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Christian Worldview: Ultimate Reality

Introduction

Ultimate reality is an existing actuality that surpasses the physical and non-physical dimensions of the world. It is absolute power, a central connecting point, and the source of everything that prevails in the universe. In the Christian denomination, this phrase refers to a transcendent presence, a supreme being, or an eternal being that governs the world (“The Biblical-Christian View,” 2017). Therefore, it is a powerful entity that exists in an all-inclusive actuality that surpasses all things. Numerous verses in the Bible support the Christian beliefs regarding the existence of a supreme being. God is portrayed as an ultimate reality which endures eternally. He is termed as omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. The definitions of this phrase vary across religions and cultures with each one bearing its description and name for the concept.

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The Source of Everything

The universe is materialized from nothing through the work of God. The book of Genesis recounts that God created the universe from nothing and, therefore, everything that exists in the universe is the expression of God’s will. Genesis 1:2 says that the earth was dark, empty, and formless until God starting speaking life into existence (New King James Version, 2011). David in Psalms 33:9 related the source of everything to the “word” stating that “For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (New King James Version, 2011). The second source of everything can be accredited to the trinity. In the Bible – Genesis 1:26, God is quoted saying “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Hermann & Min, 2019). This verse suggests that there was a form of existence with God as he created the universe. Although the literature does not specify who God was talking to, several Christian scholars believe that God was referring to the trinity. Besides, the trinity is the only polytheistic concept that is mentioned in the Bible. Based on Christian accounts of creation, the source of everything in life is God, the word, and the trinity.

The Beginning of the Nature of the World

There is evidence from several biblical texts indicating that the universe is not eternal. The universe had a beginning – Genesis’ account of creation, but it also has an end – revelation’s account of the world and humanity’s destiny. The Big Bang Theory is the most widely accepted scientific evidence that proves the beginning of the world. Other evidence associated with the beginning of the world includes the cosmic expansion of the universe, astrophysical observations, and radiation echoes. Various biblical references show that it is God that spreads out heavens. For example, the prophet Isaiah asserted that God sits at the center of the earth and spreads out its inhabitants throughout the planet (New King James Version, 2011; Isaiah 40: 22). The concept is supported by modern cosmology, which states that the universe expands from a central point. If there is a considerable level of proof revealing the world’s inception or beginning, then it is basic logic to postulate that it also has an ending. Like Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity predicted, the universe has no eternity, and all physical matter has an end, following the deficiency of gravity, and so does human life.

Good, Orderly and Intelligible Nature of the World

The world’s nature is fundamentally good because it fulfills people and gives a sense of purpose. Humans’ ultimate need is to be happy, although happiness can be meaningless without the knowledge of evil or good. The latter refers to something desirable, while wrongdoing is defined as the absence of good. Loosely translated, virtuousness is superior over wickedness because it can prevail without it, and evil only exists to oppose good. Happiness exists for the sake of existing, making it a natural occurrence. Because good occurs naturally, then the world’s nature is also good. Christian theism underscores the fact that God is an organized being, and the world He created is in perfect order to reveal his glory. On the other hand, naturalism describes the world as an orderly system that is mediated by natural law. Both worldviews seem to support that the world is a coherent system. Philosophers that support the notion that the world is unintelligent often associate their viewpoint with the idea that the world is disorderly and random. However, from the analysis indicated above, it is evident that the word is indeed organized and therefore, intelligible.

A Human Being

The relationship between humans and God is integral in all religious groups. There is a substantial amount of literature, including philosophical, scientific, and religious texts that attempt to describe God. However, the theological and philosophical views of what defines an individual are limited. People have intrinsic capabilities that differentiate them from all life forms and technology, for instance, robot-like humans. First, the human experience draws a distinction between people and other creations or entities. Unlike animals and robots, individuals attach meaning to every experience. For example, through experience, a person can learn and expand his or her knowledge. On the other hand, machines cannot learn anything outside the programming domain regardless of their years in operation. Individuals can analyze past events and associate these incidents with the present. A human is an entity that can attach meaning to an encounter, has free will, and an intrinsic moral compass.

Th Body and Soul of Human Beings

The dualism of life is a familiar concept that has been accepted in many disciplines, including the medical field. The mind is typically correlated with character and personality, while the brain is associated with reasoning, emotion, language, and motor control. Dualism is an approach to human life based on the idea that the mind and body are separate elements. The concept asserts that humans have a physical brain, but they also have a mind tied to their consciousness. A brain is an organ that can be physically observed and touched, but the mind cannot be perceived. This assertion highlights that there is something more than the visible and non-physical matter that exists.

However, the stance that an entity prevails outside the physical has been confronted by various neuroscientists. To illustrate the impossibility of the brain’s existence, neuroscientists have demonstrated that brain injury can alter human personality (Norup & Mortensen, 2015). If the mind were a real and separate entity from the brain, it would be impossible for this body part to affect personality. A second reasoning relates to the conception that the existence of non-physical matter is antithetical to the basic concepts of human evolution. Since humans evolved from physical matter, it is absurd to introduce non-physical matter along the sequence or series of evolution.

