In reading again through Francis Schaeffer’s great book “The God Who Is There”, I’ve been struck afresh with this thought:
Atheists have no true and consistent basis upon which to distinguish between right and wrong. Though they might argue tooth-and-nail to the contrary, the reality is that they cannot make truly reasonable decisions concerning that which is ethical or non-ethical. At best, a basis is found by mutual agreement for the betterment of society. But as soon as one society disagrees with another about what is ethical, an unavoidable contradiction emerges. Moreover, history has shown that a ‘survival of the species’ approach does not give society a sufficient base for determining that which is ethical and that which is not.
This in contrast to the reality of a theistic worldview: Ethics flow from the basis of God’s revealed law. God’s law, in turn flows from His unchanging, constituent being–the very bedrock of reality, truth and holiness.
In the last few posts I’ve been explaining the basic idea behind this blog’s name (‘tolerated sojourner’). We’ve covered a bit of ground at this point, seeking to show that this expression is something that captures the tension of the biblical worldview itself. As exiles and sojourners, our eyes are always on the land: the blessed hope. But this hope must be set against the realities of time in which we now live and the land through which we now sojourn.
I’ve also mentioned that, in accordance with my aim for this blog, I feel that this is the perfect paradigm through which to write. However, describing this theme merely in terms of an overarching paradigm, would be to sell it short. So, I want to round up by saying that this is more than a paradigm for me. Much more. It is a truth that always serves to bring me into spiritual focus and set my heart right as I move along in the journey.
Maybe, at the end of the day, this is the real reason that I wanted to give the blog this title. It serves as a kind of theological shorthand, and keeps the truth constantly before me. Perhaps even more, it serves as a pilgrim heart-tattoo. Negatively, for fear that unless permanently held before my eyes, the memory might slip away. Positively, because to dwell on this theme always leaves my heart in a good place, and leaves my mind with a clear sense of perspective.
What do I mean? Well, in the next post I’ll say a bit more about this.