It’s not a very satisfying revenge, but an authoritative proofer nixed my favorite phrase in a little paragraph I just wrote for my current project at BJU Press, one focused on biblical worldview and the CFR metanarrative. This phrase must see the light of day—or, well…, the murky light of an obscure blog! See if you can guess which phrase it was…
You can only know a pole is bent if you have some idea of what it looked like when it was straight. And that’s why the Creation, Fall, Redemption metanarrative of Scripture is so important. It tells us that every created thing was originally good, and it gives us guidance as to what that good looked like (what we’ve called “creational norms”). This guidance is something other prominent worldviews out there fail to give.
Here are just two examples:
- Classic secularism (see Government unit) steadfastly refuses to describe what the ideal world would look like (what the pole looks like when it isn’t bent). They point out that different cultures and religions disagree over the shape of the perfect world, and if you try to claim that your view is right, someone else will just come along and offer a different opinion. Then you’ll have a fight on your hands. Better not to talk about the pole.
- In philosophical materialism, matter is all that exists. Who can say which states of matter are “good” and which are “bad”? They’re just there. They’re just obeying physical laws; they’re not guided by any intelligence. Birthday parties happen, genocide happens. The Big Bang giveth and the Big Bang taketh away. Blessed be the Bang.
But the Bible gives us the power to make moral judgments, in part because it tells us that the world has a structure, and a good one. It isn’t just churchy, religious stuff that can be good (that’s the way other religions tend to view the world). No, the New Testament says that “everything created by God is good” (1 Tim. 4:4). Mere stuff can be good. Not neutral. Good.