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From a cultural view, different cultures and mythologies taught on the actuality of an external force outside the physical domain. For example, the Chinese believed in a vital force that existed outside living matter called the “qi” or “chi.” Chi relates to material energy or life force, which is distinct from the physical body. Several Indian practices such as yoga, martial arts, and medicine were founded on the concept of the presence of energies or life forces that permeates all levels of inanimate objects’ reality (“Spirit, soul and body,” 2020). The Bible, on the other hand, teaches of physical and spiritual death. Apostle Paul asserted that after physical death, believers are spiritually reunited with God (New King James Version, 2011; 2 Corinthians 5: 6-8). This verse underscores the distinction that exists between the body and spirit; they are separate from each other.

From the above analysis, it can be deduced that people have a body and a soul. Humans are primarily aware of the non-perceptible matter that can influence their body’s wellbeing. For example, research indicates that stress can harm the physical health of a person (“Spirit, soul and body,” 2020). While distress is intangible, its influence on the body can be visibly perceived. Therefore, the existence of the non-physical matter, for instance, the soul, that is distinct from flesh, i.e., the body is possible or real.

The Nature of Human’s Morality

The question of the nature of human morality lies in whether people are inherently good or learn to be good. Individuals have intrinsic moral values and judgments that underlie their decisions and practical considerations. There is adequate research evidencing that a person is naturally amoral (Al-Rodhan, 2019). The aforementioned nature is attributed to emotional weakness and egoism. For example, some behavioral psychologists argue that human choices are not free but conditioned by external factors. Human behaviors are impacted by exogenous influences, such as culture or religion. Since external factors affect an individual’s ethical compass, morality is not intrinsic (Al-Rodhan, 2019). Sociobiologists support this argument because they believe humans are naturally wired to make selfish choices to increase their chances of survival (egoism). Extensive research also shows that humans are more emotional than rational and, thus, tend to have a weak judgment (Al-Rodhan, 2019). Although influenced by personal beliefs, most moral accords are universal across different cross-cultural settings.

Furthermore, there is a connection between religion and morality in the Bible; this correlation is based primarily on God’s command. For instance, in the second chapter of Genesis, God commanded Adam to eat or source food from any tree within the garden except that which gives knowledge of evil and good (New King James Version, 2011). However, they failed to heed the decree and ate from the tree. They later gained knowledge of their nakedness and were abashed; this caused them to hide. Eve and Adam were expelled from the garden following their disobedience since they ate from the tree of wisdom (New King James Version, 2011). From the description above, it is evident that they disobeyed God, which consequently typifies the scenario as a fall from God’s will – sin. The story of Abraham (his acquiescence to God), the Israelites, and the ten commandments also underscore the element of morality.

The Ability to Acquire Knowledge of the World and God

Humans can acquire knowledge of the world through revelation, which refers to the difference between God’s wisdom and that of man. God is all-knowing, self-contained, and did not learn anything; instead, He is the wellspring of all knowledge. Man’s cognizance is limited and dependent on external sources. God can reveal his know-how to humans through the scripture or mystical appearances, such as the incarnation of Jesus. There are three significant views of knowledge: secular humanism, theistic humanism, and Christian theism. Secular humanism asserts that insight can be derived through deductive or inductive reasoning and sensory perception. Theistic humanism posits that knowledge can be acquired from both religious revelation and reasoning. For example, humans can depend on God for interpretation, but at the same time, use their reasoning and logic to obtain information. Christian humanism believes that all knowledge originates from God and is dependent on His interpretation.

A defining feature of the human and transcendence relationship is characterized by moral accountability and free will. The Protestant and Roman Catholic churches universally accept the analogy of moral liberty and free will. The latter is based on the notion that people have the capacity to choose and make decisions independently without any type of conditioning. In most religions, individuals’ moral actions significantly affected their relationship with God or the transcendent power of their religion. Understanding the religious-moral expectations and making the free choice to comply with them typically gives humans the ability to have relationships with divine power. Through experience, humans can seek spiritual guidance and respond to religious questions.

The Source of The Problems Humans Face and the Solution

Humans experience a wide range of problems, including financial, insecurity, health, and spiritual issues. Christians believe that a sinful life is the source of most of the problems encountered by individuals. When Christians choose a sinful life, God separates Himself from them. In the books of Torah, it is shown how Israelites are repeatedly plagued by wars, disasters, conflicts, economic loss, and diseases when they disobey God (New King James Version, 2011; Judges 2: 12-14). However, not all the life problems endured by man result from sin. There are several illustrations in the Bible of saints that underwent tribulations and trials such as imprisonments, starvation, and torture despite being innocent (New King James Version, 2011). However, Christians can solve their distress or difficulties through fasting and prayer and seeking guidance from God. They can also desist from leading a sinful life to form deeper relationships with God.

