beings, not animals or something less. The clicker got a good workout.
According to the current secularist worldview the only sure epistemological foundation (basis for knowing) is science. At some point in the last hundred or so years through popular culture, education, and media, science replaced religion in the modern imagination as the governing authority of how we’re to run our lives. But something unexpected has happened on the way to the coronation of King Science.
It has long been been assumed by secular, educated Western cultural elites that growing scientific knowledge would one day make religion superfluous. Science would supposedly tell us everything we need to know, and once we knew everything God would no longer be necessary to explain what can’t be explained. Scientific knowledge, however, is increasingly leading us in just the opposite direction. On both the micro and macro level, from the tiniest nano particle, to the existence of the universe itself, the amazing explosion of scientific knowledge is leading to very uncomfortable, for the secularist, metaphysical questions.
A popular narrative in secular Western culture goes like this. There was a time called The Dark Ages when religion reigned in Western civilization, and all people were benighted, miserable, and poor. Then came a Renaissance when ancient literature and languages were rediscovered after religion had ruined everything. Once Western thinkers realized that reason was the highest form of attaining knowledge, religion and God were superfluous. This period of time was of course called The Enlightenment. During these years math and science made great strides in knowledge and discovery, and it was obvious to Western educated elites that religion’s days were numbered because math and science could tell us everything we need to know about reality.
The fundamental assumption of secular elites, and the narrative pushed in many overt and covert ways, has been that the more science advances, the less plausible religion becomes, and one day it will fade into irrelevance. Unfortunately for these elites that is proving, for them, to be uncomfortably wrong. In fact, the explosion of scientific knowledge has completely turned this secularist narrative on its head! Why? Because the fundamental assumption upon which their worldview is based is proving increasingly implausible and impossible to defend. That would be materialism.