Principle #3: Test the Idol: Does It Contradict What We Know
about the World?
- “We can be confident that every idol-based worldview will fail.” It will be unable to account for what is knowable by general revelation. Explain why. Illustrate by using materialism as an example.
A materialistic worldview cannot account for the beginning of the universe, which would have had to be an immaterial, personal entity. Materialism holds that all that exists is the material world, but the material world began. Moreover, materialism cannot account for us as persons. Persons only come from persons. As persons, we have something else materialism cannot account for; free will. If all we are is molecules in motion, free will does not exist, and if it does not exist, we cannot know it or anything else.
- Explain how every idol-based worldview leads people to cognitive dissonance—a gap between what their worldview tells them and what they know from general revelation.
This gap between worldview and experience shows up in the case of free will. Philosophers will affirm determinism and free will at the same time. They cannot deny free will and they WILL not deny determinism.
- Explain how reductionism is a strategy of suppression. How is it used to suppress the evidence for God from general revelation?
When faced with this cognitive dissonance, the tendency is to reduce free will to an illusion. This, however, does not solve the knowledge problem. Some even go so far as to call consciousness an illusion. The problem with that is that illusions are experiences of consciousness. You can’t make this stuff up.