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What Happens to a Person after Death?

There are two possible outcomes of life after death: reincarnation and “soul sleep.” The latter is a notion based on the belief that when humans die, their soul sleeps until the final day of judgment. Several theologists have refuted this conceptualization because it does not contain Biblical foundations. Reincarnation is established on the assumption that believers are reborn again after death. Jesus says that “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (New King James Version, 2011; John11: 25-26). Christians also believe that the human spirit is reunited with God after death.

Why It Is Possible to Know Anything

Humans can perceive with certainty only through knowledge (truth) or belief. Knowledge refers to a fact that has been ascertained and tested. When a truth has not been measured or determined, it is a belief. Humans can choose to accept anything they believe is valid or real. However, due to the unreliability of the human sensory system and emotive nature, they cannot objectively perceive through beliefs. On the other hand, man’s knowledge is dependent on external sources and, therefore, can be limited by the brain and language. However, humans can use intuition, empirical study, and reasoning to derive a fact and reach a conclusion without subjectivity.

How Humans Know Right from Wrong

Humans can determine right from wrong through moral subjectivism, cultural relativism, ethical egoism, divine commands, rationality, utilitarianism, and consequentialism. Moral subjectivism relates to the personal beliefs of an individual of what feels right or wrong. Cultural relativism refers to cultural values and principles that stipulate what is virtuous and dishonorable. Ethical egoism underscores the procedure of determining what is ethical from evil based on an individual’s self-interest. Divine command alludes to the guiding principles of the Supreme Being to his/her followers. Rationality is based on the Kantian theory, which posits that people ought to do what is right because it is their moral obligation. The utilitarianism theory asserts that people determine what is right from wrong, depending on the consequences of their actions.

The Meaning of Human History

The Bible provides or delineates the fundamental human history framework. This model outlines the four incidents that shape this particular history; they include creation (Ephesians 1:11 and Genesis 1), fall (Romans 8:20, Romans 5:12-19, and Genesis 3), redemption, and consummation (New King James Version, 2011). Consequently, it gives meaning to history by underscoring that it is non-cyclical and non-random. It can be traced back to its inception. It has an end and a path directed by God’s sovereign purpose, and it is not defined by continuous evolution and advancements. According to the Christian worldview, a man was intentionally created as per God’s plan, that would be uncovered as history or time ensued (Penner, 2020). People’s main end or their ultimate reason for their existence is to give God glory and enjoy His presence forever. However, this fellowship was fragmented or destroyed almost instantly, following the sin committed by Eve and Adam. This insubordination led to both spiritual and physical demise as well as the cursed earth or ground (Penner, 2020). God has been utilizing history to uncover his restoration and salvation plan for humans ever since.

Metanarrative and Personal, Life-Orientating Core Commitments

Metanarratives refer to recounts which attempt to tell the story of human creation and the meaning of life. However, each religion and culture have their narrative of historical human events. For instance, the Bible asserts that God’s divine will was for Jesus Christ to unite all elements of heaven and earth when the time of fulfillment comes (New King James Version, 2011; Ephesians 1: 9–10). This text reveals that God had a purpose for human life that would be achieved according to his timetable. Furthermore, it states that Jesus would be incarnated “But when the fulness of the time came;” this indicates that everything was happening on a pre-determined plan (New King James Version, 2011; Galatians 4: 4). When Jesus Christ was incarnated, it underscored the supreme plan of God on human life: a metanarrative. Additionally, the biblical passages in Hebrews can be traced back to the Old Testament; they emphasize that God’s ultimate plan for human life originates from the book of Genesis (New King James Version, 2011). The reincarnation of Jesus Christ fulfilled the purpose of God for human life: redemption. The core commitments consistent with the Christian worldview include morality and ethics, acceptable behaviors, repentance, and seeking the kingdom of God.

References

Al-Rodhan, N. (2019). A neuro-philosophy of human nature: Emotional amoral egoism and the five motivators of humankind. OpenMind – BBVA. Web.

Hermann, R. & Min, D. (2019). Why did God say: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness? The Outlaw Bible Student. Web.

New King James Version Bible. (2011). SABDA. Web.

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Norup, A., & Mortensen, E. L. (2015). Prevalence and predictors of personality change after severe brain injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 96(1), 56–62. Web.

Penner, B. M. (2020). An introduction to Christian worldview: Pursuing God’s perspective in a pluralistic world. Reviews in Religion & Theology, 27(2), 171–173. Web.

Spirit, soul and body – How God designed us. (2020). Faith and Health Connection. Web.

The Biblical-Christian view of ultimate reality: God – An excerpt from the essentials of Christian thought. (2017). Zondervan Academic. Web.

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